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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Kerala Style Chicken Vegetable Stew

My post of Kerala style chicken vegetable stew has been updated in Lubna’s blog kitchen flavors and this is the 10th year since I have become a member of Joy from Fasting to Feasting- X. I am really delighted to be a part of Ramadhan special, which she conducts every year without fail.



This time I have posted about my all time favorite side dish along with appam, idiyappam, puttu and so on. This we can prepare without vegetables also, but as my daughter likes vegetables along with chicken, I combined both. You can see the recipe in Lubna’s wonderful blog. Hope you all will like it.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

6 Layer Chocolate, Vanilla layers of cake with Salted caramel sauce covered with Cream Cheese and whipped cream frosting:


My daughter turned 9 on may 27th and like every year I was very excited to bake her birthday cake. The preparations for the cake started 6 months back. We were looking for a different variety of cakes as last year she wanted a gravity defying cake for the birthday party and a mango cake at home and for her 6th birthday it was Barbie cake.

The cakes which I made last year for her birthday..

This time she didn’t prefer anything particular. She wanted a chocolate and vanilla layered cake with white frosting and golden sprinkles on top. As there was nothing particular, I thought of making it little special by making it a lego cake as my daughter is a big lego friends fan.


So I first started searching for some lego cakes and got ideas from different cakes. First I ordered silicone Lego mold from Amazon. Then when it got delivered, I started making the Lego by melting the white chocolate, adding the desired color, pour into the mold and when it becomes hard stored it in ziplock pouch. I made two different colors of Lego blocks as the Lego friends are mostly purple and pink. For purple Lego blocks, I melted purple colored candy melts.  I made a bowl full of legos to cover the cake.
Two days before the birthday I prepared salted caramel sauce from sally’s baking addiction. It came out perfect and I stored it in the refrigerator. The day before the birthday, I started preparing the cakes and layering and filling with caramel sauce. I made the cakes in a rectangle cookie tray so that I wanted a sheet cake and I can cut the cake in half and place the half on top. Like that, I prepared two chocolate cakes and one vanilla cake.


Once the cake layers are done, I made the frosting and did a crumb coat on the cake and then refrigerated the cake for about half an hour. Later I covered the cake using the remaining frosting and kept it in the refrigerator overnight.



On the big day, I decorated the cake with the legos on the sides and on top sprinkled the golden sprinkles. I used some of her real Lego miniatures on top and at last, an amazingly delicious, super soft, moist birthday cake was ready for the party. My daughter was really stunned to see the colorful Lego blocks on the cake, which she never expected. The guests who came for the party enjoyed. Hope you all will like this. This cake looks tedious but worth making this lego cake to surprise your family or friends.
Ingredients:
  • I made 2 chocolate cakes and cut into half.
  • I made 1 vanilla cake and cut into half
Ingredients for Salted Caramel Sauce:
  1. Sugar- 1Cup
  2. Butter- 6 tbsp
  3. Cream- ½ Cup
  4. Salt- 1tsp
Method:
  1. Melt the sugar in a nonstick deep bottomed saucepan till golden brown color. Take cake not to burn the sugar. Don’t worry when the sugar forms lumps when it melts, stir in between and it will start melting.
  2. When the sugar reaches golden brown color, stir the butter slowly till it gets melted using a whisk.
  3. Slowly add the cream while stirring. Allow the mixture to boil for about 1 minute. Switch off the flame and add the salt. Mix and allow to cool completely, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.



Ingredients for Cream Cheese and Whipped Cream Frosting:
  1. Cream cheese- 1 packet (8 oz)
  2. Heavy Whipping Cream- 1 ½ Cups
  3. Sugar- 1 Cup
  4. Vanilla Extract- 1 tsp
Method:
  1. In a large bowl combine the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth.
  2. In another bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold this whipped cream into the above-made cream cheese mixture and keep this in the refrigerator.
Decoration:
  • Golden Sprinkles
  • Chocolate Lego Blocks (see below)
Assembling the cake:
  1. Place one layer of the chocolate cake on the base, spread 2 two spoons full of salted caramel sauce evenly on the cake layer, place the half vanilla cake and spread evenly 2 spoons full of caramel sauce.
  2. Over this place halved chocolate cake and repeat with caramel sauce, chocolate cake, sauce, vanilla cake, sauce and at last with chocolate cake.
  3. Crumb coat the 6 layer cake using cream cheese- whipped cream frosting and keep this in the fridge for some time, around 30 min.
  4. Cover the cake using the remaining frosting and decorate with chocolate lego blocks and golden sprinkles.



Chocolate Lego Blocks:
  1. Melted the white chocolate and add the pink and purple color. Pour this into silicon Lego molds and refrigerate till it becomes hard.
  2. Repeat making legos till you need to cover the cake.


