September 30, 2010

Black Forest Cookies Recipe

I have quite a few recipes bookmarked from The Purple Foodie but these Black Forest Cookies have been on top of the list for ages. I had trouble finding dried cherries and then gave up looking for them and substituted with dried blueberries instead. Who is to know, right?

Black Forest Cookies Recipe

What I absolutely LOVED about these cookies is that they turned out almost exactly like the Double Chocolate Chip cookies from Subway. Raise your hands if you love those. Yep, me too!! So this is a total win in that sense.

Black Forest Cookies Recipe
Dried Bluberries
But, it was sweet. It was very sweet. It was so sweet that even my sweet tooth were nudging me and asking what the heck I was thinking eating three of these in one shot. So I had to have half at a time.

Black Forest Cookies Recipe

 Not really. Do I look like someone who can eat just half a cookie and stop at that? Nope. I am not that someone.

Black Forest Cookies Recipe

Anyway, these were very easy to bake up, the only catch being, you need to refrigerate the batter for a few hours for it to firm up.

A side story here is, I was baking these cookies when my old oven just refused to turn on. There was a loose contact and the current batch in the oven were turning all gooey and running over each other, and that batter went to waste. That's when I decided this is the last straw, took a cab to the nearest kitchenware store and bought myself a new oven! I came home and baked the rest of the batter after that. That reminds me, I am yet to share pics and details of my new oven. Stay tuned to MMKT for that!

Black Forest Cookies Recipe

Even then, mine got super runny before I baked them and so the cookies were super flat. Didn't stop me from eating them though, they were really good!

Black Forest Cookies
Adapted from: The Purple Foodie
Makes 12 large cookies

Ingredients:
40gm / 1/3 cup all purpose flour or maida
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp baking powder
8 oz / 225gm baking chocolate bar (semi sweet or bitter sweet will do)
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
1/3 cup dried blueberries
5 tbsp/75gm butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of salt (if using unsalted butter)

How I Made It:

1. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate bar (broken into pieces) and the butter until smooth and shiny. Set aside.

2. Whisk flour, salt and baking powder together. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and both sugars for about 5 mins (if using electric beater) or 10-12 mins if doing by hand. The mixture should be pale and thick.

4. Add the cooled butter-chocolate mixture and the vanilla to this and mix until just combined. Don't overbeat. Add the flour mixture to this and mix until all the flour disappears into the batter. Again, don't overbeat, just combine gently.

5. Next, mix in both the chocolate chips and the dried blueberries. The batter will be a bit runny.

6. Refrigerate this for 6 hours or overnight.

7. Preheat oven to 375F / 190C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and use an ice-cream scoop to scoop out the batter and place on the baking sheet at a distance of 2". If baking in multiple batches, return the batter to the fridge immediately after filling up one sheet.

8. Bake for about 12-15 mins until the top looks crackly. Cool and store in air-tight jars for upto 3 days.

Note: I have given the adjusted amounts of sugar since I found my cookies way too sweet. Adapt according to your taste.

Black Forest Cookies Recipe

LG Convection Microwave - Review

I can't believe its been a month since I updated something in here but I am super happy I have a fantastic review sent by Madhuri on her LG Convection Oven.

Before you read on, here are a couple of articles you may find useful:

- Types of Ovens
- Samsung Convection Oven Review

Over to Mads!

"Hello there y’all! It feels good that I have finally kept my promise to Nags, and sent her this read to share with you all here on MMKT. Nags, a big, heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to you for giving me an opportunity to share this article about my LG convection oven with your readers. I’m tickled pink!

I’ve spent a better part of my life baking, thanks to the baking bug running in the family. It goes right back till my great grand-mom, and am I glad I inherited those genes or what?!! Thank you fore-mothers! When I was little, I used to see great-grandmom and grandmom bake in their stove-top oven, filled with sand, and a cake would take what felt like eons to bake in it. The taste was great nonetheless. Later, when I was old enough to help Amma with baking, she got a round electric oven, which was treated with more love and care than anything else around the house back then. It was a piece of treasure to Amma and me. God, how many baked goodies we’ve made in that oven…I can’t even remember. Come Saturdays, and Nani (my maternal grandmom) would come over, and the three generations of women in the house, would be huddled in the kitchen, baking away! I couldn’t care less about getting in their way, but that is how I’d say the bug latched onto me like a leech, and hasn’t let go till date. We baked with the round oven for a good 15 years, and then Amma got a MW Convection Oven to save space in the kitchen. And ever since then, I’ve been in love with MW Convection ovens, ‘cos they work like a charm!

