Creating a blog was out of the question for a long time for me, as measuring everything in the kitchen was like biting into an eggshell. I enjoy cooking and don’t want to waste even a slightest bit of enjoyment in that small world of mine. But little did I know that everything will change, when my husband came home with the Oscar nominated film ‘Julie and Julia’( a real life story) where Julie Powell (part played by Amy Adams) challenged herself to make all the 524 recipes from Julia Child's cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and blogging all her experiences (The Julie/Julia Project). It was an inspiring movie. A few days later when we were discussing this casually with a friend of ours over tea…everything changed dramatically…..” How about you making at least half of it in one year? Not French but your own. 262 recipes that will inspire others and present it as a blog?” For a minute my mind traveled faster than light… With an experience as a helper in my mother in laws kitchen for 6 years followed by a three year everyday struggle to satisfy the palate of my foodie husband, if I cannot do it then why should I cook? But on the other side with an experience in English literature extending no more than expanding outline stories in English grammar class when I was 18 and two small kids that come in handy at times, will a commitment for the next one year work? Anyway my ‘cook's ego’ didn’t allow me to say no...

So my friends …here I am opening my recipe book, trying to perfect and present 262 recipes in the coming 365 days….A Challenge that will of course tastes good. Come.. Have a walk with me along my journey.. Cheering and inspiring….Forgiving and tolerating…Testing and tasting….for ‘A Tasty Challenge’

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe No: 47
I got this recipe from a Brown Sugar cover and decided to give it a try. I was a bit skeptical at first since it contains only less amount of butter when compared to most of the other recipes. But when the cookies turned out to be delicious, I felt that this is a keeper and never tried to change since.
Ingredients                                         Makes 20-25 cookies
  • Flour…………………..……...........2 ¼ cup
  • Baking soda…………………........3/4 Teaspoon
  • Salt…………………………............1/2 Teaspoon
  • Butter………………………...........1/2 cup
  • Brown Sugar………………..........3/4 Cup
  • Granulated Sugar…………….....3/4 Cup
  • Vanilla extract……………..........1 Teaspoon
  • Eggs………………………..............2 large
  • Semisweet Chocolate Chips….3/4 Cup
Method of Preparation
  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F/190˚C.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread a thin layer of butter on it. (You can use a cooking spray instead.)
  3. Sift together Flour, Salt and Baking Soda and keep aside.
  4. Melt the butter and cool it slightly. Combine it with Brown sugar, White sugar, Eggs and Vanilla. Beat this till light and fluffy.
  5. Add the flour mixture and mix gently till everything is just combined. Don’t over mix after adding the flour.
  6. Add the Chocolate chips and mix.
  7. Scoop out heaping tablespoons of the cookie dough and place them on the parchment paper 2 inches apart.
  8. Wet your fingers and flatten the top of the scoops.
  9. Place it in the middle of the preheated oven and bake till golden on the edges for about 12 to 16 minutes.
  10. Once out of the oven, let the cookie rest on the cookie sheet itself for a minute and then transfer to a cooling rack.
  11. I love to eat them warm. But if you are storing it, store it in an airtight container after cooling thoroughly.
Notes: The time of the baking depends on the consistency you want. Around 10-12 minutes the cookie will be soft and chewy. Around 14-16 minutes it will be crunchy. In both cases it should be soft in the middle when you take it out of the oven. It will harden when it cools.
Instead of Chocolate chips you can use broken Chocolate pieces too.
You can store this cookie for at least a week at room temperature and if you like a warm cookie, just heat it in a microwave for a few seconds.
 



Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and 
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Monday, June 28, 2010

Potato Curry

Recipe No: 46
Ingredients                                        Serves 6
  • Potato……………………………3 medium chopped into cubes (Roughly 3 cups)
  • Onion…………………………….1/2 small thinly sliced
  • Green Chilly…………………..5 Slit
  • Ginger chopped……………...1 Tablespoons
  • Curry leaves…………………..2 sprigs
  • Oil………………………………...1/2 Teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds…………….....1/2 Teaspoon
  • Coriander Powder……….....2 Tablespoons
  • Red Chilly Powder………....1/4 Teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder…………..1/4 Teaspoon
  • Garam Masala Powder......1 Teaspoon
  • Tomato………………………...1/2 small sliced
  • Thick Coconut Milk………..1/2 Cup
Method of Preparation
  1. Heat oil in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds.
  2. Add the Potato, Onion, Green Chilly, Ginger and Curry leaves and saute for 3- 4 minutes on medium high heat.
  3. Reduce the flame to low and add Turmeric, Red chilly, Coriander and Garam Masala powder and saute for 2 minutes.
  4. Add 2 1/2 cups of water close the pan and let it cook on a medium high flame.
  5. When it is cooked, add the tomato slices and the coconut milk and allow it to boil along the sides.
  6. Serve hot with Chappathi, Appam or Idiyappam.
Notes: If you don’t want it too spicy, then take off the seeds and ribs out of the Green Chilly. But do put at least 3 of them, as its flavor is very important in this curry.
 




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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ghee Rice/ Neychor

Recipe No: 45
Growing up this used to be ‘the rice’ my mother used to make for all the special occasions. We all at home totally adored this. I love to eat this without any sides and I should say, it tastes better the next day. 
Ingredients                                             Serves 6 Adults
  • Basmati rice……………………..3 cups
  • Whole Spices……………………10 Cardamom, 10 Cloves, 2 Star Anise and 4 1" Cinnamon sticks
  • Water……………………………….6 cups
  • Ghee………………………………..4 Tablespoons
  • Salt…………………………………..3/4-1 Tablespoons (according to your taste)
  • Cashew nuts and Raisins ….4 Tablespoons each
  • Thinly Sliced Onion…………..1 Cup
  • Oil for deep frying Onions (at least 1 cup)
Method of Preparation
  1. Wash and drain the Basmati rice properly.
  2. In a hot pan add two tablespoons of Ghee and fry the Cashew nuts, when it starts to brown on the edges add the raisins and fry till it is plumped. Remove this and keep aside for later use.
  3. To the remaining Ghee, add Whole Garam Masala and fry till fragrant.
  4. Add the rice and mix for a minute and add water. (Use water at room temperature.)
  5. Add the salt, cover it and let it boil. Once boiled, lower the temperature to minimum and let it cook.
  6. In the mean time in another pan heat the oil and deep fry the onions.  ( I mix the Onions with 1/2 teaspoon of cornflour just before dropping it in the oil. This will reduce the amount of oil absorbed by the onions…I learned this from vahrehvah.com.) When golden brown remove this and drain the excess oil by keeping it on a paper towel. Instead of deep fried Onions you can also use sauteed onions.
  7. When the level of the water in the rice is reduced to the level of the rice, add fried Onions, Cashew nuts, Raisins and the rest of the Ghee on top of the rice, cover it again and let it cook until all the water is absorbed.
  8. When the water is absorbed, switch off the flame, fluff it once and keep the rice covered for 30 minutes before serving.
 





