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Friday, July 25, 2014

Chocolate-Plum Truffles


As the plum mania is drawing to a close, it is leaving me with a sense of emptiness. After aggressively posting about plum recipes for  KitchenAid Contest, which is a part of upcoming Bangalore Food Bloggers Meet that is going to happen on 1st aug and 2nd Aug, 2014 I will surely miss it. But on the brighter side of it is  that we are just days away from the gala event, which I am eagerly waiting! Well who wouldn't want to win KitchenAid Chopper so here is my last take on cooking with plum!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of Chocolate cake crumbs
1/2 cup of Plum compote
4 tbsp Dark Chocolate
1 tsp Corn Syrup
1 tbsp unsalted Butter
1/3 cup Heavy cream

1 cup White chocolate for making the outer coat

Method:
Place the heavy cream and butter in a thick bottomed pan and bring it to boil in a medium heat. Then immediately pour over chopped chocolate. Keep stirring until all the chocolate has melted. Then add corn syrup for that ultimate creamy texture. The texture should be very smooth and silky, this is called Ganache. Let this cool down and then keep in the fridge for an hour. 
This will make it thicken as we need to bind it with cake crumbs later.


Mix the cake crumbs with ganache thoroughly and roll it into small balls, the size of a lime by rolling between your palms. Then take 1 tsp thick plum compote and place it in the center and roll it carefully from all the sides to make a smooth ball. Once you are done with all the cake mixture, keep all the balls in a tray and put it back in the fridge for another hour. You can serve it later just like that or may make it more pretty by dipping it in either white chocolate or dark chocolate. I choose white chocolate, melt it by usinf double boiler method and drip truffles in white chocolate. Place truffles back onto lined trays and chill. 
These are so easy to make and best bet for birthday parties. 

read more.. "Chocolate-Plum Truffles"

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Rose Syrup Cocktail


Variety is the spice of life and my motto is that one should have their heart's fill of food and drink in moderate quantity. So taking this philosophy forward I have concocted a cocktail with an Indian twist.

 It is evident that any thing that comes even close to celebration and happiness (even momentarily) is a nice cocktail. So as prelude to IFBM ceremony where Urbandazle is conducting a cocktail contest,so here is my small contribution. Personally I think this cocktail will look good in Island Hurricane.The sugary sweetness of Rose Syrup is well used here and it surely makes a refreshing cocktail.

Ingredients:
40 ml Rum
20 ml Rose Syrup
25 ml Lemonade
1 Cardamon pod, lightly crushed /muddled as we don't want it to overpower the drink
Few Ice cubes
Some Dry Rose petals
To Garnish you may use some fresh rose petals, 2 wheels Lemon, thinly sliced 

Method:
Pour all the above ingredients {except rose petals}  Shake vigorously and then fine strain to remove the residues of cardamom. Then pour into glass and enjoy. 


read more.. "Rose Syrup Cocktail"

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Buttermilk Plum Pancakes


Since the countdown for me to participate at IFBM is on, I am trying to hone up various recipes which are not often made at our household. One kind of breakfast that I have recently taken interest upon now a days is pancakes. And since I love cooking challenges so trying my skills to come up with interesting dishes. Like in my previous post Trifle With Plum Compote And Boondi Laddo  I had included Indian Boondi Laddo for the trifle which came out fantastic. 
Another reason was ofcourse taking part in KitchenAid Contest which is a part of upcoming Bangalore Food Bloggers Meet that is going to happen on 1st aug and 2nd Aug 2014. Well who wouldn't want to win KitchenAid Chopper !

The best part about it is that it is such an easy peasy recipe that anyone can follow. Also you could add small pieces of plums while serving. As now a days we are pressed for time in our jobs, so we need nutrition with taste as well. This time around I have mixed plum compote in the batter as this fruit is seasonal. So here’s for a healthy and tasty breakfast for all of us..

Ingredients:
1 cup All purpose flour
6-7 ripe Plums, Stoned & Chopped
1 cup Buttermilk
2 tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1 Egg
4 tbsp melted butter
Pinch of salt

Method:
In a large bowl sift all the dry ingredients together and keep aside. In a separate bowl whisk together melted butter + buttermilk+ sugar and egg till everything is combined well. 

