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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Orange & Curry Leaf Lemonade | Himalayan Sparkling Water Contest

Making lemonade is not a rocket science but still it tastes different if you taste it at various places. Making sugar syrup is the key for me. I take about 1/2 sugar, 3/4 cup water and heat in a small saucepan on low heat until the sugar is dissolved completely. For that extra zing I add 2 tsp orange peel into it once it comes to room temperature. Use as per your requirement and you can keep the remaining syrup in a clean bottle inside the refrigerator.

Today's recipe has been adapted from Shatbhi Basu's Cucumber & Curry Leaf Lemonade. This recipe is a part of the Sparkling Himalayan Contest , exclusively for IFBM 2014 participants. 

60 ml Orange juice
2-3 Lime Wedges
30 ml Sugar Syrup 
15 ml Lime juice
Sparkling Himalayan water (you may substitute with Club Soda)
Few Curry leaves 
1 tsp rinds of Orange
Ice cubes

Fill a tall glass with lots of ice cubes, add lime wedges and add little crushed curry leaves. Add orange juice stir it and add lime juice. Time to add sugar syrup and finally sparkling Himalayan water (or club soda). 

Unlike other club soda Himalayan sparkling water has a mild fizz along with it. Stir well and serve this perfect Orange and curry leaf lemonade. Cheers!

read more.. "Orange & Curry Leaf Lemonade | Himalayan Sparkling Water Contest"

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Pomegranate Virgin Mojito (Himalayan Sparkling Water Contest)

Let me confess, I am stickler when it comes to drinking water outside, only fresh coconut water can satisfy my soul. A couple of hours under the scorching sun in Chennai can easily make you feel sick and dehydrated. Like a fish I like to be in the pool all the time if not so then I compensate it by preparing lemonades, mojitos, mocktails, and lassi for thirsty souls. Less of cocktails as the frequency at which I'm downing these liquids is high. So a real Mojito would prove little problematic for me (HIC!) ;-)

Another thing that I have observed is that we are between the end of the summer period and monsoon is approaching in full vigor, so it’s time that we should change our seasonal based fruits in our daily intake and mix them with our drinks( not necessary alcoholic). Also to add renowned brand Himalayas Sparkling water guarantees purity in every drop of drinks that I conjure. Today's recipe has been adapted from Shatabi Basu's Peach Mojito. This recipe is a part of the Sparkling Himalayan Contest , exclusively for IFBM 2014 participants. 

60 ml Pomegranate juice
6 Lime Wedges
Sparkling Himalayan water (you may substitute with Club Soda)
Few mint leaves 
1 tsp Chat masala
Ice cubes

Chop off the ends of pomegranate and then cut it into four parts. Take a big bowl of water and start separating the seeds from the skin ( I put my son to pull all the arils out). The seeds will sink to the bottom. When you are done pour the water along with the seeds to pass through a sieve. place the drained seeds in a blender until you get a pulp. Pass it through a sieve or cheesecloth to get the juice. Keep aside 60 ml of juice.

Take a tall glass, squeeze some lime wedges and lightly muddle them. Smash a few tender mint leaves in your hands by clapping them together and twisting. This brings out the best flavours. Add chat masala, throw in some ice cubes and add pour pomegranate juice. And finally add sparkling water and give it a nice stir. Serve immediately. 

Do you know that I have a separate HamareeRasoi FB Page? If you haven't LIKED my page yet then may I request you to do the same.
read more.. "Pomegranate Virgin Mojito (Himalayan Sparkling Water Contest)"

Monday, August 11, 2014

Nolen Gurer Sandesh (Cottage Cheese Sweet With Date Palm Jaggery)an Ultimate Ecstasy for Any Bengali

As a Bengali brought up in the North India the word Sandesh or Shondesh had two specific meanings. In Hindi it means as News. And in Bangla it means a Cottage Cheese based sweet.
Legend has it that in early 18th century a sweet shop owner from Bengal called Bhim Nag had mastered in the art of preparing shondesh and after tasting which the Lady Viceroy of India was smitten by it and from there after there was no looking back for this sweet. It surely has stood the test of time and there is no other traditional sweet which could be prepared in so many varied way. Recently I had prepared this for a baker’s meet at a popular hotel inChennai hosted by renowned food critic Rashmi Uday Singh. To my delight she liked it and featured it in the TOI Chennai edition.

Making a good sandesh is an art, with practice only you can achieve best results. The mere mention of sandesh /sondesh makes me go weak in my knees. And believe me it is not a domain owned by Bengalis only anymore. I see people from many part of the world asking me recipes about the same. Some tried it from online sources, many followed it by following a recipe on books and magazines.  Well when it comes to sandesh the flavours can be endless such as Aam Sandesh, Chocolate Sandesh, Nolen Gurer Sandesh etc. So depending upon the flavours the texture can also vary. 
I remember once I had put Sandesh molds on my Facebook page and got plenty of requests to share the source of molds as well as the recipe. Few of my friends were pestering me to post the much awaited recipe on my site. So here it is...

