September 27, 2012

Chili Pork Fry

A random experiment in the kitchen brought forth this dish. For me, pork always means a gravy type. For the first time, I experimented on something different and am quite pleased with the outcome. We are a lot into spicy food so did not mind the fiery peppery taste of this meat. If given a choice, my husband would prefer it spicier but we stuck to this milder version instead. It goes well with a variety of rice items and not so much with Indian breads.
You will need :
Pork - 1 Kg
Ginger chopped - 2 inches
Garlic chopped - 6
Red Chili Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Big Onion chopped - 2
Big Capsicum squared- 1 ( I mixed half of both red and yellow capsicums )
Black pepper powder - 1 tsp
Green chilies chopped - 4
Soya Sauce - 2 1/2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Marinate the pork in salt, chili powder, ginger and garlic and set aside for about an hour.
Pressure cook the meat with no water for about 10 to 15 minutes or until well cooked.
Once cooked, remove about 3 tbsp of the pork oil into another wok.
Saute the chopped onions and green chilies in the oil until the onions are transparent.
Add the cooked pork into it after removing the excess oil.
Add the soya sauce and fry the meat with the onions for about 10 minutes.
Add the capsicums during the last 5 minutes of the frying time and saute it along with the pork.
Serve hot with some potatoes fried by the side.

September 25, 2012

Cardamom Marble Cake Loaf

We are back from a relaxing holiday in Cochin with parents, filled with loads of good food and company. My mother-in-law makes the most amazing array of non vegetarian dishes that no matter how hard we try to restrain and eat less, the tasty dishes wins over our determination all the time. Our Kerala trips are never complete without a visit to the popular Anns for their wonderful Marble Cake and Black Halwa. This time though, that visit did not happen but I am not regretting it one bit. The reason being, Amma surprised us with the most wonderful Marble Cake for our Wedding Anniversary! It definitely beat all the store bought marble cakes I have had during my childhood. It was soft, crumbly and delicious with the unique addition of the Queen of Spice, Cardamom. I experimented on the recipe borrowed from her and very happy with it.
You will need:
Flour - 200 gms
Melted Butter - 200 gms
Powdered Sugar - 200 gms
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Vanilla Essence - 1 tsp
Egg yolks - 4
Whipped Egg Whites - 4
Baking powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Cocoa powder - 2 tbsp
Hot Milk - 1/4 cup
Lemon Juice - 1/4 tsp
Sift the flour and the baking powder together. Keep aside.
Beat the sugar, cardamom powder, butter and the egg yolks until it is light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla essence, hot milk and lemon juice.
Alternate the whipped egg whites and the sifted flour and mix until well combined.
Halve the mixture into another bowl.
Add the cocoa powder into one half of the batter and fold gently until well incorporated.
Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Line a loaf tin with parchment paper and spoon both the mixtures alternatively forming a checkerboard design.
Tap down the tin to remove any air bubbles.
Using a skewer, gently swirl the mixture around to give it a marbled effect. Do not over mix.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 45 to 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Remove onto a cooling rack and cool completely before cutting it.

September 10, 2012

Chicken Curry with Boiled Eggs


Time for non vegetarian delicacies again when Captain Saheb is back home again! The first request this time was to make a chicken curry with boiled eggs. It is something that he says he remembers from a long time ago but could not give it a name. Therefore, I made him this chicken which of course isn't the same that he had but I still got thumbs up from him. This is a mildly spiced chicken curry which doesn't require you to spend too much time in the kitchen but still is delicious enough to have with rotis.
You will need:
Chicken pieces - 1 kg
Raisins and Cashew nuts - 1/4 cup each
Boiled Eggs - 3
Dry Red Chilies - 5
Green Chilies - 4
Garlic cloves - 1 tsp
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Cardamom - 7
Cloves - 10
Cinnamon - 1 inch piece
Peppercorns - 25
Turmeric Powder- 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Coriander seeds - 1 1/2 tbsp
Nutmeg powder - a pinch
Ghee or oil - 3 tbsp
Yogurt - 1 cup
Lime Juice - 1 1/2 tsp
Onion Sliced - 2 Big
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves - to garnish
 Grind together cumin seeds, red and green chilies, garlic, ginger,10 peppercorns, turmeric, coriander seeds, nutmeg powder, 5 cloves and 2 cardamom.
Heat oil in a deep pan. Fry the raisins and cashew nuts until golden brown and keep aside.
In the same oil, add the sugar and fry the onions, the rest of the cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon and peppercorns until the onions become transparent.
Add the ground masala and fry well until it turns a dark brown colour but not burnt.
Add the chicken pieces and fry for another 5 minutes.
Add the yogurt and the lime juice along with half a cup of hot water and salt to taste.
Close the lid and cook for about 15 minutes or until chicken is well cooked and the gravy thick.
Remove from flame, garnish with quartered boiled eggs, fried nuts and coriander leaves.

