Monday, December 29, 2008

This sweet snack goes by many names as Shakarkarpare, Gujia, Fried Namkeen diamonds etc. many Hindus make this for Diwali and Durga puja and the Christians make it for Christmas and a very similar one is made by the Chinese in long strips like Flat noodles and soaked in flavoured sugar syrup. My Mom used to make this and store in airtight containers and ration it out for our evening teas when we were kids. This is a very simple recipe so I make it very often...........just pop one in the mouth and enjoy the the feeling of sugar and ghee( so what you do is add a few spoons of Ghee in the oil that you fry).

YOU NEED

All purpose flour 1 cup

Butter 4 tbsp

Sugar 1 cup (powdered)

Cardamon 1/2 tsp (powdered)

Sugar syrup 1 cup (should be 2 string consistency in case you want to soak the Diamonds).

Oil for deep frying + 4 tbsp Ghee for flavour if you want, its optional.

Sesame seed 1 tsp

DO IT

-Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, add the butter 2/4 sugar powder, cardamon powder and the sesame seeds and mix well, add little water and knead into a soft dough, like the one you make for chapatti( I used milk instead of water to make the texture softer), rest it for a while say an hour.

-Roll it into a chapatti shaped round circular discs and cut this into strips and then int a Diamond shape with a roller cutter or sharp knife, ensuring all the same size.

-Heat the oil with Ghee in a kadai and deep fry the diamonds turning it to ensure both sides are golden in colour, keep the flame on moderate.

-Remove strain the oil and put it on an absorbing tissue, sprinkle with the sugar powder and toss it well to mix, when cool put in air tight container

For the older generation Christmas is never complete without a traditional Christmas pudding usually steamed and eaten hot ,topped liquor flavoured custard, this is a traditionally steamed pudding and must try............

CHRISTMAS PUDDING

YOU NEED

Dates 1/2 cup (chopped)

Raisins 1/2 cup (chopped)

Prunes 1/2 cup (chopped)

Apricot 1/2 cup (chopped)

Flour 1 cup

Baking powder 2 tsp

Cinnamon, Cloves and Cardamon 2 tsp (powdered)

Butter 1/2 cup

Brown Sugar 1/2 cup

Bread crumbs 2 cups ( fresh)

Eggs 3 nos

Apple 1 nos grated

Brandy or Rum 1/2 cup

Golden syrup 3 tbsp

Pinch of salt

DO IT

-Combine the dates, raisins, apricot and prunes with the brandy and let it stand overnight.

-Sift flour, baking powder, the spice powder in a bowl, grate the butter and add mixing gently with finger tips.

-Add the sugar, bread crumbs,grated apple, golden syrup.eggs and mix well, add the dry fruits mixture also and mix well.

-I used a pressure cooker so keep this ready with sufficient water and a base to keep the pudding container on the base.

-Spoon the entire mixture into a well greased and side lined pudding basin and cover with a butter paper, tie this well with a wet string so that no water or steam enters the mixture.

-Place in the cooker without gasket and weight.

-Let it boil moderately for 1 hour, keep checking the water level.

-Remove and check, cool for 15-20 Min's before turning it out.

- Prepare a creamy Rum custard and serve it hot.

-The same kept refrigerated can be kept till New Year, is that not yummy.....................

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Another speciality in most Indian homes is the Rose Cookie the same is called as ACHAPPAM in kerala.Here the recipe looks simple but the job is exhaustive standing in front of the hot kadai with hot oil and concentrating patiently to dip and release the cookies from the mould into the hot oil, I realised that patience and practise is required to perfect this job, there are many varieties of recipes I browsed through and finally with a little modification here and there I tried this and did come out good, though initially the mould played stubborn with me since it was new, take a try at this Rose Cookie.......

ROSE COOKIE

YOU NEED

Rice flour 1 cup

All purpose flour 2 tbsp

Coconut milk 1 cup

Egg 1 nos

Sugar 1/2 cup

Salt a pinch

Baking powder 1/2 tsp (optional)

Sesame seeds 2 tsp ( Black )

Oil for deep frying

DO IT

-Sieve the flours into a bowl, add pinch of salt,add the milk and mix well then add the sugar and egg mixing well then the sesame seeds and baking powder, get a smooth paste to that of a dosa batter.

