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Monday, August 24, 2015

Nutty Dark Chocolate Brownies Recipe



These Nutty Brownies are extremely delicious. I prefer brownies over cupcakes or cakes as I can control my portions ;-) And who wouldn't love dark, rich in taste, chocolatey and nutty squares of heaven ! More so if the recipe is so easy to put together. These have a lovely buttery, rich and nutty flavour. The chocolate chips along with cashew nuts will take you to heaven...
Check these Brownie Recipes:
Brownie Sandwich
Whole Wheat Browines
Choco Chips Fudge Browines
Nutella Browines

Nutty Dark Chocolate Browines :
Ingredients:
1 cup All purpose flour
1 cup light Brown sugar
3/4 cup unsalted Butter 
150 gms Dark Chocolate roughly chopped
1/4 cup Cocoa powder
1/4 tsp Baking powder
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (this time I used chocolate bars)
2 Eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla essence
A pinch of Salt
1/2 cup chopped Cashews
1/4 cup Chocolate chips

Method:
Pre-heat the Oven to 325 Degrees F and grease a 9 inch square shallow baking pan and dust lightly with flour. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Pour some water into a double boiler (or medium size saucepan) and place over the medium heat. Place another hear proof bowl over it and do make sure that the bottom of upper bowl should not touch the boiling water underneath. Put the chopped chocolate cubes and let it melt over low heat. Whisk frequently to avoid burning. When 80% chocolates has melted, remove from heat and add cocoa powder and whisk thoroughly to combine. Let it sit for a while to cool down.

Beat egg one at a time and froth it with a hand whisk to get lot of air in. Add chocolate essence and beat it well. Transfer the chocolate mixture into the egg liquid and combine well. Add dry flour into the wet and continuously stir the batter to incorporate it.


Pour this pan into the prepared baking tray and sprinkle chocolate chips and chopped cashews. Bake 20-25 minutes or until  the top sets and inside is moist or an inserted knife comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. Then cut into squares and serve with ice-cream or plain. 
Just try and resist these...

read more.. " Nutty Dark Chocolate Brownies Recipe "

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Kerala Fish Curry | Kokum Fish Curry


Learn to make Kerala Fish Curry: During my Kerala trip few months back we got to eat many new dishes and this Kerala Fish Curry was one of them. Ahh... the mere mention of Kerala reminds of of the train ride from Chennai, backwaters, houseboats, the scenic beauty of Munnar and night safari at Thekkady.  We must have had liters of Sambar and rasam to our satisfaction. The homemade food during out homestay at Munnar was awesome. Sharing you what I learnt from our experience. We were served this Kerala Fish Curry with appam and rice. I just made one change, the choice of fish is the only change that I have made. So, here is Fish tamarind flavoured fish cooked the Keralite way.

Ingredients:
1/2 kg Fish 
10 Shallots / small Onion
1/2 Mustard seeds
Small pinch of Fenugreek seeds (Methi)
1 Green chili
3 Sprig curry leaves
2 small pieces Kokum / Fish tamarind soaked in water
Kashmiri Red chili powder 2 tbsp
2 tbsp Coriander powder (dhaniya)
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Salt
1 cup Water
Coconut Oil as required

Method:
First of all soak kokum in warm water for 10-15 minutes.** Combine together dhaniya powder, turmeric powder, salt, red chili powder freshly grounded black pepper powder along with 3 tbsp water. Make a thick paste and add kokum into it. Keep aside.

Clean and wash the fish, pat it dry with a tissue and apply some salt and turmeric powder. Leave it for 10 minutes. Heat oil in a clay pot or a flat pan. Fry fish pieces till light pink. Keep aside.

 In the same pan add curry leaves, mustard leaves, fenugreek seeds and let it splutter.

 Add shallots and green chili, when the onion starts to brown add the **masala liquid. Fry until the masala leaves the sides of the pan.

 Add 1 cup water and bring this to boil on medium heat. Add fish pieces in a single layer, cover and cook till done. Remove from heat and cover till you serve it (this will allow the flavours to blend in). Serve with rice.