So when I had to set up my house, I opted for a 26 litre, LG Convection MW Oven (Model No - MC
7648WH) after a lot of market and internet surveys on price/features/capacity. It fit the budget that wehad set, and I was happy with the features. So it was a win-win situation for both the hubby, and me! He still wins hands down ‘cos he gets to eat all the scrummy stuff I churn out from the oven, doesn’t he? ;)
My LG Convection oven I should say, has never failed me (knock on wood) and I’ve never once regretted buying it. It is one of the best deals in the market if I could say so, without sounding partial to LG. Every baked goodie featured on Cook-curry Nook has been made in my LG oven, and I’m proud of it.

The first time I baked in it, I made these Chocolate Fudge Brownies, and they were simply yum-de-dum! Apart from the regular Microwave mode, and having a convection mode to bake in, the oven also boasts of grill and combination cooking modes.

Key Features:
  • Intellowave Technology
  • Multi cook Tawa
  • 36 Auto Cook Menus
  • Indian Auto Cook Menu
  • Next Step Guide
  • Quick Start
  • Steam Clean
  • Health Plus Menu
Where we bought it: Devi International Electronics, Jayanagar, Bangalore.

How much it cost us: INR 11990 was the quoted price when we bought it in December 2009; however, since we bought 4-5 of our big electronic gadgets from the store while setting up our house, we got it at INR 10,000, which was quite a steal. I’m sure this model costs a tad less now. For more information, you could also look it up on the LG website here."

Thanks for sharing your review on your LG convection oven Mads. I am sure people will find it useful :)

September 27, 2010

Pacha Manga Chammanthi / Raw Mango Chutney Recipe

Q: What do you do when you pay $2.50 for one raw mango on a Sunday night?
A: Make raw mango chutney (maanga chammanthi) with it on the same night and take sparkly pictures with unnaturally high ISO and a tripod.

pacha manga chammanthi recipe

Or atleast, that's what I did.

Chammanthi is a Malayali's comfort food. Although it can be roughly translated to chutney in English, its not watery like chutney tends to be. Pacha Manga Chammanthi is almost always served with kanji or Indian congee, to balance the blandness but I served it with fresh, hot dosas!

Pacha Manga Chammanthi
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1/2 of a raw mango or about 1/2 cup peeled and chopped raw mango
3/4 cup grated coconut
3 green chillies
A small piece of ginger
1 shallot
2-3 curry leaves, optional
Salt to taste

How to Make Raw Mango Chutney:

1. Grind the green chillies, coconut and mango pieces well together.

2. Add the ginger, shallot, curry leaves if using, and salt and pulse for a few seconds until well blended. I added a few drops of water to bring it all together.

pacha manga chammanthi recipe

Serve raw mango chutney with kanji (rice gruel) or dosa or rice and curry.

Notes:

- Its very hard to give a rigid recipe for chammanthi. The proportion of ingredients is always dependant on persona tastes
- For this chammanthi, adjust the ratio of coconut to mango according to the sourness of the mango and how sour you like your chammanthi
- You can omit the ginger, shallot or both if you want to keep the flavours more plain and focussed on just the mango. I sometimes omit the shallot but love the heat from the ginger
- Add a very small piece of tamarind if your mango is not sour at all. Then again, that mango is not best suited to make a chammanthi anyway


September 24, 2010

Masala Vada / Masala Vade Recipe

Learn how to make Masala Vadai | Paruppu Vadai | South Indian Masala Vada Recipe

I am so tempted to claim this is the authentic Andhra masala vada recipe. I am this close to actually doing it, but the truth of the matter is, I am not sure if it is. I checked a few sites that have Andhra recipes and all of them give many different variations to the masala vada recipe and now, I just don't know.
Masala Vade Recipe

But, that doesn't take away from the deliciousness of this crunchy snack that I served with rice, melted ghee, Gongura Pachadi and Gongura Adugula Pappu. We definitely had a good Andhra meal that day for lunch!