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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lamb Shank Roast

Recipe No: 44
A meat shank or shin is the portion of meat around the tibia of the animal, the leg bone beneath the knee. This is a very tricky piece of meat to cook. It is covered by a thin layer of fat and fell (a thin, paper like covering). This layer makes it hard for the flavorings to penetrate the meat. Even though the shank meat is considered to be lean there is a lot of connective tissue (which is made up of a protein called collagen) that makes it very hard and tough. So the only solution is to cook it for a long time in a slow flame in a good amount of liquid which is also called ‘braising’. This type of cooking will dissolve the connective tissue and will make the meat fall off the bone and also extracts all the flavor form the bones making it tastier and heavenly. Another Challenge is to control the amount of fat. As I said earlier, even though the meat is lean there is quite a bit of fat around the meat. This will melt into the gravy while cooking. So skimming the fat after cooking is essential to keep it a bit on the healthier side and also to avoid that unpleasant ‘lambi’ taste.
Here in this preparation, I used the Pressure cooker to give that long and slow cooking effect. Whatever the cooking technique is, the taste of the end product is out of this world.
Ingredients                                                    Serves 4 adults
  • Lamb Shanks………………………..4
To grind
  • Shallots chopped………………….1/2 cup (Small Onion)
  • Ginger roughly chopped………1/4 cup
  • Garlic roughly chopped………..1/4 cup
  • Turmeric powder…………………1/2 Teaspoon
  • Chilly powder………………………1 ½ Teaspoons
  • Coriander powder……………….2 Tablespoons
  • Pepper powder…………………..1/2 Teaspoon
  • Garam Masala powder………..1 ½ Teaspoon
  • Yogurt………………………………….3 tablespoons
  • Lime Juice…………………………….1 Tablespoon
  • Salt to taste
To Saute
  • Oil………………………………………..4-5 Tablespoons
  • Onion sliced thin………………....2 ½ cup
  • Curry Leaves……………………….3-4 sprigs
For the final touch
  • Coconut milk…………………….1/4 cup
  • Coconut oil……………………….1 Teaspoon
  • Garam Masala…………………..1/2 Teaspoon
  •  A sprig of Curry leaf
Method of Preparation
  1. Wash and pat the Lamb shanks dry and make two to three slits on each side of the Shank.
  2. Grind together all the ingredients given in the ‘to grind’ section. Take half of this paste and marinate the Shanks and keep it aside for 1 hour. Keep the rest of the paste for later use.
  3. Heat 3 Tablespoons of Oil in a good nonstick pan and fry the Shanks on all the four sides for a few minutes. Transfer this to a Pressure cooker.
  4. To the same pan add the rest of the oil and fry the Onions and Curry Leaves till it becomes light brown. Add the reserved ground paste and saute till the raw smell is gone.
  5. Add this along with 3 cups of water to the meat in the Pressure cooker, close it and cook till the meat is tender. This is what I did. After the first whistle I reduced the flame to medium and cooked it for 30 minutes. Then I raised the heat to maximum and waited for another three whistles.
  6. Once the pressure is gone, open the lid and remove the Shanks alone to a nonstick pan. The remaining liquid contains a lot of fat. So either skim the fat away or if you have time, keep this in the refrigerator/ freezer till the fat solidifies on the top.  (This will take around 2 hours) Then you can remove the fat easily. This step is very important so don’t skip.
  7. Add the rest of the liquid back onto the Lamb Shanks and cook it on a low flame till all the liquid is evaporated. It is very important at this stage to baste the shanks in the cooking liquid constantly. (As the Shanks are big, there won’t be enough liquid to cover it.) This will help the inside of the meat to season properly. This may take for 40 – 50 minutes. Cover it and let it simmer. Baste every 5- 10 minutes. Adjust the salt at this stage.
  8. Once almost dry add the coconut milk, Coconut oil, ½ teaspoon Garam Masala and some extra Curry leaves.
  9. Mix well taking care not to let the flesh fall off the bone. 
  10. Keep it covered for 30 minutes before serving.
 Notes: Lamp Shanks are available in most of the stores that sells meat. If these are not available, you can try the same recipe with regular Lamb meat with bones. Please don’t forget to adjust the cooking time accordingly.







 Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and
serve it to your family with love...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Mint- Coriander Chicken

Recipe No: 43
Not being a mint fan, I was very skeptical when I ate Mint Chicken for the first time. But I couldn’t believe my taste buds. The cooking really mellowed out the sharp taste of the mint, making it likable for even a person like me. Taking into consideration on the amount of Coriander leaves/ Cilantro used in this dish, I will never be able to justify if I call this ‘Mint Chicken.’ So here it is… Mint- Coriander Chicken. I hope this will conquer your taste buds just like it conquered mine…
Ingredients                                                             Serves 8 adults
To marinate
  • Skinless, Bone-in Chicken…2lb (cut into small pieces)
  • Yogurt…………………………....3 Tablespoons
  • Chilly Powder………………….1/2 Teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder…………….1/4 Teaspoon
  • Salt as per taste
To grind
  • Mint leaves……………………...1 ¼ cup (Roughly chopped)
  • Coriander leaves/ Cilantro...1 ¼ cup (Roughly chopped)
  • Green Chilly…………………….4-5 (I used 2 Jalapeno)
To saute
  • Oil…………………………………..2 Tablespoons
  • Crushed Whole Spices………6 Cardamom, 10 Cloves, 3 One inch Cinnamon pieces)
  • Chopped Onion………………..2 cups (Chop really small)
  • Ginger-Garlic paste………….2 Teaspoons
  • Lemon Juice……………………1/2 Teaspoon
Method of Preparation
  1. Marinate the Chicken with all the ingredients in the marinade section and keep aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Grind together Mint, Coriander and Green Chilly into a smooth paste and keep aside for later use.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and saute the crushed whole spices until fragrant. (Don’t forget to crush them really well.)
  4. Add Chopped Onion and saute till translucent. Add Ginger- Garlic paste and continue to saute until the raw smell is gone.
  5. Add the marinated Chicken and saute for a while. Add 1½ cups of water and let it boil.
  6. Once boiled reduce the flame and cook it on a medium flame.
  7. When it is half cooked add the ground paste and let it finish cooking.
  8. When all the water is absorbed and the Chicken is cooked properly, add the lemon juice, mix and serve hot.
 





