Friday, March 25, 2011

Clarified butter or Ghee

In India we usually prepare ghee out of whole milk cream which involves churning of the cream into butter and then cooking butter on flame till it forms ghee along with residue.
Same process we can do with non salted ready made butter,here I used Arla's Smör unsalted butter to prepare ghee( it is pure liquid golden-yellow butterfat).
Ghee or clarified butter has advantages over normal butter i.e. its long keeping quality (several months refrigerated) and its high smoke point (can be used in frying without burning)

Ingredients:
1 kg Arla or any other brand unsalted butter packs
a deep heavy bottomed pan

Method:
Gently melt the butter in a heavy bottomed pan over low heat until the butter breaks down and three layers form.  The top layer is a white foam or froth , the milk solids will drop to the bottom of the pan and the middle one is a pure golden-yellow liquid called clarified butter.  
When it has stopped bubbling, remove the pan from the heat.
 Let the butter sit a few minutes to allow the milk solids to further settle to the bottom, and then strain the mixture through a fine sieve or  a cheesecloth-lined strainer or simply a clean new cotton handkerchief will do.  
For me I got almost  750 gms of ghee out of 1 ltr butter.
The liquid collected is the golden-yellow clarified butter (ghee) that can be stored for several months in an air tight container.  Chilled clarified butter does become grainy.

Notes:
-Be very careful not to overheat the butter or it will become bitter in taste.
-If you store fresh milk cream in freezer then it wont turn sour for many days or months.whenever you have enough cream to draw ghee take it out, let it melt to room temperature and then you can start with the process of churning etc.
 -If the milk residue is not too brown or just pink in color then you can use it as khoya or mawa in sweets.


Chapati on Hot Plate stove

Fulka or Chapati comes out very well on a gas stove but when I came to Sweden I got a house with hot plate stove.Since it is a must part of our daily meals So I had to come up with some way to get the same(almost) soft n puffy chapati as I used to get on gas flame.We usually call it as tawa roti.

Ingredients:
1-2 cup warm water
a pinch of salt
extra flour for dusting
ghee to apply

Method:
In a bowl, mix flour and salt. Add warm water gradually, knead it to have a soft dough. 
Cover it with a damp cloth and let sit on the counter for 10 minutes.
Put the tawa or non stick pan/griddle on high heat.
Divide the dough into equal pieces in size of lemon and roll it out into a round with the help of rolling pin.
Put the chapati on the tawa and let it cook for few seconds. when you see color is changing a bit flip it with the help of tongs or chimta.
Let it cook for another minute till the other side gets light brown spots on it.
Now the tricky part is :-flip it again n then Press it very gently  with the help of a clean cotton cloth in circular motion and allowing it to puff, blocking all the holes which doesn't let the chapati puff up .
Phewww....Hope I am able to explain you the method :)
Flip it again and press gently same as above and cook for few seconds.
Be careful while pressing it with cloth ,don't get your fingers or palm burn.
Initially you may find chapatis hard at the center but gradually with practice you will get the correct way.
Repeat the same process with whole dough.
Hot Phulkas are ready and can be kept in hot case if not eaten right away. Apply clarified butter or ghee on it and serve hot with daal, curry and pickle.
Update: Uploading a raw video in two parts which were pending from long time. So here you go to try it yourself!




Notes:
-The dough should be soft and silky enough to roll out.
-Take care of your hands while pressing it on hot tawa.
-The same process applies to all kind of stoves including coiled,induction etc.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tandoori roti

When ever I visit India I feel like eating out daily as here hardly any Indian restaurant serves you the same authentic food especially tandoori roti, naan etc as they replace it with Naan bread.:(
So I decided to prepare it myself here at home.But question was How? as I had hot plate stove and tandoori roti in oven is more or less like a papad roti..it wont be that soft(read as khasta) as it is cooked on flame or in actual tandoor.
Finally I thought of using my same tava and a wire rack(single burner open wire rack on feet that set the rack about an inch off the plate).