-On a moderate flame heat the oil, dip in the mould for awhile in the hot oil, now this has to he hot so when dipped in the batter, the batter sticks to it, Now at this stage remove and dip in the batter till the mould is 3/4 coated , dip this into the kadai of hot oil and agitate slightly till the cookie gets released into the hot oil use a skewer if need be to separate the cookie batter, but be careful not to break it or loose shape,when golden brown turn it let both sides get the same colour.

-Remove and strain on an absorbent tissue, then serve with a cup of good hot tea, can also be stored for more than a week in an air tight container.

Pies are also a speciality at this time of the year and eaten hot for the winter . So this is the time for muffins, pies, flans, puddings and cakes all in different varieties and flavours, Now take a treat with simple Mince Pie Flan..................................

MINCE PIE

YOU NEED

FOR THE PASTRY

All purpose flour 200 gms

Butter 100 gms

Eggs 2 nos (only yolk)

FOR FILLING

Golden raisins 100 gms

Apple 1/2 cup shredded)

Banana 1 nos

Seedless grapes 1/2 cup

Almond 100 gm

Candied peel 1 tbsp

Brown sugar or Jaggery 3 tbsp

Lemon rind 1/2 tsp

Rum or Brandy 3 tbsp

Cinnamon powder 1/2 tsp

Nutmeg a pinch

Butter 1 tbsp

DO IT

-First proceed with the pastry, so sieve the flour into a bowl, rub in butter until mixture resembles breadcrumbs, add the egg yolks and knead into a smooth dough; cover and chill for 30 Min's.

-Roll and set it in a pie ring and chill.

-Now proceed with the filling, chop and mix all ingredients except the Banana and grapes,

-Line the mixture into the pastry, top with sliced banana and grapes, moisten the pastry edges with water and roll the remaining pastry to form a lid, press gently over the filling and glaze with egg on top.

-Bake this in a preheated oven @ 190 degrees Celsius for 20- 30 Min's until pastry is crisp and golden.

-Remove , cut and serve warm.



COME WINTER !!! COME DECEMBER!!! COME CHRISTMAS!!!


Yes , all the Goodies, hot or cold..........Just indulge after all it is once in a year. Here are some yummy's for this festival season. The same yummiest in many houses but my recipe may vary, I always cut on Labour with the best Flavour.


Some people buy and re wrap it presenting as if it was made by them. That's bad don't cheat yourself; many houses in India make this and guess it originated from Goa.... it is the KAL KAL and this is the way my Mom used to make it, try it.......................


KAL KAL


YOU NEED


All purpose flour 2 cups


Semolina 1/2 cup


Sugar 1 cup


Butter 2 tbsp


Eggs 2 nos( only yolks)


Salt 1/2 tsp


Coconut milk 1 cup


Refined oil for deep frying

DO IT

-Sieve the flour and salt add the butter and mix gently.

-Beat the egg yolks add and mix gently, now add the sugar,semolina and milk mixing gently to form a soft dough, keep it covered with a damp clothfor an hour.

-Take a fork and rub oil on the reverse side of the fork, now take a marble size of dough press it to make a rectangular shape and then curl it gently and firm, keep ready 12-15 such curled up Kal Kal.

-Heat oil on moderate heat in a kadai and fry the curls up till golden brown, turn when required, then strain on an absorbent tissue.

Now the Kal Kals are ready, they can be kept for days in an air tight container

Sunday, December 14, 2008


LET THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS SHINE THROUGH,
LET US SHARE THE GLORY AND JOY WITH ONE ANOTHER.
SO, LET US HAVE WONDERFUL DAYS TO COME...................

Here goes another recipe of mutton, its mutton minced cooked to perfection with coconut........

KOTHINA KARI PODIMAS

YOU NEED

Mutton 500 gm

Onion 1 cup (chopped)

Tomato 1 cup (chopped)

Black pepper 1 tsp

Green Chilly 2 nos (finely chopped)

Jeera 1 tsp

Fennel seeds 1 tsp

Turmeric 1/2 tsp

Ginger & garlic 1 tbsp (finely chopped)

Coconut 1 cup ( grated)

Curry leaf 1 sprig

Oil 3 tbsp

Salt to taste

Coriander leaves and lemon wedge for garnish

DO IT

-Wash the mutton well , mince and keep aside.

-In a kadai broil the pepper, jeera, fennel seeds, when cool grind it into a coarse powder, now mix this powder with the mince and keep aside

-In a kadai heat the oil add onions and saute well then add the mutton mix well and let it cook on medium flame , now add the chopped tomatoes , green chilly, curry leaves,salt and cook till dry.

-Now add the grated coconut mix well cook for a while on slow heat, remove garnish with lemon wedges and coriander and serve.

