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Maria’s Lemon Parfait

A dessert guaranteed to be a hit. Simple and easy to whip as Maria says. Get this up and you would have everyone wanting more of this yummilicious good looking dessert.

Lemon Parfait 2

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter (43 gms)
  • 3 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Graham cracker crumbs (I used Marie biscuit/ Digestive is also a good option)
  • 1 tin (395 gms) Condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup Fresh lemon juice (refer notes)
  • 1/2 tbsp Grated lemon peel
  • 1 cup Whipping Cream, chilled

Steps to make the parfait:

Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan/ pan or small skillet. Once it it melted add sugar and stir until bubbling for about 1 min. Mix in the biscuit crumbs. Stir until colour deepens, for about 3 mins. Turn it out onto a plate and let it cool completely. Stir condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon peel in a large bowl to blend. Using an electric beater, whip the cream to firm peaks. Fold the lemon mixture into the cream. Spoon biscuit crumb into individual glasses and then top with the lemon cream mousse. End with the biscuit crumbs. Refrigerate for about 6 hours or overnight preferably.

 

lemon parfait

Tips From Maria:

If you don’t like lemon flavour, you can try a coffee version. Use coffee instead of lemon juice and skip the lemon peel part. For the coffee version, you can add 1/2 tbsp of instant coffee powder and 1/2 tbsp sugar to 1/4 cup of hot water. Dissolve it and let it cool. Continue with the rest of the recipe as mentioned.

Whats Cooking Today!!

Lockdown Chicken Curry

lockdown chicken curry

This is a recipe by Chef Nehal Karkera which basically involves no crazy amounts of chopping. An absolutely fuss free and easy curry that can be made real quick. Pair this with rice or roti and a crunchy salad and that’s a meal done.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Chicken – 1 kg, curry cut pieces
  • Whole spices – 4 cloves, 2 cardamoms, 2 -1 inch cinnamon sticks,  5 to 6 black peppercorns, 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • Oil – 3 tablespoon
  • Cumin Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1 tablespoon
  • Tomato Puree – 1 1/2 cup
  • Onion Puree – 1 cup
  • Kashmiri Chilli Powder – 1 1/2 teaspoon
  • Coriander Powder – 1 1/2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Garam Masala Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Potatoes – 2 medium sized, diced
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Coriander Leaves – finely chopped

lockdown chicken curry3

Steps to make the curry:

Heat a large deep pan, pour oil.  Add your whole spices and curry leaves. Once they splutter, add your ginger garlic paste and onion puree. Saute this mix for about 5-6 minutes till the mixtures turns a light brown. Then add the tomato puree and continue to saute this for another 5-6 minutes. Tip in all the powders and once the oil starts to separate in the masala, add the garam masala powder and salt.  Add the chicken, diced potato and water. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes. Once the curry is cooked, garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve warm.

lockdown chicken curry2

 

 

 

 

 

Whats Cooking Today!!

Butterscotch Cake with Salted Caramel

butterscotch cake

Right about the time of the lockdown in the month of may I found this recipe in one of mum’s old books by B.F Varghese which is almost in tatters. The siblings came over for a cup of tea because it had been 50 days since we had all seen each other though we are all in the same city. Anyway’s to go with the cup of tea and catch up conversations we needed this to make it all come together. So for those who like the butterscotch cake at corner house, this cake just does it for you.I’m being quite audacious and saying the taste of this cake is quite similar to that. Couple this cake with scoops of butterscotch ice cream and you could go weak in the knees I tell you! And for those who own a B.F Varghese recipe book, this is the red coloured book called ‘Recipes for all occasions Part- 1’ page number 219.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Butter – 1/2 cup
  • All Purpose Flour – 1 1/4 cups
  • Baking Powder – 3/4 tsp
  • Eggs – 2
  • Caster Sugar – 1 cup
  • Butterscotch Syrup – 4 dessertspoon ( 1 dsp =2 tsp or teaspoons)

Butterscotch Syrup

  • Granulated sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Water – 1/4 cup
  • Butter – 2 dessertspoons (4 teaspoons)
  • Boiling Water  – 4 dessertspoons (8 teaspoons)

Salted Caramel Sauce 

  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons (90g) salted butter, room temperature cut up into 6 pieces
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Grease and line a 8inch loaf tin or cake tin and keep aside.

To make the butterscotch syrup:

Melt the granulated sugar in water over a low to medium heat. When it turns into a caramel, take it off the fire and then add the butter. Return the pan onto the heat and slowly add the boiling water. Allow the caramel to turn into a thick syrup on low heat. Once it turns syrupy, allow to cool.

