Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta, as exotic as it may sound, it is as easy as making cottage cheese. The quantity that you get is much more due to the rich milk content.

It is an intelligent substitute in dips, spreads and even to grill for a snack.

Ingredients:

2lt full cream milk
1 cup cream (I used Amul cream)
Lemon juice

Method:

  • Boil milk and cream on a medium flame and stir in between.
  • We want the mix to thicken a bit, it took me about 20 min to reach the state I liked.
  • Add lemon juice, little at a time and the milk cream mix shall start to curdle.
  • Strain on a cheesecloth and let water drain.
  • Store in a box with water. This will prevent the cheese from going hard.

ricotta

Cheers,

Pallavi

Many Layer cake/Tree cake

Some days you see a picture and it stays in your mind. This picture then wants you to move ahead and give your best shot at achieving it. For me it was the picture I saw on SBS.com. This cake is a work of art and has so many delicate steps that the time at hand seems less. 2.5 hours to achieve the symmetrical layers is no joke. It is sheer love.

You shall need [Recipe adapted from SBS.com]

10 egg yolks
1.5 cups caster sugar
250 g butter, plus extra, melted (optional)
2 tsp natural vanilla extract
8 egg whites
1½ cups plain flour, sifted
3 tbsp cocoa powder mixed with 3 tbsp warm water

Method:

  • In a bowl, add the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of sugar. Beat it till it is nice fluffy and frothy.
  • In another bowl, beat the butter and 3/4 cup of sugar until it is pale and fluffy. Add in the vanilla and mix well.
  • Now in a large dry bowl, whisk the egg whites till they form stiff peaks.
  • Add the remaining sugar to the whites and mix gently.
  • Mix the egg yolk and butter mix. Fold in the sifter flour.
  • Now take a little of the whites and mix in the yolk, butter and flour mixture.
  • Now pour all the yolk mix in the whites bowl and fold it through without knocking out much air.
  • Divide the batter in two equal halves. I used 1/2 a cup measure to equally distribute.
  • Mix the cocoa and water mix in one of the batter.
  • Pre heat an oven to 160C.
  • Grease a springform pan and add a layer of butter paper/parchment paper on the bottom. [I used a 7″ pan]
  • Now pour 1/3 cup of the vanilla batter and swirl the tin to spread evenly.
  • Bake for 12 min or until the sponge springs back at you.
  • Take it out and put 1/3 cup of the batter and repeat the process.
  • Keep a brush and melted butter at hand to grease the edges each time before adding another layer. This will make sure the cake comes out clean.
  • Once the last layer is baked, insert a skewer in the center and confirm the done-ness.

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  • Let it cool to touch and remove from the pan.

Multi layer cake 4

  • Cut and serve with love.

Multi layer cake 1 (1)

Cheers,

Pallavi

How to cut a DragonFruit

Oh boy, I have seen so many versions of the butchering that people do to this beautiful fruit.

On my trip to Thailand, I saw this lovely street vendor cut the dragon fruit in style. Oh and it involved using a knife and a spoon.

Check out how it is done the Thai way 🙂

You shall need:

One sharp knife

one Dragon fruit

A spoon

Method:

  • Halve the fruit horizontally (Pic 2)
  • Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh (Pic 3)
  • Remove the pith, if any and cut it in cute little cubes and fill on the hollow dragon fruit shells.
  • Chill and enjoy.

IMG_2477Hope you enjoy it hassle free 🙂

Cheers,

Pallavi

Slow Cooked Jeera Aalu/potato stir fry

Jeera Aalu is supposed to a Dhaba comfort food. Low maintenance, super easy to put together and hardly anything can go wring with this one. The version I love, has crispy edges and a pillow-y center. Oh it is to die for.

You shall need:

3 medium Size… Potatoes (Washed, peeled and cut in equal size pieces)

2 … green chillies (Slit in the center)

2 tsp… Oil

1 tsp… Jeera/Cumin seeds

2 tsp… Dhaniya powder/coriander powder

2 tsp… Jeera powder/roaster cumin powder

1 tsp… Amchoor powder/Dry mango Powder (Optional)

Salt to taste

Method:

  • In a Kadhai/wok, heat the oil.
  • Add the cumin seeds and green chillies.
  • Reduce the heat for medium-low.
  • Drain the potatoes well and wipe them with a kitchen towel/cloth. We dont want much moisture on it.
  • Add them to the wok.
  • Keep stirring until all the potatoes are covered with oil.
  • Let it cook for about 30 min, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the masalas and salt. mix well.
  • Now let it cook for 20 more min, so that the potatoes are cooked through and have a crispy exterior.
  • Serve with love.