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serve it to your family with love….

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Egg Pinwheel Sandwich

Recipe No: 42
 I know this snack from one among the many snacks that we used to serve at my husbands house for church prayer gatherings. This is very easy to make, even in bulk and also it can be made way in advance. 
Ingredients                                                         Serves 6
  • Bread………………………………9 slices
To make the filling
  • Hard boiled eggs…………….3
  • Mayonnaise…………………..1/3 cup
  • Chopped Spring onion……3 Tablespoons
  • Chopped Onion………………2 Tablespoons
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Method of Preparation
  1. Grate the Eggs and mix together with Mayonnaise, chopped Onion, Spring Onions, Salt and Pepper. Taste the filling and adjust the salt and Pepper level. If you have a food processor then put all the ingredients for the filling in it and pulse a few times.
  2. Cut the crust off from all four sides of the bread. If your bread is not very fresh then microwave it for a few minutes. This will make them soft to roll.
  3. Place 3 slices of bread side by side with the ends just overlapping. Sprinkle a few drops of water on the bread only in the portion where it overlaps. Then press this portion with your fingertips. The  water and the pressing will make the bread stick to each other at the ends.
  4. Apply 1/3rd of the filling onto the bread and spread it, leaving a small portion at the ends. This will avoid spilling while rolling.
  5. Roll the bread into a log and wrap tightly with a plastic wrap and keep in the fridge till everything is set. I’ll keep this in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
  6. Repeat the same process with the remaining bread slices.
  7.  After refrigeration, take off the plastic wrap and cut it into circles of at least ½ an inch in thickness. Serve cold as an appetizer or as a teatime snack.
Notes: This Sandwich can be made way in advance (2-3 days) and refrigerate. Slice it just before serving.
Using an electric knife will make perfect circles of Sandwich. Otherwise you can cut with the help of a serrated knife.  If in case, the shape goes off you can always manipulate it with your hands to make it into perfect circles.
This can be made with white or wheat breads or you can alternate the breads in one sandwich itself and get nice patters of white and brown layers.

 




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serve it to your family with love....

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pizza Pockets/ Calzone

Recipe No: 41
Ingredients                                                 Makes 6 Pizza Pockets
  • Pizza Dough…………………………….1/2 of a batch
  • Tomato Sauce…………………………As needed
  • Filling …………………………………...As needed (I used only Pepperoni. But you can use sauteed Onions, Bell peppers, Mushrooms, Shredded Chicken etc)
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese…As needed
Method of Preparation
  1. Preheat the oven to 450˚F/230˚C. Just like pizza, this too require a high temperature while baking.
  2. Divide the dough into 6 equal parts and roll each part to 1/8th of an inch in thickness.
  3. Spread Tomato sauce on one half of the dough and cover that part with Cheese.
  4. On top of the Cheese, spread whatever filling you are using.
  5. Close the filling with the other half of the dough and seal the edges.
  6. With a sharp knife make some slits on top of the pockets. This is to let the vapor escape while cooking. Instead of slits you can also prick the pockets with a fork.
  7. Place the pockets on a baking tray and place the tray on the lowest rack in your oven for 6 minutes and in the middle rack of the oven for the next 6 minutes or until the Pizza Pockets are golden brown on top.
  8. Serve hot with a salad.





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serve it to your family with love...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pizza

Recipe No: 40
Ingredients                                                                 Makes 6 individual pizzas/ 2 large pizzas
For the Crust
  • All Purpose Flour/ Maida…………….3 cup
  • Yeast………………………………………...2 ½ Teaspoons
  • Sugar………………………………………...2 Tablespoons
  • Warm Water……………………………...1 cup
  • Salt…………………………………………...1 ¼ Teaspoons
  • Olive Oil…………………………………….2 Tablespoons
  • Olive Oil to coat the dough
To make the Pizza
  • Tomato Sauce……………………………As needed
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese………As needed
  • Olive Oil…………………………………...1 Teaspoon
  • Other toppings of your choice…As needed (I usually use Pepperoni, Cooked  and shredded Chicken, Sliced Onion, Bell Peppers, Mushrooms etc :-)
  • Shredded Parmesan Cheese, Chilly flakes and Pizza seasoning as needed (optional)
Method of Preparation
To make the dough for the crust
  1. Dissolve Yeast and Sugar in warm water and keep aside after covering for 5 minutes.  With in this time the yeast will be frothy. Once frothy proceed to the next step. (If not frothy then either your yeast is old or you have killed the yeast by putting it in hot water. Start over with fresh Yeast.)
  2. Combine Flour, Salt, Olive Oil and the yeast mixture and knead into soft smooth dough. If you are using a stand mixer knead on speed 1 or 2 for 4-5 minutes. If you are kneading by hand, then knead for 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add 2 Tablespoons of Olive oil in a big bowl and spread it. Place the dough inside and rotate it once so that the whole surface of the dough is coated with the oil.
  4. Cover this bowl with a damp kitchen towel and keep it in a warm place till it doubles in size for around 21/2 – 3 hours.
  5. After the first rise, punch it down and let it rise once more for 1 more hour.
To make the Pizza
  1. Preheat oven to 450˚F/230˚C.
  2. Divide the dough into portions. The size depends on how big you want your Pizza to be.
  3. Roll it into flat rounds. (Thick or thin crust you can decide)
  4. Apply a thin layer of Tomato Sauce on top of the flattened dough and cover it with shredded Mozzarella Cheese.
  5. On top of the Cheese place whatever toppings you want.
  6. Once that is done sprinkle grated Parmesan, Chilly flakes and Pizza Seasoning if you are using.
  7. Drizzle some Olive oil on top and bake on the lowest rack of the oven for 6 minutes and on the middle rack for 6 minutes or till your Pizza gets a nice color on top.
  • Notes: High Temperature is essential for this type of Pizza. As we are not precooking the crust, there are chances that moisture from the sauce penetrates the dough making it soggy. In order to prevent this you have to bake the Pizza at high temperature and have to start baking it at the lowest possible rack in the oven. This will bake the crust faster without giving enough time for the moisture to sink in. But after the first few minutes you have to move the Pizza to an upper rack. Otherwise, the bottom of your Pizza with become dark.
  • Tomato sauce is different from usual Ketchup, as it is not sweet. Use Tomato Sauce if it is available. If not, you can make your own. Blend 3 large tomatoes, half of a small onion and a large Garlic clove together and heat this mixture until it thickens. Add some Basil or Thulsi at the end of the cooking.
  • Pizza Seasoning usually contains dried Oregano, Basil, Marjoram and Garlic. This is strictly optional.
  • If your family is not using the entire quantity of dough, then freeze the rest for future use. Let it come to room temperature and rise for at least  one hour before using. If you are planning to use the dough later the same day or the next day, then refrigerate it (don't have to freeze) and let it sit at room temperature for at least one hour before using.







Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and
serve it to your family with love….

Monday, June 21, 2010

Chicken Pie

Recipe No 39                                                  
Even though the name of the dish is slightly western, after reading the recipe you will feel that it has a clean Indian taste. And it does for sure. This is an excellent recipe to use your leftover Rotisserie Chicken. Give this a try and you will be amazed to see how much vegetables you and your family is consuming, even though they had a ‘Chicken’ dish!!!! It is of course a different dish and will be perfect for those who wish for a change from their usual eating habits. Add a piece of bread and it is a whole meal by itself….
Ingredients                                                             Serves 6 adults
For the Filling
  • Cooked Chicken pieces………………..2 cups
  • Cubed Vegetables……………………....2 ½ cups (I used Carrot, Beans, Potato and Peas)
  • Oil……………………………………………....2 Tablespoons
  • Onion chopped………………………..….1 ½ cups
  • Ginger Garlic paste…………………..….2 Teaspoons
  • Slit Green Chilly………………………..….2
  • Turmeric Powder…………………..…….1/2 Teaspoon
  • Chilly Powder……………………………….1 Teaspoon
  • Coriander Powder.…………………..…..2 Teaspoons
  • Garam Masala Powder…………………1 Teaspoon
  • Tomato sliced………………………..…….1 small
  • Lemon Juice/Vinegar…………..……….1/2 – 1 Tablespoon
  • Soy Sauce……………………………………..1 Tablespoon
  • Chopped Coriander leaves……..…….3 Tablespoons
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
For The White Sauce
  • Butter…………………………………..………1 ½ Tablespoons
  • All Purpose Flour/ Maida………………1 ½ Tablespoons
  • Milk…………………………………………….…1 ½ cups
  • Grated Cheese……………………………....2 Tablespoons (I used Parmesan But any Cheese  (including Amul Cheese) will do)
  • Salt, Pepper to taste
For Assembling the Pie
  • Butter……………………………………………1 Tablespoon
  • Grated Cheese…………………………….3-4 Tablespoons
  • Bread Crumbs………………………….…1/2 Cup
  • Oil………………………………………………1 Tablespoon
Method of Preparation
To make the Filling
  1. Heat Oil in a pan and saute onions till translucent. Adding salt at this stage will speed up the process.
  2. Add Green chilly. Ginger Garlic paste and saute till the raw smell is gone.
  3. Lower the heat to medium low and add Turmeric powder, Chilly powder, Coriander powder and Garam Masala powder and saute for a minute or two.
  4. Add Tomato followed by the vegetables. If you are using dried Peas, precook it. Add a cup of water, close the pan and let the vegetables cook. Add more water if needed.
  5. Once the vegetables are 3/4th cooked, add the chicken and Soy sauce and let it cook through and the water is almost absorbed. It shouldn’t be dry but there should not be much water left.
  6. Add Coriander leaves, Pepper powder and Lemon juice, mix well and keep this aside till assembling. Don't forget to check for seasonings.
To make the White Sauce
  1. Heat butter in a pan and saute flour till the raw smell is gone for about 2 minutes on a medium flame.
  2. Add cold milk and  completely till there are no lumps. Wait till it thickens and boils through the sides. Using a whisk for mixing will reduce the lumps considerably.
  3. Off the flame and mix 2 Tablespoons of Cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble the pie
  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F/190˚C
  2. Apply a thin layer of butter on an oven proof dish.
  3. Add 1/3rd of the white sauce on the bottom and sprinkle a Tablespoon of grated Cheese.
  4. Add the entire Chicken filling on top of this and roughly smooth the surface.
  5. Spread the rest of the white sauce evenly on top and sprinkle 3 Tablespoons of grated Cheese.
  6. Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top. Add more bread crumbs than given in the recipe if you like.
  7. Drizzle some oil on top and bake for 30-45 minutes or until the bread crumbs looks golden brown. Oil will give a nice brown color to the bread crumbs.
  8. Let it rest at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving it warm with bread.
Notes: If you cut into the pie as soon as it comes out of the oven, it will be a bit runny. It will set with time.
You can use fresh bread crumbs if you want. You can make it with the help of a food processor or a blender. That way you can make crumbs with any type of bread you have in hand including whole grain breads.
This recipe got some steps, but each step is very easy to do. You can make the filling way ahead of time and make the sauce, assemble and bake the Pie when you need. 
If there are leftovers, reheat in the oven to make the crust crispy. The crust may become soggy if you reheat this  in a microwave.
 




Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and 
serve it to your family with love...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Vegetable Pulav

Recipe No: 38                                                                        
This is a recipe without any Onion. So this Pulav will stay good at room temperature for quite a long time, making it excellent to pack for picnics as well as for trips. I have to say it tastes better the next day, stays good in the freezer for at least two weeks, thaws well and best of all if seasoned properly, it can be eaten just like that with Raita. Enjoy...
Ingredients                                                           Serves 6 adults
  • Basmati rice……………………...3 cups
  • Ghee (Clarified Butter)..……..2 tablespoons
  • Whole Garam Masala…….....6 Cardamoms, 8 Cloves, 2 two inch Cinnamon piece and 2 Star Anise
  • Water……………………………...5 ½ cups
  • Chopped vegetables………....1 cup (I like to use a combination of Carrot, Beans and Peas)
  • Crushed Ginger and Garlic…2 Tablespoons (I use paste at times too)
  • Tomato chopped………………1 medium
  • Curd………………………………...1/2 cup
  • Oil……………………………………1 Tablespoon
  • Salt…………………………………..as per taste (I use at least a tablespoon)
For Garnishing
  • Fried Onions………………………1/4 cup
  • Cashew nuts and Raisins…….3 Tablespoons each
Method of Preparation
  1. Wash the rice properly and let it soak in warm water for 20 minutes and drain.
  2. Start boiling 5 ½ cups of water in a pan.
  3. Heat Ghee in a wide deep pan on medium high heat and fry the Cashew nuts for 30 seconds followed by Raisins. When the Raisins plump up remove it from the pan and keep aside for garnishing.
  4. To the rest of the ghee add whole Garam Masala and fry till fragrant.
  5. Add the Rice and fry really well. I used to fry till the rice grains on the bottom of the pan start to move on its own. Remove the rice and keep it aside for later use.
  6. In the same pan add a tablespoon of Oil and add Ginger and Garlic.
  7.  When the raw smell is gone add chopped Tomato followed by the Vegetables. Saute for a minute and add the curd. Mix well and let it cook for a minute.
  8. Add the fried Basmati rice, boiling water and Salt, mix once, close the pan and let it cook on the lowest flame till all the water is absorbed.
  9. When all the water is absorbed open the pan, mix once and let it cool down for 30 minutes.
  10. Fluff up the rice without breaking the grains, add the garnishes on top and serve warm.
     





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    Saturday, June 19, 2010

    Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches

    Recipe No: 37
    Tea Sandwiches are an integral part of any European Style Tea parties. Normally these are served as small portions on bread without the crust. But knowing that the crust is the most nutritional part of bread as it is laden with antioxidants (which fight against cancer) and seeing the gorgeous Sesame seed crust on the bread I bought to make this sandwich, I decided to leave the crust on. Even though not a Tea party, this makes a perfect evening snack.
    Ingredients                                                                                           Serves:3
    To make the spread
    • Mayonnaise……………………..1/4 cup
    • Chopped onion…………………2 Tablespoons
    • Chopped Green Onions……4 Tablespoons
    • Dried Dill (Optional)……......1/2 Teaspoon ( A dried herb that is available in grocery stores.It goes well with Smoked Salmon)
    • Salt and Pepper as needed
    To make the Sandwich
    • Bread sliced thin……………….......6 slices (I used Pumpernical Bread which is commonly used in making Tea sandwiches, but any sort of whole grain bread will do. Soft white bread is not so good for this.)
    • Room temperature butter…......as needed
    • Smoked Salmon slices……….......as needed
    • Thinly sliced cucumber slices…as needed
    Method of Preparation
    1. Put all the ingredients to make the spread in a food processor and pulse the processor a few times. If you don’t have a processor, then chop everything finely and mix really well.
    2. Lay six pieces of bread on a board and spread butter on one side of the bread slices.
    3. Divide the mayonnaise mixture into six and spread on the buttered side of the bread. The butter layer will prevent the bread from getting soaked.
    4. Layer three slices of bread with cucumber slices followed by Smoked salmon.
    5. Cover these three slices with the other three slices of bread.
    6. Keep this on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator thoroughly.
    7. Once chilled, cut each sandwich into three pieces and serve cold with a glass of hot Tea.
     



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    Thursday, June 17, 2010

    Beef Stir Fry

    Recipe No: 36
    Ingredients                                                                      Serves 4
    To Marinate
    • Beef cut into thin, broad, long pieces….1 ½ cup (Washed and drained)
    • Pepper powder………………………………1/2 Teaspoon
    • Dark soy sauce……………………………….1 Teaspoon
    To saute
    • Carrots cut into thin round pieces………………..3/4 cup
    • Water chestnuts sliced into thin round pieces....1 cup
    • Bell Peppers cubed (Red and Green)…………..1 cup
    • Broccoli florets……………………………….…..........1 ½ cup
    • Onion cubed……………………………………............1/2 cup
    • Garlic Chopped fine………………………….….........2 ½ Tablespoons
    • Spring Onion Chopped…………………………........1/2 cup
    • Oil……………………………………………….................2-3 Tablespoons
    For the Sauce
    • Beef Stock………………………………….….1 ½ cup 
    • Dark Soy Sauce……………………………...2 Tablespoons
    • Oyster sauce…………………………………1/2 Tablespoon
    • Sugar……………………………………..…….1/2 Teaspoon
    • Red Chilly Sauce…………………………....1/2 Teaspoon (If not available use Red chilly    Powder)
    • Corn Starch…………………………………..1 ½ Tablespoons
    Method of Preparation
    1. Marinate the Beef with all the ingredients in the marinade section and keep aside till ready to use.
    2. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together and keep aside.
    3. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a wok/pan on very high heat and stir fry the marinated beef. As the Beef is very thinly sliced, this will take only a minute or two. Do not make it crispy.
    4. Remove the beef from the pan and keep aside for later use. Add the rest of the oil and add saute the garlic for a minute.
    5. Add Onion, Carrots, Broccoli, Water Chestnuts and Bell peppers all at once and saute for two minutes. The vegetables should not be overcooked and should be still crisp.
    6. Add the Beef back together with the accumulated juices   followed by the prepared sauce and let everything cook together till the sauce is thick and is coating the beef and vegetables.
    7. Add the sliced Spring onion, mix and serve hot with a bowl of boiled rice sprinkled with some fried Cashew nuts.
    Notes: All of this cooking will take only minutes, so keep everything prepped and ready to go before you start cooking.
    From the start to finish do everything on high heat.
    To slice beef thin and long, keep the beef in the freezer for ½ an hour before cutting. The meat should be as thin as possible.
    If you have no beef stock, dissolve a Beef/Chicken Bouillon cube in 1 ½ cup of water and use. If that is not available, dissolve one or two Maggie Taste maker in 1 ½ cups of water and use.
    If Oyster Sauce is not available, you can use 1 ½ Tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce instead. There will be a slight taste difference, but that is also very good.
    I love using dark soy Sauce for this but regular Kikkoman Soy sauce works perfect too.
    Water Chestnuts as well as Soy and Oyster Sauces are available in the Asian section of the grocery stores. 
    You can do the same preparation with Chicken too.
     