Steps to make the cake batter:

Cream together the butter and caster sugar till light and fluffy. Into the creamed butter add the cooled down butterscotch syrup (4 dessertspoons). Add the eggs one by one and mix well with each addition. Fold in the flour and baking powder. Pour mixture into the prepared cake tin or loaf tin and bake at 180 C or 360 F for about 25-30 mins or till the skewer comes out clean. Once baked allow to cool in the cake tin for 10 minutes before overturning it onto a plate.

For the salted caramel sauce:

Heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn. Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added. Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2 minutes. If you notice the butter separating or if the sugar clumped up, remove from heat and vigorously whisk to combine it again. (If you’re nervous for splatter, wear kitchen gloves. Keep whisking until it comes back together, even if it takes 3-4 minutes. It will eventually– just keep whisking. Return to heat when it’s combined again.) Very slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup of heavy cream while stirring. Since the heavy cream is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble when added. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Allow to slightly cool down before using. Caramel thickens as it cools. Cover tightly and store for up to 1 month in the refrigerator. Caramel solidifies in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove to desired consistency.

Serve the cake warm with warmed up caramel sauce.

butterscotch 2

 

Whats Cooking Today!!

Flan De Cafe ~ Coffee Flan

flan de cafe 2

With all this lockdown going and with everyone being at home and online glued to devices, the bouts of hunger are at different levels. So I’m on this mission constantly “what next?” “what’s there I haven’t made for a long time or haven’t tried?”. So decided to make this flan de cafe which is your traditional spanish flan made with sweetened condensed milk and coffee.

flan de cafe 3

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk (1 1/4 cups)
  • 3 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 5 large eggs
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons instant-coffee granules dissolved in 4 teaspoons hot water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Steps to make the caramel:

Cook sugar in a dry small heavy saucepan over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until sugar melts into a deep golden caramel. Immediately pour into a 9-inch round ceramic or glass baking dish or metal cake pan (2 inches deep) and tilt dish to coat bottom. If you have individual ramekins then you can pour the caramel into the ramekins and tilt to coat the bottoms and leave to cool and harden

Steps to make the custard:

Blend remaining ingredients in a blender until smooth. Using a sieve pour the custard into the baking dishes or ramekins. Transfer dish to a 17- by 11-inch roasting pan. Pour enough boiling-hot water into roasting pan to reach 1 inch up side of dish. Bake until custard is set but still wobbly in centre when gently shaken and a knife inserted in centre comes out clean, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Transfer dish to a rack to cool completely, about 40 minutes. Chill flan, covered, until cold, at least 8 hours. To un-mold flan, run a thin knife around edge of dish to loosen flan. Invert a large platter with a lip over dish. Holding dish and platter securely together, quickly invert and turn out flan onto platter. Caramel will pour out over and around flan.

flan de cafe

Whats Cooking Today!!

Coorg Pandi Curry

COORG PANDI CURRY

An intensely flavoured dish that I started to eat only after marriage. My father in-law’s parents were in Coorg, so Daddy (that’s my father inlaw) has a way of preparing the pork. The pandi curry apparently originated during the days of the Raj, where wild boar was hunted and eventually ‘curried’. To add more flavour to the dish, I have added mint leaves, coriander leaves – stem and root. I watch a lot of Marion Grasby videos and that is where I derived the inspiration of using the coriander root. Here’s how to give this dish a go!

COORG PANDI CURRY (1)

INGREDIENTS:

Dry roasting ingredients:

  • Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Whole black peppercorns – 10-12
  • Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon sticks – a couple of 2 inch pieces
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cloves – 4-5

Ingredients for the curry

  • Pork – 1 kg
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon and 1/2 teaspoon for marination
  • White vinegar – 1 tablespoon
  • Coriander Powder – 2 tablespoons
  • Coriander Leaves and the root – 1/2 a bunch (leaves, stem and root)
  • Mint Leaves – 1/2 a bunch (just the leaves)
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1 tablespoon
  • Onions – 5 medium ones, sliced
  • Green Chilies – 2-3 (we are not fans of the green chilly so our spice levels are low)
  • Kachampuli – 1 tablespoon (slightly more or less depending on your taste
  • Salt to taste

Marinate the pork:

Marinate the pork with 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder and a tablespoon of vinegar and keep aside till everything is prepped up for the curry base.

To dry roast the spices:

Into a shallow frying pan, add the mustard, cloves, cinnamon sticks, peppercorns, fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds and dry roast them till they become fragrant over a low to medium heat. You would need to watch this like a hawk so that you don’t burn the spices. Then grind them to a fine powder and keep aside.

