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Thalassery Mutton Dum Biryani!

Hello, my lovelies!!!! I am baaaaaack!!!! Ok, I do need to apologize for the extremely long hiatus...and no, I am not going to make any exc...

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Molten Lava Chocolate Cake!

It was A's birthday yesterday, and for a change we decided to actually stay in rather than go out for a fancy meal.

Which meant cooking at home. I did ask A for menu suggestions, after all, it was his birthday, so every wish is to be my command...or something along those lines :P. Having a sweet tooth, the one thing he did ask for was the Lava chocolate cake that we both so love from Chilis. Considering that this is a recipe that I had wanted to try for a while now, I instantly jumped on the opportunity, and started browsing around for recipes.


I finally got a fantastic recipe from I Wash You Dry which now happens to be one of my new fave blogs, so thank you Shawn for this fantastic recipe!


I'm sure you're curious, so let's get on with it, shall we...

INGREDIENTS (Serves 6-7)

  • Milk Chocolate- 400 oz (I used Cadbury's Dairy Milk Chocolate- 1 whole bar)
  • Unsalted butter, softened at room temperature- 8 tablespoons
  • Icing Sugar- 4 tablespoons
  • All purpose flour- 4 tablespoons
  • 3 whole eggs + 1 egg YOLK
Topping
  • Vanilla Ice cream
  • Hershey's chocolate syrup (optional but totally worth it!)
METHOD
  • Place a heat proof bowl over a pan containing boiling water and melt the chocolate along with the butter. Ensure that the flame is low so that the chocolate does not get burnt.
  • Allow the mixture to cool (approx 10 minutes) and to this, add the powdered sugar and stir in.
  • Add the flour and blend in again.
  • Finally add all 3 eggs and stir in using either a hand whisk or the egg beater. Finally add in the egg yolk and blend in.
  • Whisk in thoroughly to ensure that all the ingredients blend in and there are no lumps.
  • Grease your muffin or cupcake holders with cooking oil spray or butter. I prefer the cooking oil spray. In case you do not have the spray, you can make do with ordinary oil.
  • Pour the batter into each prepared muffin tin, about half way through, and place into an oven at 190 degrees, for about 12 minutes. The edges would have browned and become firm but the center will still be soft and gooey.
  • Once cooled down, let it cool before turning it onto the serving dish. 
  • On top of the cake, place one scoop of vanilla ice cream (Vanilla ice cream is the best combination for this cake, so ensure that you use this)
  • Top this off with some Chocolate syrup. I used Hershey's.

I do wish I had bigger muffin tins, so that there would be more quantity, coz trust me, there was nothing left! So, was'nt that an easy breezy recipe! Thank you Shawn once again for this, and you guys, don't forget to try it out and let me know your thoughts.

Till next time, adios amigos!

 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Roasted lamb chops with Tahini Sauce!

I love lamb chops...period! I mean, who doesn't?? Let me rephrase that..which non vegetarian in their right mind does not savor lamb chops?!?

I believe, the secret to succulent lamb chops lies in the marination, and the time you take to roast it. Mind you, lamb chops roasted for a long time, can result in the meat turning hard. Considering that I love spice in whatever I make, I decided to make an Indo-Italian marination for my lamb chops. Minimum ingredients, all in the pantry and the result was absolutely succulent, to-die-for lamb chops!

The tahini sauce was an inspiration from Nigella Lawson. I mean, what would I possibly do without her :)

Tahini sauce is basically sesame seed paste. You can just eat it simply, but I chose to make it a little more fancy...trust me, really easy! Enough with the chit chat already, let's get cooking!

INGREDIENTS

  • Lamb chops (6 pieces)
  • Red chilly flakes- 3 tablespoons
  • Garlic infused extra virgin olive oil- 2-3 tablespoons (You can also use normal olive oil and grate 1 garlic clove)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Garam Masala (All spice powder)- 1 teaspoon
  • Basil leaves (A pinch- optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste                                                             
METHOD
  • Mix together chilly flakes, lemon juice, garam masala, salt, pepper and olive oil and marinate this on the lamb chops. Set this aside for at least 15-20 minutes. The longer you marinate, the better the taste.
  • Roast this in an oven set at 190 degrees celsius for 15 minutes. Some ovens would require only 10 minutes. Remember not to overcook the meat.
Tahini Sauce

In a bowl, mix together 3 tablespoons of tahini sauce, together with the juice of 1 lemon and some salt. Garnish with basil or mint leaves (optional).

Now, was'nt that easy! Do try it out and let me know how it turns out!





Friday, August 15, 2014

Chocolate chip cookies!