1 ltr Full fat milk
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1-2 tbsp powdered Sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp Date palm Jaggery (Nolen Gur)

What else you need: Few wooden or stone carved molds.I have got mine from my Mom and Granny. I just love collecting various shapes and designs.
A big Sieve and a clean muslin cloth.

To make chana/ chena, boil milk in a heavy bottom pan over medium heat. Keep stirring so that milk doesn't get burnt at the bottom. pour lemon juice over milk and stir. The milk will curdle just wait for 1 more minute and place the sieve with a muslin cloth. Strained the curdles milk and run it under tap water to remove the lemon trace. Tie the loose ends and hang it to the tap to drain our excess water for half an hour. Now my Aunt and Mom used to place this chena potli under a heavy utensil like Sheelnora but I like the little moist chenna for my sondesh so I skip this process. 

Now comes the kneading part where after transferring the chana/ chena to a clean flat plate you have to knead it with your finger and heel of your palm.  Once the lumpy thing starts looking as smooth ball add powdered sugar in it and knead again for another 10-12 minutes. 

Take a non stick pan and add grated jaggery in it and keep stirring it on low heat. Once you get melted jaggery, add chena/chana mixture and mix thoroughly. Keep stirring this mixture for 2-3 minutes and you will see the mixture will tend to release the sides of the pan. Switch off the pan but stir it in between. Grease a plate with 1/2 tsp ghee and brush little ghee on the molds ( this step is done to avoid the stickiness of sandesh inside the molds). Let this cool down for 2-3 minutes or else you will have tough time rolling the lemon size balls between your palm. This stage is called Makha as it is yet to be shaped or go in various molds.
The last stage of mixture is called Makha

Make small balls from Makha and press into the molds. Now carefully remove from the molds and place these in a serving pate.

 Cool until firm or you can have it warm also. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to Sondesh :-)These can be stored in refrigerator section provided they are in an air tight box.

Few tips:

  • It is better if you keep an eye on chena while cooking as no one enjoys eating chewy outcome.
  • If you don't have sondesh molds, just roll them into tiny balls or you can flatten them also. Works fine as long as taste is there ;-)
  • Do not let the Makha cool down completely or else the mixture will get hard. So mold it when the Makha is still warm.

Do check out Pista Sondesh and MoongDal Sondesh also.
read more.. "Nolen Gurer Sandesh (Cottage Cheese Sweet With Date Palm Jaggery)an Ultimate Ecstasy for Any Bengali"

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Corn Dip With Tortilla Chips | An entry to the IFBM and Freedom Tree Baking Contest

I can’t believe that there is about thirty six hours left for me to join my blogger friends for the IFBM at Bangalore. For me it’s quite a new experience as for two whole days I would take a break from being a home maker to a working delegate even for a short time. I have a list of to do at the event and wish to learn a lot from the experienced bloggers and culinary maestros. In personal front it’s an acid test for my husband to be on the other side of the table where he’s the one who has to take care of the child and the home. Knowing him I think he’d take off with my son outdoors so that the home remains intact as much as possible. He’s already got invites from his friends to spend weekends with them and he’d use them to the hilt. Anyways, let me have a good time in the process ;-)

 Sharing you the recipe of Corn Dip which I bake in Oven for few minutes and later serve it hot with tortilla chips. Though the pictures are not perfect as the power went off in between. So blame it on power cut off. This also is my 3rd  Savoury Corn Baked dish for IFBM's as "An entry to the IFBM and Freedom Tree Baking Contest". Freedom Tree has given all the participants of IFBM to take up the challenge of baking a savoury dish with Fresh Corns. You can check my previous two posts by clicking on the link Savoury Corn Tartlets and Baked Corn-Cheese Spring Rolls

1 1/2 cups Fresh Corns
1 tbsp. Butter
1 Onion, diced
1/4 cup diced Capsicum
2 Medium size Tomatoes, diced
1/4 Raw mangoes,  (if you don't like the skin, just remove it off before cutting the mango) 
1/2 cup Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Cream cheese block
3 sprigs of Mint leaves
1 tsp minced Garlic
1/4 tsp. black Pepper powder, freshly ground
1/4 cup Olives
1/4 tsp. Cayenne
Tortilla chips, for dipping 
Salt for taste

Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic, onion and diced capsicum. Sprinkle some salt, pepper powder and stir occasionally until wilted. Remove from heat and keep aside.

Preheat Oven to 180 Degrees Celsius. Take a big mixing bowl, mix the corn, olives, mint leaves, raw mangoes and mix thoroughly with a fork. Mix in the grated cheddar cheese and cream cheese block. 

Pour the mixture into a baking dish and bake until golden brown, which takes about 10-15 minutes. Serve hot with tortilla chips and sit back to watch a movie :-) 

read more.. "Corn Dip With Tortilla Chips | An entry to the IFBM and Freedom Tree Baking Contest"

Monday, July 28, 2014

Baked Corn-Cheese Spring Rolls |Savoury

Hi Guys ! Can't tell you how much I'm enjoying by taking part in various contests as a member of Indian Food Bloggers Meet. Few hours left for the gala event. Icing on the cake is the event is gonna happen at Bangalore so I will be staying with my sister. Ofcourse meeting my blogger friends is another high kick.