For the curry 

Into a large deep frying pan, add about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the sliced onions and fry till the onions are nice and caramelly browned. Into the onions add the green chilies, ginger garlic paste, the turmeric powder, coriander powder and the dry roasted ground powders. Saute till the masala is done and the oil starts to separate. You can add dashes of water to get the masala cooked through. Once the masala is cooked through add the leaves along with the root and allow the leaves to cook through and merge well with the masala. Grind the masala using minimal water just to get the blades running. Return the ground masala to the pan. Add the marinated pork, kachampuli, salt to taste and about 1/2 cup warm water. Cook on low flame for a good 45 minutes stirring in between or alternatively in a pressure cooker for about 3-4 pressure releases. If the gravy runs low you can add 1/2 cup of warm water and cook till the pork becomes nice and tender and the oil starts to float on top. Serve hot with sannas, neer dosa, rice or chapathy.

COORG PANDI CURRY2

Whats Cooking Today!!

Egg Kothuparotta

A dish originated from Sri Lanka which is insanely popular as a street food. Kothuparota, kottu roti aka koththu consists of parotta a flaky flat bread made from either maida or wheat. This dish can be made with vegetables, egg and meat a combination of all the three, either two of the combinations or however one wishes to make it. The version I made was with the eggs, some coloured peppers and leftover chapathis. There are days when you are not in any mood to do the elaborate cooking but be rather done really quickly in the kitchen so that you can other catch up on doing other stuff. I bet you understand what I’m trying to say here.

kothuparotta (1)

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • Chapathy – 10 (if you are using Parotta then about 5 shredded or torn into small pieces)
  • Eggs – 4
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1 teaspoon
  • Onions – 2 finely chopped or 1 medium
  • Tomatoes – 2, finely chopped
  • Curry leaves – a sprig
  • Kashmiri Chili Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Coriander leaves – a handful as garnish
  • Mustard Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Lime – 1/2 
  • Coloured Peppers (capsicums)  – half of a red, half a yellow and half of a green
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Steps to make the kothuparotta:

Into a large wok, or frying pan add oil, crackle the mustard seeds. Fry the onions till golden brown. Add ginger garlic paste, curry leaves and saute for about two minutes till the rawness of the paste disappears. Add the tomatoes, turmeric powder, kashmiri chilli powder and saute until the tomatoes soften. Tip in the coloured peppers, saute till done. Once done crack the eggs and add to the onion tomato capsicum masala. Stir well until the eggs becomes a scramble. After the eggs are done add the shredded leftover roti. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste and stir well for three to four minutes. Once all the ingredients are well combined add juice from one lemon and chopped coriander leaves. Stir well to combine and turn off the heat. Serve hot with ketchup!

kothuparotta1 (1)

 

Whats Cooking Today!!

Coconut Chia Seed Pudding with Mango and Banana Puree

Chia seeds are rich in omega-3, calcium and phosphorous. These seeds are great for breakfast and dessert. It hardly takes 10 minutes to make this treat. And what better time to pair with mangoes.

coconut chia pudding

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 2 cups milk (1 cup coconut milk and 1 cup full fat milk)
  • 2 tbsp honey

For the Mango banana puree:

  • 3 alphonso mangoes (2 to be pureed and 1 to be used for decoration)
  • 3 small bananas or 1 big one
  • Lime – 1/2

Steps to make the pudding:

Let the chia seeds sit for 2 minutes soaked in the milk and coconut milk until it begins to form a porridge like consistency. Give it a good mix with a fork or a whisk as chia seeds tend to clump. Let it sit overnight in the fridge preferably . If you are running out of patience allow the chia to swell and sit for a minimum of 2 hours at least, in the fridge. 

To make the puree:

Blitz all the flesh from two mangoes and the bananas with a squeeze of lime and no water. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

coconut chia2

To assemble the pudding:

Pour the puree onto the bottom of a glass and spoon in the chia pudding. Top with mangoes cut small to be used as garnish and a mint leaf to make it look pretty.

coconut chia3

Tips for the pudding:

  • Chia seeds swell up so if you find it too thick you can loosen the consistency by adding more milk.
  • You can add granola for the crunch element
  • Compotes and berries can also be used
  • Drizzling maple syrup is also an option
  • Yelaki is the type of banana I used
A Mom's Life

“Moms” You’re Doing a Swell Job

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Photo by Jonathan Francisca on Unsplash

I thought this lockdown season is the prefect time to tell each of you that your doing a fantastic job for your family. I know your juggling with the cooking, the cleaning, the kids, the husband and in between your own work for the working mothers. For the    non-working mother well, we have our little things apart from the regular things to do right? For mothers with children with special needs, you might be on the verge of a burn-out, neglecting self care. Regardless of how you feel and what your going through, I thought I’d cheer you on by simply saying “You’re Awesome”