A Vegetable liked by many South Indians in particular, earlier this vegetable used to be seen in markets only in Summer , but these days with the climate change it almost available round the year. Yes it is the DRUMSTICK................what a name and what a veggie,,,,,,,,,,,here a mutton curry with this..............

DRUMSTICK MUTTON CURRY

YOU NEED

-Mutton 500 gms ( cut into pieces with bones on)

Oil 3 tbsp

Drumstick 2 nos

Bay leaves 2 nos

Cardamon 5 nos

Cloves 5 nos

Pepper powder 1 tsp

onion 1 cup (finely chopped)

Ginger & garlic paste 1 tbsp

Coriander powder 1tsp

Chilly powder 1 tsp

Turmeric 1/2 tsp

Tomato 1 cup(chopped)

Curry leaf 1 sprig

Coconut 1 cup (ground to a fine paste)

Salt & lemon juice to taste

Coriander for garnishing

DO IT

-In a deep pan heat the oil and add all the spices and saute then add the onions when translucent add the ginger and garlic along with the powders and mix well, now add the mutton and cook on high heat till it gets dry add 2 cups of water, salt and cook covered till the mutton is cooked.

-Add the tomato puree, drumsticks and cook on low flame till the drumsticks are cooked, then add the coconut paste and cook simmering for 2 minutes.

-Now add the lemon juice stir well and serve garnished with coriander.

Wow!! what a dish with a good combination of plain rice and pickle

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My mother used to cook Mutton in many forms with variable tastes and these are some of her favourite signature dishes which I managed to get hold of since Cooking had always been my passion. This is mutton chops cooked to perfection a good dry item , its the .................

CHUKKA CHOPS

YOU NEED

Mutton chops 500 gms

Pepper 1 tbsp (coarsely Ground)

Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

Jeera powder 1 tsp

Chilly powder 1 tsp

Ginger & Garlic paste 1 tbsp

Vinegar 2 tbsp

Salt to taste

Oil to shallow fry

Onion rings and lemon wedges for garnish

DO IT

-Wash the mutton , mix in the turmeric, chilly and jeera powder , just add a cup of water and ,cook it till it is half done; remove strain any excess water mix in the salt ,pepper powder and vinegar keep for a while.

-Heat oil in a frying pan and shallow fry the chops in parts, let it cook and brown well on both sides, it should look crisp.

-Remove and serve garnished with onion rings and lemon wedges

Mutton is the most preferred meat in India , since the majority of Hindus do not eat Beef,mutton is a delicacy meat to prepare special dishes like biryani, pulao and korma's. Muslims excel in making dishes prepared in mutton. Mutton is the meat of a LAMB that is more than one year old. Many restaurants in Tamilnadu make specialty dishes out of mutton and the most famous ones are the Chettinad cuisine restaurants; here is a speciality I got , the main flavour of the dish is from the Curry leaves , hence the name..............

KARUVAPELLAI KARI

YOU NEED

Mutton 500 gms (cut in Pieces with bone on)

Onion 1 cup (minced)

Bay leaf 2 nos

Cinnamon 2 pieces

Cardamon 5 nos

Cloves 5 nos

Chilly powder 1 tsp

Green chilly 3 nos

Ginger & Garlic paste 1 tbsp

Curry leaf 3 sprigs

Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

Jeera seeds 1 tsp

Coriander powder 1 tsp

Tomato puree 1 cup

Salt to taste

Lemon juice 2 tsp

oil 3 tbsp

Fresh coriander 1 tbsp for garnish

DO IT

-Wash the mutton and pressure cook it with a little water till it is cooked.

-In a kadai or thick bottomed pan heat the oil and add the bay leaf, spices and jeera saute well then add the onions when it turns translucent add the ginger and garlic and Curry leaves saute well on medium heat, add the coriander, chilly and turmeric powder mix well add the green chilly .

-Add the mutton , tomato puree salt to taste and mix well ,cook on medium heat till it becomes dry, spoon in the lemon juice .

-Remove garnish with curry leaf and coriander and serve.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Today convenient cubes and envelopes with ready to use Chicken, Beef and Vegetable are available, even ready to use canned broth is available so the homemade stock is made easy; just combine with hot water and use. All soup garnishes must be done just before sending it to the table: like croutons garnished early will become soggy,so also shredded cheese will become stringy. Now try this colourful appetising soup of mine with good Indian flavour....................

