Presenting…

The bharwan sisters!

We have bharwan baingan..

Bharwan bhindi..

Annnnnd…… bharwan Shimla Mirch!!


Its amazing what living alone will make you do. Elaborate  “Indian cooking” for one. Ma, you should be proud of me now. When did I ever cook such time-consuming dishes at home?

 

Coming up next: We visit the Western Ghats!

Broccoli n Rice

I was not going to do this. Neha warned me against it but here I am doing exactly what I was asked not to do. Neha is worried that my blog is turning into ‘yum’blog. There have been too many posts of food recipes recently. That’s quite a contradiction if you take into account the fact that I am a certified Non-Foodie. Anyway since I made this dish, I insist on putting it up on the blog. Sorry Neha! 

(Note to self- Either don’t cook so often or resist the urge to put up whatever you cook on the blog.)

Broccoli and Rice Casserole

This is what you need:

  • 1 ½ cup of white sauce
  • ½ a cup of uncooked rice
  • ½ a cup of coarsely cut broccoli
  • ¼ cup bell pepper (both red and yellow if possible)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cheese cubes
  • Salt to taste

This is what you do:

  • Prepare the white sauce, add a grated cheese cube, mix well and keep aside.
  • Make sure the consistency is not too thin.
  • Boil the rice. Cool and keep aside.
  • Lightly boil the broccoli.Finely chop the bell peppers and onion.
  • Heat oil in pan. Throw in the chopped onion and stir fry. After about 7 minutes ad the bell peppers and cook for another five minutes.
  • In a large vessel add the cooked rice, the fried onion and bell peppers, the boiled broccoli, pour over the white sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well.image047.jpg
  • Take a baking dish and transfer this mix. Grate cheese on top and bake till the cheese melts.

You can add any other exciting vegetables that you may have. And you can do away with the cheese if you like!

   

The Luncheon Party

I was the official maid cum cook today. Our part-time maid took a day off today to celebrate bhai duj with her family. That left me with unwashed utensils piled high, a dirty floor and a dusty house. I don’t mind house work. Not because I love it but because I have to do it so rarely that its almost fun!!:P

House cleaning done, I turned my attention to the day’s lunch. By now I am sure you have realised I make only those things that are a) easy b) quick and c)require minimun clearing up afterwards! I settled on Lemon Rice and Sol Kadhi.I was introduced to Sol Kadhi rther recently when I made a trip to Mahesh Lunch Home with my then-colleagues. I loved the drink and read a few websites to find out how it was made and then tried making it at home.  It dint turn out as good as I had hoped, but it wasn’t bad. Since then I have made it a few time , getting better with each time.Here are the recipies of the dishes. This is Lemon Rice as I know it. I am sure this is not the most authentic recipe but it works for me!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium katori for uncooked rice
  • 2 small onions (finely chopped)
  • 2 whole red chillies
  • About 20 peanuts
  • 1tbsp chana dal
  • A few curry leaves
  • Tiny piece of ginger
  • 1/8 tsp rai
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • Salt to taste
  • 6tsp oil
  • Half a lemon

Method:

  • Boil the rice in sufficient water.
  • Take a wok, add oil and heatAdd the peanuts and fry till crisp. Keep aside.
  •  Do the same with the chana dal.
  • In the same oil, add rai,allow it to pop. Then add the red chillies, ginger piece and curry leaves.
  • Add the chopped onions till they take on a pink colour.
  • Add the tumeric, the fried peanuts and chana dal and toss in the cooked rice.
  •  Mix well. Squeeze half a lemon over the rice and mix well.

Sol Kadhi is easy to make. The only tough part is extracting the coconut milk out of fresh coconuts! This is what you need to make sol kadhi.
It serves two.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 a fresh coconut
  • 4 pieces of kokumA
  • small piece of green chillie(optional)
  • A few cloves of garlic(optional)
  • 1 tsp chopped coriander
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Grind the fresh coconut in a mixie and extract the coconut milk. The process needs to be done at least twice to get a sufficient amount.
  • Soak kokum in water till water turns pinkish.
  • Grind the chillies and garlic to get a fine paste.To the coconut milk, addkokum water, chillie-garlic paste(optional) and salt.image015.jpg
  • Chill in refrigerator
  • Garnish with coriander and serve preferably with rice.

Won Ton Soup

Another gem from the hobby class during summer vacations. Tried out a vegetarian version of the same today- tuned out decent. Thank you, Mrs.Mathur.:) 

Won Ton Soup

Ingredients for the Won Ton shell

  • 6tbsp water
  • 1 ½ cup maida
  • 1 egg

Ingredients for the soups

  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 lightly beaten eggs
  • 8 snow peas8-10 spinach leaves
  • 1tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp ajinomoto

Ingredients for the filling

  • ¾ cup minced chicken
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ onion
  • 2 tbsp oil for frying
  • Salt, pepper and tobasco to taste

Method:

  • In a bowl beat the egg , mix water and flour and knead well for 2 mins. Roll out the dough till paper thin and cut into 7.5 cm x &7.5 cm square strips for the won ton shells.
  • Heat oil in pan and sauté the onions and garlic and the mince meat. Add seasoning. Put ½ tsp filling in each shell. Bring opposite corners in and fold. Seal by wetting bottom edge with water and binding together firmly. Fold the other two corners similarly.
  • Cook the won ton in boiling water for five mins. Remove and keep on a greased plate. Bring the stock to a boil. Make an egg sheet( simply put, beat egg and salt . spread it evenly over a pan and cook). Cut into strips. Add won tons, egg strips, snow peas/spinach to the stock. Add seasoning and serve.

