Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Frosted chocolate cupcake


It was a lovely evening.
I had invited two of my colleagues, my new fund friends workplace to my place for a drink, and the time we spent together, turned out to be quite memorable.
i am glad it did.
while i was confused what to make for dessert, in came the idea of these chocolate clad beauties, and i believe they liked it as well.
it was easy, and yummy. the steps are given below for you to savour the taste of this delicasy.

For the Frosting
1 3/4
cups cups confectioners sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for dusting
1/2
cup unsalted butter, chilled
pinch of salt
1/2
teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1
tablespoon milk
For the Cupcakes
1/2
cup good quality cocoa powder
1
cup boiling water
1 1/3
cups all purpose flour
2
teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2
cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1
cup granulated sugar
2
large eggs
1/2
cup fresh raspberries

METHOD

In the large mixing combine 1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla using an electric mixer. 
Add milk and continue mixing until well combined. Use a spatula to scrape the mixture from the sides of the bowl.
With the mixer running, slowly add remaining 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, mixing until well combined. keep it in the freezer.
Preheat oven to 180 degree C.
Line 16 muffin cups with paper liners.
In a small non reactive mixing bowl stir until smooth the boiling hot water and the cocoa powder.
Let cool to room temperature.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Then in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
 Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Add the vanilla extract.
Add the flour mixture and beat only until incorporated. Then add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.

Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full with batter and bake for about 16-20 minutes or until risen, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. 

Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. 


Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost it according to your choice.

Enjoy your evening with these babies. trust me, you will have a good time!! do write back if you like it, or even if you don't!!
Bye!!!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sesame Chicken with chillies & honey

My collegues cum friends were invited yesterday evening at my place for an evening of chilling. After a hectic day at office, combating with deadly deadlines, this was a welcome relief to unwind with all of them , there were three of us !!!

While beer never gave us a moment to get bored, and contributed towards free flow of words, i guess food that i prepared made an impact as well. One of the dishes which i particularly loved was this chicken dish. It was easy and the ingrediants easily available as well.

I marinated the chicken cubes (aproxx 250 gm ) with 1egg, 1tsp of white pepper powder, 1tbsp of cornflour, salt, 1tsp of ginger juice & keep aside half in hour.
Heat oil in a an and fry them till light brown in colour. Place them on a tissue paper to drain excess oil.
Time to make the sauce now.
Toast some seasame  seeds and keep aside.
Heat oil ( Vegetable oil about 1tbsp) & add 3 chopped dry red chillies to it & 1/2 tsp of finely chopped ginger and saute well. Add about 45ml of honey to your pan and about 3 tbsp of chicken of vegetable stock (please use boiling hot stock) & mix.
In goes all the fried chicken pieces & coat it well with the honey mixture. Add to the pan along with 1tsp of dark soy, 1&1/2 tsp of white pepper powder, and 1 tsp of white vinegar. Stir well.
Add the seasame seeds to it & serve hot.

A quick dish, super easy to make and easy to diggest as well. Beer paired extremely well with it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Tea Kiss Cookies

How do you people begin your day?
Certainly with a cup of steaming hot green tea or black tea or  cardamon scented milk tea. The early morning companion of this desired liquid arrives on a saucer in different shapes, sizes and flavours. You guessed it right i am indeed talking about cookies.

It's interesting to note that I had started my delightful cooking journey with baking initilally and in the last few months, I have had brushed aside the love for it. I have not had a chance to play while dusting flour or creaming the butter and sugar. and like bollywood movies after every sad & brushed side incident, comes the new season with new memories. so I re-discovered my passion for baking.

This batch of tea leaf cookies are for my sister, who is currently away from home for pursuing her masters.
Trust me it's easy enough to be made right after office as well. even i made it that way!!!

