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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Nolen Gurer Mishti / Palm Jaggery Sweet


We kind of celebrated Valentine's day in a different manner...nope no flowers and dining out but He handed over a Cadbury 'Silk' before leaving for his office and informed me about his late evening meeting ! So there you go ...But I thought of pampering him with his favorite dishes and sweet so that later I can bring up this favour for my use ;-). Made moist fudge Nolen Gurer Mishti to end the so called Valentine's Day !

Ingredients:
1 ltr full fat Milk
2 tbsp Lemon juice or vinegar
1/2 Dessicated Coconut 
1 tbsp Sugar
1 cup Date jaggery 
1 tbsp Water
2 tsp Ghee

Method:
Grate the desiccated coconut and keep it aside. Boil milk in a heavy bottom pan, once the milk starts to boil add lemon juice or vinegar and stir. In few minutes milk will separate from water and you will see greenish whey. Turn off the heat and let it remain like this for 2 minutes. Place a muslin on the sieve and pour the curdled milk. Bring the four corners of muslin together (to make a potli) and tie them. Wash the chana /chenna potli under running water to wash off flavour of lime juice. Gently twist the cloth to remove any excess water and hang the chenna potli over sink to drain out excess water for 1/2 hour.

 Transfer the chana to a mixing bowl and knead lightly with your finger tips. Now here you can see in all the pictures granular chenna as I personally like it that way . In between gather the whole mixture at intervals and keep kneading.  Place a heavy bottomed wok on gas top. Pour a tbsp of  water and jaggery and stir continuously on low flame (do not let it unattended) . Keep stirring on low flame till the jaggery melts. Add the chana mixture into the pan. Soon you will notice the chana mixture is coming together. Add sugar here and check the sweetness and adjust it.

 Keep stirring the mixture until it feels sticky yet moist and leaves the side of the wok. This part is crucial as over doing it will dry up the mixture. It ought to be moist and warm enough to be rolled into marble sized balls. Smear a bit of ghee on your hand, scoop out a spoonful of chana mixture and roll into walnut sized balls. At last roll the balls in desiccated coconut. Serve these immediately or you can even refrigerate and serve them later Enjoy this simple, delicious chana/chenna balls.  

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Bengali Style Lal Saag | Stir Fried Red Amarnath


Ever since I have shifted my base, am trying to find out the best market places for my daily needs like fresh vegetables, fish and meat products. Back in Bangalore we used to get ample leafy vegetables. So when I saw fresh Lal Saag in my locality, I almost shouted in excitement "Dekho Lal Shaak" to my hubby ! This basically very simple stir fry which needs few garlic pods and onion. Try it with steamed rice and Kashundi ...ummm you will love it.


Ingredients:
1 big bunche of Lal Saag (Red Spinach)
Handful of Boris (are dried balls made out of different kinds of dals)
6-7 Garlic pods, finely chopped
1 Onion thinly sliced 
1 Red chilli, chopped
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Mustard oil

Method:
Pluck the leaves of lal saag and keep aside the thick stems as they can be used for Chorchhori later. Dip the leaves in warm water with 1 tsp salt for an hour to get rid of any chemicals. Clean and wash the leaves in water 3-4 times. Chop very finely and keep aside. Heat mustard oil in a kadhai and add bori. Fry them till they are golden in color.  

Remove from kadhai and keep aside. Add chopped garlic in the remaining oil, add chopped chillies and chopped onions. Fry for a couple of minutes and add chopped lal saag leaves and salt. After adding salt it will start oozing water. On low flame cover and cook till the saag is cooked properly. 

 By now it should reduced to half of it's quantity. Once done add fried boris and mix well.  Remove from heat and garnish with fried boris. Serve with steamed rice and kasundi (mustard sauce).

Tips:

  • You can add peanuts instead of boris as it gives a nice crunch.
  • Like any other variety of saag, add salt cautiously as the quantity reduces by half at the end.


You still need reasons to make this after seeing the pic? :-D


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Monday, February 17, 2014

Onion Chutney | Side Dish For Idli/Dosa


Friends don't be surprised to see today's post coming from a Bengali gal :-) Ever since I have shifted to Chennai I am learning new local recipes. Credit goes to my son who has 3 tiffin breaks in his school and whenever he has something interesting he come back home with a funny description. Lunch box can break the ice if two friends had fight just few periods back :-)  I generally give him plain Dosa or Idli as Sambar becomes a challenging job for me. He spills it in his lunch carry bag so only give him ketchup sauce if it not masala dosa. 

One fine day he asked if I can give him orange looking chutney which is generally served in restaurants here. So I took help from local friends and made it for him.  Now he’s teacher is pleased that his student has blended well amongst his classmates during lunch time and he too has developed a taste for ethnic South Indian food and snacks and I appreciate his Class Teacher to educate the benefits of healthy food and harmful effects of junk food to the students. Madam, if you are reading it Kudos to you!