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    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    Chicken Stew/ Mooli curry

    Recipe No: 35
    This is the traditional Chicken Stew that I used to see my mother-in-law make. In many places this is also called Mooli Curry, a name that I heard for the first time from my sister-in-law. Even though this curry doesn’t have Chilly or Coriander powder the flavor is quite amazing and goes well with Palappam (Laced rice pancakes)
    Ingredients                                                               Serves 6
    • Chicken…………………………...1/2 Kg (Cut into small pieces, wash and drain)
    • Crushed whole Garam Masala…5 Cardamom pods, 6 Cloves and 2 small Cinnamon pieces
    • Onion chopped…………………1/2 cup
    • Ginger chopped………………..2 Tablespoons
    • Garlic chopped………………….2 Tablespoons
    • Green Chilly sliced…………….3-4
    • Potato cubed…………………....2 small
    • Thin Coconut Milk…………….2 cups (mix ½ cup thick coconut milk with 1 1/2 cups water)
    • Thick coconut milk………….…3/4 cup
    • Shallots sliced……………………3
    • Oil…………………………………....2 ½ Tablespoons
    • Mustard Seeds………………….1/2 Teaspoon
    • Curry leaves…………………….2-3 sprigs
    • All purpose flour/ Maida…...1 Tablespoon
    • Garam Masala Powder……...1/2 Teaspoon
    • Tomato sliced…………………...1 small
    • Pepper powder………………….1/2 Teaspoon
    • Vinegar………………………….....1/4 Teaspoon
    • Coriander Leaves chopped…..3 Tablespoons
    Method of Preparation
    1. Heat a tablespoon of Oil in a pan on medium high heat and fry the crushed Garam Masala till fragrant.
    2. Add sliced Onion, Ginger, Garlic and Green Chilly and saute till they are wilted.
    3. Add the Chicken pieces and saute on high heat for a minute and then add the thin Coconut milk and Salt. Cover the pan and let it cook.
    4. When the Chicken is half cooked add the cubed potatoes and sliced Tomato and let the Chicken finish cooking.
    5. In another pan, splutter Mustard Seeds in 1 ½ Tablespoon of Oil. Add sliced Shallots and Curry leaves and let it brown.
    6. Add all purpose Flour and saute till the raw smell is gone. Mix in half a cup of water until smooth.
    7. Once the Chicken is cooked add the flour mixture and let it boil once more. This will thicken the stew.
    8. Add thick Coconut milk, Garam Masala Powder, Vinegar, Pepper powder and chopped Coriander leaves and let it start to boil along the sides.
    9. Serve hot with Appam or Bread.
    Notes: Adding Potatoes in the middle will help them from disintegrating into the stew, thus avoiding the stew from tasting like Potatoes.
     




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    Palappam (Kerala Laced rice Pancakes)

    Recipe No: 34
    Personally, this is my favorite breakfast item. In many parts of Kerala, Christians used to make this for breakfast on Christmas and Easter. This is an easy version of that same breakfast dish.
    Ingredients
    • White Long Grain Rice (Pachari)……………2 Cups
    • Whole Fenugreek seeds……………………….1/4 Teaspoon (Optional)
    • Boiled white Rice………………………………...1/4 cup
    • Active instant dry Yeast……………………….3/4 Teaspoon (I use the brand ‘Red Star’)
    • Thick coconut milk………………………………1 ¼ cup
    • Sugar…………………………………………………..5-6 Teaspoons
    • Salt to taste
    • A deep pan with a curved bottom and a lid is desirable to make this kind of Appam.
    Method of Preparation
    1. Wash and soak the Rice and Fenugreek seeds together for at least 6 hours. Soaking in warm water will make the process faster.
    2. Grind together soaked Rice and boiled White rice, adding just enough water needed to grind comfortably in your blender to an almost smooth consistency.
    3. In a large bowl add the yeast and two teaspoons of sugar. On top of this, add the ground Rice mixture.
    4. Mix well, cover the bowl airtight and keep in a warm place till the batter doubles in size. If you are using good yeast and the temperature is enough this will rise within 21/2 to 3 hours.
    5. Once risen, add Coconut milk, Salt and the rest of the Sugar and let it rise one more time. This second rising is essential to make the Appam soft.
    6. Heat the pan on medium heat, rub the pan with some oil and add a ladle full of batter. 2 oz or a quarter cup of batter will make a good sized Appam. Give it a swirl to get the characteristic lace. Close the lid and let it cook till the lace becomes light brown and the middle portion is cooked through. Serve hot.
    Notes: 
    • Fenugreek seeds give a nice brown color to the Appam. There is no other purpose for this addition. It is strictly optional.
    • The way I use Yeast here is much different from the way yeast are used often. This way is used only for instant variety Yeast which comes as slender, slightly long granules. If you are using the regular round Yeast, mix it with 3-4 Tablespoons of warm water and keep aside, covered for 5 minutes. By this time you can see bubbles on top, showing Yeast activity. Mix this with the Rice batter.
    • If you are grinding this in the evening and it is already raised before night, mix in the coconut milk, salt and sugar and keep this in the refrigerator. It will rise slowly in the refrigerator and when you are ready to use allow it to rise at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
    • Don’t add salt during the first rising time as it will retard the growth of the Yeast. Once the Yeast is in its full activity, add the salt, that is, before the second rise.
    • You can decide on the sweetness of the Appam by adding more  or less sugar.
    • My mother in law uses regular Cow’s milk instead of coconut milk, and that works well too. This is an easy substitute if you don’t have access to coconut milk easily. 