Andhra Masala Vada Recipe
Makes 12-15 small vadas

Ingredients:
1 cup channa dal / kadala paruppu / Bengal gram
A few shallots or 1 small onion, chopped fine
1/2 tsp jeera / cumin seeds
3 green chillies, cut into thin circles
1" piece of ginger, grated
2 pods of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
A few curry leaves (I added lots!)
Salt to taste
Oil

How I Made It:

Soak channa dal for atleast 2 hours. Drain and grind to a coarse mixture with all other ingredients. I leave some whole dal out while grinding and then add them on to the mixture before shaping, so that there's a bite in the vada. Make sure you add as little water as possible, in fact, a few drops should be sufficient, if at all you need it.

Shape into small discs and deep fry. I made these in the paniyaram pan that I use for pakoda and other fried goodies.

Masala Vade Recipe

I really should make simple thaalis like this more often!

September 22, 2010

Stir-Fried Indian Radish Recipe

I found some gorgeous Indian radish in Little India the other day and had to buy a bunch. They were fresh, with the leaves still on and quite small so I used up about 5 of them to make enough for the two of us.

Cut radish is one of the prettiest vegetables I know. Such pretty design!

Sliced Indian Radish

Yes, that's my hand. You may not know this but I have once been a hand model for an ad that featured in a Malayalam magazine called Vanitha. True story.

IMG_3151

But the radishes surely don't need my hand to enhance its own beauty. Snobs!

Stir fried Indian radish

This recipe is uber simple, can be put together in a jiffy and retains a bit of the vegetable's natural flavour and crunch.

Stir Friend Indian Radish Recipe
Serves 2

Indredients:
Small white radish, cut into thin discs - 2 cups
Thinly sliced onion - 1 small (or 8 shallots)
Crushed garlic - 1 tsp
Chilli powder (adjust to taste) -  1 tsp
Jeera / cumin - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1/4 tsp
Amchur / dry mango powder - 1/4 tsp (or a squeeze of lime juice)
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds

How I Made It:

1. Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When they pop, add the sliced radish and shallow fry in low heat until almost-cooked. This will take about 10-12 mins. Adjust the amount of oil if the pieces seem to be burning or too dry.

2. Add sliced onion/shallots, garlic, chilli powder, coriander powder, jeera and amchur and stir well to coat the radish pieces for a min or two. Add salt.

3. Top off with the garam masala, give it a final stir before removing from fire. The pieces will be soft yet not too much and will hold their shape.

IMG_3159

I served it with steamed white rice and ridge gourd "bajji"(recipe coming soon!)

September 20, 2010

Shamshad's Chicken Biriyani / Biryani Recipe

Chicken Biryani Recipe - What better way to get back fully after a lazy break from blogging? Make someone else do the work. So here's a mild yet yummy and super easy Chicken Biriyani recipe shared by my friend Shamshad. She was very apologetic about the pictures but I have to say she did a mighty good job.

Thanks Sham!

Sham's Chicken Biryani

Chicken Biriyani Recipe
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
Basmati rice -  4 cups (soaked in water for 1 hour)
Chicken pieces - 1 kg
Onions - 3 large
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tbsp
Green chilies - 5 (or as per your requirement)
Pepper powder - to taste
Coriander powder - 3 tbsp
Garam masala - 1 tbsp
Cardamom - 4
Cinnamon - a 1" piece
Cloves - 4
Salt to taste
To Marinate
Pepper powder -to taste
Coriander powder - 3 tbsp
Garam masala - 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
For Seasoning
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Cashew nuts - 15 or so
Raisins - 10 or so
1 large onion

Method:

1. Chicken
Wash Chicken pieces. Marinate for atleast an hour with coriander powder, pepper powder, garam masala powder and salt.
Semi fry chicken pieces in a pan with little oil.