Ingredients:
1 cup Small Onion (shallots)
5-6 Dry Red chillies
1 tbsp Urad dal
Tamarind , small lemon size (I like little tangy so I add generously)
Salt to taste
Sesame Oil as required or you can use any vegetable oil

Tempering:
1 tsp Oil
A pinch of Asafoetida 
A spring of Curry leaves
1/2 Urad Dal

Method:
Wash the shallots properly and soak in warm water for some time, this will help to remove the skin easily.

Take little oil in a heavy bottom pan, add urad dal seeds and fry for few seconds. Add dry red chillies and  fry for another minute. Now take out both from the pan and keep aside. In the same pan add shallots and keep stirring until shallots turn golden brown.

 Turn off the flame and let this cool down. Transfer shallots, chilli-urad dal seeds into a coffee grinder and add small ball of tamarind in it. 

Add salt to taste and grind this to form a smooth paste. Sprinkle some water if it is too thick for you. Now transfer prepared chutney to a serving bowl and temper with items under 'tempering' and serve with Idli /Dosa or with any fried item. 


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Sunday, February 9, 2014

High Ultra Lounge -Bangalore's Latest High | Brigade Group -Review


Call it urge to visit my earlier city Bangalore and see how much the Food and Beverage scene progressed and coupled with sheer luck, I got an invite from the Brigade Hospitality Services Limited (BHSL)  to visit their latest property at Malleshwaram called High Ultra Lounge and review it. Conceptualized to be India’s most successful F&B destination and Bangalore’s crowning jewel and after seeing it with my own eyes I can surely say that they are on their way with a bang. So if I could put it in a nutshell, this is a place which would be a must visit for many travelers and locals who wish to relax, wine and dine at the highest point in the South India ( Literally at 421 feet above the ground).
                                                             
I took this pic from the high speed lift
When we arrived we were warmly welcomed by all the Management Team. They were Pravesh Pandey Director of OperationsNirupa Shankar Director of Brigade HospitalityVineet Verma- Executive Dir. - HospitalityZhang Hao Executive Chef and Guruprashanth Director of Bar. They took personal care to ensure that we are comfortable and all our queries about the lounge are answered to our satisfaction. 

Spread lavishly across 10,000 square feet, on the roof top of the World Trade Center, with seating for 220 covers at a height of 421ft. Blending the outdoors and indoors with breathtaking views of the city with classy interiors, the venue takes it to the next level and I reckon would surely exceed the expectations for visitors and party goers in Bangalore. One more point is that there are four zones with distinct identities which could be opened and closed with great flexibility. A guest could choose his zone according to suit his/her mood and relax while enjoying an awesome array of Oriental cuisines and drinks ( both alcoholic and non alcoholic).
So if we categorize the zones they are named as follows : 


HIGH VIEW is a lounge space that has open-to-sky seating, vertical gardens and the best spot to catch the last rays of the sun every evening. When I reached there the ambiance was breathtaking. The furniture are smartly chosen which can be moved with the number of visitors.There are sunbeds for those who want to have a lazy evening sipping on sangria and watch the sun go down. 


 The space is 3,600 ft and is ideal for groups and large parties that want to enjoy great food and good beverages and fine company under the clear blue Bangalore skies. Did I forget to tell you that Nirupa help back a surprise for us? As soon as she had announced that she has something to show us, we all were guessing what it could be???

Surprise: Helipad that can be booked for exclusive dining !!!
HIGH DINE is a fine dining experience set against a water body and elements that are a perfect accent for a relaxed and well prepared meal. The food served is Pan Asian comfort food with dishes from Japanese, Korean, Thai and Chinese cuisines. 

Fresh ingredients to create classic dishes with a modern twist and exciting presentation
The area is 2,400 ft and open to sky. What better way to enjoy a meal than with friends and family, underneath the city’s stars?
                          Vineet Varma & Pawan Soni sharing dinner with us....
 Masaman Lamb Curry was nothing notable but Miso Soup was such a relief when we were fighting to keep ourselves warm as there was sudden dip in temperature.Though we were stuffed still had to make room for Banoffee Pie and ice-cream ...



HIGH MIX is a space buzzing with energy and a range of signature cocktails to create new experiences for the city’s nightlife. 

Way through the corridor to High Mix...


The space is ethereal with its dusky views and subtle lighting. Acoustically treated glass to ensure the thumping beats keep up with the thumping feet. 

2,000 ft of space to mix and meet while sipping on cocktails created by internationally acclaimed mixologists. In between Chef Zang introduced himself and gave us 2 individual preparations to sample and asked us to guess the ingredients ! It was so much fun !