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Cheers,

Pallavi

How to Soak Sabudana Perfectly

I used to be terrible at handling sago/sabudana. It used to be lumpy mess or oily sticky mess. After following a lot of advise on Chef at large, I found a way to make this work 🙂

Before I mess it up again, let me share how I learnt the art of soaking the sabudana perfectly. I usually start the soaking around 6-ish in the evening so that I may use it the next day.

You shall need:

1 cup… Sabudana

1+1/4 cup… water

Method:

  • In a bowl, add the sabudana and give it a good wash. I usually wash it three times to get rid of the starch.
  • Drain the water.
  • Add half a cup of water and leave it to soak for two hours.

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  • Using a spoon, mix it all around. You shall notice that the water all soaked and sabudana/sago is almost dry.

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  • Now add another 1/2 cup of water and let it soak for two hours.
  • Give it a stir after two hours and add the 1/4 cup of water and let it soak overnight. Notice the doubling of the volume 🙂

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  • And Voila in the morning you may use it as you please.

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This has been absolutely fool proof for me this fasting season. Hope you are also able to do it perfectly too.

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Cheers,

Pallavi

Hard Shell Tacos

Last Saturday, I was determined to dedicate myself to the idiot box and I did. Since I was up at 6 am as P was leaving for work, I turned the TV on and one after the other I saw 8 flicks (Most of them side by side). Oh and did I mention, this was only till 1 pm.

I was bored to death by the time I was on the 5th flick which happened to be one of my favorite ones, Zindagi Na Milegi Dubara. While fiddliing with the remote, a magazine fell on the floor. It was Good Food India, August issue. On the cover page there were gorgeous hard shell tacos with Pindi chana filling. I said “Challenge accepted” to myself and headed for the kitchen.

Thank God I had maize flour else the plan would have been shelved. Let me take you through the recipe.

You shall need: (Makes about 8)

2/3 cup… Maize flour

1/3 cup.. All purpose flour

1/2 tsp.. Salt

1 tsp… Paprika

1.5 tsp… oil

1/2 cup… warm water (Use very little at a time)

To assemble:

Sour cream

Lettuce

Re-fried beans

Method:

  • In a bowl, mix the flours, salt and paprika with a whisk.
  • Add the oil.
  • Now add few tbsp of water at a time and knead the dough.
  • We want the dry ingredients to come into a soft ball. Do not add all the water at the same time.
  • The Qty of water shall depend on the ingredients and their quality.
  • The dough should take about 2-3 min.

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  • Wrap the dough in cling film and set it aside for atleast 30 min.
  • Pre heat oven to 180C on the setting where both the rods are heating.
  • Set a pan on the gas on low-medium flame.
  • Divide the dough into 8 balls of the same size.
  • Apply little oil on the rolling pin and the board.
  • Roll them one by one to the thickness of a INR 2 coin.
  • Using a round mould, you may cut the rolled dough to a perfect round.
  • Using a fork, prick the rolled dough.

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  • Put it on the pan and let it color slightly on both sides.
  • If you are using a non stick pan, you will not need any oil.
  • We only want a nice bright yellow color on both the sides.

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  • wrap the cooked tacos on the wired rack of the oven. Do not pinch the sides too much else there will be no opening in the tacos. keep the folded sides fairly apart.

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  • Bake them for 10-12 min or until they are nice and crisp and golden.

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  • Let them cool and stuff with the filling of your choice.

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Cheers,

Pallavi

 

 

 

Sending this to:

 originally hosted by Vardhini of Cooks Joy

 by Vardhini of Cooks Joy

  UK Rasoi- “What’s with my Cuppa !?” 

 

Quick Nariyal Laddoo #ganeshchaturthi

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi guys. 🙂 My Lord Ganesha fill your life with health, wealth and happiness.

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We generally buy sweets every year but this year I gave it a try by myself.

I was so stunned to find out that it is ridiculously simple.

So I finished the puja around 7 am today and came to work 🙂

Here is all that you will need to please the Lord of all Things Good. (Makes about 30-35 laddoos)

2 cup… dry desiccated coconut

1 cup… condensed milk

1 tsp… ghee

1 tsp… Cardamom powder

Non stick pan

Wooden spoon

Method:

  • Heat ghee over a slow flame in the non stick pan.
  • Add the cardamom powder and coconut.
  • Roast them for 2-3 min.
  • Take out about 1/2 a cup of the coconut and keep aside.
  • To the coconut in the pan, add the condensed milk and mix mix mix until a ball is formed.