Heat oil and add onions and the ginger garlic paste. When it turns brown, add green chilies (cut into small pieces). Add coriander powder, pepper powder, garam masala powder and salt.

When it is done, add chicken pieces. Keep it for 5-10 mts till it is half cooked. In between you can turn the pieces so that it is heated equally.

Cook in pressure cooker with about 1/2 cup water. Normally 4 whistles.

Biriyani Rice
Put 2tsp ghee in the pan used to fry the chicken. Add cardamom+cloves+cinnamon.
After 2 mins, add the soaked rice. Stir well for 5 mins, else it will stick to the pan. Add the rest of the main ingredients and cook in a pressure cooker with 6 cups water (the ratio of rice:water should be 1:1.5) - normally 3 whistles for basmati rice.

Once done, mix the cooked rice and chicken.

Seasoning
Put ghee in a pan. Add onion (cut lengthwise very thin), cashew nuts and raisins. When it turns light
brown, remove and garnish the biriyani


Sham's Chicken Biryani

Serve hot with papad and raita.

September 17, 2010

No-Bake Chocolate Fudge-Nigella Lawson's No-Cook Fudge Recipe

A no-bake chocolate fudge using marshmallows and dark chocolate - I went through this Nigella phase a couple of months back. I was watching her videos on YouTube back to back and ogling at the ease of the recipes and, of course, her charm.

IMG_3803

The chocolate pistachio fudge especially struck me because its a no-bake fudge recipe. Any fudge that doesn't required you to cook it or bake it has to be a winner, right? This one sure is!

Looking for more no-bake recipes? Check out this list of easy no-bake dessert recipes.

IMG_3770

This no-bake chocolate fudge only needs 4 ingredients. How much easier can it get?
IMG_3778

Oh and also, I hadn't used pistachios in my baking before this. Look at the gorgeous colour! I got a bag from Nuts and Spices in Chennai because pistachio is crazy expensive in Singapore and they are from India anyway.
IMG_3781


Nigella's No-Bake Chocolate Pistachio Fudge Recipe
Makes 25 squares, approx
Source: Nigella Express

Ingredients:
70% cocoa chocolate buttons or chopped dark chocolate - 1 cup / 175gm
(I don't recommend chocolate chips for this recipe)
Sweetened condensed milk - 1/2 can / 200gm
Shelled, unsalted pistachios - 1/3 cup
Butter - 2 tbsp
A pinch of salt if using unsalted butter

How to make Chocolate Fudge (No cook, No bake Fudge)


IMG_3787

Transfer all the ingredients except the pistachios to a heavy bottomed pan and keep on medium fire until melted and blended well. Throw in the pistas and gently mix well until it all comes together. Don't cook for more than 5 minutes.

IMG_3791

Spread this in a 9" pan lined with aluminium foil. You can use a smaller pan if you want thicker pieces. Cool to room temperature and set in the fridge until the fudge is firm. Cut into desired pieces and freeze.

IMG_3827

Make sure to store this in the fridge or freezer because it starts to get sticky and gooey when at room temperature for too long. A great gift or an easy dessert idea when entertaining.

Here's a video of the recipe if you want to watch Nigella herself making no-bake chocolate fudge!



September 7, 2010

Golden Onion Mushroom Quiche Recipe - Easy Quiche Recipes

Learn how to make an easy quiche with mushrooms and onions. This is a vegetarian quiche recipe that uses eggs. 
I am really not sure why I have never made quiche before. It's quite fail-proof and lends itself so well to customisations. While eggless quiche recipes are really popular all over the Internet now, I wanted to try a simple basic quiche recipe for my first attempt at making quiche. I am super happy with the results and while the slice down there is not smooth and picture-perfect, it tasted mighty darn good.

I would highly recommend this golden onion mushroom quiche recipe to beginner bakers. You know why? Its going to make you feel awesome and so much more confident because its practically no-fail.


