Total Pageviews

Featured Post

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...

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Devil's chocolate cake!

Let me start of by wishing all my Muslim brothers and sisters Ramadan Kareem! May this holy season be a period of reflection and time for you to be loser to the Almighty, in time to gear up for a wonderful Eid!


I probably should not be tempting anyone at this time...but hey, you could always make this to break your fast! After all that delicious biriyani and lamb chops, you need something sweet, don't you?!?

I actually made this cake to commemorate 2 occasions, one was my cousin's birthday that happened to coincide with the other occasion, my sister in law's wedding anniversary! I had this cake in mind for quite some time, especially after I saw the domestic goddess, our very own Nigella Lawson make it. I knew I had to give it a try...and my efforts did pay off, coz there was nothing left except for a bit of frosting that I happily licked up..he he! The recipe is courtesy Nigella, of course, the only thing I added were some Hershey's balls, just to make it look prettier than it already was :)

This cake is super easy to make, and the batter is very liquidy, but do ot worry about that, coz that's the way it should be. So, let's get this show on the road...it's Devil's food cake, but trust me, the angels would love this one for sure!

INGREDIENTS


  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey's)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (Muscavado sugar)
  • 3/4-1 cup white sugar
  • 8-9 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2-3 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup boiling water
For the Frosting
  • 1/2 cup recently boiled water
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 bar of dark cooking chocolate (I used Hershey's)
Decoration (optional)
  • Hershey's chocolate balls
  • Powdered sugar

METHOD
  • You can make the frosting first, if you want it to be spread thick over your cake, or wait while your cake is baking, so that it can drip on the sides of your cake. I preferred the second one...I just like it that way, and so did my guests :)
  • Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees.
  • Start of by making the batter. In a bowl, mix together the cocoa and brown sugar, and to this add the boiling water. As I mentioned earlier, the batter is going to be very watery, but this is the way it should be.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the butter and white sugar till creamy and fluffy. 
  • In a third bowl ,mix together the flour, baking powder and soda. 
  • Add this bit by bit to the second bowl containing the egg sugar mixture. The best way to do this is to add a spoonful of flour, mix, then add 1 egg,mix and then add the remaining flour and finally incorporate everything together. Add the vanilla essence at the end to get rid of the smell of egg.
  • Finally add the cocoa mixture to this and mix thoroughly till you have a brown, gooey chocolaty mix.
  • There is enough batter for 2 layers, so you could either divide the cake between 2 cake tins, or like I did, bake the first cake, and then follow it up with the second one. I had only 1 cake tin at the time.
  • Bake the cake for 20-25 minutes or till a tooth pick inserted through the center comes clean. It took me 25 minutes.
  • Wait till the cake cools completely before unmolding it onto a cake tray.
  • While waiting for the first cake to cool, and baking the second one, you can prepare the frosting, which is super simple.
  • In a saucepan, add all the ingredients for the frosting, except for the chocolate, and boil on a  low flame until everything starts bubbling. This should take around 5 minutes. 
  • Take the pan of the flame and add the chocolate cubes. After 2-3 minutes, mix with a fork till everything incorporates into the mixture. Wait for the mixture to cool completely before you start frosting the cake.
  • To assemble the cake, place the first cake upside down, put some of the frosting on top till it gets covered completely, and place the second cake, right side up, on top of the first. Top off the remaining frosting on the top and sides of the cake, allowing it to dribble at the sides.
  • Top off with Hershey's balls at the sides and some powdered sugar.
And there you have it, devils' food cake, fit for angels to eat !!!


So, how about this to break your fast?? Scrumptious, right. Do check out all the lovely dishes you can try during the holy month...and I shall keep them coming!

Till next time, take care and God bless!


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Fried Salmon in lemon infused cream sauce!

Last Friday, we had a wonderful couple over for lunch. The husband was Indian and the wife French :)...clearly, love has no boundaries! And obviously, the experimenter that I am, I had to make something French...with an Indian touch to it. Luckily for me, the 2 of them were not fussy eaters at all...in fact, they loved spicy food, not too much of it though, but I knew that I had to make something special.


You can never go wrong with salmon. It is the easiest...and the tastiest fish that you can have at the table. I would normally never use the words "elegant" and "fish" in the same sentence, but for me, salmon is somewhat associated to royalty...do not ask me why....or maybe because it's so notoriously expensive! It hardly takes time to cook, but the end result is magical in itself. I just added some cream coz I was in the mood actually...he he! On to the recipe. I am not even going to bother listing out the ingredients coz it's that simple.