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    Monday, June 14, 2010

    Thai Fried Rice

    Recipe No: 33
    Ingredients                                                                       Serves 6
    • Raw Jasmine rice………………...2 cups
    • Boneless, skinless chicken…....1 cup (cut into thin strips)
    • Red Curry Paste…………………1/2 Teaspoon
    • Salt…………………………………...1/2 Teaspoon
    • Vegetable Oil……………………...5 Tablespoons
    • Sesame Oil…………………………1 Tablespoon
    • Ginger-Garlic paste……………..2 Teaspoon
    • Red Chilly Paste………………….1 Teaspoon (I used Sambal Oelek)
    • Veggies cut into thin strips…...1 ½ Cups (I used Carrots, Beans, Celery and Onion)
    • Egg……………………………………..2
    • White Sesame seeds (Ellu)……2 Tablespoons(optional)
    • Fish Sauce…………………………….2 Tablespoons
    • Salt as per taste
    Method of Preparation
    1. Marinate the Chicken pieces with the Red Curry paste and ½ teaspoon of Salt and keep aside till it is ready to be used.
    2. Wash rice and soak it in warm water for 20 minutes.
    3. Boil at least 8 cups of water. When boiled, add the rice and cook it till almost done. Don’t cook it fully as that might become very sticky.
    4. Drain and let it cool completely before making the rice. If you are in a hurry dump the strained rice on to a large sheet pan or plate and let it cool.
    5. Heat a large pan or wok on high. When heated properly add a Tablespoon of oil and fry the marinated Chicken pieces till done. Drain and keep aside.
    6. Heat the rest of the Vegetable and Sesame Oil on high heat and fry Sambal Oelek or Red Chilly paste and Ginger-garlic paste for 30 seconds.
    7. Add the Veggies and saute for 2 minutes. Don’t cook it through as it should be crunchy at the end.
    8. Push all the veggies to the side of the pan and crack the eggs to the middle of the pan. Quickly scramble the eggs with a spatula. Once cooked through, mix the egg with other veggies.
    9. Add the cooked rice, fried Chicken, Sesame seeds and Fish sauce and mix and fry for 2-3 minutes. Adjust the salt level and serve hot.
    Notes: Jasmine rice is a type of Thai rice which has a fragrance similar to that of Basmati. It is sticky when cooked, making this dish sticky, just like most of the Thai rices.
    Adding Sesame seeds is strictly optional. This is more common with Japanese Cusine but some how I like it in this recipe.
    As fish sauce is extremely salty, add extra salt if needed only towards the end after mixing the fish sauce in.
    Fish sauce, Sambal Oelek and Red Curry Paste are available in most of the  grocery stores in the Sauce or the Thai section.

     





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    Sunday, June 13, 2010

    Thai Red Curry Chicken

    Recipe No: 32
    Lately, when I was roaming through the Asian section of our grocery store, I came across this Thai Red and Green curry pastes. It really captured my curiosity as I was a fan of Thai Cuisine. This was my very first attempt to make Thai Red Curry Chicken and I have to say the outcome surprised me and when it was combined with Thai style Fried Rice, man it was awesome…
    Ingredients                                                                      Serves 6-8
    • Clean Skinless Boneless Chicken …500 grams (I prefer Thigh or a combination of Thigh and Breast pieces)
    • Vegetable/ Canola oil………………………....1 Teaspoon
    • Thai Red Curry Paste…………………………2 ½ Teaspoon
    • Thick coconut milk………………………….....19 fl oz (560 ml/ 2 1/3 cups)
    • Brinjal or egg plant cut into big pieces….....3-4 small
    • Fish Sauce………………………………………….2 Tablespoons
    • Dried Basil………………………………………….1/2 Teaspoon (If you have fresh Basil use 1 Teaspoon chopped)
    • Shredded Jaggery……………………………….1/2 -1 Teaspoon (Use Palm Sugar if you have)
    Method of Preparation
    1. Heat oil in a pan and fry the Red curry paste till the raw smell is gone and oil oozes out. (Curry paste contains a lot of oil and because of that oil will ooze out while frying.)
    2. Add half of the coconut milk and mix well.
    3. Add Chicken pieces and one cup of water. Close the pan with a lid and cook. (At this stage curry may look curdled. But it is okay and in time it will become smooth and good.)
    4. When Chicken is cooked through, add Brinjal or Eggplant slices and let it cook for 3-4 minutes.
    5. Add the rest of the Coconut milk, Basil, Fish Sauce and Jaggery. Let it boil one more time and this is ready to be served.
    Notes:  Don’t be afraid if the curry look curdled at first. I even thought of saving the Chicken and throwing the gravy out. But as I waited for 2 more minutes I saw it coming around and the end result was truly magnificent.
    This may be good without Fish sauce, but if you are looking for that true Thai taste don’t leave it out.
    Fish sauce and the Red Curry Paste are available in the sauce or Asian section of most of the Grocery stores.
    Don’t leave the Eggplant out. Those are very delicious in this Curry.
    I used our good Indian Jaggery as an alternative to Palm Sugar which is used commonly in the Thai  cuisine and it worked perfectly.
    To my surprise Basil smells more or less like Thulsi and one of my friends told me that in India, Thulsi is used as a substitute to Basil.

     







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    Thursday, June 10, 2010

    Kerala Mixture

    Recipe No: 31
    Growing up, there was a time when me and my two brothers where in the hostels in different places for our studies. So when vacation comes, the normally quiet household become active with conversations and 'hunger calls'…. So to stuff our hungry stomachs my mother used to make a lot of Kerala snacks that can be stored for a long time…. Mixture was one among them and I remember her slaving in the kitchen for a long time to make containers full of Mixture. But if made in small quantities, it is very easy to make.
    Ingredients
    For Sev
    • Channa Dal Flour/ Kadalamavu……….2 cups (Chickpea Flour)
    • Turmeric powder…………………………….1/3 Teaspoon
    • Asafoetida/ Kayam / Hing Powder.….1/8 Teaspoon
    • Chilly Powder…………………………………..1/2 Teaspoon
    • Salt as per taste
    For Boondhi
    • Channa Dal Flour/ Kadalamavu……….1 cup (Chickpea Flour)
    • Turmeric powder…………………………….1/4 Teaspoon
    • Asafoetida/ Kayam/Hing Powder……A dash
    • Chilly Powder…………………………………..1/4 Teaspoon
    • Salt as per taste
    Other Ingredients
    • Oil for deep frying
    • Split Channa Dal/ Kadalaparippu………1/4 cup
    • Peanuts with skin……………………………..1/2 cup
    • Curry leaves………………………………………4-5 sprigs
    • Chilly Powder, Salt and Hing as per taste
    Special Utensils needed
    • String Hopper/ Idiyappam Maker
    • A Spatula with holes
    Method of Preparation
    1. Mix all the ingredients in the Sev section. Add enough water to make soft yet firm dough.
    2. Heat a pan of oil on medium high heat.
    3. Load the String Hopper maker with the dough and press it into the oil in a circular motion. Don’t overcrowd the pan. When the pan is filled, stop and cut the Sev from the String Hopper maker. This will make one large Sev.
    4. Fry it till one side is done and turn. When it is crispy take it out of the oil and place it on a paper towel and let the excess oil drain. This frying is pretty quick and will take only like 2-3 minutes on medium high heat. Don’t brown the Sev. To ensure even frying, take care not to make the Sev thick in one portion of the pan.
    5. When it is drained, crush it with your hand to make the Sev smaller. You can decide the length of the Sev.
    6. Repeat the same process until all the dough is used. Keep the Sev aside.
    7. Mix all the ingredients in the Boondhi section with water so as to make a batter that flows. The consistency can be decided with a simple test. The batter should flow through the holes of the spatula on a medium speed. If it flows too fast, then the batter is too thin and if it won’t fall, then the batter is too thick.
    8. Once the batter is made, drop it on to the spatula with holes that is held on top of the hot oil and allow dripping into the oil. Don’t overcrowd the pan.
    9. Fry till crispy. Drain it onto a paper towel. Repeat with the whole batter.
    10. To the hot oil add the peanuts and fry for a minute followed by curry leaves and Channa Dal and fry all together till crispy and drain it.
    11. Mix the Sev, Boondhi, Peanuts, Curry leaves and Channa Dal together and add Salt, Red Chilly powder and Hing(one or two dashes) as per taste.
    12. When it is completely cooled, store it in an airtight container.This will stay good for 2-3 weeks if stored properly.
     





