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December 31, 2013

Fresh fruit with caramelised almonds Genoese Sponge

May every day of the new year
glow with good cheer & happiness
for you & your family.

Happy New Year to all my Viewers !!!

Ingredients :

  1. Butter for greasing
  2. Eggs - 4 nos
  3. Caster sugar - 115 g / 1/2 cup
  4. All purpose flour - 175 gms / 1 1/2 cups
For the filling & topping :
  1. Orange-flavoured liqueur (or) orange juice - 6 tbsp (optional)
  2. Double cream - 3 cups
  3. Vanilla sugar - 4 tbsp
  4. Fresh soft fruit, such as raspberries, strawberries, red currants and blueberries - 2 cups
  5. Caramelised almonds - 1 cup
  6. Glazed cherries for decoration

Method :

1.   Preheat the oven to 180 C.  Grease & line up the baking pan with the parchment paper.

2.   Put the eggs and sugar in a large bowl and beat until the mixture is thick and pale.

3.   Sift the flour into the bowl with the egg and sugar mixture, then fold together gently.

4.   Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.  Bake it for 30 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.  Leave the cake in the tin for 5 mins, then turn out on to a wire rack to go cold.  

5.   Cut the cake in half horizontally to make two layers.  Put the bottom layer on to a serving plate and sprinkle the orange flavoured liqueur or juice, over the cut side of each cake.

6.   To make the filling and topping, put the double cream and vanilla sugar in  a large bowl and beat to ether with an electric whisk until the mixture holds its shape.

7.   Spread two-thirds of the cream over the bottom layer of the cake and top with the soft fruits.

8.  Carefully put the second layer of the cake on top of the first layer and spread the remaining cream over the top & sprinkle the caramelised almonds & decorate with some glazed cherries. 

Happy baking :)

December 27, 2013

Mathri (Salted Crackers)

Ingredients :

  1. All purpose flour - 2 cups
  2. Semolina - 1/2 cup
  3. Salt - 1 tsp
  4. Ajwain -3/4 tsp
  5. Chilly powder / Black pepper powder - 1 tsp 
  6. oil - 3 tbsp
  7. Lukewarm water for kneading
  8. Oil for frying
  9. Chaat masala 

Method :

1.    Combine flour, semoline, salt, ajwain, chilly powder and oil in a bowl.  Mix well.  Gradually add water and knead into a stiff dough.  Cover with a moist cloth and set aside for 20 mins.

2.   Heat oil in a frying pan till it is moderately hot.  Reduce the flame.

3.    Make small balls out of the dough and flatten them on your palms.  Prick with a fork and deep fry in batches on low flame till the Mathris are golden and crisp.  Drain on  a paper towel and allow to cool.  Sprinkle some chaat masala before storing these mathris in a air tight jar.

Best served with tea or hot pickle, anytime!!! 

December 24, 2013

Rich fruit cake

Happy Christmas !!

Use a food processor to chop and combine whole citrus fruits and dates to make this incredibly moist cake that is bursting with fruity and spicy flavours.  This traditional cake is ideal for decorating for christmas or special occasions.  It will keep for one month in an airtight container.

Ingredients :
  1. 150 g butter
  2. 1 large orange, unpeeled, washed, cut into pieces and seeded
  3. 1 large lemon, unpeeled, washed, cut into pieces and seeded
  4. 1 large cooking apple, unpeeled, washed, cored and cut into pieces
  5. 90 g stoned dates
  6. 1/2 cup raisins
  7. 1/2 cup currants
  8. 1/2 cup sultanas
  9. 1/2 cup pitted prunes, chopped
  10. 1/2 cup cashew nut pieces
  11. 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  12. 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  13. 1/2 tsp mace
  14. 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  15. 1 cup wholemeal flour
  16. 11/2 tsp baking power
  17. 1 cup rolled oats, processed until smooth
  18. 3 large eggs, beaten
  19. 3-4 tbsp unsweetened coconut milk, if needed

Method :

1.   Preheat the oven to 300 C.  Grease and line up the baking pan with the parchment paper.  

2.   Put the first five ingredients in a food processor and process to make a rough puree.  Scrap the mixture into a bowl and stir in the raisins, currants, sultanas, prunes, nuts and spices.