And It is fine to feel the following:

  • You’re Exhausted: You would have picked up those toys, more than you can count. Your cooking your best to ensure there is variety and nutrition. There isn’t a stage where parenting isn’t tiring.
  • You want to time off to catch up with your friends:It is perfectly ok to spend some time chatting on what-sapp or scheduling a zoom video meeting with your besties. You don’t have to feel guilty about it.
  • Your house is a mess: Are the kids singing at the top of their voices? are they bouncing off your sofa throwing the cushions on the floor? its fine!!! It’s not like your going to have visitors coming over during this season.
  • Let your children make mistakes: This is the only way the kids are going to learn to do things wisely, smartly and with a plan in mind. They need to learn to go through the consequences. Making mistakes is the only opportunity they will learn for themselves as well.
  • You want to be selfish and pamper yourself: Put that hydrating fruit face mask on, soak those feet in warm water or better if the salon is open (provided you’re in the green zone) and you want to get your eyebrows done. Just step right out and go ahead and get it done (with a mask though). Ask the father to pitch in or whoever can just so that you have your mind and peace back on track.
  • You make the kids to their chores: If your bringing up kids who would grow up to be self reliant and independent, then making them to do chores is not a bad idea at all. It is preparing them for their adulthood.

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Image Credit:Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

You are strong, you are able and you got this! I know we are in for the lockdown 4.0. with certain relaxations. We can do this together! We have come this far, so let’s push on and press on.

Proverbs 31:28 Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied); and her husband boasts of and praises her.

Proverbs 31:31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates of the city.

Whats Cooking Today!!

Chocolate Biscuit Pudding ~ Coffee Biscuit Pudding

This is a version of Tiramisu which is the cheat’s way. The chocolate biscuit pudding, coffee biscuit pudding aka icebox cake are the many names for this simple dessert. The ingredients are perfect for the on going lockdown because every single thing is available to make this quick fix of a dessert. Besides, this dessert is eggless and requires no baking. The first time we tried this was for a lunch party at my cousin’s place. We were all oohs and aahs for this simple spoonfuls of delight. I hope you have the same reaction when you try it too!

DSC_0531

INGREDIENTS:

  • Marie Biscuits – 25-30
  • Caster Sugar  1 1/2 cups
  • Unsalted Butter – 1/2 cup (at room temperature)
  • Coffee Decoction –  1/2 cup (2 teaspoons of instant coffee dissolved 1/2 hot water)
  • Vanilla Essence – 1 teaspoon
  • Fresh Cream – 200 ml
  • Cocoa Powder – 1/4 cup or more for dusting

DSC_0532

Steps to make the Pudding:

Into a bowl, add the butter and sugar and beat till nice and fluffy and then add in the cream. Beat to mix well scraping down the sides. Add in the vanilla and beat again to mix. Keep aside. Dip the marie biscuits into the coffee decoction one by one and layer onto a deep dish (mine is 16cm by 9cm with 4 cm depth). Pour in some of the beaten creamed mixture to cover the biscuits. Dust cocoa powder to cover the cream layer. Repeat the layers ending with the dusting of the cocoa powder. I was able to achieve 16 layers in total. Refrigerate the dessrt for at least 3-4 hours before cutting. If refrigerated  overnight even better because the flavours just sets in through the layers. Serve cold and enjoy with a cup of coffee.

chocolate biscuit 3

 

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Anda Ghotala

The Anda Ghotala is a dish from Surat which is now a popular street food up north amongst the street cart vendors. The egg made three ways – boiled, scrambled and a bright fried sunny side with use of the pav bhaji masala is what makes this really lip smacking. This is what we had for our Saturday morning lockdown breakfast.

anda ghotala2 (1)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 eggs
  • 2 medium onion
  • 2 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chopped green chilli
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoon pav bhaji masala
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon kashmiri chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons feta cheese
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 8 pavs or buns

Step to make the masala

For making this interesting egg recipe, first of all boil 4 eggs. Next, heat oil in a pan. Once hot, add mustard seeds. Let them pop. Then add ginger, garlic, green chillies and onions. Saute onions till oil leaves the sides. Add tomatoes to this. Lightly sauté and then add pav bhaji masala, cumin powder, chilli powder, salt and turmeric. Once tomatoes soften break 4 eggs and scramble in this onion tomato masala. Now grate boiled eggs and grated cheese to this scrambled mixture. Top with coriander and toss. In a non stick fry pan make 4 sunny side up eggs. Divide the egg tomato onion mix in four plates and top each one with a sunny side up. Serve this Anda Ghotala with butter pav on the side.

Anda Ghotala1anda ghotala3