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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Toor/ Tuvar/ Arhar Dal Without Onion-Garlic

Friends, by looking at this title you might be wondering, "Why did I post such a common Indian preparation?" But to divulge further, two of my blog readers who are bachelors requested to post a simple dal preparation where no tadka is needed. Generally the dal is boiled and then it is spiced up  with tadka , which could be more complicated for the beginners. So I simplified the preparation by reversing the method. I hope this method is easy to follow. Hope it serves well to not only the bachelor friends but to every one.

1 cup Arhar dal
2 Tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp Ginger chopped finely
Pinch of Asafetida (hing)
2 Green chillies, slit
1/2 tsp Red chilly powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Black mustard seeds
Salt to taste
2 1/2 cups of Water
1 1/2 tbsp Ghee

Rinse several times until you get clear water and soak dal in 2 cups of water for 20 minutes. Heat ghee in a pressure cooker, add green chillies and fry for a minute. Then add hing to it, add ginger and stir fry for a minute to bring a nice aroma. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter. 

Now in the pressure cooker add dal, turmeric, chilly powder and salt to taste. Mix it well together, close the lid and pressure cook till you get 3 whistle. The dal should be of medium consistency. Add a generous amount of ghee on top of dal and serve with plain rice or paratha.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Burnt Garlic Vegetable Fried Rice

Now Folks, don't get worked up by reading the "Burnt" word. The only point of difference is that this Fried Rice would have to be cooked on high flame unlike conventional ones. This is a quickly prepared rice dish which takes at most 10 minutes once the vegetables are cut and ready. And the aroma of burnt garlic in this rice is something heavenly for garlic lovers. Nothing much to explain, the recipe I hope is comprehensive.

2 cups Basmati rice
2 Carrots, chopped 
150 gm French beans, chopped
5-6 button Mushrooms, cut into two lengthwise
1/4 cup chopped Green onion
10-12 Garlic pods, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Ajinamoto (optional)
1 1/2 tbsp Dark Soya sauce
1 tsp Vinegar
2 tsp Chilly sauce
Salt and pepper powder according to your taste
2 tbsp Peanut oil

Rinse and soak basmati rice for half an hour. Cook in 5 cups of water till it is cooked 85%. Drain out excess water and spread the rice on a flat large vessel and mix in 4 tsp oil into it so that the rice does not become sticky. 
Heat 2 tsp oil in a large wok, fry the chopped garlic till light brown and keep aside. In the same oil fry mushrooms till light pink and keep aside.

Heat the wok, add remaining oil, add beans, carrot and sprinkle some salt and pepper. On medium flame keep stirring the vegetables for 2 minutes. Add green onions, stir fry for a minute and then add cooked rice. Sprinkle some salt and pepper and combine well. Keeping high flame add soya sauce, chilly sauce, vinegar and toss it well. Add ajinamoto if you are using it at this stage. Remove from fire, add the fried mushroom and fried garlic. Burnt garlic vegetable fried rice is ready to be served with Chilly Chicken or Chilly Tofu. We had this rice with Cucumber Raita and Spicy Prawn Fry

User Comments & Tips

  • You can also make this with left over rice provided the rice is not over cooked.
  • While seasoning fried rice with salt, remember that all the sauces already contain salt. 

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Muri Ghonto /Fish Head Curry Cooked With Rice

This is the quintessential Bengali Fish based meal ( Literally meaning Fish Head mixed with spices) which is saved for lavish occasions which calls for a celebration. This is a traditional dish which can even beat the other non veg dishes namely chicken or mutton. 

This preparation is made of fish head with gobindo bhog rice (West Bengal's aromatic rice, similar to jeera rice variety) and addition of few spices makes it very delicious dish. So from one Bong Girls to my friends all over the World...Enjoy.


Rui/ Katla Fish head minimum 2 kg
A fistful of Gobindo Bhog rice (approx 2 tbsp). Soak in water for minimum 30 minutes 
1 Onion paste + 1 Onion cut into big chunks
1 big Potato
1/2 tsp Black cumin seeds / kalo jeera
1 tbsp Ginger paste
2-3 Garlic pods, finely chopped (optional)
1/2 tsp Turmeric podwer
1/2 Red chilly powder
Garam masala - 2 Pepper balls, 1 inch Cinnamon stick, 2 Cloves (roughly grind in a mortal and pestle)
2 Tej patta
2-3 Green chillies,slit
1/4 tsp Sugar
1 tbsp Ghee
Mustard oil in generous amount (4 tbsp)
Salt to taste

Wash fish head thoroughly, pat it dry and sprinkle some salt and pinch of turmeric powder. Fry in hot oil until just light brown. Keep aside. Drain out the water from rice.
In the same oil, fry potato pieces lightly and keep aside. Add green chillies, garlic (if using), tej patta, black cumin seeds, garam masala, onion paste and fry the rice. Add sugar and mix thoroughly and fry for about 5 minutes. Add jeera powder, turmeric powder fry until oil separates.