Add dry ingredients into the wet and stir until just blended (the batter will be slightly lumpy). Fold in the puree of plums. Let the batter sit for 5-10 minutes.

Heat a flat pan to medium heat and spray some cooking oil or brush the pan with some butter. I like to use my tablespoon for pouring the batter as it helps to maintain the same size of pancakes. 

Spoon 2-3 tbsp of batter into skillet, using the back of the ladle spread batter into a round shape.  Brush with a little butter or spray with cooking spray. Cook 2-3 mins or until you see bubbles on top and light crust on edges. 
Flip with a thin spatula to cook the other side. Transfer it to a serving plate and follow the same process to finish all the batter into pancakes. Serve warm with desired toppings. Frankly speaking nothing else is required with these delicious pancakes perhaps a few chopped plums on top. Serve and relish.



read more.. "Buttermilk Plum Pancakes"

Monday, July 21, 2014

Trifle With Plum Compote And Boondi Laddo


There are times when we hear terrible news in the TV. Last week the media was abuzz with the MH 17 crash in Ukraine. The image of the debris was itself shocking. I pondered within myself and discussed amongst family and friends with a question that know how could someone shoot down a passenger plane? Hope that this becomes a never again incident and paves way for a no war world. My wish is that each person in this world do whatever he does best without destabilizing others. And I request the organizers of IFBM to hold a minute of silence as a mark of respect to the passengers of MH17 and pray for resting of their souls.


Well one has to move on so coming back to today's recipe, it is a no-brainer trifle. Plums are on the verge of saying goodbye to us, so making good opportunity to relish these juicy fruit. Another reason was ofcourse taking part in KitchenAid Contest which is a part of upcoming Bangalore Food Bloggers Meet that is going to happen on 1st aug and 2nd Aug 2014. Well who wouldn't want to win KitchenAid Chopper ! :-) Fancy my chances you see ;-) I did make this exotic by making a layer of Boondi Laddo to suit my Indian sweet tooth. The results were awesome!!

Ingredients:
For Plum Compote:
2 tsp Unsalted butter
4 tbsp Sugar
6-7 red ripe Plums, stones removed
2 big pinches of Cinnamon powder
1/4 cup Water



Other ingredients you need:
1 cup whipped Cream
1 cup of cake pieces (I had plenty of leftover cake i the freezer) You can bake or can buy store bought ones
4-5 Boondi Laddos

Method:
In a saucepan melt butter and sugar. When the sugar is melted and caramelized add some water, cinnamon powder and let the plums soak in this syrup. Let simmer until the syrup thickens and plums are soft, tender.
Let this cool down and run it in a juicer to get a smooth paste. 



How to Assemble:
Place 5-6 small containers or individual glasses and fill the bottom with broken pieces of Laddos. Place the large chinks of cake and cover the second layer. Top it with whipped cream and don't worry if the layers seems to merge here as trifles are very forgiving. And then we do the final layering by pouring plum sauce. Let this set in the refrigerator for half an hour and later enjoy this dessert. 

read more.. "Trifle With Plum Compote And Boondi Laddo "

Monday, July 14, 2014

Tangra Maacher Jhol (Tangra Fish Curry With Potatoes) And an upcoming Food Bloggers Meet @Bangalore


There is a saying that you can achieve immense benefits by keeping your mind and heart open and share ideas with others. Yes my friends, that is what I wish to fulfil in the upcoming IFBM scheduled in Bangalore. I can't hold back my excitement by the thought of meeting so many talented food bloggers under a single roof, which is going to happen on 1st August and 2nd August, 2014. Experts from various fields will share their knowledge, topics will vary from Food Styling, CookBook Publishing, Food Writing, Food Photography, How to make most of Social Media to name a few. Seeing food blogs and meeting the food bloggers are different experience altogether. Wish to learn so many things from them. So if you are an active Indian Blogger and wish to join us register soon as few seats are still available. Here is the link of the event :IFBM and trust me I know that all of us  will have a fruitful experience.