I find baking extremely therapeutic...when I am down in the dumps, nothing cheers me up like whipping up a pudding or a batch of brownies..and in the process, making a complete mess of myself and the kitchen..lolz! It does give you a sense of fulfillment though...dirty dishes, messing kitchen top..but the end result always makes it worth it :)


I have always talked about how much I love Nigella Lawson...so it only seemed fair that I whip up one of her most popular recipes, totally chocolate chip cookies! In the end, I had flour all over myself (simply because I am soooo very clumsy!), and I had a dirty egg beater, but who cares...I ended up with a batch of 6 crunchy on the outside yet gooey on the inside type chocolate cookies, which even made a big strong man like my hubby dearest to weep with gratitude...not to mention the fact that he wanted chocolate chip cookies for dinner too..he he!


Ingredients are few, most of them am sure will be in any kitchen cupboard, probably the only things you would additionally require would be cocoa powder ( I use Hershey's), chocolate chip cookies (again, good old Hersheys!) and some muscavado sugar, which is nothing but brown sugar, but this is what gives the fudgy texture to the cookies, so I would highly recommend that you buy this. If not, you can always make do with normal sugar. Time for some therapeutic baking...let's find out how to make this!


INGREDIENTS (Makes 10)

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup muscavado sugar
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 bar chocolate (I used Cadbury's dairy milk, 250 gms)
  • 1 cold egg (keep the egg inside the fridge for 30 minutes, prior to starting your cooking)
  • 1 stick butter (room temperature, unsalted)
  • Salt- A pinch

METHOD
  • Melt chocolate by placing a heat proof bowl over a saucepan containing boiling water. Ensure that the flame is very low, else the chocolate will get burnt. Set this aside to cool once done.
  • In a bowl, using a egg beater, beat together butter, muscavado and white sugars.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt and add this to the butter- sugar mixture. Whip this using the beater.
  • Finally add the cold egg and the melted chocolate. Beat together until everything is incorporated.
  • Mix in the chocolate chips using a wooden spoon. The amount of chocolate chips you add is your discretion, the more you dd, the better!
  • Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out mounds of the mixture and release on to a baking sheet. DO NOT flatten the mounds, they need to remain circular, because while baking, they will become flat and expand on their own. In case you do not have an ice cream scoop, use any big spoon that has a curvy interior. Else, use your hands to make balls of your choice.
  • Place this on a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray or melted butter and ensure that there is a little space (approx 6 cm) between the dough balls. This is to give space to the cookies to expand.
  • Place this into an oven, at 170 degrees celsius, for approx 18 minutes. Once a tooth pick is inserted, it should come out semi dry.
  • Wait for the cookies to completely cool down before serving them, else they will break immediately. 

Do try this out and let me know how they turned out! There wont be any leftovers, guaranteed!!


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Dynamite Shrimps!

Have you ever been to PF Chang's? It's an American-Chinese joint that serves some really fantastic food. I would recommend it for any occasion, honestly! And as always, when I have something I like, I have to try it out, at any cost :D You know, I am obsessive when it comes to food :)

Their signature dish is something called Dynamite Shrimps, which is basically batter dipped shrimp that's deep fried and tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce, served in a martini glass. Hmm, heaven in a martini glass! So obviously, I had to try it out ..he he!


Clearly, it was not the exact recipe from PF Chang's...just my own "copy cat" version, lolz! Whatever said and done though, the end result was really good, and the best part of it all, was it was super healthy! Reason? Because we used an "Air Fryer", details of which I shall post in my subsequent posts. Long story short, this was not deep fried in oil, rather cooked in hot air, without a drop of oil. So, isn't that healthy?


The best part of it all was that I finally got to use the martini glasses that were given to us so lovingly by a friend. So, Anurag, this one is truly for you! Special dedication also to my sis in law Amy, who is a big fan of this dish. So Amy, this one's for you too! Incidentally, do not panic if you do not have martini glasses, you can use ordinary bowls, and they will still look absolutely gorgeous!

RECIPE (Serves 2)


  • 250 gms shrimp, de-shelled and de-veined. I used medium shrimp
Marinade for the Shrimp
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup corn flour (corn starch)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (red chilly powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt to taste
Sauce
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons Sweet Chilly Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Hot Sauce (or tabasco sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional, I used this)
  • Pepper (Optional)
  • Salt (A pinch)
Garnish
  • Spring onions, cut into small pieces 
  • Lettuce

METHOD
  • Marinate the shrimp in turmeric, chilly and pepper powders and set aside for about 5 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the flour, corn starch salt and pepper and set aside.
  • In another bowl, beat the eggs.
  • Dip the prawns, first in the flour mixture, and shake of the excess. Then dip into the eggs, and finally dip again in the flour mixture,ensuring that the prawns are covered completely.
  • If using oil, deep fry the prawns till a golden brown. Since I used the Air Fryer, I did not use any oil, and cooked this for 7 minutes.
  • While the prawns are cooking, make the sauce. In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients mentioned under "Sauce" and set aside.
  • Toss the cooked prawns in the sauce.
  • Arrange lettuce leaves in the glass or bowl that you are using. Place the prawns in the lettuce bed and top with spring onions.


