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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Monday, January 31, 2011

Baklava

Recipe No: 183
Originated in Turkey, Baklava is quite a famous Exotic Dessert in US. These are layers of thin pastry sheets and nuts, with Honey or Syrup poured over generously.

One of these days, a friend of ours gave us some Baklava they bought from somewhere in the Middle East, on their way back to US from India. Unlike the usual square ones, these were rolled and surprisingly it was not too sweet at all. My daughter who is not a big fan of anything sweet, was just head over heels with those Baklavas and the rest of the three got only bits and pieces. She was asking me to make Baklavas like that from the day she ate those and so I decided to give it a try.

 As a part of trail, I did experiment with the spices going into it from Cinnamon and Cardamom to Cloves and Nutmeg. I should say that each one of them has their own identity and I liked all of them. So if you try this recipe go ahead and use the ones that suit your palate and personalize them accordingly.
Ingredients                                        Makes 32 pieces
  • Phyllo Dough Sheets………………8 no
  • Almonds (skin removed)………..1/2 Cup
  • Shelled Pistachios…………….……1/2 Cup
  • Walnuts………………….……………1/2 Cup
  • Sugar…………………………..………1/2 Cup
  • Cinnamon Powder………………...1/2Teaspoon
  • Cardamom Powder………….……1/3 Teaspoon (Optional)
  • Cloves and Nutmeg Powder…..a Pinch each (Optional)
  • Butter……………………….…………1/2 Cup/ 1 stick (melted)
  • Honey………………..……………….1 Tablespoon
Method of Preparation
  • Preheat the oven to 350˚F/ 180˚C.
  • Grind together all the Nuts into a course mixture and mix in Sugar, Cinnamon and the other spices (Cardamom, Cloves and Nutmeg) if using. Keep it aside till ready to be used.
  • Carefully spread one Phyllo sheet on a flat surface and bush a thin layer of melted Butter. Place another sheet on top and spread Butter.
  • Starting from the smaller side cut the dough half way up, so that it is possible to make two rolls out of one.
  • On the smaller side, place 1/8th of the filling in a small line leaving an inch on the side to help in rolling.
  • Carefully roll it tightly and place them in a baking pan.
  • Continue to make this till all the Phyllo sheets are used. (will make 8 rolls)
  • Cut each of the roll into 4 equal parts in the baking pan and brush the top with Butter.
  • Bake it in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Take it out of the oven after 10 minutes, drizzle the honey on top and with the help of a brush spread it evenly.
  • Put it back in the oven and let it crisp up for another 5 minutes or till the top become slight golden brown.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.
Notes:
  • Don’t use roasted and salted nuts for this preparation.
  • If you don’t have any one of these nuts, increase the amounts of the other two to make 1 ½ cups.
  • When you grind them, take care to make a course consistency; don’t powder them.
  • Thawing Phyllo dough should be done as per the instructions on its cover. Be very patient with them as they are very delicate. Cover them with a lightly damp kitchen towel when not in use and take them out only when necessary as they have a tendency to dry fast.
  • You have to layer two Phyllo sheets and  cut in the middle so that each Baklava will have only adequate amount of pastry around.
  • Phyllo Dough is available in the frozen section of the grocery stores.
  • If you want your Baklava on the sweeter side then increase the amount of honey.
  • Instead of Honey, it is also possible to use Sugar Syrup also.
 






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

3 comments:

Jaisy James said...

wow my fav baklava looks superbb dear

Priya said...

Omg, irresistible baklava, feel like grabbing some..

raga said...

Asha,

I made this..They were tasting delicious.....Thanks for the very easy yet delicious receipe.

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