Monday, May 22, 2017

Uzhunnu Vada/ Medu Vada/ Urad Dal Fritters



Urad dal fritter which is also known as uzhunnu vada or medu vada is a most popular snack of south India. They make a tasty and excellent breakfast combination along with idli or dosa.
The soaked black gram dal is ground to a fine paste and mixed with all the spices and fried till golden brown and crisp. This is a mouth-watering snack which you can’t have enough of it. Water is the main ingredient, when added more the vada won’t turn out properly and will soak lots of oil and when added less, the batter won’t be smooth and fluffy. Once when the batter is done, we have to mix well with the hand this will create air inside the batter and the vada will turn soft and crisp.


The traditional way of making the batter includes the grinding of urad dal in a stone mortar and pestle. These are my husband’s and my daughter’s favorite snack. Whenever I make these either it will be hard to eat or this will soak oil fully. This time it came out perfect and as I made this for our evening snack, I took the pics of the delicious vada using the lightbox which I made some months back. Hope you all like this. Try these vada and let me know.


Ingredients:
  1. Black Gram Dal/ Urad dal- 2 Cups
  2. Rice Flour- 2 tbsp
  3. Pepper Corns- 2 tbsp
  4. Curry Leaves- few
  5. Sal - as required
  6. Green Chillies (chopped-3 nos
  7. Onions (chopped)- 1 no
  8. Ginger- 1-inch piece
  9. Baking soda- 1 tsp
  10. Oil- for deep frying
Method:

  1. Wash and soak the urad dal for about 2- 3 hours and grind to a fine, smooth, fluffy paste by sprinkling little amount of water.
  2. Transfer the batter to a bowl and beat well using your hand and combine well for at least 5 - 10 minutes, by doing this the fritters will turn out soft and fluffy.
  3. To this batter add the chopped onions, green chilies, peppercorns, curry leaves, grated ginger, baking soda and required amount of salt. Mix well.
  4. Add the rice flour for the crispness of the fritters, mix and keep this aside for 5- 10 minutes.
  5. Heat oil in a nonstick pan for deep frying. Wet your palm and take a ball of the batter, make a hole in the center and drop it in hot oil.
  6. Repeat the above process by wetting your palms and making the fritters till the batter gets over. When they turn golden brown remove on a kitchen towel.
  7. Serve these fritters along with coconut chutney and enjoy.



Monday, May 15, 2017

Bittergourd in Coconut milk Gravy/ Pavakka Paal Curry


I know that many of us don’t like the bitter gourd in any form. But the dish which I am going to introduce you will make you love bitter gourd and will not say no to this any longer.
I like bitter gourd fry/ mezhukuparati as my mom make it very delicious. I like to have it along with rasam. There are 2 varieties of bitter gourds. Dark green color and white color bitter gourds. The white color bitter gourds, which is available in abundance in Kerala are not at all bitter. But the dark green coloured ones are more bitter and to reduce the bitterness different methods are used like adding salt to the chopped bitter gourd pieces and keep it for some time after that squeeze out the pieces, the other method is to add tamarind extract while cooking, then the last method which I know is by adding yogurt to the sliced bitter gourd pieces and after sometime squeeze out and use. This method is what I used here as we won’t get the white colored bitter gourds here. Through these techniques, we can reduce the bitterness and this healthy, nutritious, fiber-rich vegetable can be used.


In this recipe, the coconut milk is very well blended with the spices and the crispy fried bitter gourd gives an appetizing flavor. I got the recipe from here. From the time I started preparing this dish, it has become one of our favorites and so I made this ‘n’ number of times. Here is the recipe for mouthwatering, easy, simple and not so time-consuming dish. Hope you all like this.


Ingredients:
  1. Bitter gourd- 2 nos
  2. Yogurt- 1tbsp
  3. Salt- as required
  4. Red Chilli Powder- 1tsp
  5. Oil- 2 tbsp
  6. Mustard Seeds- 1 tsp
  7. Onions (sliced)-1 no
  8. Green chilies- 2 nos
  9. Tomatoes (sliced)- 1 no
  10. Curry Leaves- few
  11. Turmeric Powder- 1tsp
  12. Red Chilli Powder- 1tsp
  13. Thin Coconut milk- 1 Cup
  14. Thick Coconut Milk- ¼ Cup
Method:

