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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Bread & Butter Pudding ( Baked British-style Bread Pudding)

Ingredients :
Bread Slices : 8-10 no.
Golden Currents : 100 Gms.
Sultanas : 50 Gms.
Full Fat Milk : 300 ml.
Cream : 50 ml.
Caster Sugar : 4 Tbsp.
Grated Rind of 1 Lemon
Eggs : 3-4 depending on the size.
Vanilla Essence : 1/2 Tsp.
Grated Nutmeg : one pinch
Butter : As Required
Oven-proof rectangular or oval baking dish ( preferably ceramic or glass)
Method :
Preheat the oven at 180°C. Butter the baking dish.
Butter the bread slices. Cur the bread slices in half diagonally to get triangular slices. Arrange in a single layer at the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with half the  currents and sultanas, then cover with another layer of bread slices. Put the rest of the currents and sultanas on top.
In a Jug, add the milk and cream. To this add the lemon rind, caster sugar and the vanilla essence.  Whisk the eggs and add to the liquids. Pour this mixture over the bread slices, sprinkle with the grated nutmeg and let it soak for 10 minutes.
Bake in the oven for 40-60 minutes.
Serve warm.

Avial ( A vegetarian specialty dish from Kerala in Southern India)

Ingredients :
Potato : 1 Large
Suran (Elephant foot yam – Amorphophallus paeoniifolius) : 300 Gms.
Red Pumpkin or  Bottle Gourd (Dudhi Bhopla) : 300 Gms.
Raw Banana : 1 no.
Carrot : 1 Large
French Beans : 200 Gms.
Green Peas : 100 Gms.
Drumsticks – Moringa oleifera (Soavagyaacyaa SoMagaa fruit) : 2 Nos.
Freshly Grated Coconut : 1 ½ Cups
Green Chillies : 5-6 Nos.
Cumin Seeds : 1 Tsp.
Curd : 1 Cup
Coconut Oil : 2 Tbsp.
Curry Leaves : 12 Nos.
Method :
Cut the vegetables into 1” inch cubes. Peel and cut the banana into cubes as well.
Cook the Elephant foot yam separately in salted water and when almost done,  discard the water. Cook the rest of the vegetables together in salted water with half the curry leaves. The water should just be enough to cook the vegetables. When the vegetables are 9/10th cooked add the cooked yam to them.
Make a paste of coconut, green chillies and cumin seeds. Then mix with the curd to make a smooth paste.
Add the paste to the vegetables and adjust the salt and the consistency of the gravy. Remove after one boil.
N.B. : There are some who prefer a tadka and some who don’t. I like to heat the oil and add the curry leaves to it and give this tadka to the avial. Some people prefer to add all the curry leaves while cooking the vegetables . When you have added the paste and removed it after one boil, they add the raw coconut oil into the avail and mix well.
Best served with boiled rice.

Bagara Baingan ( Hyderabadi Brinjal dish)

Ingredients :
Brinjals : 500 Gms.
Fresh Grated Coconut : 200 Gms.
Coriander Seeds : 60 Gms.
Dried Red Chillies : 10-12 nos.
Sliced Onions : 2 nos. large
Green Chillies : 3-4 nos.
Garlic Cloves : 8 nos.
Sesame Seeds : 4 Tbsp.
Turmeric Powder : 1 Tsp.
Tamarind Paste : 100 Gms.
Jaggery : 2 Tbsp.
Curry Leaves : 10-12 nos.
Black Mustard Seeds : 1 Tsp.
Chopped Coriander Leaves : 2-3 Tbsp.
Vegetable or Peanut Oil : As Required
Salt : To Taste
Method :
Cut the brinjals lengthwise almost into quarters; make sure you do not cut off the stem so as to keep the brinjal whole with a cross cut running the entire length.
In a Kadhai add enough oil to fry the brinjals till brown.
For the Bagara Masala Paste :
In 1 Tbsp. oil saute the sliced onions, coriander seeds, red chillies. Add these to the coconut and garlic. Dry roast the sesame seeds and add to the coconut mixture. Also add the turmeric powder and tamarind paste to the coconut. Make a paste of all these ingredients.
In a Tbsp. of oil add slit green chillies and add the paste and saute till the fat leaves the sides. Than add the brinjals, jaggery and salt to taste. Add water as required to get a sauce-like consistency. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes. This masala tends to stick to the bottom of the pan, so make sure that you keep stirring the pot every few minutes. Then add the chopped coriander leaves and remove.
Tadka :
In a small pan add 1 Tsp. oil and when hot add mustard seeds. When they start to crackle add the curry leaves and pour this over the curry. Mix well.
This can be served with Rice or Parathas.
P. S.Vegetable Variation – You can make a tadka of mustard seeds, green chillies and curry leaves. To this add mixed vegetables like cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, green peas etc. Then add the bagara masala and salt to taste. Cover and cook till the vegetables are done. Then add chopped coriander on top.