INGREDIANTS:


  • 115 gm butter (unsalted/ salted), at room temp
  • 115 gm brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp tea leaves (i had used Darjeeling tea leaves)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 300 gms flour + extra for dusting
  • Caster sugar for sprinkling


METHOD:


  • Heat oven at 190 degree C.
  • Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until light & creamy.
  • Once done stir in the tea leaves. Mix well and pour n the beaten egg and give it a good mix.
  • Sieve your flower and keep aside.
  • Then fold in the flour in the wet mixture.
  • Once done, dust a surface with flour & roll out the dough. 
  • Cut it in desired shapes with a cookie cutter.
  • Grease your baking pan with butter and dust it with some flour as well. place the cookies in a row & sprinkle some sugar. Bake for 15 mins.


Well, while making this I had used caster sugar, since I didn't have a stock of brow sugar, but I feel using brown sugar will give it a better colour. Also my sincere appologies that i haven't been able to click pics of every stage like all other posts of mine.
Do bake them.
And enjoy the lingering taste of tea in your mouth after your first bite of the cookie. It can be a great gift for anyone.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

THE BLUE DOOR

Well, time spent with friends always feels great. and i am truely no excepion to that.
A few back, while chatting with my friend & business partner at their newly opened fashion & lifestyle store we were hit by hunger pangs. And boy, we were really "hungry". Not sure about the cuisine to hogg ( though my mind kept saying Italian, italian & italian) i gave that a miss. unsure about the destination we stopped mid way and then suddenly the name of this door came to my mind. The door is Blue in colour, or The Blue Door.

Tucked away in a bylane of Southern Avenue, bang opposite to Tyagraj Hall, we reached our destination. What struck you in the first sight is the big Blue door sign. When asked how he justifies the nomenclature of the resturant, he pointed towards the oval blue glass which had the name etched on them with white.We were greeted by the owner. the resturant was devoid of any hungry soul which made it quieter, housed in an old building the eatery cant really boast of a good interior. Only a few knick-knacks here & there.

We started by ordering the starters: Bacon wrapped chicken & Cajun spicy prawns.
Cajun spiced prawns

Bacon wrapped chicken

The mixed breed sauce


The bacon wrapped was a tad bit salty to everyone's palate & a n overdose of pepper didn't mark a good start. The Prawns were a disappointment once again. The spiced coating half-burnt, no kick of the Cajun spices didn't make us happy. another reason of disappointment was the white sauce ( a cross between tartare & mayo with bits of super fine chopped bellpeppers) served with both the dishes. I would have loved a honey mustard mayo to go with the bacon wrapped chicken.

We moved on to the Mains: The beef steak, Classic fish & chips & Ayam Bai with Nasi Goreng Rice.
Classic fish & chips

Nasi goreng & the chicken

the beef steak

Those 3 slices of fish were crispy and light coated fish ( i felt it was coated with a mix of poha & some rava)  had under-seasoned melt in mouth Basa fillets underneath. The potato chips failed to impress.
While The beef steak ( it was an off the menu option suggested by the owner) that we ordered had a succulent piece of beef covered in a brown sauce. The sauce wasn't much yumm, but i loved the mashed potatoes. I always dread the unseasoned, bland boiled vegetables served as accompaniments, but this time the veggies were seasoned well.
The chicken was served with a side of rice garnished with strips of Omlette. The rice tasted of the northeast & we loved it. The chicken was however nothing to praise, heavy with the coconut milk and some other ingrediant which brought in a not so pleasing smell ( i couldn't identify the ingrediant) was quite heavy for the pallet. The sauce served was afore-mentioned mixed breed white sauce. My friends had also ordered for two fresh lime sweet, while i refrained.
Also we were full to the brink. So we gave the desserts a miss.
Turtle baby

Let me introduce you to the turtle sitting quietly in the front desk. She is friendly in a quiet way unlike the staffs. You will find the printed menus left in disarray. Those are for keeps!!
While the quantity was a true value for money, i can't say the same about the quality though. While it can be a perfect place to treat the crowd, but sacrifising about the taste. I might drop in again to taste the other dishes in the menu.
Drop in a message here, if you find yourself there!!
Will be happy to be proved wrong!!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Spiced Egg & Toast


That breakfast ritual happens only on Sundays, when maa cooks luchi and chole or anda curry with the syrupy jalebis.



