Sunday, June 26, 2005
BLACK FOREST CAKE
1 cup tinned cherries
Dark milk chocolate - one big bar
300gm cream (2 cups )
5tbsp powdered sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
1) First prepare basic chocolate cake (refer to my previous post)
2) To prepare flakes freeze the chocolate bar and when its hard grate it with a grater into flakes then put it back for freezing . Use apna good old Cadbury with out those nuts or raisins ,Hershey’s plain bars should also be good
3) For the icing take chilled cream & add sugar &essence. Beat the cream lightly take care not to over beat it other wise it will become liquidy. Refrigerate it
4) Deseed the cherries and keep aside
5) Cut the cake from the middle and keep the two pieces separately
6) Take cherry syrup and soak the two halves
7) Next spread the icing mixture on both the pieces
8) Arrange cherries on the lower piece and place the upper piece over it
9) Cover the cake completely with cream
10) Take some of the cream (which is refrigerated) and with the help of a piping bag (its ok if u don’t have a piping bag u can take a piece of plastic and cut the center , I use a syringe yes u heard it right a injection wala syringe with out a needle for the same ) Make a border of small twirls around the cake an place cherries on top of each swirl
11) Finally the chocolate flakes should be put generously on the cake covering all the sides .
12)Serve chilled and impress someone or maybe yourself
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
BASIC CHOCOLATE CAKE
Baking a cake for someone has always been regarded as an expression of ones affection . I remember once landing up at a friend’s place with a home made black forest cake on her birthday and till this date she tells me that it was the best birthday surprise that she ever had.
I think what dissuades everyone from venturing into baking is the fact that if not carried out properly it can have disastrous results and also the fact that it seems like a lot of hard work. But believe me baking a cake is as simple as devouring piece after piece of that yummy chocolate cake .
So here is a simple basic chocolate cake recipe for beginners .
The key to a perfect cake is maintaining the exact quantity of ingredients, even a minor change in the proportions can lead to a not so appetizing cake . The recipe that I have mentioned here is that for a small cake if you want you can make a larger one by doubling or trebling the ingredients in the same proportion
¾ cup powdered sugar(grind sugar finely in the smaller attachment of the blender)
½ cup maida
1tsp baking powder
¼ cup milk
½ cup oil (sunflower)
½ tsp vanilla essence
Basic chocolate cake
1) Beat the eggs and sugar till the mixture turns fluffy ,I usually use the manual hand mixer but I think the moulinex hand blender is very efficient. The mixture should turn increase to almost double its volume . Add the vanilla essence
2) Sift flour with baking powder & cocoa and keep aside .
3) Add oil gradually to the beaten egg sugar mixture. Mix well .
4) Add the flour and milk gradually till all the flour is used and a slightly thinner than a soft dropping consistency is obtained (tick pouring)
For microwave oven baking
Grease a large round borosil vessel and pour the cake mixture into it and bake uncovered for exactly 4 minutes uncovered. Even if the cake appears uncooked from the surface do not over cook
For conventional oven baking
Pre heat an oven at 375’ F. pour the mixture on a greased baking dish on bake for 15min. Check by inserting a knife to see if done. The knife should not have any greasy liquid batter sticking to it .
6) Cool and remove from the dish
7) Chill and serve with icing if desired
See how easy it is to prepare this cake . If you want you can try it our right away or wait for my next post where I will teach you how to convert this into black forest cake !!!!
Saturday, June 11, 2005
Manchurian can be eaten as a starter /snack for which it would have to left in its gravy less form ,or alternately it can also be prepared in a gravy and served with noodles or fried rice .
Chicken – 500 gm – boneless cut into very small pieces
Cornflower - 100gm
Oil –for frying
Salt –to taste
Pepper –to taste
Soya sauce – 3 tablespoons
For seasoning on case of Dry manchurian
Onion – 2 no - finely cut (the kind you’d use for an omlette)
Green chillies – 2-3 –cut into small pieces
Garlic –5-7 flakes –sliced
Vinegar –one tea spoon
Soy sauce – 2 tea spoons
For Gravy in case you are making the wet kind of manchurian
Cornflour – 3 table spoons
Greenchillies –4-5 cut into small pieces
Onions –2 cut finely
Soysauce –1 table spoon
Coriander leaves –-very finely cut –1 table spoon
Vinegar –1 teaspoon
Pepper –to taste
Salt –to taste
Garlic flakes – 6-7 – peeled n sliced
Water – 300ml
1) Wash the chicken thoroughly and cut into small pieces
2) Take boiling water & immerse there pieces only for about a minute . Drain the water dry the pieces
3) Add all the seasoning i.e. soy sauce ,salt ,pepper to the chicken
4) It this recipe there is not need to marinate the chicken so almost immediately take corn flour and add salt and pepper to it and dip the pieces in the corm flour to make small lemon sized balls
5) Take oil in a kadhai or deep fryer and fry the manchurian first on medium heat and then on high flame to give the golden color
6) Remove from the flame on keep on a paper tissue or white paper to make it less oily
For dry manchurian
1) Take oil in a pan and add onion to it ,fry till it becomes translucent
2) Add green chillies and garlic
3) Ad the soya sauce & vinegar
4) Add the manchurian into this and fry for about a minute
5) Serve hot as a snack /starter
1) Take oil in a large pan or even a vessel and heat it
2) Add onions to it sauté the onions & add the coriander . Next add the green chillies and garlic flakes
3) Take corn flour in a small bowl and add cold water to it . Mix it to make a smooth paste
4) To the onion n chillies add water and allow it to boil
5) Add sugar n dissolve it in the water . next add the rest of the spices soy sauce ,salt ,pepper and vinegar
6) Add the cornfour mixture and allow it to boil . keep checking till the powdery taste of cornflour disappears . The gravy will show a sudden increase in thinckness when its almost done .if you feel its too watery add a little more of corfluer dissolved in water .Adjust the spices
7) When the tase and consistency both of the gravey seems alright add the balls n keeep in fire for about a minute or two
So here is your manchurian ready .Eat it either with fried rice , zeera rice or noodles
Although the dry form is more popular I prefer the gravy wala manchurian tastes so yumm .