3.   Stir in the flour, baking powder and oats, alternating with the eggs.  If the mixture seems very dry stir in the coconut milk.

4.   Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top level.  Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Cool for 15 mins, then turn out to cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy baking :)

December 22, 2013

Oma podi / Ompodi / Plain Sev

Ingredients :

  1. Gram flour - 1 cup
  2. Rice flour - 1/4 cup
  3. Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
  4. Ajwain - 1 tsp
  5. Hot oil - 3 tbsp plus for deep frying
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Water 

Method :

1.   Sieve the gram flour & rice flour.  

2.   Dry roast the ajwain & soak them in water for 10 mins.  Grind them to a smooth paste & keep aside.

3.    Now mix together the sieved flour, ajwain mixture, chilly powder, salt to taste & 3 tbsp of hot oil.  Add enough water & knead the dough.  

4.   Use the small dotted hole mould for making omapodi & keep a portion of dough inside the presser and start pressing it into the hot oil by making circles.

5.   Flip it after sometime.  Take out and drain in a kitchen towel.

Store it in a air tight container.

December 17, 2013

Dates stuffed with Nuts

Ingredients :

  1. Dates
  2. Nuts ( Almonds, cashew nuts & walnuts )

Here’s what you do:

(1) Open one date (I use fingers, but if you are a precision person, use a knife)

(2) Use fingers to open out date (creating a pocket for your stuffing)

(3) Scoop a generous teaspoon of nut inside date.

(4) Close date.

(5) Eat, and/or continue process with as many dates as you like.

For healthy living :)

December 15, 2013

Swiss Raclette cheese on Toast & Potatoes.

Famous for its cheese and chocolate, Switzerland is the home of gourmet cheeses and perhaps the best chocolate in the world.   Not to be missed, of course is the Swiss Raclette, a signature Swiss dish that has a block of the semi-firm cow’s milk cheese, Raclette, heated in front of an open fire to melt the surface, and then the melted cheese is scraped onto diners’ plates and served with potatoes, bread & pickled onion and cucumber. The Swiss Raclette at Seven Corners, which I tasted, had the cheese served with fried potato wedges, mini pickled onions and slices of pickles. 


2 lb small new potatoes
1 1/2 lb Swiss raclette cheese, cut into slices

Side dishes

  • Pickled cucumber
  • Pickled onions
  • Baguettes

Method :

1.   Wash potatoes. Boil in their skin until cooked. 

2.   Place potatoes, cheese and all side dishes on table.  

3.   Place slice of cheese in each of 8 raclette dishes and place under heating element to melt.
4.   Scrape melted cheese onto each person’s plate of potatoes, baguettes & pickled onions.
5.   Season with freshly ground pepper.

Enjoy :)

December 13, 2013

Gulab Jamun !!

Ingredients :

  1. Dry milk powder - 1 cup
  2. All purpose flour - 4 tbsp
  3. Yoghurt - 4 tbsp
  4. Clarified butter - 2 tbsp
  5. Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
  6. Water - 4 cups
  7. Sugar - 3 cups 
  8. Rose essence (optional) - few drops
  9. Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp or to taste
  10. Saffron - few strands (optional)
  11. Oil for deep frying

Method :

1.   Make the syrup in a pan by adding water, sugar, rose syrup, cardamom powder and saffron. 

2.  Meanwhile, get the oil for deep-frying ready. Heat up the oil on low to medium heat.  

3.  For the dumplings, in a mixing bowl,add in all dry ingredients i.e instant dry milk, all purpose flour and baking soda.  Mix well and add in the clarified butter and after that slowly start mixing in the yogurt. Make into a dough.   