Ingredients:
1 cup wheat flour 
1 cup all purpose flour or maida 
1tsp salt
1 cup warm water

Method:
In a bowl, mix flours and salt. Add warm water gradually, knead it to have a soft dough. 
Cover it with a damp cloth and let sit on the counter for 30 minutes to one hour.
Put the tava on medium heat. Do not oil it. Put the wirerack on another burner at the highest heat possible.
Cut the dough into equal pieces in size of lemon and roll it out into a round till it is thin but not too thin.
Apply water on one side of this roti and stick this side on the hot tawa. you'll see little bubbles form.After a minute or so turn the tawa upside down on the wire rack.roti is still stuck on the tawa and the exposed part of roti can be cooked on wire rack in this way.
In few mins you can see roti is puffed up and some brown spots are emerging.
Meanwhile roti will start coming out of the tawa and once you feel you got the texture, remove it from wire rack and apply butter to it.

Notes:
The dough should be softer than what we do for chapati and should be kept for at least 1 hour for good results.

Rabdi (रबड़ी)

Indians are too fond of sweets and if it is some festival then we get an excuse to celebrate it with lots of sweets and snacks.
One of the royal Indian sweet is Rabdi or Khurchan.This time on Holi I decided to prepare this at home as we do not get rabdi here in Sweden :( and it really turned out well.

Ingredients:
3 ltrs whole milk(I got milk with maximum of 3% fat)
1 cup sugar
3-4 cardamom seeds crushed
and few dry fruits as per the choice.(Though I kept it simple)

Cooking time:1 Hr
This will prepare around half litre of rabdi.

Method:
Pour the milk in a heavy bottomed deep pan and bring it to boil on high flame.
Once it started boiling switch the flame to medium and let it cook for 45 mins or so . Keep stirring in between so that milk will not get stick to the bottom of pan.
Now here is the tricky part,whenever there is a layer of cream or malai on the milk pick it up with a fork carefully and stick it to the side walls of pan.
Add Sugar to this and stirr it carefully when milk become little thick.
Switch off the flame when only 1/4 of milk is left.
add cardamom powder and let it cool.
Add dry fruits and kesar (saffron strands)
Now scratch all the cream which is sticked on walls and mix it with rabdi.
It will give you the texture and taste of authentic khurchan.
Serve when it is chilled with maalpua or you can have it just like that too.

Instant Rawa Idli

Sometimes all of a sudden I crave for south indian dishes like Idli, dosa, uttapam etc.
But for these dishes usually I need to plan at least 12 hrs before so that I can soak daal(Lenthils) and rice which is then followed by a 4-5 hrs wait of getting the batter fermented.
So I usually choose an easy way to overcome this problem-Instant Rava Idli with peanut chutney.
It will be as soft and fluffy as rice idlis are.


Ingredients:
250 gms semolina(suji or rawa)
1 cup curd or yoghurt whipped
3 tsp oil 
salt to taste
2 tsp fruit salt i.e.The fast-acting effervescent fruit salts, used as an antacid
1/2 cup water if needed

Method:
Mix rawa, salt, oil and curd thoroughly so that there will be no lumps left in the batter.
Now add fruit salt to the batter and mix it well but don't over beat.Keep the batter of medium consistency neither too thick nor too watery like for dosa we do.
Grease the idli stand(mold) with a drops of oil and pour the batter in it. usually molds can prepare 9-12 idlis in one go,depending on the type of mold you have.
Place this idly stand in the cooker or deep pan containing water and cover it.Idlis will be cooked in steam for around 10- 15 mins on medium flame.
Insert a toothpick or knife in the middle of idly if it comes out clean then it is done or else let it cook for 5 more mins.
Once it is done take out the mold stand out of the cooker and let it cool for 3-4 mins.
Now take out the idlis gently with the help of spoon or knife.
These idlis will be soft and fluffy and can be served with Sambar and coconut chutney.


Note:
-Nowadays you can get microwable Idli stands too.
-Idli batter should be thicker than dosa batter if it watery then idlis won't get fluffy but settle down.