Today's recipe that I am sharing is very simple fish gravy called Tangra Maacher Jhol. Paired with thin slices of potatoes this is ideal for summer days.

Ingredients:
8 pieces of Tangra fish
1 Onion, ground to paste
1 Tomato, ground to paste
1 Potato, thin slices
1/2 tsp nigella seeds(which is also called Kalo jeera in Bengali)
1 tsp Ginger paste
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Red chilly powder
2 Green chillies
Mustard oil
Salt to taste
1 cup Water

Method:
Clean and wash fish pieces, pat them dry. Sprinkle some salt, turmeric on the fish, mix well and keep aside for 15 minutes.
Sprinkle some Salt and Turmeric powder and keep aside for few mins
Heat mustard oil in a broad frying pan (so that the fish doesn't break from the middle while frying). When the heat is on smoking point, reduce the flame and fry the fishes in batches for 2-3 minutes on both the sides. Keep aside.
Fry potato slices with little salt and turmeric in the same remaining oil. Fry till they turn light brown and half done. Keep aside.

 Now in the same pan add nigella seeds/ kalo jeera, let it splutter. Add green chillies, onion paste and fry for a minute. Add turmeric powder, salt, red chilli powder and fry well for a minute on medium heat. Add tomato paste and keep stirring on medium flame till it leaves oil. Now add water and boil this on high flame till you get first boil. 

Then reduce the heat, add fish pieces and fried potato slices. Adjust the salt if necessary ,cover and cook for about 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat, garnish with chopped coriander leaves (optional) and serve hot with  steamed rice.

read more.. "Tangra Maacher Jhol (Tangra Fish Curry With Potatoes) And an upcoming Food Bloggers Meet @Bangalore"

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Garlic Butter Prawns


In such times when I lift the newspaper anticipating one bad news or other, today’s paper was a pleasant surprise in the front page. It said that “ Life in the heart of Chennai came to a halt on Monday to save a life. In a textbook example of precise coordination between surgeons of two hospitals and the city traffic police, a medical team transported a heart from Government General Hospital to Fortis Malar Hospitals in Adyar, about 12km away, in less than 13 minutes by creating a "green corridor" - that is, red-light free access.” These types of well-coordinated gestures reaffirm our faith in humanity. Proud to be a part of this City.
I believe that whatever we do ,if we give our best shot then we could create smiles in our entire life span. 

This dish called buttery garlic prawn is what I tried few months back after my Goa trip and my family had smiles written all over their faces. The recipe below is super easy and quick to make. The addition of parsley here surely brings out the best flavours in small prawns. Here’s the recipe for that.

Ingredients:
400 gms small Prawns {peeled and deveined}
1/4 cup chopped fresh Parsley
8-10 minced Garlic
3-4 tbsp Butter
1/4 cup Cream {I generally like it very soupy hence less cream but you can add 1/2 cup of cream for more thickness}
2 Whole Dry red chillies
1 tbsp Lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground Black pepper powder

Method:
In a pan heat butter over medium heat. Once melted add minced garlic, toss again and saute is for few seconds. Making sure they do not burn ! Add prawns and cook until pink and the flesh is opaque in the center, about 2 minutes. Add cooking cream and stir well. Season with freshly ground black pepper and salt.  Simmer the sauce until it has thickened to your desired consistency. Turn off the heat and pour into a serving dish. Add lemon juice and sprinkle some parsley. Serve this quick and easy garlic butter prawns with any bread.

read more.. "Garlic Butter Prawns"

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Omelette Curry | Bengali Style Omlette'r Jhol


During my schooldays there was a very popular TV and radio jingle in Hindi called “Sunday ho ya Monday Roz khaye Ande” (Sunday or Monday have an egg everyday). The crux of the jingle is that there are a wide varieties of way to prepare and have eggs. In my household curry forms an integral part of a number of meals and since egg provides nutritional value,last week decided to prepare this all-weather time tasted recipe which could be had with rice. Moreover the preparation is not too difficult and as you could see for yourself, it could give other curries a run for their money in taste. The highlight of this curry is Roasted Bellpepper flavour ! 