Note:

  • You can use your choice of fish.
  • Once the dish is done you can add a little coconut oil for that extra oomph !


read more.. "Kerala Fish Curry | Kokum Fish Curry"

Monday, August 10, 2015

Chettinad Chicken Roast- Restaurant Style


Chicken cooked in Chettinad style with step by step pictures. This 'Chettinad Chicken Roast' is to die for ! Any why not it is spicy, juicy and flavourful. The unique spices that goes into this makes it yummy. It has dry red chilies, curry leaves to punch in the extra zing. So learn here to make Chettinad Chicken Roast which is spicy, juicy and well coated with the spices. I do not like chewy and hard chicken and I take a step to prevent the dryness when I roast chicken in my Oven. Shall I share the secret? Ok ok ! So when you are roasting the chicken in Oven, by placing a tray of water you can lock the moisture inside the chicken. Now over to the procedure...


Ingredients:
1st Marinade requires little salt, kashmiri red chili, lemon juice (1 tsp)
3 Chicken leg with thigh pieces

2nd Marinade:
1 big Onion
3-4 Whole red chilies 
1 inch Ginger
5-6 Garlic cloves
1 tsp Kashmiri Red chilly powder
1 tbsp Lemon juice
Fistful of curry leaves
2 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste

Method:
Wash the chicken pieces properly, pat dry with absorbent paper and make  insertions using knife on both sides of the chicken. First marination is done by applying salt, turmeric and lemon juice. Keep this aside for 2 hours.

Grind together whole red chilies, ginger, garlic and onion. Make it a smooth paste. Now to mix the marinade with 2 tbsp oil. Take the chicken pieces in a big bowl and coat well with the marination. Place chicken thighs in a zip lock bag, pour the marinade over and toss it well. Keep this in the fridge for 4-5 hours.

 Pre-heat Oven to 400 Degree F, place a sheet of foil on a baking tray and place the chicken thighs on it. Fill the bottom tray with water and bake for 20 minutes. Guard yourself with oven gloves and turnover the thigh pieces to the other side and change the setting to Broil again for 10 minutes. Serve with onion rings and lemon wedges. I served mine with Naan and onions along with Arhar Dal.



read more.. "Chettinad Chicken Roast- Restaurant Style "

Friday, August 7, 2015

Pizza Paratha | Kid-Friendly Recipe | Cheese Stuffed Flatbread



Pizza Paratha Recipe with step by step pictures: Well who wouldn't love these cheesy, melt in mouth, colorful and attractive Pizza Parathas? Kids loves cheese in any form and this combination fits the bill. As they say that every foreign cuisine does get “Indianized” once they touch our shores and so to cater to us who would like the best of both the world, presenting the Cheese Stuffed Flatbread as a token of my appreciation to all by readers and co bloggers. 

What’s the occasion you’d ask? Well, today is the 7th anniversary of my blog and if it was possible I wish to thank each one of you personally. So with your blessings and support I vow to keep on posting new recipes for you and satisfy your culinary taste.


Ingredients:

Needed for the dough
2 cups All purpose flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Oil
Water to knead the dough

For the Filling:
1 Onion, cut in thin slices
Capsicum slices thinly
1/4 cup Corn
1/2 tsp Garlic, finely chopped
1/4 tsp Black pepper powder
1 cup of grated Mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/4 tsp Red chili flakes
Salt to taste 


Method:

Take a big bowl and mix flour, salt and mix well. Add oil and water simultaneously to knead the dough as you would do to make rotis. Cover and leave it for sometime to settle down.

To make the Filling:

In a large bowl mix everything together with a fork and grate cheese separately. 

Assembling the paratha:
Now from the dough make two lime sized equal balls. Take a ball and flatten it on your palm and then by using a rolling pin roll out on a floured board to make a 5 inch disc.

Shift this to another plate and make another 5 inch disc with another set of ball.

 Spread cheese filling on one roti and then cover it with the other roti. Press down the edges to seal firmly. Dust some flour on it and roll out slightly. 

Fry on a hot griddle. Cook for few minutes, flip in between, when brown spots appear drizzle with some oil. Do the same with the rest of the dough. Serve with your favorite dip !


Tips:

  • You can use pizza sauce also, just spread a layer of pizza sauce and fill in the cheese mixture on top of it.
  • For stuffing the options are endless, you can also add black olives and thinly sliced mushrooms.
  • While filling the parathas with cheese mixture don't get tempted to stuff too much ;-)
  • This process of making parathas is lot easier as the filling has less chance of spilling out while rolling. 

read more.. "Pizza Paratha | Kid-Friendly Recipe | Cheese Stuffed Flatbread"

Monday, August 3, 2015

Egg Malai Curry | Egg Curry With Coconut Milk


Egg Malai Curry is a modified version of Prawn Malai Curry . "Malai Curry" is a very common word used in Bengali Household. As the name suggests the base of the gravy is Coconut milk. Malai Curry could be vegetarian as well as a non vegetarian dish. Like when it is made with Chicken, Prawn or Egg it becomes non veg curry and when made with Paneer(Cottage Cheese), Cauliflower it becomes veg Malai Curry !  We include eggs in our daily diet, be it an omelette for the breakfast or half boiled egg or Egg Kosha for the main course. Egg when combined with coconut milk, it takes it to another level ! 


