Thursday, November 7, 2013

Shrikhand & Boondi Trifle

It is fun creating a totally new recipe for any occasion. And yes I did something this diwali (Indian festival) also. I was planning to make a boondi ladoo (Boondi or boondhi is a fried Indian snack made from chickpea flour) which didn't happened so perfectly and turned out to be a serendipity. I used the same boondi to make this shrikhand and boondi layered dessert and was an instant hit among family and friends. Hope you enjoy doing this recipe as much I did.


For Boondi 
Besan (Chickpea flour) :               1/2 cup
Oil:                                               1 tablespoon
Melon seed:                                  2 tablespoon
Sugar:                                           1/2 cup
Ladle with hole for making boondi

For Shrikhand
Turkish/ Greek yogurt:                   1 liter
Castor sugar:                                 1/2 cup
Saffron:                                         1 pinch
Cardamom powder:                       1/4 teaspoon

1) For Boondi make a fine paste of besan with 1/4 cup of water and 1/2 cup besan. The paste should be of a flowing consistency. Add tablespoon oil to it. Mix well and set aside of 15 minutes.
2) Make the sugar syrup adding 1/2 cup water to the sugar.  Cook until it start bubbling for approximately 5-6 minutes.
3) Heat some oil in a pan and using the ladle with holes pour in the besan batter over the hot oil. Small drop of batter will fall to make boondi. Fry it till golden and soak it it the prepared sugar syrup. Repeat the process until all the batter is done. 
4) Add dry roasted melon seed to it. Set aside and let it cool. You can enjoy boondi as it is or layer it with the shrikhand to make it more exotic. For variation add color to the batter and make it look more tempting.
5) For Shrikhand, hang the yogurt in a cheesecloth for overnight. Mix it with the castor sugar, saffron and cardamom powder until smooth and consistent. 
6) Layer the shrikhand at the base of your serving glass at the bottom, some boondi in between and top it up again with the Shrikhand. 
7) Refrigerate until served. Enjoy this exotic India dessert with a western look.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Murg Patiala/ Chicken Patiala

As the name suggest this recipe has definitely some royal look and feel to it. This recipe makes a simple lean chicken breast to an exotic main course dish. It is a sure shot recipe for any get together or party. Bookmark this recipe today and perk up your weekend dinner/ lunch in a royal way.


Chicken breast:                     400 grams (cut in 2 inches cubes or strips)
Oil:                                        3 tablespoon
Cumin seed:                           1 tsp
Onion:                                   4 medium (sliced)
Tomato:                                 2 large(chopped in cubes)
Ginger garlic paste:                 2 tablespoon
Red chilli powder:                  1 teaspoon
Coriander powder:                 1 tablespoon
Turmeric powder:                   1/2 teaspoon
Cashew Nut paste:                 1/4 cup
Dried fenugreek leaves:          1/2 teaspoon (dry roasted and powdered)
Green cardamom powder:      1/4 teaspoon
Garam masala:                        1/2 teaspoon
Cream:                                   1/2 cup
Salt to taste


1) Heat some oil in a pan. Add cumin seed; add onion when the seed are bit brown. Sauté onion till it is golden and fragrant.
2) Add ginger garlic paste and sauté. Add chopped tomato and cook till it turns pulpy.
3) Add red chilli, turmeric, coriander and salt. Mix well
4) Cook it for another 2-3 minutes; put it in a blender once cooled. Heat the same pan and add the onion tomato paste with cashew nut paste. Mix well.
5) Cut the chicken breast and add it to the pan, cook it covered for 4 minutes.
6) Add fenugreek powder, cardamom powder, garam masala powder and cream. Cook till chicken is done.
7) Serve with hot chapatti or naan.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Coconut Kalakand

Kalakand, (Hindi: क़लाक़न्द) is a popular Indian sweet made out of solidified, sweetened milk and cottage cheese. It is one of the most commonly available sweets in the shops during festivals in India.

Serve:  15 (medium square pieces)

Preparation time:  1 hour (plus cooling)


Milk:                                       2 liter
Coconut powder:                    1/2 cup
Lemon juice:                           1 tablespoon
Sugar:                                     1/2 cup
Pistachio:                                15 pieces crushed roughly
Ghee:                                      1/2 teaspoon
Silver varq (optional)

1) Boil 1 liter of the milk in a large, thick-bottomed pan. Add the lemon juice to it. Once the chenna (cottage cheese) separates from the milk sieve the mixture with clean cheesecloth and strain the excess water. Wash it under fresh running water.
2) Boil another liter of milk till it reduces to half. Keep on stirring the milk with a spoon at short intervals so it doesn't stick at the bottom of the pan.
3) Now add chenna to the milk and stir it continuously. Cook the mixture till it gets thick and looks like mawa/ khoya. Add sugar and coconut powder to it and stir the mixture. Cook it till the mixture reaches the consistency of making a burfi.
4) Grease an aluminium tray with ghee. Pour the mixture into the tray and level the surface. Leave to set for a few hours in a cool, dry place or a refrigerator. When completely set, decorate with silver varq and cut into squares or diamonds. Sprinkle the sliced pistachios on top.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Apple Sandesh

These delicate bengali sweet are famous for its melt in mouth, less sweet, velvety texture. For Bengalis, any celebration is incomplete without the customary 'sandesh'. Being an inherent part of Bengali culture and festivity, sandesh became a 'messenger' of auspicious news creating an atmosphere of joy and happiness in every household. So much so that people in Dhaka, Bangladesh, like to call the sweet 'pranhara' which is the Bengali of 'heart stealer'.

