Thursday, 25 April 2013

Garlic Salt

I was in Hyderabad for a couple of days last year. We went to a shopping mall to pick up some supplies and I went completely insane. There was so much to choose from. There were even things that you wouldn't think existed! I came across a section that was entirely devoted to salt - garlic, onion, coriander, ginger, celery and so on. Not being a millionaire, I chose from all these options and picked up a jar of garlic salt. It got finished in two weeks!

I have a close affinity with garlic, the flavor of garlic speaks to me and I use it extensively in my cooking. Therefore, I decided to try making a batch of garlic salt. It worked out perfectly! This makes a small bottle garlic salt.

Ingredients -
  • 3 pods Garlic
  • 4tbsp Salt
Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Cover the garlic with salt and place on a tray. Let it dry out completely in the sun for a couple of days. Blend the garlic and salt to a fine powder in a food processor; store in an airtight jar. 

Aloo ka Paratha

Parathas are a type of roti. They are layered which makes them heavier than normal rotis. You can have plain parathas which are layered with oil making them flaky and crisp; or, you can have stuffed parathas. The most popular fillings being potato, cauliflower, white radish/daikon (mooli), cheese, even left over rice! Parathas are best when they are piping hot, the traditional condiments are yogurt or raita, chutney, butter and pickle.

This is a basic recipe, you can add some grated ginger or garlic, aromatic spices, and tweak the measurements around to suit your taste-buds. This recipe makes 7-8 large parathas.

Ingredients -
  • 6 medium sized Potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 2 medium sized Onions, finely chopped
  • 4 green Chilies, finely sliced
  • 1tsp Salt/Garlic Salt
  • 1tsp red Chili powder
  • 800g Atta
  • Water
  • Oil for cooking
Mix the mashed potato, onions, green chilies, red chili and salt together. Taste the mixture and you can add more spice according to your taste. Let the flavors be a little strong as they will become subdued once you stuff them in the atta dough. Divide the potato mixture into 8 even balls

Place the atta in a large dough, add enough water and knead to form a soft dough. You will need about a glass and a half of water. Divide the dough into 8 even balls.

Take one ball of dough and flatten it out slightly, place one ball of the potato mixture in the center and bring up the sides of the dough to get a large ball (potato on the inside, dough on the outside). Flatten this potato-dough ball out with your fingers, and use a rolling pin to roll out to a thickness of about 1/2cm. Cook the paratha on a non-stick frying pan for a couple of minutes on each side, then add half a teaspoon of oil to each side and cook till it is golden brown. Serve hot.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Gooey Center Chocolate

The paternal side of my family is massive. My grandfather had four brothers and three sisters, each having a couple of children, who then went on to have some more; so you can imagine how many cousins I have! Every couple of years, the family tries to come together for some event - a wedding, an anniversary or even a funeral! It was in one such event that I met my cousin Rashi after years.

After a few days of gossiping and exploring; we entered the kitchen. Rashi enjoys cooking and eating just as much as the rest of the family. She's the one who taught me this simple recipe, which has an incredibly fancy result!

Ingredients -
  • 4tbsp Condensed milk
  • 20g Butter
  • 250g Chocolate
Melt all the chocolate over a double boiler and keep aside. (I will upload a post on how to temper chocolate properly later).

Beat the butter till it is smooth and slightly pale. Add the condensed milk and 100g of the melted chocolate. This mixture will form the gooey centers.

Pour little amount of chocolate in your molds and swirl around so that all the sides are completely covered. Upturn the mold over your bowl of chocolate and gentle tap to remove any excess chocolate. Allow these shells to set in the fridge for a couple of minutes. Pipe small amounts of the previously made chocolate mixture into the shells till they are three fourth full. Allow to set again for a few minutes. Cover the shells completely with chocolate and set till the chocolate is completely firm. Pop the gooey center chocolates out of the molds and enjoy!

Spicy Lemon Pickle

Any kind of pickle or achaar can spice up a boring dish. My debut with pickle occurred for a very random reason. I was walking out of my society when a lady stopped me and handed over a bag full of lemons. Confused I asked her who they were from; my neighbor had sent them for my grandmother. That's when inspiration struck! There wasn't much I could do with a kilo of lemons apart from make pickle of it. This is an incredibly simple recipe and the amounts can be tweaked according to your tastes. The advantage of making your own pickle is that it will taste exactly how you want it, and there are no preservatives. The measurements that I have given make a rather spicy pickle, incredibly delicious!

Ingredients -
  • 20 medium sized Lemons, quartered
  • 3tbsp red Chili powder
  • 5tbsp Sugar
  • 5tbsp Salt
  • 1 cup of sliced Ginger
  • 3 green Chilies, sliced length-wise
  • A large glass bottle
Soak the bottle in some hot water to sterilize it. Allow it to dry completely in the sun.

Squeeze the juice from the lemon quarters into the bottle and throw the skins in as well. Add all of the remaining ingredients. Close the bottle tightly and shake till everything is combined completely. Place the bottle in the sun for a week shaking it occasionally. The pickle will be ready in about two weeks.