 Add required amount of water, let it come to boil. Add potato, diced onions, fish head, salt cover and let it simmer until the gravy is thick and the rice is also cooked. Towards the end of cooking add ghee and serve with plain rice.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Eggless Wheat Cake With Chocolate Peppermint Ganache

1 1/2 cups Wheat flour
3/4 cup granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Sunflower oil
1 cup Buttermilk
1/2 Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp Vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Chocolate Peppermint Ganache:
200 gm Dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 cup Heavy cream
1/4 tsp pure Peppermint extract
2 tsp unsalted Butter

How to make ganache:
Bring the cream and butter to boil on low heat and then pour over on chopped chocolates. With a silicon / wood spatula combine well. Start whisking from the center out, until you get a runny texture. Add peppermint extract and combine well.

Pre-heat Oven at 200 Degree Celsius and grease and flour a round pan. Sieve flour, baking powder, soda, salt twice in a big bowl. Beat oil and sugar on low speed until sugar is melted. Then add other liquid ingredients ie. buttermilk and vanilla extract in it and mix well. Add the dry ingredients slowly to the mixture and mix only until incorporated. Pour the batter into the dusted pan and place it in middle rack of Oven. Bake it for 30-35 minutes. Check at 30 minutes with a tooth pick to see if it comes out clean, cake is ready. Let it cool completely and then frost with chocolate peppermint ganache to give it an excellent look.

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Homemade Best Chocolate Truffle

Chocolate truffles are sensuously, rich, delicate and pure treat. Basically chocolate truffles are made of chocolate ganache, where rich dark chocolate is combined with heavy cream and rolled into soft pebbles shape. The smooth, silky texture of truffles and the sheer pleasure of chocolate melting in my mouth makes me go weak on my knees. 

Since ages chocolate truffles have been the best gifts for all kind of celebrations which includes the basic and traditional one which is rolled into cocoa powder, but actually you can make them in a variety of ways. Like rolled in shredded coconut, dusted with confectioner's sugar or you can roll them with chopped nuts also, choice is unlimited.

200gm quality semisweet chocolate (or you can take dark chocolate also), broken into small pieces
1/2 cup Whipping cream
1 tbsp unsalted Butter
1/4 tsp Cardamom powder (optional)

For Coating:
Cocoa powder, sifted, to roll
Grated dried coconut
Chopped pistachio

 Place cream and butter in a saucepan and on low heat bring to boil. Then immediately pour over chopped chocolate. Keep stirring until all the chocolate has melted. The texture should be very smooth and silky, this is called Ganache. Now sprinkle cardamom powder if you wish to add here. Cool and chill this ganache for 2-3 hours if in hurry or for best results keep it overnight.

Now scoop it with a melon baller and shape them into bite-sized balls. To prevent your palm from sticking you can use icing sugar and then toss it in the cocoa powder. Remember you are handling chocolate here so choose the coldest area in your kitchen and marble slab is best place to arrange. Spread a sheet of butter paper on slab and place the rolled truffles. 

For variation you can roll few in chopped pistachio, caramlized chopped cashews and dried coconut also. If you want to gift these homemade truffles then place them in individual foils or small liners and store in an air tight box keep in fridge. Enjoy these delicious truffles for any occasion. 

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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Caramel Custard / Flan (Oven Method)

Flan, otherwise known as Caramel custard is a simple, quick and my favorite after dinner treat. An easy to make dessert which hardly takes much effort. Caramel custard is a super rich dessert with a layer of soft layer of caramel on top.

 For Caramel:
1/4 cup Sugar
2-3 tbsp Water
For Custard:
2 cups Milk (warm)
4 tbsp Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla essence

Grease the small sized trays or ramekins with little vegetable oil and keep aside.
Mix the water and sugar together in a white color heavy small pan (white will make it easier for you to judge the color of caramalizing later) on low heat and apply cold water on the edges of pan to avoid the darker color around the edges of the pan. 

Keep a vigilant eye on the melted sugar, intially when the sugar starts melting it will leave dark amber color then come the foam part. Swirl the pan slowly to avoid any lumps. On seeing golden brown syrup, remove from heat as it will keep getting darker for another 2 minutes even after removing from heat. Quickly pour this caramel into ramekins or various sized pans and swirl it quickly to coat the bottom and sides of the pans. Keep aside.

Pre-heat Oven to 180 Degree C. In a mixing bowl beat eggs on low speed for a minute or until fluffy and then add sugar. Beat again after adding vanilla essence. Now pour the milk into egg mixture and beat well. Immediately pour custard through sieve into ramekins. Arrange them on a baking tray which is filled with water (1/2 inch atleast). Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Let it cool, when you are ready to serve, run a knife around the inside of the mold to loosen the flan. Place a small plate on top of the flan and invert to pop it out.

User Comment & Tips:
  • Don't stir the sugar mixture much otherwise you will have hard time to wipe the hard crystalized sugar from the spoon ;-)
  • Caramalizing sugar needs patience, so don't keep the sugar on high flame. 
  • Running the egg mixture through the sieve will make sure that caramel custard is free of any clumpy  white part of egg and end result will be very smooth texture. 

read more.. "Caramel Custard / Flan (Oven Method)"