Peanut chutney

Peanut chutney is very easy to make and can be serve with all South Indian dishes in case if you do not have fresh coconut and soaked chana daal.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Peanuts roasted and peeled(मूंगफली)
2 tablespoon dry coconut grated
1 clove garlic
2 green chillies
1tsp black salt(optional)
salt to taste
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp oil
1/4 cup curd or yoghurt
2-3 curry leaves(optional)

Method:
Soak dry coconut in little water in a bowl(I had shredded dry coconut which I bought from Indian store) and let it microwave for half a minute and then let it cool.
Now blend peanuts,green chillies,salt,curd,grated coconut and garlic in a mixer.
add little water if required.
Now to prepare tadka for this chutney, heat the oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and curry leaves let them splutter for few seconds.Now add this tadka to the chutney.
peanut chutney is ready to be served with Idly,Dosa or Uttapam.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fruit salad

Summers are coming..it is a season of lot of colorful, tasty fresh fruits.
Fresh fruit plate is very easy to prepare and a healthy snack too.
You can add as many fruits available in the market.
Fruit salad


Ingredients:
1 apple sliced
few cherries
1 small musk melon sliced
2 kiwis sliced
2 bananas sliced
and any other fruit like orange, grapes,guava,pineapple etc. or whatever is available.
1 tsp lemon
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
chat masala (optional)

Method:
Place all the fruits in a big bowl and add lemon ,salt and sugar in it.
Mix it gently and it is ready to be served.


Vegeterian burger

Children love eating burger in eating joints but ever wondered about the ingredients and hygiene they maintained.
But if you start preparing such things at home then I guess you will be the supermom for them and this recipe will give you a way to an easy preparation for 5 burgers.



Ingredients:
4 Boiled potatoes medium sized
1/2 cup boiled peas
5 Burger buns
2 tomatoes sliced
2 Onions medium sized sliced in thin rings
Lettuce leaves (optional)
5 cheese sheets
butter salted
1-2 green chillies (optional)
5 toothpicks
2 tablespoons ghee or oil
bread crumbs for coating
2 tsp corn starch or araarot
salt to taste

Method:
peel off the boiled potatoes and mash them with the help of fork and add salt, corn starch,green chillies and peas.
Divide this mix into big lemon sized balls and press gently to make thick diskette.
coat these diskette with bread crumbs for making it more crispy and crunchier.
Heat the oil into a wide non stick pan and fry these potato patty on slow flame for 8-9 mins,flip over again and let it cook on other side too.
take them off the flame.
Now cut the burger buns in half and apply butter inside.
Place a lettuce leaf then a patty,one tomato slice,1-2 onion rings,1 cheese sheet and finally pack it up with other part of bun.
Insert a toothpick from the middle of burger to keep it intact.
Its ready to be served with Tomato ketchup.
Note:
-To give it Indianized taste, you can apply green coriander chutney on one side and tomato sauce on other.This will add tanginess to this recipe.
-Bread crumbs can be made at home by drying left over breads.Remove the brown part of the bread and let the white part dry in sun light for few days.once its dried, grind it in mixer and its ready to use.Store in air tight container to avoid contamination.
-You can use egg less mayonnaise sauce in this burger If its available in your country.

Shahi hariyala pulav(Rice dish with Spinach n cheese)

Sometimes you really don't feel to have a whole typical Indian meal for dinner.so I thought of preparing something which is easy to prepare but should be fulfilling and delicious.
Here is the recipe for Shahi Hariyala Pulav.

Ingredients:
2 cups of basmati rice
100 gm paneer (indian cottage cheese)
2 medium sized potatoes chopped 
2 small sized onions chopped
1 cup frozen spinach or chopped n blended fresh spinach
1/2 cup green peas
2 green chillies finely chopped
2 cloves
1 tej patta or cinnamon leaves (optional)
1 tsp cumin seeds
a pinch of turmeric
1/2 tsp red chilli powder(optional)
4 cups of water
2 tablespoon clarified butter (ghee) or vegetable oil
salt to taste
Method:
Put the frozen spinach in microwave bowl for 5 mins to bring it to the room temperature.
wash 2 cups of rice with water twice and keep it aside.
Cut the paneer in cubes in size of 1/2 inches each.
Now heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a deep pan and deep fry all the paneer cubes till it turns golden brown.stir very gently as paneer gets soft when heated.
Take them out on a soaking paper once they are done.
Add remaining ghee to this pan and add cumin seeds, cloves and tej patta.once it splutters, add green chillies and then the rice to this ghee.
keep frying this as rice may stick to the bottom.add all the remaining spices after 1-2 mins of frying.
Add 4 cups of water to this pan and put peas,spinach, potatoes, onions and paneer cubes.
let this cook on first few mins on high flame and then on low flame with lid on the pan for about 15 mins. Keep checking the water level in between.
check the rice by pressing it with your fingers if it is done or not.
Now Shahi hariyala Pulao is ready to serve with papad, pickle, curd or chutney.