4.  Allow the dough to rest for 10-15 minutes  . Make desired size balls, make sure they are smooth and do not have any creases.  Carefully drop the dumplings in the oil and keep rotating them for an even colour.  Once cooked, drop them in the sugar syrup.  Soak it for at least 1 hr before serving.  

Serve it with Vanilla ice-cream.

December 10, 2013

Apple Crumble

Apple Crumble  is a recipe that anyone can make! It’s sweet and the crispy, crunchy topping with vanilla ice cream is divine!
I have always loved Apple crumble, apple pie, and well, pretty much anything with apples! Apple crumble  is  SO easy to make and anyone can do it.
My son enjoyed making this delicious dessert as he gets ice cream / whipped cream along with this.  

Ingredients :
  1. 2  apples, cored and diced
  2. 2 tbsp Brown sugar
  3. ½ tsp ground cinnamon 
  4. A pinch of nutmeg powder
  5. 2 tbsp cold butter, cut into cubes

  1. ½ cup flour
  2. 1/4  cup granulated sugar
  3. 1/4  cup brown sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder
  5. 1/4  cup almonds, chopped
  6. 5 tbsp cold butter, cut into cubes

Method :

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.
  2. In a bowl, toss together apple, brown sugar and cinnamon, until well coated.
  3. Grease an ovenproof dish with butter and transfer the apples to it. Dot with cold butter. Set aside.
  4. In another bowl mix together the ingredients for the topping. Cut the butter into the mixture with a pastry cutter. Refrigerate this for about 10 minutes if you’ve got the time.
  5. Spread chunks of the topping mixture over the apples and bake for 35-40 minutes until the apples are done.
  6. If the apples are rather juicy, you might have to drain off the excess juices halfway through baking.
  7. Sneak in a few bites while still in the oven, under the pretext of making sure there isn’t too much liquid in there. 

Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

December 7, 2013

Linzer Torte

This torte is named for the Austrian city of Linz.  It is a very old recipe and the cake itself is really more like a modern tart.  A layer of thick and crumbly nutty pastry is spread with raspberry(or sometimes apricot) preserves and covered with another layer of pastry in a lattice pattern.

Ingredients :
  1. Hazelnuts - 1/2 cup (60 g)
  2. Blanched almonds - 1 cup (150 g)
  3. All purpose flour - 1 1/3 cups (200 g)
  4. Ground cinnamon - 1 tsp
  5. Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
  6. Salt - 1/4 tsp
  7. Butter - 3/4 cup
  8. Sugar - 1 cup
  9. 1 large egg yolk
  10. 1 1/3 cups raspberry preserves (jam)

Method :

1.   Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Line the base of springform pan with parchment paper.  Lightly grease the sides.

2.   Spread the hazelnuts in a baking dish and toast until golden brown.  Place in a clean kitchen towel and rub off the skins.  Place the hazelnuts and almonds in a food processor and chop until finely ground.  Set aside.

3.   Combine the flour, cinnamon , baking powder and salt.  Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and creamy.  Beat in the egg yolk.  Beat in the nut mixture and mixed dried ingredients.

4.   Divide the dough in half.  Press one half into the base and about 2 cm up the sides of the prepared pan.  Roll the dough into a disk & chill it for about 30 mins.

5.   Spread the raspberry preserves over the pastry in the pan.  Use a fluted pastry wheel to cut the remaining pastry into wide strips.  Place over the preserves in  a lattice pattern.   Bake it for 35 - 40 mins.  