Why would you possibly want to go to PF Chang's, when you can cook this in the comfort of your home :) Do try this out and let me know how it turns out! Till next time, take care and God bless!


Friday, August 8, 2014

Meatza~Meat based pizza!

I have mentioned earlier that I consider Nigella Lawson to be one of my biggest inspirations when it comes to cooking...and I still stand by it!I love pizza, but then again, who doesn't :) I am a little biased, I have to be honest, just the name "Pizza Hut" and I go totally gaga!



The idea of making a pizza, quite frankly, has never appealed to me, simply because it involves making  crust, and I am never confident when it comes to making dough of any sort. So, when Nigella showed this particular recipe, for a pizza, minus the crust, I did not think twice..and trust me, neither will you :D. This truly is so simple, that you can get the even the little ones to pitch in for you. And the best part i, dinner is served in 20 minutes flat!


On to the recipe for more details

INGREDIENTS

  • Mince meat (1/2 kg)
  • Parmesan cheese- shredded (4 tablespoons)
  • Red chilly pepper paste (optional- 3 tablespoons depending on the spice level)
  • 2 eggs
  • Parsley Leaves- Handful
  • Canned tomatoes (200 gm jar) or if using fresh tomatoes, 2 small ripe ones
  • Oregano- 1 teaspoon
  • Back pepper- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Extra virgin olive oil- 1 tablespoon
  • Salt- A pinch (Bear in mind that parmesan is salty so adjust accordingly)
  • Mozarella cheese- A small cube cut into triangular pieces
METHOD
  • In a large bowl, add the cleaned mince meat. To this add the eggs, parmesan cheese, red chilly paste (optional) and the parsley leaves and blend using hands. Do not overwork the mixture, else it gets hard and rubbery.
  • Spread the mixture evenly into a greased baking dish.
  • Separately, strain out the tomatoes from the can so as to remove the liquid from them.
  • To the tomatoes, add the black pepper, oregano, oil and salt and mix with a spoon.
  • Spread this over the mince meat mixture.
  • Cut out the mozarella cube into triangular pieces and place over the mince meat mixture.
  • Place this into a hot oven at 200 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
And that's all there was to it! Now,wasn't that easy? Do try it out and let me know how it turns out!


Till next time, adios amigos!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Apple Payasam~Apple Kheer!

I have a really bad habit...I keep buying a whole bunch of fruits, and then leave them for quite some time, without quite eating them...I know, food wastage...not proud of myself. So, as usual, I come home yesterday, and lo and behold, what do I find, but a whole bunch of apples that were just beginning to brown..not a pretty sight!



We had to visit a friend yesterday who was not too well, and coupled with the fact that it is my father in law's birthday, I thought, why waste a whole bunch of apples, why not convert it into a yummy dessert :) Imagine something you can make in 15 minutes flat..now wouldn't that be simply awesome :)


So, there we are...a birthday dedication and a get well soon wish! Oh, but I so cannot forget a dear friend of mine who had requested payasam recipes from  me...so, Danica, Pappa and Vinod, this dessert is especially for all of you :D

INGREDIENTS (Serves 6)

  • 4 apples, grated without the skin 
  • Full cream milk- 2 cups
  • Condensed Milk- 3 tablespoons
  • White granulated sugar- 5 tablespoons (depending on how sweet the apples are, you can increase or reduce the quantity)
  • Vanilla essence- 1 teaspoon (optional, but I added this for the flavor)
  • Ghee/Butter- 4 tablespoons (I used ghee)
  • Nuts/Raisins/Almonds- optional, as you like

METHOD
  • In a pan, boil milk until it reduces to half the quantity. This should take about 10 minutes.
  • While the milk is boiling, separately saute the nuts and raisins in 2 tablespoons ghee till they turn golden brown (a few seconds). I did not have raisins and almonds, so didn't use any. 
  • In the same pan, remove the nuts and raisins and saute the grated apples in another 2 tablespoons ghee and the sugar for about 3-4 minutes, till the sugar is caramelized and the apples turn a lovely golden brown. Ensure they do not get burnt.
  • To this add the boiled milk and the condensed milk. 
  • Stir for another 5 minutes and switch off the flame.
  • Once cooled down, keep this refrigerated to thicken.
Tada, yummy payasam is ready!!!



Notes

It doesn't matter what color apples you use, coz you will be removing the skin anyways. I used green
Once the milk is added, it looks like your payasam is curdling, but don't worry, that adds more flavor to the payasam.
The payasam once made seemed watery, but once kept in the fridge, it thickened considerably.
This is eaten best when cold, but, to each his own!


Happy birthday Pappa once again, get well soon Vinod, and Danica darling and everyone else out there, do try this out and let me know how it turns out!




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