Notes:
-Add 1 tsp of kitchen king masala for extra flavour and aroma.
-make sure you are not stirring pulav too much when it is half done otherwise it will become messy.
-If you have Pressure cooker with you then you can follow the same process.you need to take only 1 whistle on medium flame and let it cool.Open it only when whole pressure is gone by itself.



Monday, March 14, 2011

Besan ke gatte with /without gravy (chickpea flour dumplings)

I always love to have Rajasthani dishes from my childhood as they will be rich in color, spicy and very tasty.
This recipe is a lifesaver when you are running out of veggies in your refrigerator
as there are not much vegetables used, just besan dumplings(Gatte) simmered in a curd n tomato sauce.

Ingredients:
For dumplings-
1 cup/200gm Besan/Chickpea Flour
1 tbsp Kasuri Methi(optional)
1 tsp Chilli Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
a pinch Asafoetida(हींग)
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
salt to taste
3 cup water
For gravy-
1 cup curd blended
2 tsp tomato paste

1-2 green chillies chopped
1 Onion chopped finely
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 tsp Red chilli Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1/2 tsp Garam Masala(or 2 cloves+3 black pepper crushed)
1/2 tsp Amchur Powder(optional)
1/4 tsp Black Mustard Seeds(राइ)
a pinch turmeric(हल्दी)
1/4 tsp Cumin seeds(जीरा
a pinch Asafoetida(हींग)
Salt to taste

Method:
Mix all ingredients given for dumplings i.e. gatte together and knead it to get a soft dough like for chapati we do.Then roll it into a 1″ thick small rope.
Bring 3 cups of water to boil in a deep pan and put the dough rope gently into it.
Make sure water is boiling when you put the dough or else it will stick to the bottom of the pan.Let it cook for 10-12 mins till the stick rises to the surface. 
Drain reserving a cup of the water and let the sticks cool.

Divide the stick in 1/2″  pieces with the help of knife.Dumplings are ready.
For gravy-
Now heat the 3 tbsp Vegetable Oil in a pan and add cumin seeds, mustard seeds,green chillies and garlic.Add onion to this and cook till it turn golden in color.
Now add all the spices listed above except amchur and garam masala for gravy along with curd and tomato paste.Keep stirring till the gravy leaves oil.

If you feel gravy is too thick then you can add the reserved water to it and after a boil you can add dumplings or gatte to it.Cover the pan and let the gravy cook for another 5 mins so that dumpling can soak the spices well. Add garam masala and amchur in the end.
This dish is ready to be served hot with Naan, Roti or Rice.

Notes:
-The dough for dumplings should not be too tight or too soft.
-Keep the flame on high when boiling the dumplings.
-You can have this dish without gravy as snack or side dish in main course.You need to cook the gravy without cover for 5 mins so that whole water will evaporate and keep stirring to avoid it to stick to the bottom and then add the dumplings to this.garnish with finely chopped cilantro(हरा धनिया).

Friday, March 11, 2011

Carom seeds cookies (ajwain biscuits)

This is the recipe which I had tried and simply loved it because it is so easy to make and nothing can go wrong. Ingredients are easy to find in your pantry and fits best for tea time snack or as they say in Swedish for 'Fika'.
















Ingredients:

200gms all purpose flour(maida)
60 gms sugar powdered or fine
120 gms butter unsalted (Room temperature)
1 1/2 tsp carom seeds
1/2 tsp of salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Method:

Beat butter with sugar until it becomes creamy and fluffy in texture.

Mix all dry ingredients well in separate bowl.

Add this dry mix to the butter+sugar and  make a loose and soft dough. If you feel dough is too dry moisten it with few drops of milk.
Dough is ready for cookies.

Now preheat the oven at 180 C degrees. Meanwhile place a parchment paper or grease the baking sheets or just place aluminium sheets for oven (not the regular ones).