But this Sunday, I did the same ritual my way. Having the kitchen all to myself since folks were out on an invitation I decided to gorge on food that's yumm and doesn't need much effort. And armed with that thought and a bit o research I landed on this recipe.
Eggs are a perennial favourite of not only mine but I am sure of many. And for them & my spice loving friends this i promise is nothing less than a treat.
The ingrediants I promise are all found in our everyday kitchen.

Beat 3 medium or large size eggs and season them ( I didn't use free range by the way) and keep aside.
Slice I onion roughly (you can also choose spring onions, I had a normal white onion in my kitchen).
Finely chop 1 fat clove of garlic.
Chop 2 medium tomatoes or 6-7 cherry tomatoes, I used normal.
Chop a handful of coriander leaves with their stalks.
Heat butter and oil in a pan. ( I used herb garlic butter &olive oil)- 1tsp of each

Once it heats up add 2 chopped dry red chilles and fry along with the onion and garlic.

Once the room  fills up with the aroma of this trinity, pour in the chopped tomatoes and 1/2 tsp of garam masala powder. Fry til it blends. You might have to add a few spoonfull of water to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook all of it for a minute and scoop out and keep aside.

Next heat 1 tsp of olive oil in the same pan and scramble the eggs.


Once done add in the tomato mixture and the chopped coriander. Toss well and its ready to serve.
before entering the oven
once they crisped up


I used wholewheat bread foe the toast, you can pick any bread of your choice- 3pc
Cut them in triangles (just looks good on Instagram) or retain its normal shape.
Preheat the oven at 150 degree centigrade for 5 mins.
Next butter your breads. I used herb garlic butter on 3 and pesto on the remaining 3.
Place them on the bowl and scatter with sesame seeds. Bake them for 10-12 mins for that super crispy toast.
What else??!!!! Eat now before it turns cold.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

ITALIAN CHICKEN

I am always happy to Pari, my sweathert friend.  Orginating from Assam, she made a move to her own city few years back to start her own line of clothing, which is doing superb now. And I am happy for her.

This time when she told me about her Cal visit, I had started planning fr a lunch met up at my place, along with some more friends. Considering that my folks were out of town, allowed me to plan a different menu. And then came this simple, chicken dish.
The best part about this dish is the use of ingrediants I had in my freezer.
Divide 3 chicken into six pieces, by slicing them from the middle. This makes it thinner and easier to cook. I marinated them with some light soya sauce, honey, oregano, black pepper powder, salt &  some paprika. Keep them side for 10-15 mins.
Heat butter in a pan (I suggest the use of herb garlic amul butter) with some olive oil. Once it starts smoking, put in the breasts and cook for 5 mins each side till it browns a bit.
Preheat oven at 180 degrees.
Grease the baking dish. Place the chicken dish with some chopped parsley and hunks of herb garic butter and the hot oil from the pan. Bake it  in the preheated oven for 10-15 mins.
after they were browned in the pan
before putting them into the oven

What comes out of the oven is pieces of yumminess.
Next comes the unusal sauce with it. Chop a bunch and half of laal saag. Clean throughly to avoid any dirt particles clinging to the leaves.
Heat 2tbsp of olive oil in a pan and cook the laal saag till it wilts.

Add the seasoning according to your taste. Once it tarts to wilt add some coconut milk to it and cook for 10 mins till well cooked. Next blend it in the blender and its ready.


The juicy centre of the chicken breast with caramelised skin goes well with the taste of saag and coconut milk. Very unusal but very soothing.
And alao I am in love with this herb garlic butter. Its yumm!!!
Hope you all will try it soon. And I promise to be back soon.
Till then CHOW!!!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Chicken Korma

Cooking for sure will always be a passion for me. But with the passage of time its becoming more of a luxury. Blame it on my hectic working hours and my laziness, not to forget the diet i am following to shed the excess kilos.

But the sudden craving to rustle up something quick and yumm was too strong to be brushed aside. Thus i turned to my cook books and decided to go with poultry, chicken korma it was!!!