Note - if you want the pickle to mature faster, you can further halve the lemon quarters!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Banoffee Pudding

Ingredients -
  • 1 tin Condensed milk (400g)
  • 4 Bananas, sliced
  • 1 cup crushed Biscuits
  • 20g Butter
  • 200ml fresh Cream, whipped to soft peaks
  • 50g Chocolate, grated
Put the condensed milk in a heavy bottomed saucepan and cook on a low flame till the color darkens slightly and the mixture thickens to a sticky toffee like texture.

Mix the crushed biscuits with the butter and line the base of a glass dish with this mixture. Pat the mixture slightly till you have a rather firm base.

Arrange the sliced bananas over the biscuit base. Spread the toffee over the bananas; cover completely with the whipped cream. Sprinkle the grated chocolate on top. Allow the pudding to set in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours. Serve cold!


This recipe makes about 8 medium sized, thin crust pizzas.

Ingredients -
Pizza dough
  • 800g Maida
  • 200g Semolina (suji)
  • 2 1/2tsp Yeast
  • 1tsp Salt
  • 1tsp Sugar
  • 650ml Water, lukewarm
Tomato Sauce
  • 3 Onions, roughly sliced
  • 5-7 cloves Garlic, peeled
  • 3tbsp Tomato Ketchup
  • 750g Tomatoes, blanched
  • 5 green Chilies, roughly chopped
  • 1tsp Sugar
  •  Salt and pepper to taste
  • 500g Cheese, grated
  • 1 cup Sausages, sliced
  • 1 cup Capsicum, diced into 1cm squares
  • 1 cup Jalapeno peppers, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Onion, diced into 1cm squares
  • 1 cup Salami, diced into 1cm squares 
Pizza dough

Mix the flours together in a large bowl. Mix the water, salt, sugar and yeast together in another bowl. Allow it to froth up a little; this could take about 5-7 minutes. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and combine till you have a sticky dough. Lightly dust your workspace or platform with some flour and tip the pizza dough onto it. Knead the dough till it is smooth and elastic. This will take about 10 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the pizza dough into it. Cover with cling film and allow to rise till double - about two and a half hours.

Tomato Sauce

Fry the onions and garlic in a large wok till the onions are golden. Add the blanched tomatoes and green chilies; allow to cook for a couple of minutes. When the mixture has slightly reduced add the tomato ketchup and gently stir through. Pour this entire mixture into a food processor until it is relatively smooth. Pour it back into the wok, add the sugar, salt and pepper. Allow the mixture to simmer on a low flame for about ten minutes.

Punch out the air from the pizza dough and divide into eight segments. Take one segment, and flatten it out on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pizza out to the size of your baking tray, about 1cm thick. Lightly dust your baking tray with some semolina (suji). Place the rolled out pizza onto the tray.

Spread about 2tbsp of the tomato sauce evenly over the pizza. Sprinkle a little bit of each topping over the tomato sauce. Cover the entire pizza with cheese. Cook in an oven preheated to 250C for about 15 minutes. Serve hot!

Note -

Sprinkle your workspace and baking tray with semolina instead of flour to get a crisper pizza.

Don't overload the pizza with toppings or the pizza will become soggy. The measurements that I have given are enough for 8 pizzas.

You can put whatever toppings you wish to; this is just an idea, and what was available here! Some options could be bacon, meatballs, paneer, chicken and so on.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Chicken and Corn Bake

A bake is incredibly comforting. Warm and delicately flavored, it is the perfect combination to a roast chicken, or you can even eat it on its own.

A few days ago, I got a call from my brother. I was at work so was talking incredibly softly, he insisted that I come home that instant. I cut the call saying I would see. Instantly, my sister called me. She was adamant that I come home. I wasn't left with much of a choice, I told my manager that I had to run and went home. My siblings are awful. They wanted me to make a chicken and corn bake!

Ingredients -
  • 3 cups Corn, boiled
  • 300g Chicken, preferably breast pieces
  • 5 cloves Garlic
  • 50g Butter
  • 4tbsp Flour
  • 500ml Milk
  • 200g Cheese, grated
  • Dried herbs (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 Egg white
 Place the chicken in a shallow saucepan and pour enough water to almost cover the meat. Add salt and pepper to taste and the garlic. Allow to boil the chicken is tender and cooked through. Strain out the liquid and keep aside. Remove the bones from the chicken and chop into small pieces.

Mix the butter and flour in a deep saucepan. Cook for a minute or so till the flour becomes 'furry'. Slowly add the milk while vigorously beating, making sure no lumps form. Add the grated cheese to the sauce till it melts through. Add the chicken broth you kept aside in the previous step. Allow the sauce to gently thicken while stirring occasionally. This should take about 10-15 minutes. Add the boiled corn and chopped chicken to the sauce. Sprinkle some dried herbs and salt and pepper to taste on top. Pour the entire mixture into a baking dish and sprinkle some cheese or whipped egg white on top. Bake in an oven preheated to 250C for about 15-20 minutes. Serve hot.

Note - if you are not happy with the thickness of the sauce then you can mix some more flour in a little bit of water and add this mixture to the sauce. If you feel that it is too thick then you can add some more milk or the water in which you boiled the corn. Do NOT add plain water, using broth enhances the flavor while water will merely dilute it.