Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Kashmiri Kahwa truffles

Drink your Kahwa and.......eat it too !!
Kahwa is an aromatic green tea beverage. This tea is made by boiling green tea leaves mixed with saffron strands, dry ginger powder, cardamom powder and some nuts to give it a nice aroma. 
I had a box of Kahwa mix lying in my pantry and thought of this combination.....

The temptation of chocolate on the outside filled with goodness of Kahwa inside will allow you to indulge with a good excuse.



Ingredients:
100 gms dark chocolate (approx.)
100 gms heavy cream
100 gms desiccated coconut (unsweetened)
2-3 tbsp instant Kahwa mix
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp green cardamom powder
10-12 strands saffron
Handful chopped walnuts and almonds (optional)

Yields: 12-15 truffles

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 



Method:

Melt dark chocolate using double boiler.
Spoon melted chocolate into the moulds so that they are entirely filled.
Flip the mould upside down over a parchment paper, the excess chocolate will drip down.


Place the molds in refrigerator for 10-15 mins, meantime prepare the filling.
In a heavy bottom pan heat heavy cream on medium heat, add kahwa mix and dry spices.
Switch off the flame, add desiccated coconut, nuts and saffron strands, mix everything together.
Allow it to cool before filling in the molds.

Take out the molds from refrigerator and spoon the filling into the molds filling each cavity 3/4th.

Refrigerate for 30 mins till the filling is firm.
Once the filling is firm, melt the dark chocolate and coat the filling with melted chocolate covering the edges properly.


Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes, then gently pat the mold and take out the truffles.


Notes:

The Kahwa mix I'm using is sweetened, so i avoided adding any extra sugar, if you are using the unsweetened mix replace heavy cream with sweetened condensed milk.




Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Red velvet double deckers

Why have one cookie when you can have two...with the gooeyness of white chocolate ganache......super classy!!


Ingredients:
For red velvet cookies:
  • 1 1/2 bowl All purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4  tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 bowl unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt (skip if using salted butter)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp red liquid food colour
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2-3 tbsp milk at room temperature


For White Chocolate Ganache:
  • 3/4 bowl heavy cream
  • 200 gms white chocolate finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter


Method:
For Cookies:
  • In a big mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder and set aside.
  • Cream together butter and sugar in a mixer till light and fluffy.
  • Add milk, honey and red food colour to this mixture and mix until well blended.
  • Slowly start adding dry ingredients to it and mix until everything is well combined.
  • Cover the dough with a cling wrap and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour.
  • After an hour take out the dough and remove the cling wrap.
  • Sprinkle the surface with powdered sugar and roll the dough to 1/4 inch thick, using a round cutter cut the dough into circles.
  • Preheat the oven at 190 degree celsius.
  • Line a baking tray with a parchment paper or an aluminium foil.
  • Arrange cookies leaving 2 inch space.
  • Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes at 180 degree celsius.
  • Allow them to cool on the rack before applying ganache.


For Ganache:
  • In a small pan heat cream on low heat stirring continuously.
  • Add chopped chocolate, gently stir to incorporate.
  • Add butter and stir again.
  • Allow it to cool for an hour and whisk using a hand mixer to make it light and fluffy.
  • Spread 1 tbsp of ganache on a cookie, press second on top to make a sandwich, repeat the process with the remaining cookies.



These cookies do get soggy quickly once they are filled with ganache, so prefer to fill them not too long before serving.





Saturday, 17 January 2015

Baked Pasta in a Bun

My take on simple Buns....I added some fun!! 
Now add pasta excitement together with a bun :- ))

Ingredients:
  • 2 Dinner rolls/ Buns
  • 1 bowl cooked/boiled whole wheat pasta
  • Some fresh chopped vegetables of your choice- I used mushrooms, red and yellow bell peppers, corn and broccoli 
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste 

For  b├ęchamel sauce/white sauce:
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup hot milk
  • 1/2 bowl grated processed cheese
  • Salt to taste 
  • Crushed black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes(optional)
  • 1 tbsp butter

Method:
Bechamel sauce:
  • Heat butter in a pan over medium heat, add flour and cook for about a minute, do not let it brown.
  • Add in milk stirring the mixture continuously to avoid any lump formation.
  • Bring it to a boil, add salt, black pepper ad some chilli flakes.
  • Cook for 3-4 minutes till you get the desired thick consistency. 
  • Switch off the flame add half of the cheese, stir well and keep this aside.