Ingredients:
2 Eggs
1 Onion
1/2 cup Green peas
2 medium sized Tomatoes, ground to paste
1 small Capsicum
1 tsp Ginger paste
1 tsp Garlic paste
1/2 tsp Red chilly powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Cumin powder
1/2 tsp Garam Masala  ( In Bengali household 'gorom moshla' means combination of green Cardamom +Cinnamon +Cloves and the ratio is 2:2:2)
Salt to taste
Dry coconut /Khopra shredded for garnishing

Method:
Start with omelettes first, take some minced onions, green chillies and beat the eggs. Season it with salt and pepper powder. Prepare 2 omelettes and fold them half. Cut each omelette  into 2-3 pieces. Keep aside. 
Take out the top portion of the peppers, cut them in two halves and remove the seeds and skin. Place the baking sheet on top of the Aluminum foil and face the skin side on top. Let it broil for 20 minutes till they are blackened. Flip it over and broil for next 10 minutes. Take it out of the oven and place them in a Ziploc bag. After 10 more minutes peel off the skin of the pepper halves. Now in a coffee blender make a paste of this and keep aside.



In a pan or Kadai heat 2 tbsp oil or ghee. Fry garam masala and sliced onions, ginger and garlic paste and fry till golden. Add tomato paste into the pan and keep stirring for 2-3 mins more. Add all the spices {I generally take a small bowl, add 2 tsp water in it alsong with dry powders, that way the spices will never burn } and continue frying till oil comes to the surface. Throw in some green peas and salt to taste. Mix in the capsicum paste and add 2 cups of hot water. Bring the gravy to the boil after that add the omelettes. Reduce heat and cook the gravy for another 10 mins or till the gravy is thickened. Be careful that the omelettes should not break. Garnish with grated coconut and serve hot with rice.

read more.. "Omelette Curry | Bengali Style Omlette'r Jhol"

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Green Peas Cutlet |Hare Matar Ki Tikki



Life is a wonderful journey of constant discovery ! The desire to learn new recipes never stops in my case. Like if I am travelling in a different city, I try to order a new dish, this in turn gives me a opportunity to get inspire and make something of my own. This particular Peas Tikki/  Green Cutlet is an example of one such evening at a high end Pub in Bangalore. I liked it so much that after returning home I tried to recreate the same peas tikki. I love the peanuts in it here, it gives the dish a nice crunch. And ofcourse the mint leaves gives an amazing flavour combination. 

Ingredients :
1 cup Cottage Cheese(homemade)
3/4 cup Green peas
1 big boiled potato, mashed
1/4 cup Peanuts, dry roasted and peeled
2 Green chilies
5-6 Mint leaves
Aniseed /Saunf (roughly pounded)
White oil for frying
Salt to taste

Method:
Mash the chenna /cottage cheese well for 5 minutes. Grind peanuts in a coffee grinder so that it remains coarse. Do not add water. Keep aside. Now add green peas, chilies, mint leaves in the same coffee grinder and make a smooth paste. If you are finding very difficult to grind without water then add 2-3 drops at a time and run it. I never needed to add water though.

 In a big mixing bowl add all the above ingredients and mash properly. Make small round balls and slightly flatten them. In a non-stick pan, add 2 tbsp oil and shallow fry (flipping them intervals) till light brown in the center . When both the sides are done and you can see brown crust in the center it is ready. Serve with your choice of chutney.


read more.. "Green Peas Cutlet |Hare Matar Ki Tikki"

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Honeydew Melon Juice | Honeymelon Juice Recipe


Honeydew a kind of melon, having a smooth whitish rind and light green flesh inside. Mostly it is round to slightly oval shape. And like any other fruit is has seeds inside. This variety of melon has many nutritional values and is a great source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B, potassium, folate and niacin. While purchasing honeydew look for melons that are slightly soft with a creamy yellow navel. Don't go for hard surface melons as they will not be sweet. And above all the best sign is a pleasant honey like aroma.

