May 29, 2011

Mango Basundi

Basundi is a very famous Indian sweet, you are likely to find it in many Indian weddings ! :)

Today i wanted to do something with milk, as we haven't been drinking much milk last few days.
While i opened the fridge to take out milk, a sweet smell touched my soul and i noticed the mangoes that i bought from the market yesterday. The decision came instantly, it's going to be "Mango Basundi" !

Let's collect ingredients:

1 Ltr. full fat milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 pods cardamom
5 almonds, blanched
3 pistachios, skinned
10-15 threads saffron
2 Mangoes

Let's prepare Mango Basundi:

Put milk to boil in a large deep pan, stirring occasionally.

When milk starts boiling, reduce heat and let it boil.

Add saffron threads. I add this directly to boiling milk but traditional way is to soak saffron in 2 tsp. hot milk, keep aside, let it dissolve and then add the it to boiling milk.

Stir frequently, till milk is 2/3 in volume.

Add finely chopped or coarsely crushed almonds and pistachios. Add powdered cardamom seeds.

Boil further for 3-4 minutes.

Peel the mangoes and blend them in blender. ( or you can cube them, keep aside, chill)

Add the mango puree or mango cubes whichever way you prefer it to the thickened milk.

Serve chilled.

Tip: To avoid a layer forming on the surface, stir frequently in between while cooling.

May 24, 2011

Chili Gobi ( Chili Cauliflower)

This is one of the favorites, similar to Gobi Manchurian but spicier and without gravy.

Let's collect Ingredients:
Ingredients -1
2 pinch Salt
1 no Cauliflower (whole, florets separated)
¼ tsp White vinegar
5 cup Water

Ingredients -2
5 tbsp Maida (refined wheat flour)
5 tbsp Corn flour (white)
2 pinch Ajinomoto
¼ tsp Turmeric powder
¼ tsp Red chili powder
½ tsp Coriander powder
½ tsp Salt
1 tsp Soy sauce
1 tsp Chili sauce
¾ tsp Ginger garlic paste
2 pinch food color (red)
2 pinch Black pepper powder
1 cup Onions (roughly chopped, optional)

Ingredients -3
3 Onions (big dices)
6 Green chili (slit open)
½ tsp Ginger (finely minced)
½ tsp Garlic (finely minced)
2 tsp Red chili sauce (for sautéing)
4 stks Spring onions (chopped finely)
4 stks Coriander leaves (chopped)
2 pinch Ajinomoto
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying
2 tbsp Oil (for sautéing)
1 Capsicum (optional)

Let's prepare Chili Gobi:

1. Blanch the Cauliflower:
- Separate the florets wash them thoroughly and keep aside.

- Bring water to a boil, add salt and vinegar (Ingredients: 1), drench the cauliflower in the boiling water and let stay for 3-4 minutes.

- Put off the heat, drain all the water and pat dry the cauliflower in a clean kitchen towel and keep aside.

2. Prepare Batter for deep frying:

- Combine Maida, corn flour, salt, ajinomoto, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, black pepper powder, food color, ginger garlic paste, soy sauce and red chili sauce. (Ingredients: 2)

- Add the steamed cauliflower and coat, steamed cauliflower will release water and the sauce will add little to make it a thick paste like batter.

- Keep tossing the cauliflower florets until you get a thick batter. Heat oil and deep fry until crispy on outside.

- When done, drain excess oil in a paper towel and keep aside.

- After frying all the cauliflower florets, if you are still left with some batter, add some roughly chopped onions in the leftover batter fry it and add them along with fried cauliflower. This way you increase the quantity and it also adds up to the taste. (Optional)

3. Final assembling:

- Heat oil; fry the slit open green chilies along with diced onions, chopped ginger and garlic over medium flame to make them slightly brown. (Chopped capsicum can be added at this stage, but optional, helps in increasing the quantity)

- Now add the fried cauliflower and onion dipping along with red chili sauce*, ajinomotto, salt and green spring onions.

- Fry over low flame till rolls up to a dry fry. (Approx 6-7 minutes).

- Switch off and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve as an appetizer or side dish.


- This is very spicy dish, Spice level can be adjusted by cutting down on the chili.

