Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Dates Chutney

Chutney is a perfect accompaniment that is fragrant & colorful to wake up even the blandest dishes. Well here I am talking about a sweet variation which would be the perfect addition to a spicy main dish like Biryani. My amma used to make one with roasted onions, cashews and raisins but I found making this chutney a lot easier (on effort and pocket!). So friends make this ahead in time and let it rest in the refrigerator until you are ready with hot steaming Biryani and crisp poppadoms. 

Dates Chutney
Recipe adapted from pachakam
Dates Chutney in a Jar

Monday, 19 November 2012

Ultimate Chocolate Cake

No matter how old I become, I will always be my Daddy's little girl. My friends and my family would agree on this I am sure. Today as my dad turns a year wiser, me and my family, we wish him a lot & lot more years of health & happiness. This cake (post) is for my achan (dad) who is one of the most important person on Earth for me. This is a heavenly moist and fudgy chocolate cake, just for my dad wishing him a perfect chocolaty Happy birthday. Friends let me share the ultimate chocolate cake recipe and I am certain you will make some lucky person very happy whether its their birthday or not. Any excuse goes for a creamy sumptuous chocolaty treat and I hope you enjoy your excuse!!!

Ultimate chocolate cake
Recipe fully adapted from BBC good food
Ultimate Chocolate Cake; for any excuse!

200 g good quality dark chocolate , about 60% cocoa solids ( I used 54%)
200 g butter, unsalted
1 Tbsp instant coffee granules
85 g self-raising flour
85 g plain flour
1⁄4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200 g light muscovado sugar
200 g golden caster sugar
25 g cocoa powder
3 medium eggs
75 ml buttermilk (5 tbsp)
grated chocolate or curls, to decorate cake
200 g good quality dark chocolate, about 60% cocoa solids ( I used 54%)
284 ml pot double cream
2 Tbsp golden caster sugar
Ultimate Chocolate Cake.....a slice

  • Butter and line a 20 cm round cake tin (7.5 cm deep).
  • Preheat the oven to 160 C/ 140 C fan/ gas 3.
  • Break 200 g good quality dark chocolate into pieces and transfer them into a heavy-bottomed pan. Also cut 200 g butter into pieces and tip it in with the chocolate pieces. Mix 1 Tbsp of instant coffee granules in 125 ml cold water and pour into the pan. Warm through over a low heat just until everything is melted. Ensure that you do not overheat the mixture. Alternately you can melt the same in the microwave on a Medium for about 5 minutes, stirring half way through.
  • Meanwhile add all the dry ingredients; 85 g self-raising flour, 85 g plain flour, ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda, 200 g light muscovado sugar, 200 g golden caster sugar and 25 g cocoa powder into a large bowl and mix everything with your hands to get rid of any lumps.
  • Beat 3 medium eggs in another small bowl and stir in 75 ml buttermilk.
  • Now pour the melted chocolate mixture and the egg mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until everything is well combined and you have a smooth but quite runny consistency for your batter. Pour batter into the tin and bake for 1 hour 25 mins - 1 hour 30 minutes. If you insert a skewer in the centre of cake, it should come out clean and the top should feel firm (don't worry if it cracks and dips a bit).
  • Leave to cool in the tin, then cool it completely on the wire rack.
  • Once the cake is cooled completely, cut it horizontally into three layers.
  • Now to make the ganache; break 200 g good quality dark chocolate into smaller pieces and transfer into a mixing bowl.
  • Pour 284 ml of double cream into a pan along with 2 Tbsp golden caster sugar, and heat until it is about to boil.
  • Take it off the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is of smooth consistency.
  • Sandwich the layers together with just a little of the ganache. Then pour the rest of the ganache over the cake letting it fall down the sides. Smoothen further with a palette knife.
  • Decorate the cake with the grated chocolate or the pile of chocolate curls.
Notes : The cake keeps moist and gooey for 3-4 days. I had used two 20 cm round cake tins (around 3.5 cm deep) and also reduced the baking time to around 1 hour 10 mins - 1 hour 15 mins. Instead of buttermilk, I substituted with 4 Tbsp of Yogurt and 1 Tbsp of diluted vinegar.  