METHOD

  • Wash salmon fillets in a mixture salt and lemon juice to get rid of the smell.
  • Marinate these in a mixture of salt, pepper and lime juice. Leave it for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  • In the mean time, prepare the sauce. I had 4 salmon fillets, so I took half a cup of fresh cream and to this added the juice of 1 lemon, pepper powder (2 teaspoons), garam masala powder (1 teaspoon), basil leaves (1 teaspoon), oregano leaves (1 teaspoon) and salt to taste.
  • Boil this till you get the thickness you desire.
  • Fry the salmon fillets. I used "Lurpak Cooks Range" oil, simply because I'm in love with the product, but salmon releases it's own oil so you can fry as is. Fry this on each side for approx 3-4 minutes on a medium flame till it turns a pale pink and starts flaking. You can alternatively bake or grill.
  • Layer this on a plate, top of with the sauce and garnish with some steamed beans on the side and coriander leaves on the top. Do not bother cutting the beans. Simply put them into boiling water for 15 minutes and use as garnish.

Now was'nt that simple!



Till next time, take care and God bless!



Tuesday, June 9, 2015

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 excuses, I was just plain lazy! I know that's not a reason, but hey, what's important is that I'm back....and that too with a brand new recipe, guaranteed to tickle your taste buds!

So, tell me..how's everyone been? Here in sunny Dubai, everyone's gearing up for Ramadan...so for all my Muslim friends, Ramadan Kareem in advance! In order to bring in the holy month, I thought I should post something that you can look forward to during Eid....and what better way than some good old fashioned biryani!


There are so many different variants to the biryani, and in fact, I had posted a recipe for my chicken biryani which you can find right Here. But for now, I thought I'd experiment with my favorite meat, mutton, or goat's meet, and this dish is one of the most popular type of biryanis in Kerala. Simple, wholesome, flavorful...and we're only getting started! Let's find out how to make this, shall we....

INGREDIENTS

  • Mutton- washed and cleaned thoroughly, 1 kilo. When washing mutton, use a mixture of salt, lemon juice and turmeric powder to get rid of the smell and give it an overall shine.
For Marination
  • Turmeric powder- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Red chilly powder- 3 tablespoons (depending on the spice requirement, this should give you a medium spicy flavor)
  • Coriander powder- 4 tablespoons 
  • Ginger- finely minced- 1/2 inch stick
  • Garlic- 10 cloves, finely mashed
  • Black pepper powder- 1 teaspoon
  • Yogurt- 1/2 cup
  • Lime juice- 1 lime
  • Salt to taste
For the masala
  • 3 medium sized onions- finely sliced
  • Ginger- 1/2 inch piece
  • Garlic- 4 cloves finely sliced
  • Tomatoes- 2 medium sized, chopped into cubes
  • Garam masala powder- 1 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Boiling water- 1/4 cup
For the rice
  • 3 cups basmati rice (I used Kohinoor, it has always given me very good results)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Cinnamon stick- 1 broken into half
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 cardamom seeds
For the garnish
  • Cashews- a handful
  • Onions- 2 finely sliced and fried

METHOD
  • Marinate the mutton with ingredients under "For Marination" section and set aside for a minimum of 2 hours. You can do this over night but I do not find much difference.
  • In a saucepan, heat a mixture of oil and ghee (I use 2 tablespoons of each, adds more flavor and does not make you feel very heavy). In this, fry the onions until they turn translucent (semi transparent), and they change color. Note that they do not have to be brown. Add salt at this stage to cook the onions faster.
  • Add the tomatoes and fry till they get mashed. At this stage, you can add the water but this is optional. 
  • Finally add the mutton and stir it thoroughly before closing it tightly and cooking for a minium of 35-40 minutes, or until it becomes tender. Once the mutton is cooked, there will be some gravy, so open the vessel and cook for another 10 minutes until the gravy turns thick. Do not evaporate completely since this forms the masala.
  • While the mutton is cooking, start preparing the rice. Wash the rice thoroughly 3 times and soak it for about 15 minutes in 4 cups of water.
  • Drain this water and add this to the pan in which the rice is being cooked. To this, add 4 cups of boiling water, butter, lime juice and the spices.
  • Basmati rice takes a total of 12-15 minutes (max) to cook. Ensure that you always have an eye on the rice so that it does not over cook and get mushy.
  • When the rice is half cooked (check by pressing one rice grain between your fingers. It gets half mashed and half solid), drain the water from the rice and remove the spices.
  • Put one more tablespoon of butter to separate the rice grains and give more flavor.
  • Now, for the dum part. Normally, in order to create the dum, flour mixed with water is used to create a paste and seal the sides of the pan in which the biryani is cooked. Here, I did something different.
  • In a baking dish, spread butter evenly (1-2 tablespoons). Start off by layering a spoon of rice, followed by 2 spoons of mutton masala, and repeat the process till you have rice as the top most layer.
  • Seal this completely with foil paper and set this in the oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes. Alternatively you could cook this on the burner at a very low flame for 30 minutes. The rice gets cooked through at this stage and merges with the masala. 
  • Time for the garnish, Fry some nuts and onions in 2 tablespoons of ghee until crispy and serve.
Tada, we have some scrumptios "Neetu's style Dum biryani" available!!




Do try it out and let me know your feedback! Till next time, take care and God bless!


My dear fans!!

Tweet me!

Reader's favorites!