LENTIL VEGETABLE SOUP

YOU NEED

Lentil 1 cup

Carrot 1 cup (cut in juliennes)

Chilly powder 1/2 tsp

Butter 2 tbsp

Onion 2 tbsp (chopped fine)

Tomato 2 tbsp (cut in juliennes)

Ginger & Garlic 1 tbsp(crushed)

Salt to taste

Bay leaf 2 nos

Cinnamon 2 pieces

Coriander and Shredded cheese 2 tbsp for garnish

DO IT

-Heat the butter in a deep pan over medium heat,add the onions once translucent add the cinnamon and bay leaf saute adding the ginger and garlic also the washed and drained lentils and the curry powder.

-Add 4 cups of water and let it boil for 20 minutes by this time the lentils would have cooked, if not simmer for 10 minutes at the same time mushing with the back of a spoon.

-Add the carrots and tomato simmer for 10 Min's.

-Remove the bay leaf and cinnamon stick and serve in 3 soup bowls garnished with coriander and grated cheese.

Is it not yummy serve with a combination of Garlic bread along

-Add 4 cups of water and let it boil for 20 minutes till the

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Chinese soup has become a craze these days and many Restaurants cash good on this and also serve 2x3--that is 2 soups in 3 bowls. But you will be surprised to know that Traditionally Chinese soups were served at the end of the Banquet and changing times in culinary has reversed it. Chinese soups are made in all types of meat, seafood and vegetables and usually with a few noodles or rice. Their whole meal soups are a great treat and served in large bowls,. Now try this speciality soup I learnt from a Chinese Chef, simple and tasty...................

YOGURT AND CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

YOU NEED

Chicken 1 cup (Boneless in small cubes)

Onion 2 tbsp( chopped)

Garlic and Ginger 1 tbsp (Finely chopped)

Oil 2 tbsp

Carrot 1/2 cup (chopped in small cubes)

Noodle 1 cup

Yogurt 1 cup

Cornstarch 1 tbsp

Pepper powder 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste & pinch of MSG( optional)

Spring Onion 2 tbsp for garnishing

DO IT

-In a deep bottomed pan heat the oil and saute the onion , then add the ginger and garlic saute well, add carrots and chicken pieces and mix well add 4 cups of water and cook on low flame for 20 Min's.

-Reduce flame to simmer and add the noodles. pepper , salt and MSG; Now combine the cornstarch with yogurt and blend well by mixing with a spoon and pour into the soup and let it cook on simmer till the Noodles are cooked.

-Serve in 3 soup bowls garnished with spring onion .

Soups are made by combining ingredients like meat, vegetables, bones in water and boiling for a considerable time until the flavour is extracted in form of a broth. Initially in the 19th century when soups were getting popular there were only two broad groups as Clear soups and Thick soups. As years passed by and many countries indulging in their own Soup recipes a variety of soups came into existence, some of the ingredients used in thickening a soup are rice, flour and grains,try my own fusion recipe ; its less Labour more flavour..............

CHICKEN AND VEGETABLE SOUP

YOU NEED ---To serve 2

Chicken 1 cup (boneless in small pieces 1/2 inch)

Vegetables 1 cup(combination of carrot, beans and cabbage all in cubes)

Butter 2 tbsp

Onion 2 tbsp (finely chopped)

Garlic 2 cloves (crushed)

Mint leaf 1 sprig

Pepper powder 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste

Parsley for Garnish

DO IT

-In a small deep bottomed pan heat the butter on medium flame toss in the onions and garlic and lightly brown it.

-Add the chicken and vegetables mix well and pour 3 cups of water and let it boil on a medium heat for 15 minutes till the vegetables and chicken is cooked. Now add the chopped Mint, pepper and salt to taste and simmer for 5 Min's.

-Serve hot in soup bowls garnished with parsley.


THIS LGHT IS DEDICATED TO THE LIVES THAT WERE LOST
WHEN TERRORISTS ATTACKED MUMBAI ON
NOVEMBER 26......2008
IN GOD THEY REST WITH PEACE AND JOY

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

FOR ALL THOSE WHO LOST THEIR LIVES IN THIS GREAT BUILDING AND ONE OF THE FINEST HOTELS IN THE WORLD---------------THEIR DEATH IS NOT AN END BUT A BEGINNING......BEING AN EX STAFF OF THE TAJ GROUP AND HAVING STAYED IN THAT BUILDING DURING MY SPECIAL TRAINING PROGRAMMES IT TAKES ME DOWN MEMORY LANES WITH TEARS...............