Pasta:
  • In a large pan heat olive oil, add vegetables and saute for a minute. 
  • Add boiled pasta and mix well.
  • Season it with oregano, salt and some pepper and cook on medium flame for a minute.
  •  Add half of the  bechamel sauce reserving 3-4 tbsp for later use. 
  • Switch off the flame and keep it aside.


Assembling:
  • Cut the dinner roll from the top, scoop out the centre of the bun. 
  • Spoon the prepared pasta in the cavity, pour some bechamel sauce and top it with some grated cheese.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 3-4 minutes at 200 degree C.
  • Serve hot.







Monday, 12 January 2015

Til Bhugga/ Til Mava Ladoo

Just around the new year kicking in, several festivities start across India in different names and ways of celebration, but all marking the beginning of new year- Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal. India being an agricultural community, while these are all celebrated at different dates but around the same time, they all essentially celebrate the new harvest.

Makar Sankranti is one such festival celebrated in praying the Lords for a healthy harvest by the agricultural community. Celebrations include offering prayers and preparations such as Khichdi, Moong Dal ki pakodi, Til ke Laddo, Til ke gajak.

Starting the year with Til Laddos!

Ingredients :

  • 250 gms white sesame seeds
  • 250 gms powdered sugar/boora
  • 250 gms khoya/mawa
  • 1/4 tsp green cardamom powder

Method:

  • Dry roast sesame seeds in a non stick pan on medium heat till golden brown, leave them aside to cool and grind it coarsely.


  • In a separate pan roast khoya till it gets softened, switch off the flame and add to it sesame, sugar and cardamom powder, mix everything well.


  • Divide mixture into equal portions and shape them into balls to make 'ladoos'.

You can also add some chopped nuts to them to make them more nutritious and tasty.
These ladoos can be stored in an air tight jar for 10 -12 days.


Thursday, 8 January 2015

Double baked creamy herbed potatoes

Cheesy oozy Homestyle double baked potatoes.....with the zing of garlic!!
Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sized potatoes halved
  • 100 gms  crumbled cottage cheese
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 spring onion chopped
  • 3-4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 bowl fresh cream
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 bowl grated mozzarella
  • Few coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Black pepper or to taste
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  • Preheat oven at 200 degree C.
  • Rub potatoes with butter and bake them for 40-45 minutes or till tender.
  • Scoop out the insides of the potatoes carefully, make sure you do not tear the skin.
  • Mash the scooped out potatoes and keep aside.
  • In a wok heat olive oil add minced garlic, onion and saute for few minutes.
  • Add mashed potatoes along with cottage cheese, dried rosemary, coriander leaves, salt and pepper, spring onion, cream and  half of the grated mozzarella, cook for 2-3 minutes. 
  • Spoon this filling into potato cavity, top it with remaining grated mozzarella and bake again for 10-15 minutes.
  • Garnish with spring onion and serve.












Friday, 2 January 2015

Hung curd & roasted red bell pepper Kebab!

It's another lovely evening, another positive year, another life to be proud of and definitely another snack to pamper my appetite! I enjoyed this rainy evening with absolutely delicious melt in mouth kebabs!
Here's how I made them.
Ingredients:
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 bowl hung curd
  • 4-5 tbsp dry roasted chickpea flour
  • 1/2 tsp dried  mint leaves
  • 1 green chilly
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 bowl bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil

Method:

  • Place bell pepper directly over the top of gas flame. 



  • Let it roast till it is black and crispy from all sides. Scrape the skin using a knife, cut and remove the seeds from inside. 


  •  Coarsely grind bell pepper along with mint leaves and green chilly using a grinder.
  • In a mixing bowl mix together hung curd, bell pepper, chickpea flour and spice powders.




  • Shape into kebabs and coat well with bread crumbs.
  • Heat a non stick pan, coat with cooking oil and shallow fry kebabs on both sides until golden brown from both sides.
  • Serve hot with coriander chutney!



Notes:
For making hung curd, hang fresh curd in a muslin cloth, tightly tie up and hang over a sink or bowl, the excess water will get drained and the thick leftover curd in the cloth is hung curd.