In this recipe I have slightly taken a clue from my Prawn Malai Curry and created a new dish which has a similar smooth texture and addition of Birista brings out a lot of flavour to this creamy gravy. To make this Egg Malai curry, initially we fry together onions, tomatoes, ginger-garlic-chili paste along with cashew-muskmelon seeds. Let the mixture cool and grind to a fine paste. Adding coconut milk at the end and reducing it to half make the gravy so rich and creamy. Finally add some Birista over this creamy Malai Curry. 

The key for crispy fried onions is to slice them as thin as possible. Do make sure that oil in which you are going to fry onions is piping hot, the moment you slide the chopped onions, it should sizzle. I divide it in batches so that all the onions are submerged in oil. Keep an eye on the pan, stir in between and once the onion turns into light golden you would notice how quickly it will turns into dark golden now

Ingredients:
3 Eggs
1 Onion, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp Garlic paste
1 tbsp chopped Ginger 
1 tsp Cumin seeds
8-9 Cashews
1 tbsp Muskmelon seeds (Kharbooje ke beej)
1 small Tomato
1 tbsp +2 tbsp Oil
2 tsp Dry Fenugreek leaves (Kasuri Methi)
{2 green Cardamoms + 1/2 inch Cinnamon +1 black Cardamom} roughly pounded
1/4 tsp Red Chili powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
1/4 cup Water
200 ml Coconut milk
Salt to taste

Method:
Boil eggs with a pinch of salt, cool and peel the outer skin. 

Dip the cashews and muskmelon seeds in hot water for 15-20 minutes. Then make a fine paste in a grinder and keep aside.


 Heat 1tbsp oil in a pan on low flame and add cumin seeds, let these sizzle in oil. Add onions and saute it for 2 minutes. When it turns into light pink add ginger and garlic. Mix well and again stir fry for a minute. 

Add cashew-muskmelon paste and fry till it leaves oil from the sides of the pan. finally add tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes. Allow it to cool down to room-temperature. Then grind to a fine paste.


 Add 2 tbsp oil in the same pan and add kasoori methi, and fry for few seconds. Add the above onion-cashew paste and mix well with the kasoori methi. Add coriander powder, turmeric, chilli powder, pounded garam masala, salt and stir well.


Cook till it separates oil from the sides of the pan. Slowly pour in the coconut milk, add eggs, cover and simmer this till the coconut milk starts getting creamy and thick. Turn off the heat and keep covered until ready to serve with rice of your choice.

read more.. "Egg Malai Curry | Egg Curry With Coconut Milk"

Friday, July 31, 2015

Refreshing Plum and Sweet Lime Juice


Mornings are incomplete in our house without  a glass of juice and with the market full of red plums I can hardly resist. This Plum & Sweet Lime juice is another easy juice post that I am going to share here.

Ingredients:
8-9 red ripe Plums, halved and pitted
3 sweet Limes
Sugar as per taste (i used 1/4 cup)
Few mint leaves 
Ice cubes

Method:
Put plums in saucepan with fresh water and boil it for 3-4 minutes. 

Remove the pits and now push through into the juicer along with sugar and ice cubes and 1/2 cup water. Remove the seeds from the lime take out the juice of lime too.

 Mix it with plum juice and strain. Serve them in 4 glasses equally. Serve chilled with ice cubes.


Tips:

  • Plum juice is best when consumed fresh lose its aroma and taste bitter. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR STORING.
  • Before making the juice out of limes, dip them in warm water. As it will release its juice easily.

What do you use for juicing lemons? 
read more.. "Refreshing Plum and Sweet Lime Juice"

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

KFC Kitchen Tour, Chennai


I being a food lover is always intrigued to find out what goes on at the kitchen of famous restaurants? How do they maintain similar food quality across countries and continents? How do they ensure hygiene and cleanliness? And finally how do they cater to the Indian tastes by customizing their menu?  So when I received an invite from KFC I was as enthusiastic as my son and my curiosity to explore how this brand made me accept it.  So with an open mind I drove to the restaurant located at Forum Vijaya mall, Chennai.