This is my second savoury corn Baked dish for IFBM's as "An entry to the IFBM and Freedom Tree Baking Contest". Freedom Tree has given all the participants of IFBM to take up the challenge of baking a savoury dish with Fresh Corns. Last week I had posted Savoury Corn Tartlets, my 1st entry for the same. 

12 Spring Roll sheets
1 cup Fresh Corn
1/2 cup mozzarella Cheese, grated
2 tbsp chopped Mint leaves
1 tbsp Butter and you also need a brush 
1/2 tsp Red chilly powder
Salt to taste

First of all thaw the spring roll wrappers by either keeping it in the refrigerator section previous night or leave it on the counter for about 30-40 minutes. Once the wrappers are defrosted, open it and cover them immediately with a damp piece of cloth. Otherwise they will dry up quickly and cracks will appear. 

Grind the corn coarsely in a mixer grinder. Take a mixing bowl and add corn, grated cheese, chopped mint leaves and mix with a fork. Season with salt and red chilly powder. Pre-heat Oven to 180 Degrees Celsius and place a foil over the baking tray {this will make your life easy as no scrubbing is needed once you are done with all baking :-))  

Now take one wrapper at a time and place 1 tbsp of filling near one corner of the wrapper as shown in the picture below. Fold over the corner by holding it tight. Fold over right side by leaving no space and then fold over the left side.

 Now you will see a small triangle shape, brush a little water over there and wrap it neatly with no air pockets. Keep them all covered with a damp cloth as they dry out easily. 
Place the rolls in rows on the prepared baking tray and lightly brush rolls with melted butter and bake them for initially 8 minutes. Turn them to brown evenly and let cool on rack. Repeat with remaining. Serve !

read more.. "Baked Corn-Cheese Spring Rolls |Savoury "

Coconut-Watermelon Rum Cocktail

You can always be on vacation with Coconut-Watermelon Cocktail without shelling out a fortune to pay air tickets to your favorite beach location. This drink is not overly sweet, lime in it just brightens up and holds it together. Do try this drink and let me know your feedback. 

Also submitting my second entry to IFBM ceremony where Urbandazzle is conducting a cocktail contest specially meant for the IFBM participants, so here is my small contribution. Personally I would have love to serve this punch in Luigi Bormioli. Do check out their page for awesome collection. Just wanted to highlight that Urbandazzle is a popular online household shopping brand which has an array of useful things for decoration and utility of any home. For me it has helped me to choose a number of props for my blog. 

20 ml Rum
120 ml Watermelon juice
120 ml Coconut  water
2-3 bruised Mint leaves {by doing this you will get the natural mint oil by breaking the cell walls of the leaves}
Squeeze just 1/4 of Lime
Ice cubes

Fill a glass with ice, add rum and coconut water. Strained watermelon juice along with bruised min leaves into  that glass. Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice and let the Island spirit take over your senses.

read more.. "Coconut-Watermelon Rum Cocktail"

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Savoury Corn Tartlets

"An entry to the IFBM and Freedom Tree Baking Contest" where Freedom Tree is giving all the participants a chance to win a gift hamper of their BakeWare. Being a Homemaker in a nuclear family has it's challenges. For example in order to attend the IFBM held in a weekday, I have to set things in home perfectly so that both my husband and child do not miss me too much. It could range from placing clothes, uniform, school lunch, meals in the fridge and many more things which I can't remember now (all those last minute things). For Saturday, my husband promised to look after our 7 year old son. I shudder to think what would my house look like when I am back. Would I at all be able to recognize my house?;-) That's a million dollar question whose answer would have to wait. 
These cheesy corn tartlets will go down well with any party or occasion and go ahead and try these.

1 cup fresh corns
1/2 Mozzarella cheese
1/2 Parmesan cheese
1 boiled Potato, grated
2 Garlic cloves, minced
3-4 Mint leaves
Handful of coriander leaves, chopped
1 tbsp melted Butter
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp freshly ground Black pepper 
Salt to taste 

6 canape Tartlets, readymade

While buying cobs select the freshest of the lot ensure that the husks are bright green in color. Then remove them just before you are about to cook them. Also remove the fibers and make it clean. Now use a sharp knife to get the fresh corns out off the cob. Place a Bundt Pan on a table and hold the corn vertically above it. See here how to do it. I follow this procedure as it is very convenient. Now cut the kernels off from top to bottom. Isn't that an easy trick? :-)

Pre-heat Oven to 180 Degree Celsius. Take a mixing bowl and add grated mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, grated potato, garlic and mix with a fork.

Add corns, paprika, melted butter, mint leaves, salt, freshly ground black pepper and mix thoroughly. Divide the mixture for all tartlet bases and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the tartlets are golden brown on top. Serve warm. 

read more.. "Savoury Corn Tartlets"

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!

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

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.

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 

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..

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

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!!

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

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 "