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  • Take it out on a plate and let it cool to touch.

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  • make small balls and roll them in the half cup coconut that we set aside.

IMG_8610Share with family and friends 🙂

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I did a small puja at home and recited my favorite Ganesh Stutis. You can listen to them here, here and here.IMG_8622

 

Cheers,

Pallavi

 

Yam Chips with Tomato Chutney

For July Secret Cooking challenge I was paired with Lakshmi who blog here. Thank you to the gorgeous blogger Priya who has brought together this crazy mix of bloggers with love to experiment with ingredients.
So basically this is an ingredient swap. Every month the interested people are paired and we exchange ingredients (only virtually)

For the last month i got, Yam and tomatoes. I had never cooked with yam before except in undhiyo and there it is no brainer actually. I wanted to try something different. All google gave me was curry, roast, soup etc. However the sweet potato chips caught my fancy and I wanted to try this with my favorite flavors.

I ordered sliced yam from Bigbasket.com and it was all a breeze then.

You shall need:

For the chips-

200 gms… Yam (Peeled, washed and cut in thin strips)

1 tsp… Salt

1 tbsp.. Black Sesame seeds

2 tsp… Thyme (dried)

1 tbsp… lemon juice

1 tbsp… olive oil

For the chutney-

1/2 tsp… oil

1/2 tbsp… panch poran (Mix of five spices- fenugreek seed, nigella seed, cumin seed, black mustard seed and fennel seed)

4-5… Tomatoes (Blanched, peeled and cubed)

2.. dried red chillies (cut in small pieces)

1 tsp… Sugar

1/2 tsp… red chilly powder

Method:

  • Pre heat oven to 180C.
  • In a bowl, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, sesame seeds and thyme.
  • Toss the thin strips of the yam in the mix and let it sit for a few min.
  • In a tray, lay a parchment paper/butter paper and arrange the yam strips one by one.
  • Bake it for 25-30 min rotating the side of the yam once in the middle.
  • We need crisp strips, so bake it as long as it takes to draw all the moisture out.
  • For the chutney, in a pan, heat oil and add panch phoran and red chillies.
  • Once the oil is smokey, add the tomatoes, salt and red chilly powder.
  • When the water of the tomatoes is almost dried up, add the sugar and let it cook.
  • Taste and adjust the spices to make it a sweet and sour chutney.
  • Serve with love.

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Cheers,

Pallavi

All Good things Brownie

Who does not love all things good altogether in ONE brownie???

Such is my kit kat, snickers and bournville brownie. I made this for a lunch sometime back and people still remember the taste 🙂

You shall need:

10 tbsp… Butter (melted)

3/4 cup…. Brown sugar

1/2 cup… White sugar

1/2 cup + 2 tbps… cocoa powder

½ teaspoon… salt

1 teaspoon…. vanilla essence

1 tbsp… Instant coffee powder mixed in 2 tbsp hot water

2 eggs, slightly beaten

½ cup all-purpose flour

1-1/2 cup… your fav candy chopped up. (I used mini snickers, kit kat and few squares of bournville)

Method:

  •  Tip all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well (except the candy)
  • Pre heat oven to 180C.
  • Line a try with grease proof paper and pour the batter.
  • Scatter the candy around and bake it for 20-25 min or until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let it cool completely and cut in squares and serve with love.

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Cheers,

Pallavi

Quick pasta for Dinner

I am fan of easy to put together ingredients. They save the time and effort on the workdays without using too much brain.

All you shall need as an extra for this is Sun-dried tomatoes (I made mine at home, recipe to follow soon)

You shall need:

One cup… Boiled Al dente pasta of your choice (I have used the bambino  shell shape pasta)

5-6 tbsp…. water in which the pasta was boiled.

1/2 tbsp… Oil

Salt and pepper

3 tbsp… tomato paste (Really thick tomato puree, I use a fine mesh to strain the water of the puree and then use the thick portion)

1 tbsp…. cream/malai

Herbs of your choice, I added oregano.

Few sprigs of coriander

Cheese (If you please)

Method:

  • In a pan, heat oil and add the tomato puree.
  • Cook it for a few min.
  • Now add the Pasta and the water.
  • Season it well, to taste.
  • Add the herbs.
  • Finish off with the cream.
  • Mix it well to incorporate it all.
  • Towards the wee end of the cooking process, add the sundried tomotoes (Cut in smaller pieces if they are too big) and coriander.
  • You can also put some garlic bread on the side.
  • Serve with love.

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Cheers,

Pallavi