Sticky Cinnamon Buns


I have been having such a blast of an Onam this year. The entire family gathered together in Coonoor last week and just the feeling of being together with the unlimited supply of good food was truly heart rendering. I think the next best part of the holiday was our traditional Kerala dance which every single woman of the house did. People, who have never danced their entire lives, did so this year and had such a beautiful time together. An Onam never to forget! Was it over with that? No it wasn’t. After returning to Bangalore, we had a mega huge Onam event at our apartment and I cannot explain enough what a lot of fun it was. All the good food we have been savoring during these holidays was indirectly inspiring me, teaching me and encouraging me to learn and try new recipes. When you have people who enjoy good food, it really encourages you to  cook more for them and in the process learn a lot. That brings me to this recipe which I have meaning to make for a long time.

All the blogs I have been visiting lately has a recipe of a cinnamon bun in it. I was wondering what all the hype is all about until I stumbled onto this recipe and decided to give it a shot too. All that everyone else wrote about is so true. The whole process of making them was therapeutic for me.  The entire house had a wonderful smell of fresh baked bread with the sweetness of the cinnamon. These buns are best had out of the oven or if you storing it in the fridge make sure to heat them up slightly before enjoying it. It also tastes wonderful with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
 You will need:
Dough:
Warm water - 1/4 cup
Active dry yeast - 1 1/2 tsp
Sugar - 1/3 cup
Milk - 3/4th cup
Unsalted butter -  4 tbsp
Egg yolks - 3
Salt - a pinch
Flour - 4 to 4 1/4 cups

Filling:          
Brown sugar - 1/2 cup
Ground cinnamon - 1 tbsp
Unsalted butter - 4 tbsp

Topping:
Brown sugar - 3/4 cup
Honey - 3 Tbsp
Corn syrup/glucose - 2 tbsp
Coarsely chopped nuts (I used hazelnuts) - 1 1/2 cups
 
In a bowl combine warm water, yeast and 1 tsp. sugar. Stir to dissolve and let it sit until foamy about 5 minutes.
Add milk, butter, remaining sugar, egg yolks, salt and 3 cups flour. Knead until blended. 
Add the remaining 1 cup of flour. Knead dough until smooth and slightly sticky. 
Place the dough in a large, buttered bowl. Turn dough over in bowl to coat with the butter from the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
After the dough has risen, punch down. Turn out onto a lightly floured cutting board and let sit 20 minutes.
While the dough is resting, make the filling.
Melt the butter. Set aside.
Combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
Roll dough out into a 12″ x 18″ rectangle and brush the melted butter all over.
Spread the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly.
Starting with the long side, roll dough into a cylinder.
Using a very sharp knife or a thread, cut the rolled dough crosswise into 10 to 12 slices.
Next make the sticky topping.
In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, honey and corn syrup over low heat; stir until sugar and butter are melted.
Pour mixture into a greased 9″ pan and sprinkle the chopped nuts on top.
Place dough slices, flat side down, on top of prepared topping, Leaving little gaps to allow the dough to rise.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 190°C and bake the buns for about 35 minutes until golden.
Remove pan from oven and immediately and invert onto a serving tray or baking dish.
Serve warm.