I marinated about 500 gms of chicken with paprika, salt & ginger garlic paste. Keep aside for 20 mins approx, and then i just fried them in little bit ( about 1 1/2 tbsp) oil to seal the flavours.
Next heat vegetable oil( though i used olive oil) in a pan and add the garam masala (cinnamon 3" stick, 4-5 cloves, 5-6 green cardamon, 2 black cardamom). I also added two dry red chillies. Once you are taken over by the aroma, add 2 sliced onions. Add a pinch of salt. It will take a good 10-12 mins to caramelise well. After 10 mins add 2 tsp of ginger-garlic paste & mix well.This bit is time consuming but it's totally worth it, as it imparts a depth of flavour to your palate.
Time to add 1 tsp of turmeric powder, 1 tsp of red chilli powder and about 2 heaped tsp of coriander powder ( i dry roasted my coriander seeds and freshly grounded them in my mortar & pestle). and give it a good mix.

Add in the chicken pieces and cook on high flame for 5 mins while mixing it well with all the masala. Adjust your seasoning around this time.Add in 3tbsp of yoghurt to the chicken and mix well. Be careful that your yoghurt doesn't split.

Add water if you want gravy (i needed gravy), or if you don't then put it on simmer and allow it to cook in its own juices for about 20 mins.
However after 10 mins, give it a stir again and add in the cashew paste ( about 20 unsalted cashews with 2 tbsp of water a tiny bit of yoghurt) and lightly coat the chicken pieces with this.

Finish it off with garam masala powder & freshly chopped coriander.
I served it with steamed rice and it tasted yumm. But i presume, it might taste better with roti & parantha.
Secret tip: Tastes better after one day!!!!
Try the bliss !!

Monday, February 16, 2015

AMMINI

Ammini, was a surprise to me!!!
i had seen this small place quite a few times, while passing by, but had never tried it!!!






After a super hectic early morning photoshoot, my bosses treated us to the awesum food there. Following the fact that they are hard-core vegetarians, but they do consider the fact that this not-so-important employee is a hardcore non-vegetarian.
The resturant, tucked away in the lanes of Manohar Pukur Road, a two mins walk from the Deshopriyo Park crossing, made me and my tummy happy. Though not a big fan of south-Indian food, but this Kerala speciality eatery had some good stuffs to offer.
A quaint place, done up with pictures and paintings which happily show off their roots, has also been awarded with a Times Food Guide award. The tables were set with yellow & off-white square shaped tiles. The walls had a metal bell hanging while another showed off a Keralian style painting. While a Mohiniattyam painting would have been apt, for one of the walls which showed of a Kathakali form of dance painting.
We ordered for a glass of buttermilk. On the owner's suggestion, my co-eaters had ordered to a glass of buttermilk mixed with Rasam, which they found quite refreshing. and all these arrived in earthen glasses, which looked even more delectable.
The plates come covered in banana leaves. God!! I loved it soo much!!!!
We started with a plate of Paniyarappams, which are fried dumplings with a spicy red chutney. I devoured mine is almost no time. it was fresh and tasted good!!
the hungry tummy, not ready to wait anymore, ordered for a plate of Mutton Olathede with Appams. The appams were perfectly done, and filling. The mutton was yumm, dry, nicely cooked, had the perfect blend of spices, sticking to the tradition of Kerala, but not over exerting themselves. The bits of dried red chilli and curry leaves were still there, which made it look even better.

Next it was time for me to dig into the Fish in banana leaf- . It came wrapped in the leaf, and once opened i found a rectangularish spice wrapped fish, which i didn't like much. The Surmai fish which was used was cooked well, but the special spice blend was a bit too overpowering for my tastebuds. But i loved the fact, that unlike most places, the tradition of boneless fish has still not entered this eatery, which again caught my fancy.

Not having anymore place inside my stomach, we skipped desserts.
My veg-counterparts gorged into plates of Potato stew, Veg Korma, which they found quite good. The appams were served according to the requirement.
What pleased me most, is the strength and confidence they showed by sticking to their roots, instead of moghulifying the dishes based on what's popular. Also the staff was well-informed, soft spoken. The place with 20 covers now, is ofcourse a must visit for me again.
Not to forget i also loved their branding.
Do try it!!
Keep traditions alive!!