                                           ♥ Thank you ♥

Monday, 12 November 2012

Besan Ladoo / Barfi ★Diwali special★

Happy Diwali!!!
While I was in Chennai, I realized and loved the variety of sweets the city had to offer, mostly during the various festivals. As a child I used to think that sweets made from milk or kaju (cashew) were only available in North India (primarily because my achan(dad) use to get it for me from Mumbai, then Bombay). Today all kinds of sweets are available in most local sweet shops. Jalebi may be the national sweet of India, but my personal favorite is Ladoo or is it Kaju Katli?... Anyways for the sake of this post my personal favorite is Ladoo! I am certain most Indians irrespective of geographic differences adore ladoos. For my wedding, boondi ladoos were prepared at home and everyone loved it. Apparently any festival would be incomplete without sweets! 
So for the 'festival of lights', Deepavali, let us enjoy Besan ladoos. I usually have besan flour at home, to make spicy onion pakodas but for a change I decided to use the flour for this sweet treat. The remaining ingredients used in the recipe are usually stocked in most kitchens. So let me tell you this very easy recipe to make delicious sweet ladoos and I hope they light up many hearts at your home tonight :D 
"Diwali Ki Light
Karay Sab Ko Bright
Khake ladoo Pakdo Masti Ki Flight
Aur Dhoom Machao All Night"
"The festival of light is full of delight
Let me double the charm of your Diwali night"
Have a Happy & Safe Diwali!!!

 ★Besan Ladoo

Recipe adapted from Ria's Collection
Besan Ladoo / Barfi ★★★Diwali special★★★

Friday, 9 November 2012

Creamy Chicken

Cooking is not performance act or should not be. Its probably unrealistic for one to expect to be a model of serenity throughout however if one manages to be relaxed, both food & the evening with friends would go a lot better. Its not a test of your worth or acceptability, its just a dinner! Once in a while I don't mind buying certain ingredients, specific masala's or even dishes for that matter, however there are certain ingredients which I prefer to be strictly homemade. The tandoori masala is one of them and today I have come with a recipe of my own using the magic masala. So friends I present to you my creamy chicken recipe:) Nikhil loved it and asked me when I was going to make the curry again. That is when I decided to publish this recipe. So here it is!

Creamy Chicken:
Creamy Chicken!!!

Tandoori Masala (Homemade)

Spices were once more valuable than gold, and their worth in the kitchen remains priceless. They are found in forms of seeds, bark, roots and flowers, each adding a unique flavor. You can get a variety of flavors like sharp, musty, tangy, earthy, peppery, pungent, hot, herb like and plenty others that you could name on your own ;). All I can say is that our cooking will never be the same without some or most of them :). Homemade Tandoori masala is one such magical addition to my kitchen and I wish it brings magic to your dining table as well! 

Tandoori masala 
Recipe adapted from Ria's collection 
Tandoori Masala (Homemade)
2 Tbsp garam masala
2 Tbsp ground cumin (since my ground cumin seemed very strong, I reduced it to 1 & 1/2 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp coriander powder ( I added 1/2 Tbsp more)
4 tsp paprika (you can use Kashmiri Mirch)
2 tsp Kasuri Methi /Dried Fenugreek Leaves
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder ( I used a heaped 1 tsp)
Tandoori Masala in a reused, labelled glass jar


  • Combine all the ingredients listed above using a spoon or blender and store it in an airtight container. 
Notes : It stays fresh for 4-6 weeks.
                                     ♥ Thank You ♥

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Chocolate Truffle

I am a chocoholic, I love chocolates especially them with nuts. I am not a big fan of dry fruits in chocolate or for that matter even plain chocolate. My love for chocolate is quite popular among friends and family. My Achan (dad) used to get me a regular ration of snickers or Dairy Milk chocolate, the one with dry roasted almonds:) Recently my friend Nishima & her husband Ajin, gifted us a signpost that read the following :
Hand over the chocolate & nobody gets hurt!
Well that pretty much explains the situation here ;) Once Nikhil got me a chocolate that had truffle filling and when I noticed that it did not contain any nuts, I started making faces. To my surprise I loved it, the chocolate simply melts in your mouth, it had that silky smooth texture. So I decided to try and recreate the magic sensation in my small kitchen.Without further ado I hereby present the recipe for Chocolate truffles. Hope you enjoy every bit and bites of this magic truffle.

Recipe adapted from Ria's Collection
Cashew Chocolate Truffle

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