- Adding vinegar while steaming will keep the flavor and color of cauliflower intact. Arrest the unpleasant sulphur smell and yellow coloring.

- While frying the cauliflower, Sample a piece first to check if oil is ready. If the temperature is too hot, it will become brown, low temperature will separate the cauliflower and batter. Right temperature will turn florets crispy on outside and slightly soft on inside.

- Ajinomotto and food color gives it restaurant quality, people who are very conscious about health can avoid making this dish as excluding them totally will result in bland cauliflower curry.

- * NO tomato sauce/ ketchup or tomato related items. Red chili sauce includes chili paste, salt, sugar and vinegar. Use these if you cannot find the readymade sauce.

Serving: 3 to 4 Adults (approx)

Mar 4, 2011

Panna Cotta with Jelly

I prepared this for a dessert on Valentines Day, but again was lazying around to actually post it. Finally here i am ! :)

It's a hit, really easy to prepare, you can customize it the way you want with flavors and fruits, looks great and everyone loves it !

For Bottom layer:
I used Jelly, i used the ready to prepare packets available in super store and followed the instruction which was basically mixing the contents of the pack with water, boiling it and then let it cool.

1. Slightly oild the glasses with almond oil or any odour/ taste less oil.
2. Put the jelly as a first layer in the glass.
3. Refrigerator to let it set while we work on Panna Cotta. I followed David Lebovitz's recipe as you can find HERE.


Let's collect Ingredients for Panna Cotta:

2 cups heavy cream
50 gm Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract
3 sheets Gelatin (approx 12.5 gm)
Cold water (for gelatin sheets)

Let's prepare Panna Cotta:

1. Heat the heavy cream and sugar in a sauce pan. Add the vanilla extract removing from heat once sugar is dissloved.

2. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a medium-sized bowl and let stand for 5 to 10 mins.

3. Pour the very warm Panna Cotta mixture over the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.

4. Take out the Jelly glasses from refrigerator. Light layer of crust digestive biscuits over it.

5. Carefully spread the Panna Cotta mixture over it without disturbing jelly layer.

6. Chill them until firm. Atleast 6 hours or overnight.

7. Pour your favorite fruit / syrup on top of that.

8. Serve chilled.

Feb 16, 2011

Red Velvet Cake

I baked this cake for this Valentine. I was thinking to bake a plain venilla or pineapple cake and pink/ red frosting decorations to give it a bit of Valentine-special effects, and then i came across this recipe of American Red Velvet Cake on Joy Of Baking and whollaaa...!

Let's collect Ingredients for Red Velvet Cake:
250 gms sifted Self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
100 gms unsalted butter, at room temperature
300 gms granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
240 ml buttermilk
2 tbsp red food coloring
1 tsp white distilled vinegar
1 tsp baking soda

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting:
225 gms cream cheese, room temperature
225 gms Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
115 gms confectioners'/ icing / powdered) sugar, sifted
360 ml cold heavy whipping cream (double cream) (35-40% butterfat)

Let's start baking the Red Velvet Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. Butter two round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper.

3. Mix together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder in a bowl. Set aside.

4. Beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes) in a separate bowl.

5. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).

6. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

7. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.

8. In a measuring cup whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring. Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.

9. In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter.

10. Working quickly, divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.

11. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.

12. Let cakes cool down on a wire rack.

13. Once the cakes have completely cooled, wrap in plastic and place the cake layers in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours or overnight. (This makes filling and frosting the cakes easier.)

Let's prepare Cream Cheese Frosting:

1. In the bowl, beat the cream cheese and mascarpone cheese until smooth.
2. Add the vanilla and confectioners sugar and beat until smooth.
3. Gradually add the heavy cream and whip until the frosting is thick enough to spread.
4. Add more sugar or cream as needed to get the right consistency.

Let's assemble the Red Velvet Cake:
1. With a serrated knife, cut each cake layer in half, horizontally. You will now have four cake layers.

2. Spread the cake layer with a layer of frosting.
3. Place another layer of cake on top of the frosting and continue to frost and stack the cake layers.
4. Frost the top and sides of the cake.
5. Garnish the cake in a way you like. And your cake is ready !

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