I promised you guys that I’d put up a few recipes for you too so here it is .
The procedure remains pretty much the same only the chicken balls will have to be substituted with veg balls which can be prepared something like this
Carrots – 5-6 medium sized
Cabbage –shredded – 1 cup
Cornflour –200 gms
Salt –to taste
Pepper to taste
Soysauce –few drops
1) Take the carrots and boil them in hot water for about 3-5 mins
2) Do the same for the beans
3) Cut the carrot into small pieces
4) Chop the beans finely
5) Add the cabbage
6) Add the rest of the spices
7) Add cornflour and make small balls ( There would be no use of extra water the water from the carrot and beans should suffice
8) Fry the balls till they are golden brown
Even this can be served in the dry form or with gravy . Procedure similar to the one shown above .
Gobi manchurian can also be prepared similarly , the veg balls have to be replaced with cauliflower pieces dipped in cornflour and fried .
I hope you guys liked my recipes . Happy cooking
Sunday, June 05, 2005
AJWAIN CHICKEN (achar style)
If you’ve been cooking chicken for a significant period of time then you must have noticed that your recipes have become as predictable as gaunguly’s batting !! The reason for this is use of all available masala for a particular dish. .You see that you have garam masala , lemon , red chilli ,haldi , zeera powder , danya power etc and decide to use all of these in your chicken marinate. But the secret to variety in taste is to use the masala judiciously.
So here is a dish that is easy to prepare and quite different in its taste
Chicken- 500 gms – Bone less cut in to small pieces (smaller than the size that you see above)
Ajwain/bishop’s weed – powdered – 2 tea spoons
Ajwain - whole – 1 tea spoon
Dhanya powder /coriander seeds powder-2 tea spoons
Methi powder/fenugreek seeds (Roast the methi seeds & make a powder)– 1 tea spoon
Haldi /turmeric powder – 2-3 tea spoons
Redchilli powder – to taste
Salt – to taste
Dahi/curds – two table spoons
Oil – Variable
Red chillies – whole – dried - 3-5
Garlic – whole flakes – 7-8
Ok so coming to recipe , if you would have noticed I have not used any garam masala , jeera or adrak lassan , this is to maintain the distinct flavour of ajwain . Another point do not use methi in excess as it could cause your dish to become bitter .
1) First wash the chicken thoroughly and cut into small pieces . Then apply salt and haldi and keep aside for about 15 –30 min . You will notice a loss of water from the sides . Discard this water .
2) Then apply the Ajwain powder , dhanya powder , methi powder , haldi , red chilli powder and salt . Then happily forget about it for about 2 hours , watch a movie or chat or cook the other dishes meanwhile .
3) Take oil in a pan and allow it to heat . Add the chicken pieces and fry it at medium heat .
4) Take the dahi and beat it slightly to smoothen and add it to the chicken . The dahi should just coat the chicken rather than forming a gravy .
5) Allow it to cook at medium heat till the water from the dahi dries up .Add salt and red chilli powder . Adjust the spices if required .
6) Tadka / baghar (as we call it in hyderabad) – take a smaller kadhai or pan place oil in it and heat it . Next add garlic flakes each of which has been peeled and cut into two pieces . When the garlic acquires a light golden tinge add the dried red chillies which have been broken into three or four pieces . Keep it on fire for a about half a minute and then add to the chicken
Tra la la la la your ajwain chicken is ready . It can be eaten with roti , bread , or with rice . If wrapped in a roti with onions , tomatoes and cucumber it tastes really awesome .
So what are guys waiting for just gather the ingredients and start cooking . And of course remember me !!
P:S - Since this is pretty much a self invented recipe I haven't been succesful in finding an exact picture . The picture diplayed comes closest to the dish in terms of consitency and size of the chicken pieces .
Saturday, June 04, 2005
Lets get started
If your kitchen turns from this
Dont worry you are not alone!!!
But the point is so allow your kitchen to get only as messy as you can clean without digesting all the food just prepared in it .
They dont say cleanliness is a virtue for nothing so here are a couple of my tried n tested tips for a less messier kitchen
1) Read through the recipie carefully before starting cookng so that you know what you are gonna need next . So it wouldnt be like you use the mixer to mix dahi , wash it n keep it only to realise that later on u need the same mixer for coriander
2) Minimal dishes , while cooking one tends to use a lot of vessels i.e plates ,spoons ,patila in the intermediate steps only to discover a pile of vessels at the end .
3) Dont start washing the vessels until you are done with 75 % of the cooking since a lot of things like spoons of paltes would be required from time to time
4) Things that need to go into the trash can right away egg shell (unless you wanna scare away lizards ) , onion peels (these are pretty messy & keep flying all around unless shown thier rightful place i'e kachre ka dabba ) , potato peels .
5) Things that need not go into the trash right away , Masala boxes / food covers , coz after a point the distinction between chole masala & chat masala seems to blurr so a proof in writing al always welcome , De -juiced lemons coz u never know how much extra nibu ras they hold .
6) Two cloths & a sponge - These are essential in a kitchen , First cloth should be large and absorbent to be used on the floor , second cloth is a holding cloth to hold your hot tava or vessels , third the sponge to wipe the working area . Note : depending upon the availability in your country these can be substituted with better
So frens thats all for now . My next post will be an actual recipie . Leaving on this funny note .