Paneer Badshahi ( Cottage cheese in rich cashewnut gravy)

Ingredients :
Paneer (cottage Cheese) : 300 Gms.
Cashew nuts : 50 Gms.
Dried Kopra or dessicated coconut : 2 Tbsp.
Onions : 3 medium sized.
Cinnamon : 1″ piece
Cloves : 4 nos.
Black Peppercorns : 4-5 nos.
Green cardamom : 1 crushed
Black Cardamom : 5-8 seeds
Mace (Jaipatri) :1″ piece
Poppy Seeds (Khuskhus) : 1 Tsp.
Green Chillies : 3-4 nos.
Ginger Garlic Paste : 1 Tbsp.
Curd : 100 Gms.
Milk : 100 ml.
Ghee : 1 Tbsp.
Ajwain Seeds (bishop’s Weed / Carom Seeds) : 1/2 Tsp.
Salt : To Taste
Kewra Essence or Rose Water : 1 Tsp (Optional)
Method :
Soak cashew nuts in warm water till soft. Thinly slice 1 1/2 onions and the rest should be finely chopped. Chop the green chillies into small pieces. Cut the paneer into 1/2 inch cubes.
In a small fry pan, saute the sliced onions till brown. Remove and then brown the kopra as well. Also roast the whole spices in a small amount of oil and then make a paste of the kopra, browned onions, spices, green chillies and the soaked cashew nuts. Take care while roasting the whole spices not to burn the poppy seeds.
In a karai or wok add ghee and add the ajwain seeds. When they splutter, add the chopped onions and saute till browned. Then add the ginger garlic paste and saute til brown. Then add the masala paste and saute till fat starts leaving the sides of the pan. Then start adding the curd 1 tsp at a time and keep sauteing till all the curd is used. Then add the milk and the paneer and add water if required. Add salt to taste and let this simmer gently for about 10 minutes. Add the kewra or rose essence and remove from heat.
Serve hot with roti or Jeera Rice.

Khoya Rawa Laddu ( Sweet dish made using dried whole milk and semolina)

My neighbour Mrs. Rucha Sathe made these laddus for Diwali. I just had to get the recipe for  my blog after I tasted the laddus. Hope you make them at home and enjoy them with your loved ones.
Ingredients :
Khoya ( Khoa / Mawa) :200 Gm.
Semolina ( Rawa / Rava) :  500 Gm.
Sugar : 400 Gm.
Ghee (Clarified Butter) : 400 Gm.
Green Cardamom Powder : 1/4 Tsp.
Pistachios and Almonds : 1 Tbsp. (each) chopped
Saffron (Kesar) : 1 pinch.
Method :
In a karai (heavy wok) saute the Khoya on low heat till brown. Remove to let it cool down.
In the same wok, add the ghee. When it’s hot,  add the semolina and saute on low heat till it’s brown and gives off a nutty aroma.
For Sugar Syrup (Chashni) – To 400 Gms of sugar add 100 ml water and the bring to boil. Reduce hear and simmer. Add a few drops of lemon juice to the syrup while it is simmering. This brings the impurities in the syrup to the surface which will need to be skimmed off. Then keep reducing till you get a sugar syrup with a one string consistency. One string consistency means you have to keep boiling the syrup until a drop of syrup leaves one string between your thumb and forefinger.
To the sugar syrup, add the saffron, pistachios, almonds and cardamom powder. To this add the semolina and the khoya and mix well.
Keep aside for a few minutes to let the semolina and khoya absorb the sugar syrup and to let the mixture cool down and become dry. Then after 5-7 minutes again mix the mixture well and keep aside for 5 minutes.
Then roll the mixture into balls of 2″ diameter.
These laddus remain unspoiled for about 15-20 days in an airtight container.
P.S. – I found the laddus a little sweet so you can adjust the sugar accordingly as per the quality of the khoya you obtain. Good quality khoya will add its own sweetness to the dish so you can reduce the amount of sugar to 300-350 Gms.

Apple Vermicelli Kheer

Ingredients :
Apples :  2 medium sized
Milk : 1 liter (Full fat)
Sugar : 8 to 10 Tsps.
Cinnamon : ½ inch stick
Vermicelli (semiyan) : 1 Tbsp.
Ghee (Clarified Butter) : ½ Tbsp.
Method :
Peel and cut the apples into ½ inch cubes. Crush the cinnamon into small pieces. Add the apples, cinnamon and sugar to the milk; bring to boil and then simmer for 20 – 30 minutes till the apples are completely cooked. Then puree in the blender and strain the mixture.
In a thick bottomed pot, melt the ghee and the sauté the vermicelli in it till brown. Then add the apple milk mixture and cook on low heat for 10 minutes.
Can be served hot or cold.

Papaya & Cucumber Salad

Ingredients :

Papaya – 1 medium sized, ripe
Cucumbers – 2 – 3 medium sized
For the dressing :
Extra virgin olive oil : 2 Tbsp.
Lime juice  : juice of 1 lime
Brown sugar : 1-2 Tbsp.
Salt : To tase
Green Chilli : 1 no.
Fresh Ginger : 1/2 inch piece
Fresh Coriander : a few sprigs, chopped

Method :
Peel the papaya and cucumbers. Cut the papaya and cucumbers into 1/2 inch dices. Refrigerate for a few minutes.
To make the dressing, first finely chop (brunoise) the green chilli and the ginger. Then mix together the lime juice, oil, salt, sugar, ginger and the chilli.
Now toss the pieces of papaya and cucumber in the dressing along with the chopped coriander.
Serve cold.