Apples sandesh is a fusion of an authentic classic recipe with a twist on some international flavours. Apple stuffing gives the soft sandesh a tangy chewy bite in the centre. It makes the dessert more exciting when you eat it.

 Serve:     10 pieces

Preparation time:     30 minutes (plus cooling)


Cottage cheese:                  100 grams
Apple:                                1 large
Lemon juice:                       1 tablespoon
Sugar:                                 1/2 cup (powdered) + 2 tablespoon
Cinnamon powder:              1/2 teaspoon
Green Cardamom powder:  1/2 teaspoon
Saffron:                               1/2 teaspoon soaked in warm milk
Pistachio to garnish


1) Grate the apple and mix it with lemon juice and 2 tablespoon of sugar. Cook it on a medium flame until dry and apple is soft like a spread. Set aside to cool.
2) Knead the chhenna (cottage cheese) well with the heel of your hand to make it really smooth.  Add powdered sugar and cardamom powder, and knead again for approximately 2 minutes.
3) Cook in a non-stick pan on low heat for 5-7 minutes mixing regularly with a spatula. This is very crucial step and need to be done carefully. Remove from heat and knead it again for couple of times, divide into ten equal portions.
4) Carefully make a bowl like shape of the cottage cheese dough and stuff the apple filling, close it to make balls and carefully smoothen it around.
5) Make a small dent on the top, drizzle it with saffron milk and top it up with pistachio. Let it cool for an hour in the refrigerator and serve.

Note:  You can make cottage cheese at home by adding lemon juice (2 tablespoon) to the boiling milk (4 cups). Once milk curdles strain and immediately refresh it in chilled water. Put the cheese in a piece of muslin and squeeze till all the water is drained out.


Monday, September 30, 2013

Espresso Cheesecake Brownie

If you in love with brownie & cheesecake WAIT !!! This recipe is for you. If you are a chocolate and coffee lover this is again a treat for you. This Espresso cheesecake brownie is certainly an over- overindulging recipe for me. The twin layer bottom is made with bittersweet chocolate brownie and topped with the espresso flavoured cheesecake. The flavor combination is impeccable and so is the texture. It a treat for your senses to have this cake starting with the soft velvety cheesecake and biting down to the firmly and fudgy brownie. You can almost taste it seeing the picture. It’s like falling in love for first time.

Minimally adapted from:  " Baking from my home to yours"  by Dorie Greenspan"

Makes:  16 Brownies

Preparation time:    1 hour (plus cooling)


For the brownie:
All purpose flour:                   1/2 cup
Baking powder:                     1/4 teaspoon
Pinch of salt
Unsalted butter:                     5 tablespoon
Bittersweet Chocolate:          150 grams (coarsely chopped)
Sugar:                                   1/3 cup
Egg:                                      2 large
Vanilla extract:                      1/2 teaspoon

For the cheesecake:
Instant Espresso Powder:      11/2 teaspoon
Boiling water:                        1 tablespoon
Cream cheese:                      250 grams at room temp
Sugar:                                   2/3 cup
Vanilla extract:                      1/2 teaspoon
Egg:                                      2 large
Sour Cream:                         1/4 cup
All purpose flour:                  2 tablespoon

1) Preheat the oven at 180 degree celcius and butter a 9 inch square baking pan and dust it with flour, tap out the excess.
2) Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Put the butter and chocolate together and stir occasionally until the ingredients are just melted.
3) Whisk in the sugar to the chocolate mixture. Add egg one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and whisk vigorously for few seconds.
4) With the help of rubber spatula or whisk gently sit in the dry ingredients until they disappear in the batter. Set aside.
5) To make cheesecake dissolve the espresso in boiling water and let it cool.
6) Beat the cream cheese using a stand or a hand mixer until completely smooth. Add sugar and beat for another 3 minutes until well incorporated.
7) Beat in vanilla and espresso mixture. Add the egg one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition.
8) Lower the speed of mixer to low and add the sour cream followed by the flour. The batter will be smooth.
9) Give the brownie batter a few stir and pour it onto the prepared pan. Smooth the brownie layer and pour the cheesecake batter over it, tilting the pan as needed to even the batter.
10) Bake for 30 to 35 minute, or until the brownies pull away from the sides of the pan and the cheesecake layer is beige in the centre, lightly browned around the edges and puffed all over. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool to room temperature. When the brownie are completely cool, refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until thoroughly chilled.
11) The easiest way to cut this cake is to run the knife blade under hot water, wipe it dry and cut the cake as desired.
12) You can serve it as it is or with some dust of coca over the top of the bar. You can also serve the cold brownie with hot fudge sauce.

Few more love of chocolate and espresso combination:
Twin Chocolate Panna Cotta with Espresso Jelly
Quick Tiramisu Trifle
Cake Roll