The perfect way to spend a night with an international crowd at the highest point in South India. Thanks to Guru the drinks that was served over there were exotic and brilliantly done. 
                                           Some Cocktails we tried...
HIGH EDGE an exclusive area for special occasions, with a stand alone bar, that provides for the most spectacular views of the city . The space has the extra edge to make things happen. In an inspiring venue, ideas come alive. Deals go through. 
Secluded and private, this 1400 ft of space is where stars and earth meet. Personally I loved this zone as the view from the top at night is simply breathtaking when you sit and dine at the glass enclosed with almost 180 degrees views of the city. So check out Bangaloreans this Lounge to feel the experience and am sure soon it will be one of the destination for tourist too 'to do things in Bangalore'. Would like to thanks Anamika for giving me this opportunity. If you are still in wondering why i said so have a look at the below picture....
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 Address:  High Ultra Lounge, Roof Top, World Trade Centre, Brigade Gateway Campus,    26/1 Dr. Rajkumar Road, Malleswaram West, Bangalore 560055   Telephone:  +91 80 4567 4567  
Website:  www.highultralounge.com  
Hours:  Weekdays from 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., Weekends from 12:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.   
Cuisine:  Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Thai 
Services:  Bar, Lounge, Restaurant, Banquet Venue  
Price Range:  Rs. 1,500  per head (on average)  
Parking:  Valet and Self Parking amply available  at the MLCP
Credit Card: Yes
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Ratings (Out of 5)

Ambience: 5.0 | Food: 4.0 | Service: 4.0 | Overall: 4.5 | Recommended Dish for Vegetarians: Fried Tofu Bites. (For Non-vegetarians) Fried Chicken With Mint & Thai Basil 

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

How To Make Peshawari Paratha /Peshawari Naan


When I used to travel from Delhi to Haridwar,  there were plenty road side dhaba where hungry souls would end up with a satisfying meal. But whenever I tasted or watched the preparation of different kinds of meals from this region I became intrigued to know that how does one prepare so delicious meals with such limited resources! So one kind of flatbread ( roti) which caught my imagination is the Peshawari naan ( hallmark of the City Peshawar the province capital). These naans are thick and need to be cooked in clay ovens. But the texture should be soft and uniform. Here I am posting the paratha version as many sent request who are living abroad that neither they do have tandoor  nor they can use open flame for Chapatis/ Rotis. Also the open flame version which makes it Peshawari Naan.

Ingredients:
4 cups All purpose flour
4 tbsp Yogurt
1 tsp Baking Soda 
1 tsp Baking powder
1 tbsp Dry active yeast
2 tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup Water
1 tsp Sugar
1/2 cup Warm milk

Take a bowl and pour 1/4 cup warm water in it. Add sugar, dissolve yeast in warm water and let this rest for 10 minutes. By now it should become foamy and bubbly.  In another bowl add all the dry ingredients and make a well in the center. Pour the yeast liquid, yogurt, warm milk and melted butter and bind to a dough. Initially the dough will be sticky but keep kneading it for few more minutes and it should be fine. The dough should be of soft consistency. Lightly grease a large mixing bowl, place the dough and cover with a damp kitchen cloth. Find the hottest area in your kitchen and keep it aside for 2 hours. 



For Filling:
2 tbsp Cashews
2 tbsp Raisins
2 tbsp Almonds
2 tbsp Pistachios 
4 tbsp Desiccated coconut
2 tsp Honey*

 Grind everything EXCEPT honey* in a coffee grinder for just few seconds as we don't want fine powder. Transfer the filling in a small bowl, pour honey and mix well.

 Pre-heat the Oven to 240 Degrees C . Divide the dough into 6-7 equal portions. Dust each ball with flour and flatten little bit.

 Place 2 tsp of filling in the center then gather the edges of the dough, pinch and flatten it by a rolling pin.Try to give it teardrop shape.

 Place an aluminum foil on the baking tray and keep 2 naans next to each other. Make sure only upper coil is on, brush one side with melted butter and broil them until the top of the naan turns golden brown (takes about 2-4 mins) . 
Garnish tip: Sprinkle some almond flakes or musk melon seeds on top and press a little to ensure it stays on the naan.


Stove Top Method:
Heat a tawa or pan on low flame and place the rolled out dough into it. As soon as you notice that the naan has started to leave the surface of the pan, flip it over with the help of a pair of tongs and heat it. After that reduce the flame to medium and directly heat both sides in the flame. Then apply ghee or butter on its surface and serve it without any delay. Serve the hot naans with any Indian Curry. 



Paratha Version:
Heat the pan to medium flame and place the rolled out dough into it. Oil the side which is up and flip it over. Within seconds it will puff up from bottom. Oil the other side as well and cook until you see nice brown spots on it. Voila you are done !!




read more.. "How To Make Peshawari Paratha /Peshawari Naan"