Golden Onion Mushroom Quiche Recipe
Makes 8 generous wedges and 4 mini quiches

Ingredients

For the pastry:
1 cup + 2tbsp flour (200gm)
100gm unsalted butter, frozen
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 beaten egg
A generous pinch of salt

For the filling:
2 cups chopped mushrooms (I used button mushrooms)
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 beaten eggs
Freshly ground pepper
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil


How to Make Quiche:

For the pastry:

Golden Onion Mushroom Quiche Recipe

Mix flour, salt and baking powder together. Ideally, you should sieve this. Ideally. Grate the frozen butter and mix it well with fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse sand.

Sidenote: I would recommend grating the butter only if you have someone to outsource the washing of the said grater. If not, just cut the butter into cubes and follow this process.

Golden Onion Mushroom Quiche Recipe

Add the egg and bring the dough together. You can add a few drops of ice cold water if needed at this stage, but I didn't have to. Transfer the dough to a floured surface.

Golden Onion Mushroom Quiche Recipe

Roll it out about 1/2" thick. Its fine even if its not an even circle or whatever. Just make sure the thickness is more or less even all around.

Golden Onion Mushroom Quiche Recipe

Next step is to gently transfer this to a greased pie dish. Here's what I used. I bought this pie dish ages ago anticipating this exact moment! Well, not really, but atleast it was put to good use after 7 months of buying it.

Golden Onion Mushroom Quiche Recipe

Gently lift the rolled out dough and lay it over the dish. Press it down lightly at the bottom and along the sides. If there's a gap somewhere, just take the overhanging dough fromt he sides and patch it up. Go on, nobody needs to know. I did it along the top and left hand side, can you tell? Of course you can, but, it doesn't matter. That's the beauty of a quiche.

Refrigerate this crust while you put together the filling.

Pre-heat the oven to 350F / 180C.

To prepare the filling:


Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions until golden brown. Add the mushrooms and saute until soft and all the water has evaporated from the pan. Top off with ground pepper and salt and mix well. Cool completely.

Golden Onion Mushroom Quiche Recipe

Break 2 eggs into a bowl and beat lightly. I know there are three in there but I ended up with a lot of extra filling and I really don't want you to waste good ingredients. So stay with me here, ok? Only 2 eggs needed.

Golden Onion Mushroom Quiche Recipe

Add 1/2 a cup milk to the eggs.

Golden Onion Mushroom Quiche Recipe

And top off with about 3/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Mix well.

To assemble and bake:

Golden Onion Mushroom Quiche Recipe

Bring out the prepared crust from the fridge.

Golden Onion Mushroom Quiche Recipe

Lay the onion mushroom mixture evenly on it.

Golden Onion Mushroom Quiche Recipe

And top off with the milk-egg-cheese mixture until it reaches almost up to the top of the crust.

Golden Onion Mushroom Quiche Recipe

Bake until the top turns golden brown and patchy in parts and the crust turns golden - about 25 to 30 mins.

Golden Onion Mushroom Quiche Recipe

Cut into wedges and serve warm.

Golden Onion Mushroom Quiche Recipe

I had some leftover dough and filling so I made 4 of these adorable mini quiches with it in these tart moulds that came with my old oven. These only need to be baked for about 20 mins and are fantastic single-serving portions for parties or potlucks.

September 6, 2010

Roti Sai Mai - Thai Cotton Candy in Pancake Dessert

Just when I thought Mango Sticky Rice is enough for me to be a slave to Thai desserts, Pui brought these from Bangkok - Roti Sai Mai.

Its basically a popiah-type pancake sans the filling, because we have something yummier to fill them with.

Roti Sai Mai

Strands of cotton candy!

Some thought they looked like hair - Barbie's hair to be precise! I am looking at you Ruth.

Roti Sai Mai

To assemble Roti Sai Mai, roll up the pancakes with some cotton candy strands inside. We had two colours to choose from and of course, I took a little bit of both - green and off white.

Roti Sai Mai

Fold in the sides.

Roti Sai Mai

And bite! YUM!!

They cost about 30 THB for one set that can feed 4 people (or just me). 

Ayuthaya is where Pui got these, but she says you usually get Roti Sai Mai "in all sorts of random places". 

Erm.. so anyway, just keep an eye out if you ever visit Bangkok cuz these, my friends, are GOOD! 

Here's a video in case you are interested to see how the 'rotis' are made. The way that dough flops about in her hand is a sight to see! 