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    Wednesday, June 9, 2010

    Paneer and Shrimp in Yogurt Sauce

    Recipe No: 30
    The basis of this recipe is from an Asian Stir Fry book by Linda Doeser. Even though the taste of the original dish was good, it didn’t go well in my house. So being a person, who knows the taste buds of my family, I made some changes, and now whenever I make this, even my little four year old fellow will lick his fingers!!!
    Ingredients                                                           Serves 4
    • Paneer…………………………..6oz (If cut into medium sized pieces this will be a heaping one cup)
    • Shrimp………………………….300 grams (mine came around 19 big shrimps)
    • Yogurt…………………………..1/2 cup
    • Tomato Sauce……………….5 Tablespoons
    • Garam Masala powder…1 ½ Teaspoon
    • Red Chilly powder………..1 Teaspoon
    • Coriander powder………..2 Teaspoons
    • Turmeric powder………….1/4 Teaspoon
    • Garlic chopped……………..1 Tablespoon
    • Green Chilly chopped……1 Tablespoon
    • Butter……………………………2 Tablespoons
    • Oil………………………………….2 Tablespoons
    • Cream + Milk…………………2/3 Cup (mix 1/3 cup of both Milk and Heavy cream)
    • Cilantro/Coriander leaves…3-4 Tablespoons chopped
    • Salt as per taste
    Method of Preparation
    1. Mix together Yogurt, Tomato sauce, Garam Masala powder, Chilly powder, Coriander powder, Turmeric powder, Garlic, Green Chilly and Salt and keep aside.
    2. Heat Butter and Oil in a deep pan on high heat and fry the Paneer till a very light golden color. Remove them with a slotted spoon on to a plate.
    3. To the rest of the oil in the pan add the shrimp, sprinkle some salt on top and fry for a minute on both sides. If there is no oil please add a little more. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside. If needed fry it in batches.
    4. To the rest of the oil in the pan add the yogurt mixture and sauté them well for about 3 minutes.
    5. Add the Paneer and Shrimp back to the yogurt, mix well, close with a lid, reduce the heat to medium and let it finish cooking for 4 -5 minutes.
    6. When it is cooked, add the cream milk mixture and let it boil along the sides.
    7. Add Coriander leaves and serve hot on top of boiled Basmati rice.
    Notes: You can use milk only if you desire to make this dish. In fact I used only low fat milk to make this dish and hence a dark color. Instead of Cream you can also use half and half. (The regular half and half that is available in the grocery stores contains 50% heavy cream and 50% milk)
    You can fry Paneer in long blocks of 1 cm. thickness in a shallow flat pan and then cut into pieces, that way the oil used can be considerably reduced.
     







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    Brownie

    Recipe No: 29
    Ingredients                                                   Serves 8-10
    • Unsalted Butter…………………….1 Stick/ 4 oz/8 Tablespoons
    • Semisweet Chocolate chips…..1 ¼ cups
    • Eggs……………………………………….2
    • Instant Coffee Powder…………..3/4 Teaspoon
    • Vanilla Essence……………………….1/2 Teaspoon
    • Sugar……………………………………….1/2 cup
    • All purpose flour/Maida………….1/4 cups
    • Baking powder………………………..1/4 Teaspoon
    • Salt a pinch
    Method of Preparation
    1. Preheat oven to 350˚F or 180˚C.
    2. Prepare an oven proof pan by applying a thin layer of butter. If you have a cooking spray, spray generously on the bottom and sides of the Pan.
    3. Heat 1 cup water in a sauce pan and place a bowl which is smaller, on top of the pan. (Double boiler) Put Chocolate chips, Butter and instant Coffee powder in the small bowl and let it melt over the simmering water. When completely melted remove the bowl of Chocolate from the hot water and let it cool.
    4. Sift together Flour, Baking powder and Salt and keep aside.
    5. In another bowl stir together Eggs, Vanilla essence and Sugar.
    6. Add cooled Chocolate to the egg mixture and combine well.
    7. Add the flour and mix till it is just combined. Don’t over mix which may result in a tough Brownie.
    8. Transfer this batter to the prepared pan.
    9. Bake it for 30 to 35 minutes or till as inserted tooth pick comes out clean or with crumbs.
    10. Serve it warm or at room temperature as a dessert or with a cup of Tea.
    11. The decoration on top of this Brownie is powdered sugar and the pattern was made with the help of a stencil.
    • Notes: Brownies can be Chewy, Fudgy or Cakey. This is more towards the Fudgy side.
    • As chocolate is temperature sensitive,  a double boiling set up is a much safer way to melt Chocolate. If you melt Chocolate directly over flame, it may scorch (Slight burning) them.
    • Broken chocolate pieces can be used instead of chocolate chips.
    • If you like you can add toasted nuts or extra Chocolate chips to the Brownie. But before adding please toss them with a Tablespoon of flour. This will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the pan. I stick to the plain brownies as those are my kid's favorite.
    • If you wish, you can make this in Muffin/Cup cake pans and can serve them individually. In this case the cooking time is considerably reduced to 15 to 18 minutes.
    • Cooking time for Brownies is crucial. If an inserted toothpick comes out with batter, it is considered undercooked. If it comes out with crumbs, Brownies are just done. If toothpick comes out completely clean then it is slightly overcooked. So keep a close eye towards the end of the baking time.
     




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