We were received by Amit Thapa and Satinder Singh, Market and Operations Manager respectively. They greeted us and straight away gave us a walk around of the Kitchen. Firstly they ensured that all of had sanitized our hands and wore headnets. What struck me in the first glance that there were the complete cleanliness of the kitchen and clear segregation between vegetarian and non vegetarian sections within the kitchen which was clearly marked with green and red stripes on the walls. Also, the cooking utensils, storage areas and even cooking staff were distinctly separate. All the chicken were grilled or fired at 170 degree Celsius or more. Also the storage area was maintained at 18 degrees below zero. And all the food were prepared using RO water.

Some of other important points that I noted was that on all the food items the expiry date was clearly mentioned and I was told that KFC undertakes regular tests of the ingredients supplied to it's restaurants.

Now for the taste part. After coming out of the kitchen we ordered the following items;



Chocolate and Alphonso Burst Crushers : I had tasted the Chocolate crusher earlier so was familiar to it's rich cocoa taste although the Alphonso crusher is the one that delighted me. Punched with nice fruit aroma and a strong taste of mango for sure.

OMG Burger, Fiery Grilled chicken and Spicy Chicken Strips(not in the picture):
Popcorn chicken was loved by my child.

My kind of chicken...Spicy and juicy


KFC Veg Twister

So if you are in KFC next time, wish to see their kitchen just have a word with the manager and ask for a kitchen tour. Overall I had a decent experience at the restaurant and it answered most of my earlier questions. All thanks to the Staff and Chef of KFC. If I would come back? Definitely Yes!

read more.. "KFC Kitchen Tour, Chennai "

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Dhabe Wali Dal | Smoked Lentils | How To Cook Dhaba Style Dal


Dhabe Wali Dal is a dal which is typically served at almost all dhabas. It is a very popular lentil dish which is generally served with Tandoori Roti or Naan. The word 'Dhaba' means roadside small food outlets. If there is one thing that I miss dearly after moving to South, it is the frequent visits to these dhabas on Highways. In one word it's divine !  

Back in old days my Grandma used to cook on chulha (open hearth clay oven) where the family bakes flatbreads and on top places kadais (pans) to cook. Similarly I prepare this dal which tastes exactly the same as you get on road side Dhabas (Charcoal infused aroma Dal). Hope all of you like my Dhabe Wali Dal and feel the authentic earthly feel that I tried to provide to all of you all the way from Northern India.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup Masoor Dal
1/4 cup Arhar Dal
1/4 cup Chana Dal
1/4 cup Chilke Wali Moong Dal
2 Onions, chopped
1 tbs chopped Ginger
2 Tomatoes, ground to paste
5-6 Garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Red chilly powder
2 Green chilies, chopped
1 tsp Coriander powder
1/2 tsp Asafetida (hing)
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Whole Coriander seeds
2 Whole Red chillies
1 tbsp Dried Fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
Salt to taste
Ghee 1 tbsp +3 tbsp Oil
Charcoal big piece

Method:
Wash and soak the lentil for 1/2 an hour. Drain the water and pressure cook it with 2 1/2 cups of water +1 tsp salt first whistle on high flame. 

After that keep on sim (lowest flame) till you hear 2 more whistles. Turn off the flame and let it cool down. In between you start preparing for the tadka.

 Now heat a pan with 3 tbsp oil and add cumin seeds, whole coriander seeds and once they splutter add ginger, garlic and green chilies. Do not let it burn, immediately add chopped onions.Saute till the onions turn pink and add tomato paste and fry till it leaves oil.

Add a little salt, chili powder, coriander powder and cook for a minute. Add the cooked lentils from the pressure cooker and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle some kasoori methi and check the seasoning and allow it to cook for another 5-6 minutes. 

Now for the smoking step, heat charcoal until red hot over the gas burner (yes, you read it right ! direct flame). Place a small bowl in the center of the pan full of dal, pour 1 tbsp ghee and hing. The coal now give out smokey flavour, immediately cover it with a lid. Keep it covered for 5-10 minutes. When done, remove the lid and carefully remove the small bowl that contains charcoal. Serve this smokey dal with roti / Naan /Kulcha. 


Notes:

  • When you release the pressure, do check if the dal is cooked at the right consistency. The dal should be soft but not gooey.
  • You can add chopped tomatoes instead of tomato paste.
  • You can add or replace lentils of your choice. 

read more.. "Dhabe Wali Dal | Smoked Lentils | How To Cook Dhaba Style Dal"