September 3, 2010

Gongura Pappu / Gongura Dal / Dal Tadka with Gongura Recipe

Remember that Andhra meal I posted a few days back? Yeah, so there I was with a big bunch of Gongura leaves and very resourcefully I decided to make the Gongura Pachadi and the Gongura Adugula Pappu from Mahanandi, my first recipe attempt from that site.

Gongura Dal Recipe

The idea is to cook the toor dal just right, where they can keep their individuality. Quite nice, if you ask me. The only issue I had with this dish is, it ended up a bit too dry. So its advisable to have some rasam or vatha kozhambu or something to kind of balance the texture.

Gongura Pappu / Thick Gongura Dal Recipe
Serves 2

Ingredients:
4 cups chopped gongura leaves
1/2 cup toor dal, soaked for atleast an hour
1 chopped onion
4-5 green chillies
A pinch of turmeric
Salt to taste
2 tsp oil

For tempering/tadka
1/2 tsp channa dal / kadala paruppu
1/2 tsp urad dal / ulutham paruppu
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp jeera / cumin seeds
A few curry leaves
A generous pinch of hing / asafoetida
1 tbsp oil

How to make Gongura Dal:

1. Heat 2 tsp oil and add onions and slit green chillies. Fry until transparent and pink - 2 to 3 mins.

2. Add the chopped gongura leaves and fry for another 3 mins. Sprinkle with salt and turmeric powder and add the soaked toor dal. Mix well and cook covered on sim for 25-30 mins. Sprinkle some water if necessary - I had to because my gongura leaves were probably not super fresh. Otherwise, the water from the leaves should be sufficient, as Indira points out.

3. Once the toor dal is cooked soft yet holds its shape, remove from fire. Heat oil for tadka and add the mustard seeds and jeera first. When the seeds pop, add the dals. Once they are golden brown, add the curry leaves and hing and mix well.

4. Add the dal mixture to this combine well. Adjust salt.

Gongura Dal Recipe

I got inspired by Indira's picture and served this with rice, ghee, gongura pachadi and some masala vade. Taste of authentic Andhra food!

September 1, 2010

Indian Curry House - Restaurant Review Singapore

These pictures have been in my drafts for ages now. We went to Indian Curry House on East Coast Road for our second anniversary lunch. Yeah, I was super lazy so we had both lunch and dinner outside ;)

It was surprisingly easy to find with a little help from Google Maps.


We munched on the pepper papadoms and waited for our orders. Sadly, we weren't to hungry so the order was not big but we have gone back to this place several times and can certainly vouch for their food. 


There's one thing you may not know about me. If I am in a restaurant in Singapore and they have Gobi Manchurian on the menu, I order it. Its a no-exception rule. What this means is, I know where they have the best Gobi Manchurians in the city and where they suck. You gotta love some of my obsessions, eh?

Indian Curry House makes a mean Gobi Manchurian. Its not the best but it definitely falls in the 75th percentile (hey! my mom paid a lot of money for my education and I did statistics for 3 years in my life, is got to count for something!)


Peas Pulao. Easily one of the best pulao I've had in Singapore. Unfortunately, I don't order pulao in every Indian restaurant I go to so my frame of reference is not as broad as it is for Gobi Manchurian but still, this was one good pulao. Cooked and spiced just right with the right amount of ghee. 


Stuffed onion and paneer kulchas. Soft, spongy and really quite good. I wish they had added a bit more salt to the dough though. 


This is TH's onion raita. He can be incredibly tam brahm at times. I mean, who orders raita in a restaurant? Seriously!


Both TH and I were pleasantly surprised with the food actually. We have gone back a few times and ordered different things (except the Gobi Manchurian - that stays on the list!), and have really liked it. The restaurant is also priced very reasonably. 

Avg cost for 2: SGD 25-30

More details:

Indian Curry House
27 Upper East Coast Road
Crescendo Building
Singapore
Ph: +65 6442 09

They also have a restaurant in Singapore Expo, in front of Hall 4. Please note that the food is more expensive in the Expo branch and the biryani is too spicy. Thanks much.