Happy baking :)

December 1, 2013

Mint pulao

  1. Raw rice /Basmati rice - 1 cup
  2. Mint leaves - 1/4 cup (small bunch)
  3. Corriander leaves - 1 tbsp
  4. Green peas - 2 tbsp
  5. Potato - 1 medium sized
  6. Onion - 1 1/2 no
  7. Grated coconut - 5 tbsp
  8. Green chillies - 2 nos
  9. A small piece of ginger
  10. Tamarind pulp - 1/2 tsp (concentrate)
  11. Oil - 1 tbsp (or ghee) plus 1 tsp
  12. Cloves - 2 nos
  13. Cinnamon stick - 1 no
  14. Bay leaf - 1 no
  15. Cardamom - 1 no
  16. Salt to taste

Method :

1.   Heat 1 tsp of oil, add green chillies, ginger, 1/2 onion, mint leaves, corriander leaves & salt to taste.  Allow it to cool.

2.   Grind the cooked mint leaves mixture with the grated coconut & tamarind pulp to smooth paste.  

3.   Heat oil / ghee in the pressure cooker, add cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, bay leaf & finely chopped onion.  Saute till tender.

4.   Add grounded paste, green peas, diced potato & rice.  Add enough water (For 1 cup raw rice = 2 cups of water ; 1 cup basmati rice = 1 cup of water) & salt to taste.

Serve hot with papads.

November 29, 2013

Green moong dal curry

Ingredients :

  1. Green moong dal - 1 cup (soaked overnight)
  2. Oil - 1 tbsp
  3. Cinnamon -  1 stick
  4. Cloves - 2 nos
  5. Cardamom - 1 no
  6. Bay leaf - 1 
  7. Onion - 2 medium sized
  8. Tomato - 1 no
  9. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  10. Chilly powder - 1 tsp (to spice level)
  11. Salt to taste
  12. Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  13. Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
  14. Coriander leaves for garnishing
  15. Boiled potatoes (optional) - 1 no

Method :

1.   Soak the moong dal overnight & drain.  Pressure cook the soaked dal & keep aside.

2.   Heat oil in the pan, add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom,  bay leaves and onion.  Sauté till tender.

3.   Add finely chopped tomato, boiled potatoes (optional) & saute.

4.   Add turmeric powder, chilly powder, coriander powder, cumin powder & salt to taste. 

5.   Finally, add the cooked beans & stir well.  Garnish it with coriander leaves.

Serve hot with rotis.

November 21, 2013

Warm Chocolate Mousse

This deeply sensual dessert is certain to have your guests groan with pleasure at the warm, smooth and creamy mousse, enlivened further with an aromatic ice cream.

Ingredients :

  1. Good quality dark chocolate - 125 gms
  2. Unsalted butter, softened - 35 gms / 2 tbsp
  3. 1 tbsp strong espresso coffee (optional)
  4. 3 eggs, separated
  5. 40g caster sugar

Method :

1.   Break the chocolate into small pieces and put it in a  deep pan with the butter and the espresso, if using.  Melt over a very low heat, stirring frequently.  Remove from the heat, add the egg yolks and stir well.

2.   Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then gradually whisk in the sugar until you have a glossy, stiff meringue  Fold the meringue gently into the chocolate mixture.

3.   Pour into 4 tea cups and chill thoroughly.  Bake in an oven preheated to 180 C for 10 mins.

Serve immediately.

November 2, 2013

Achappam / Rosette Cookies

Wish all my readers a Happy & safe Diwali 

Ingredients :

  1. Rice flour - 1 cup
  2. All purpose flour (maida) - 1 tbsp
  3. Baking powder - 1/4 tsp
  4. Salt - 1/4 tsp
  5. Sugar - Little more than 1/4 cup
  6. Egg - 1 no
  7. Carom seeds (Cake seed) - 1 tsp
  8. Coconut milk - 1 cup
  9. Water, as desired
  10. Oil for frying

Method :

1.   Mix together the rice flour, maida, baking powder,salt, sugar, egg, coconut milk & carom seeds.  Batter should resemble to dosa or pancake batter.  Add water if required, depending upon the batter consistency.

2.   Heat oil in the heavy bottomed pan & put the mould in the oil while heating.  Now dip the hot mould in the batter & fry it in the oil.

3.   Achappam begins to leave from the mould once it starts cooking (use skewer to detach the achappam, if required).  Cook until its crisp & slightly brown in color.