Ingredients:
1/2 of a Honeydew, thinly slice away the outer skin
1 tsp Honey or Sugar (totally upto you)
2-3 Pudina / Mint leaves
Ice cubes 

Method:
Remove the seeds, cut into 2 inch cubes so that you can run the juicer smoothly. Add sugar or honey if you wish, mint leaves and ice cubes. Your freshly made frothy juice is ready to  be enjoyed! The pastel green color juice is easily digestible too.


Tips:


  • This melon is best to be taken without mixing any other fruit. As the mild refreshingly fresh juice is a solo hero in itself.
  • You can also enjoy the cubes with fresh cream or with cold salad.
  • Slightly soft melons can stay on the shelf for 1-2 days or 5-6 days if you keep in fridge. 

Linking this summer special drink to Shailaja's 'Only' Summer Food And Drinks, an event started by Pari of Foodelicious

read more.. "Honeydew Melon Juice | Honeymelon Juice Recipe"

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Ice-Cream Sundae's at Cream N Fudge |Chennai


It is peak summer already and we crave for something cold all the time. Juice parlours, ice-cream parlours are the most preferred destinations. So when I got an invitation for making my own Sundae at Cream & Fudge  last Saturday meant for bloggers I gladly accepted the opportunity to beat the summer in 'cool' way and went there in excitement to make my own sundae. Cream N Fudge offers the world's creamiest ice-creams, is a part of GFA group. The Pizza Corner and Coffee Worlds are two other retails. Cream N Fudge offers a mix-in concept of hand folding ice-creams on a frozen marble stone where you can mix it with sauces or fruits of your choice.


We were a small set of bloggers to try our hand at the counter and almost all of us got a fair share of time to make our own Sundae. The outlet is small but good place to hang out for youths. The moment you enter you will find big display of different flavours of ice-cream with a cold stone adjacent to it for mixing flavours. I was an early bird to reach there (yes before time ;-)) so introduced myself to the manager Mr. Irfan at Cream N Fudge. 

There are three categories of Sundaes at their store: Classique collection, Royal collection and Marble collection which can be served as single scoop (Delight) and double scoop (Indulge). Now you have a choice to enjoy your Sundae in either waffle cups or in cones.

 The choice is yours : Plain, Chocolate Dipped, Chocolate Rainbow or Nutty Cone. To tempt you more they have variety of Mix-ins (Rs.15/Rs.20/Rs.25) in the menu (my personal choice would be Royal Mix-Ins where they have Ferrero Rochers, Peach Slices to name a few). The prices may seem a bit steep but if you have just Rs.100 in your pocket, restrain yourself from adding any extras then you can enjoy this creamy ice-cream (single scoop).



To maintain the hygiene we all are handed over  caps to cover our head and we were shown how to make our own Sundaes. The folding techniques of spatulas to mix in two flavours of ice-cream scoops with Mix Ins on the cold stone was a good learning experience. 

Later Pari  and I decided to make Cafe Au Lait which had Coffee Ice cream, Nuts, Cocoa powder, Whipped cream, Vanilla Ice cream, combined together and we had it in waffle cone. 



Over enthusiastic assisting aids at the counter had sprinkled Cinnamon powder instead of Cocoa powder over whipping cream which marred the taste of Coffee flavour ice cream. Never mind as other blogger friends were also making their own Sundaes so tasted a spoon of many flavours. Like Aarti made Apple Crumble, as she loves anything with apple and cinnamon. It was sinful.

 But the surprise element of that day was Pari's husband skilled hands ! He tweaked Chocolate Truffle Sundae with 2 Ferroro Rochers, Brownies and Hazelnuts to suit his taste and boy !! It was fantastic. I wanted to taste Lichi flavour with lichis in it as whole. But it seems they do not stock lichis and mangoes. 
In between the staff showed their 'throw and catch' skills, where a guy tossed a scoop of ice cream over his head to be caught by another staff waiting with an empty cone.