Note: If you are a vegetarian like me, you can substitute the chicken with shredded vegetables like cabbage, onions and capsicum and the chicken stock with vegetable stock. Both versions taste as good. 
If you don’t want to make the soup, you can simple make the won tons. They are basically steamed dumplings and can be had separately too.  

Sponge Cake

I learnt this recipe during one of the hobby classes I joined  while in college. I like to make this mainly because its very easy and quick to make.

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 100 gms maida
  • 100 gms sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • A few drops of vanilla essence

Method:

  • Grease and line a 8″ cake tin.
  • Sieve the flour and the baking powder together, three times.
  • Break the eggs in a bowl. Add sugar and whisk over a pan of warm water till the mixture becomes thick and frothy and a definite trail is left when the whisk is removed.
  • Fold the sieved flour a little at a time till all the flour is used us. Add the essence and mix well. Pour the mixture into the greased tin and bake at 170 Deg.C for around 20 minutes till the cake is well done and golden brown on top.image524.jpg

Note: This is a zero fat cake so one can make it more exciting by adding things to it. Pour custard over slices of the cake; get a tin of pineapple, cut cake into half, pour the pineapple syrup and pieces; or just spread a thick layer of your favourite jam between the layers of cake-there is a lot that you can do with this simple-to-make cake.

Pie Baking!

I don’t know what I am more proud of- the apple pie I baked today or the slideshow I have put up on the blog. Both I think!:) Take a look at the slideshow 😀 The pie turned out well so I am contemplating writing the recipe. What says you?

(Edited to add recipe, based on encouraging comments!) 

Apple Pie 

Ingredients:
For the pastry/ crust-

•·        300gms maida

  • 200gms butter
  • 100 gms sugar
  • 1 egg yolk-optional
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • A little chilled water
  • A inch of salt if using unsalted butter

For the filling-

  • ½ kgs apple
  • Sugar if apples are sour
  • Generous pinch of cinnamon powder
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 ½ tsp rum-optional
  • A few chopped raisins and walnuts

Method:

  • Sieve the maida add butter, sugar, egg yolk, lemon juice and gather together with a little chill water to form dough. Chill in the fridge for half an hour.
  • Peal , core and chop the apples, add sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, run, raisins and walnuts. Mix well.
  • Divide the dough into two parts.
  • Grease and prepare a flan tin.
  • Roll out one part of the doughand line the flan tin with this rolled out pastry dough. Prick the base with a fork.
  • Roll out the second part of the dough and using a knife cut 1″ strips.
  • Add the filling to the flan tin. Use the strips of dough and lay then in a cross wise fashion over the filling. Using a few other strips, seal the edges of the pie.
  • Bake at about 200 Deg.C for 25 mins.

Notes:

  • Thought the original recipe doesn’t suggest baking blank, my experience suggests that doing so is better. Baking the base of the pie first (minus the filling) ensures that the base of the pie is crisp too. If the filling is added and then everything is baked together, the base tends to get a little soggy.
  • Instead of making a criss-cross design on the pie, you could roll out the second part of the dough and use it to cover the filling completely. If you choose to do that, remember to prick the surface with a fork.
  • This recipe is alittle on the buttery side. So if you feel like it you could reduce the amount of butter by around30-50 gms.
  • It’s easiest to work with pastry dough if its chilled.
  • I am told by my mom that my grandmother had a fabulous recipe for apple pie. She learnt it from an American friend and it’s supposed to be The Best Recipe for Pie. I’m trying to look through prehistoric hand-written recipe collections of my mum. If I stumble over that recipe I will put it put here.

Veggie Food

A few more recipes by Chef Atu Kochhar.This time they are al veggie and sounds simple.

Keerai Poriyal(stir-fried spinach)

Ingredients :

  • 500 gms spinach leaves
  • 1tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp balck mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp black gram 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 tbsp coconut
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Clean and set aside the spinach leaves
  • Heat oil in a kadhai and sauté the mustard , black gram, garlic , red chillies till they crackle.
  • Add the onions and sauté.
  • Then add the spinach and some salt. Cook on a low flame til the liquid has evaporated.
  • Sprinkle the grated coconut and serve hot.

Apple Kheer

Ingredients

  • 1 kg apples
  • 200 gms sugar
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • 1.2 l milk
  • 100 gms castor sugar
  • A pinch of saffron infused in 1 tbsp of milk
  • 1.4 tsp green cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • ¼ tbsp pistachio, chopped
  • Mint sprig

Method:

  • Peel, quarter and core apples , then cut them into wedges.
  • Add the granulated sugar to 600ml of water.
  • Heat gently till sugar dissolves.
  • Add the apples, cinnamon to this and cook for 10 mins. Cool.
  • Put the milk in another pan ,bring to a boil and reduce till milk is a quarter of its original volume.
  • Add castor sugar, saffron, cardamom powder and apples. Stir well to the sugar dissolves.
  • Take off the heat and stir in the rose water.
  • Allow to cool and then chill in refrigerator.
  • Serve chilled with pistachios sprinkled on top and a sprig of mint.