Store it in the air tight container.

October 28, 2013

Tandoori Chicken

Ingredients :
  1. Chicken legs -  6 pieces
  2. Yoghurt -  7 tbsp
  3. Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
  4. Chilly powder - 2 tsp (to spice taste)
  5. Cumin powder - 1 tsp
  6. Garam masala - 1 tsp
  7. Corriander powder - 1 tsp
  8. Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
  9. Black pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
  10. Oil - 2 tbsp
  11. Kastoori methi - 1 tsp
  12. Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
  13. Salt to taste
  14. Red color 
  15. Onion slices (sliced & cooked)
  16. Corriander leaves

Method :

1.   Clean & cut the long splits in the chicken pieces.  Mix together the lemon juice, chilly powder - 1 tsp & salt and apply it over the chicken & set aside for 15 mins.

2.   Meanwhile mix together yoghurt, red chillypowder, coriander powder, garam masala, cumin powder, kastoori methi, turmeric powder, ginger garlic paste, pepper powder, salt to taste & red color.

3.   Apply this marination over the chicken pieces & set aside for at least one hour.

4.   Preheat the oven to 425 F and cook it for 35 mins or until done.

5.   Serve the tandoori chicken with the shallow fried onion slices & coriander leaves.

Serve & enjoy :)

October 19, 2013

Orange & Vanilla cake with toasted almonds - Perfect Party Cake

Almonds, orange and vanilla give this special cake its delicate flavour, which can be further enhanced by drizzling over orange liqueur.  To get the full citrus tang of the fresh orange you will need a food processor to grind the orange rind finely.

Ingredients :
  1. Butter - 1 cup (200g)
  2. 2 small oranges 
  3. Toasted almonds slices - 1 cup
  4. Light soft brown sugar - 1 cup
  5. Eggs - 4, lightly beaten
  6. Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
  7. Self raising flour - 11/2 cups
  8. Icing sugar - 1/4 cup
  9. Orange liqueur (optionnel)- 1 tsp
  10. Whipped cream icing

Method :

1.   Preheat the oven to 180 C.  Grease & line up the baking pan with the parchment paper.

2.   Peel the oranges in strips, then put in a food processor.  Process for a few seconds until the peel forms a fine powder, then put into a bowl.

3.   Process the almonds until fine, then mix with the powdered rind.  Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Whisk in the eggs gradually, adding 1 tsp flour with each addition to prevent the mixture from curdling.

4.   Fold in the remaining flour with the almonds and rind mixture until smooth, then spoon into the tin.

5.   Bake for about 40 mins or until golden and firm to the touch.

6.   Meanwhile squeeze the juice from 1 orange and put in a small pan with the icing sugar and 3 tbsp cold water and simmer for 10 mins or until syrupy.  Add the orange liqueur, if using.

7.   Prick over the top of the cake with a skewer and spoon the syrup over, then leave to cool in the tin. Cut the cake horizontally.

8.   Spread the cut cake side with the icing.  Sandwich the other layer on top and decorate.

Happy baking :)

October 11, 2013

Peerkangai thogayal (Ridge gourd Chutney)

Ridge gourd chutney is simple & easy to make.  It taste great with plain rice, curd rice or with rotis too. This thogayal is really healthy & it is made without coconut.  

Ingredients :
  1. Ridge gourd - 1 big sized
  2. Red chillies -3 to 4 nos (to spice taste)
  3. Tamarind  - 1 tsp
  4. Salt to tase
  5. Urad dal - 1 tsp
  6. A pinch of hing
  7. Oil - 1 tsp

Method :

1.   Peel the ridge gourd skin off.  Cut the skin into small pieces.

2.   Heat oil in the pan, add urad dal & red chillies.  

3.   Add the ridge gourd skin, hing, tamarind & salt to taste.  Cook them till done. 

4.   Grind the ridge gourd skin to a fine paste.

Serve with rice.
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