At the end thank you Cream N Fudge for giving us a chance to go behind the counter and make our own Sundaes. Will go there to enjoy other flavours soon.
read more.. "Ice-Cream Sundae's at Cream N Fudge |Chennai"

Monday, May 12, 2014

Chire Bhaja (Fried Flaked Rice) | Snacks For a Rainy Day


Whenever I look back in my early years, I feel that the rainy season is that period when all of the children used to wait for and during that time it was not frowned upon. During those days the moment we heard the first drops of rain, we all rushed out to feel the 1st drops in our faces and the smell of the freshly soaked soil was simply irresistible. We were not stopped by our parents that you would catch a cold. So coming back to culinary tastes during that period, one snack that is embedded in my mind is Chiwda/Chide bhaja.



 Literally Chide is a flattened rice and bhaja means fry. This mixed with peanuts used to be the one which we craved for once we are back home during evening. The sound of us munching these crispy snack mixed with the background sound of the rainfall on the asbestos roofs of our garage used to be an astounding experience. So instead of the rain part, presenting this snack for all your viewing and feedback.

Ingredients:
200 gms Chire / Flattened Rice
2 tbsp Coconut flakes
3 tbsp Peanuts
2 tbsp Chana Dal /Split Chickpeas
1 tbsp Mustard seeds
1/4 cup Chanachor (Mixed Bhujia)
2 Dried Red Chillies
1 sprig Curry leaves
Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp White oil

Method:
Heat oil in a wok on low heat fry peanuts and coconut slices. Keep aside. Now in the same oil fry chana dal till light brown and keep aside.

Add Mustard seeds and let them crackle. Immediately add dried red chillies, curry leaves and add beaten rice flakes and fry on high flame. Sprinkle turmeric rice and salt to it.

 Remember to stir continuously or else you will end up with burnt rice flakes. Keep stirring it for 5-6 minutes or until you get nice aroma. Rice flakes will look crispy, now add the fried chana, chanachor / mixed bhujia, peanuts and coconut slices.

Remove from heat and let it cool down. Later keep it in an air tight container. Enjoy freshly made chire bhaja and the rains ! I served my crispy chire bhaja with lemon tea to Ma.
  

read more.. "Chire Bhaja (Fried Flaked Rice) | Snacks For a Rainy Day "

Monday, April 28, 2014

Coconut-Curd Chutney | Chutney For Idli /Dosa


If I learnt many kinds of stuffed parathas during my stay in North India, I am learning yet more varieties of chutneys now a days in South India as well because whenever we go out for breakfast I come across a new kind. This is  super easy chutney which can be made in less than 4-5 minutes. I don't like the scrapping part of coconut but no one at home comes forward to do so. I have been thinking to ask this question "What is the best way to take out the meat of coconut?" How do you do it? Any suggestions are most welcome...

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Coconut
1/3 cup Curd /Yogurt
3 tbsp of Roasted Chickpeas
3 tbsp Peanuts 
2-3 Dry whole Red chilllies 
2 sprigs of fresh curry leaves
1/2 inch of ginger
2 tsp Water
1/4 tsp Salt

For Tempering:
5-6 Curry leaves
Pinch of Hing / Asafoetida 
1-2 Dry red chillies
1 tsp Mustard seeds
2 tsp Oil

Method: 
In a griddle dry roast chickpeas first till they are light brown( takes about a minute or two). Keep aside. Now in the same griddle add peanuts and roast them till you get nice aroma. Let it cool down and then remove the skin of peanuts. Keep aside. Now grind coconut, curry leaves, roasted chickpeas, peanuts and ginger with 2 tsp water until the mixture is pureed. Then add salt, curd and dry red chillies till you get desired consistency. 


Heat oil in a small pan and fry mustard seeds until they begin to crackle, add dry chillies, hing and curry leave. Pour into the chutney. Serve the Coconut-Curd chutney with Dosa, Idli, Vada, Uttapam. 

Tips:

  • Try to have it on the same day itself or keep in the refrigerator and next day. Aviod keeping it outside as it has coconut and curd in it.
  • For better flavour use peanut oil for tempering.
  • Chutney is tasty even without any tempering.


read more.. "Coconut-Curd Chutney | Chutney For Idli /Dosa"