Roll the whole dough with roller pin on a clean surface. You can keep the dough at least 5-8 cms high while rolling. Now cut the cookies with help of cutter or knife in the shape you want.
Refrigerate these cookies for around 15 mins.

Gently place all the cookies on the baking sheets around 1/2 inch apart as they tend to spread a bit and place it in oven for 10-12 mins at 180 C deg temperature.

Keep an eye on the cookies, when outer part turns bit brown and middle part is golden then cookies are done. Don't touch the cookies from centre as it will very soft.

Now with the help of a flat spatula gently lift the cookies one by one and place it a wire rack to cool off.
Let them cool for at least 20 minutes.

Cookies are ready to serve and can be kept in an air tight container.






Note:

-For cookies  that  are made by creaming butter and sugar together, the butter gets soft quickly during mixing and/or if the dough is left out on the counter-top. If so, refrigerate the dough until colder before making cookies to help prevent it from spreading immediately when baked. 

- Even if we have room to bake two sheets on one shelf, it's best to stagger the sheets on different ones. Place the oven rack 1/3 of the way from the bottom and the top shelf 1/3 of the way from the top. Leave about an inch or two between the cookie sheets and the sides of the oven to allow for air circulation; the cookies will bake better.

-All ovens have hot spots, so it's best to rotate cookie sheets half-way through baking. If using one cookie sheet, rotate the front to back. If there are two cookie sheets in the oven at the same time, swap and rotate the cookie sheets half way through baking. The cookies will bake more evenly. 

Eggless chocolate cashewnuts cookies

Chocolate cookies are mostly liked by children as well as adults but in market most of them contain eggs.so here is the recipe of eggless chocolate cookies with cashew nuts.
You can replace the cashew nuts with other nuts as well as per your choice like almonds,walnut,tutti fruity etc.



Ingredients:
1 cup or 200gms all purpose flour(maida)
3/4 cup or 150gms sugar granulated
3/4 cup or 150 gms cream if you dont have cream handy then replace it with (100gm butter +100gm condensed milk unsweetened)
1/4 cup coarsly crushed cashewnuts
1/2 cup scrapped Semi Sweet Cocoa Block
2 tsp cocoa powder(optional for color)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence or extract 

Method:
Take a bowl and melt the butter in microwave if it is not melted.
Add sugar and vanilla essence to it and whisk it fast till its texture become creamy and thick.
Now in separate bowl sieve the all purpose flour or maida, baking powder,cocoa powder and and mix it well.
Add this mixture to the butter+sugar batter and then add chocolate scraps along with cashew nuts. Mix it slowly to make a loose and soft dough.If you feel dough is too dry moisten it with few drops of milk.
Dough is ready for cookies.

Now preheat the oven at 180 C degrees.Meanwhile place a parchment paper or grease the baking sheets.
Divide dough in small round shape balls equal to a small lemon and press it gently between the palms to give it a shape of 1 cm thick diskette.
Place all the cookies on the baking sheets around 2 inches apart as they tend to spread a bit and place it in oven for 10-12 mins at 180 C deg temperature.
keep checking the cookies in between.when outer part turns brown and middle part is light brown then cookies are done. and if still u feel that it is not turned brown yet then set the oven for 5 mins more.
Now take out the cookies and place it on a wire rack to cool off.
Cookies are ready to serve and can be kept in an air tight container.

Note:
-For cookies  that  are made by creaming butter and sugar together, the butter gets soft quickly during mixing and/or if the dough is left out on the counter-top. If so, refrigerate the dough until colder before making cookies to help prevent it from spreading immediately when baked. 

- Even if we have room to bake two sheets on one shelf, its best to stagger the sheets on different ones. Place the oven rack 1/3 of the way from the bottom and the top shelf 1/3 of the way from the top. Leave about an inch or two between the cookie sheets and the sides of the oven to allow for air circulation; the cookies will bake better.

-All ovens have hot spots, so it's best to rotate cookie sheets half-way through baking. If using one cookie sheet, rotate the front to back. If there are two cookie sheets in the oven at the same time, swap and rotate the cookie sheets half way through baking. The cookies will bake more evenly. 

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