  1. Take out the milk by grinding the grated coconut along with 1/4 cup of warm water. This is first milk or thick milk. Again pour 1 cup of warm water and grind to take out second milk or thin milk. Keep this aside.
  2. Cut the bitter gourd into thin slices. In a bowl, add yogurt, red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt along with the sliced bitter gourd pieces. Keep this for 10- 15 minutes. Heat oil and fry the marinated bitter gourd pieces till golden brown and crispy. Drain this on a kitchen towel.
  3. In the same oil, splutter mustard seeds. Add the sliced onions along with curry leaves, slitted green chilies and required amount of salt.
  4. When the onions turn translucent add the sliced tomatoes and stir. Add the turmeric powder and red chili powder. When they turn mushy and the oil separates add the thin coconut milk.
  5. Mix well, adjust the salt and add the crispy fried bitter gourd slices. Close with a lid and let this boil for about 3 minutes.
  6. Switch off the flame and add the thick coconut milk and give it a nice stir. Serve along with steaming hot rice.



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Hummus



A simple and delicious hummus can be made within minutes, by using soaked chickpeas, sesame seeds, garlic and olive oil. To prepare hummus, chickpeas is a must and so it should be soaked overnight. The best way is to buy canned garbanzo beans and anytime we can make this mouthwatering dip at home.


Hummus is a middle eastern dip, which is famous worldwide. I love my hummus along with roasted or grilled chicken, salads or simply like that. To make this hummus, tahini is an important ingredient. Tahini is nothing but sesame seed paste. As I didn’t have tahini at home, I added sesame seeds to the chickpeas in the food processor. If you don’t want to add tahini, just make the hummus with soaked chickpeas, it will be little liquidy. The taste won’t differ. It will be delicious.


It is said that chickpeas are the most popular legumes consumed in the world, because of lots of protein, zinc, and iron and which are very good replacements for meat.
This month for the MFB challenge, we have to choose any dish from the blog Shab’s Cuisine and so here I am with the simple and everyone’s favorite hummus. Shab’s Cuisine has many different varieties of dishes. The food pics are drool worthy. Hope you all like this and try it out.


One more thing, I have made this hummus for dinner and so I used my light box for the hummus pics.
Ingredients:
  1. Chick Peas- 1 Cup
  2. Garlic Cloves- 5- 6 nos
  3. Sesame Seeds- 2 tbsp
  4. Olive Oil- 2 tbsp
  5. Lemon Juice- 1 tbsp
  6. Water- 1- 2 tbsp
  7. Salt- as required
  8. Smoked paprika Powder- 1 tsp
Method:

  1. Wash and soak the chickpeas overnight. Pressure cook the soaked chickpeas along with garlic cloves till they are cooked and soft.
  2. When they are cooled, grind to a fine smooth paste along with salt and sesame seeds.
  3. Transfer this to a serving bowl and add the lemon juice, olive oil, and mix. On top sprinkle the smoked paprika and enjoy with pita bread



Thursday, May 4, 2017

Quinoa Adai Dosa/ Quinoa and Lentil Crepes


Quinoa is a seed, not a grain. Nutritionally this seed is healthy, complete protein-packed seed, which has a good source of fiber, iron rich in phosphorous, magnesium and zinc. Quinoa is gluten free. It contains more protein than brown rice, potatoes or barley.
Quinoa is very quick and easy to prepare. This is cooked the same way as rice and can be used in wide range of dishes.


Adai dosa is an authentic south Indian breakfast. Adai consists of lentils and rice. This is a very healthy and nutritious too. The perfect combination with this dosa is said to be avial or jaggery. I first ate this when I visited a friend’s place and liked it so much that the next day itself I tried at home and from then on this adai dosa has taken place in our breakfast list. This time I  tried adding quinoa, which is very nourishing, wholesome and delicious.


Try this fiber-rich quinoa adai dosa and let me know...
Adapted from Padhu's kitchen:
Ingredients:
  1. Quinoa- ½ Cup
  2. Toor dal- ¼ Cup
  3. Green Gram Dal- ¼ Cup
  4. Chana Dal- ¼ Cup
  5. Urad Dal- ¼ Cup
  6. Moong dal- ¼ Cup
  7. Dried Red Chillies- 6- 7 nos
  8. Cumin Seeds- 1 tsp
  9. Hing- a pinch
  10. Salt- as required
  11. Green Chillies- 3 nos
Method;

  1. Wash and soak the quinoa, too dal, chana dal, urad dal, moong dal, green gram dal for about 3- 5 hours.
  2. Grind it coarsely along with green chilies, high, red chilies, cumin seeds with the required amount of water. The batter should resemble that of dosa batter.
  3. Add required amount of salt. Heat a Tawa, when it is hot, spread a ladle full of batter in a circular motion. Drizzle a tsp of oil on the adai dosa, cook on a low flame till done. Flip to the other side and enjoy a delicious and nutritious dosa along with coconut chutney.



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