Saturday, 22 November 2014

Eggless Orange Cake

My kitchen flooring was ripped due to some plumbing leakage and took almost a month for the all the plumbing work was done and a new floor was put up. It was today we got our kitchen decided to bake some cake, which my kids were after from many days..Although they wanted chocolate cup cakes, but for me something new...which I haven't baked..husband wanted lemon loaf, so thought of giving it a try..but then remembered there were lot oranges in my fruit basket and decided to bake an orange I have always telling you all that we are strictly vegetarian and do not use have to look for eggless version in my cake...So even if it is a cake which has eggs, I will make it a eggless version with lot of available egg substitutes, according, to why the egg was used in the cake and the quantity used...But while looking at different recipes I came across this plain sponge cake recipe here, which was very easy and tried it with fresh orange juice. So you can always visit the link to find the recipe in detail.
I love baking and get excited..Today I was baking after couple of months so took a little longer time in make sure I am doing the right way and all the ingredients are in proportion, which is very important in baking, So here I go with the recipe.

Cake Flour - 2 and 1/2 cups,
Baking Powder - 2 teaspoons,
Baking Soda or Bi Carbonate of Soda - 1 teaspoon,
Melted Butter - 1/2 cup or 125 grams,
Sweetened Condensed milk - 300 grams,
Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice - 1 cup,
Vanilla Extract - 1 teaspoon,
Vinegar - 2 tablespoon,
Salt - a pinch,
Orange Rind -  2 teaspoons,
Sugar - 2 tablespoons.

Preheat Oven at 180 degree celsius.
If You do not have cake flour use plain/all purpose flour.
To make cake flour at home is very easy,  measure a cup of plain flour/all purpose flour.
Then take away 2 tablespoons of flour from the measured flour and place it back in the flour bin.
Replace the removed flour with 2 tablespoons of corn starch to the plain flour and sieve couple of times to mix well.
Now we can proceed with the cake.
Sieve together the cake flour/plain flour with baking powder and baking soda couple of times to make sure the flour and baking powder and soda are mixed well.
Mix all the wet ingredients and orange rind well.
Then slowly incorporate the flour and mix.
Take care the batter is smooth without lumps
Grease a suitable baking pan.
Pour the batter into the greased pan and bake for 30 minutes.
But mine took 40 minutes, so it depends on the oven you bake.
Bake until a skewer comes clean and enjoy.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Mutter Ki Kachori

Kachori is popular snack in various parts of India.  Kachoris can be a great tea/coffee time snack or morning breakfast, that is how it is in many parts of India.  
Stiff dough of plain flour, ghee and salt for outer cover, different vegetables or lentils are stuffed with spices inside the outer cover, sealed and deep fried.  Nowadays even oven baked for healthier version.
Onions, Peas, Paneer and so on are used for stuffing. I have even heard sweet stuffing, which I have not tried.
Kachoris made in Gujarat, has a dash of sweetness in it. But for me generally kachoris are to be spicy.
The flaky crisp outer cover,  and a spicy inside mixture is just a perfect tea time snack or great for winter breakfast. These kachoris with spicy mint or coriander chutney is my way to enjoy it, a complete no no to ketchup or sauce.
This sounds me soo old fashioned ha ha...
There is also a variety of kasta kachoris which is very crisp outer layer.
Today it is Mutter Ki Kachori or simply fresh/frozen green peas kachoris.

For Outer Cover:
Plain/All Purpose flour - 2 cups,
Ghee - 1/3 of a cup,
Oil for deep frying.

For Stuffing:
Fresh/Frozen Peas - 2 cups,
Green Chillies - 2,
Ginger - 1 inch chopped,
Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Cumin Seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Red Chilly Powder - 1 teaspoon,
Garam Masala Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,

Mix plain flour, ghee and salt with water to make a stiff dough.
Keep aside, rest it covered for half hour.
Cook the peas in enough water until soft and cooked.
Drain the water completely. Cool. 
Pulse the cooled peas, with ginger and green chillies to a coarse mixture, without adding water.
You can pulse in a food processor or mixer.
In a pan heat oil and  add cumin, when it crackles, add coarse mixture and fry until it thickens, so you can make balls out of it.
Add salt, red chilly powder and garam masala powder.
Cook for a minute and remove from heat. Allow to cool.
Heat sufficient oil in a frying pan/kadai.
The oil should be medium hot.
Pinch a medium lemon size dough and roll it to your palm size.
Fill a medium lemon size stuffing mixture and and cover and seal well from all sides.
Now again roll to your palm size.
Repeat the same with rest of the dough and stuffing mixture.
Deep fry these discs on both sides to medium brown and serve hot with green chutney.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Iyengar Puliogarai From Scratch

Puliogarai or tamarind rice is a speciality of Iyengar cuisine. No celebration is complete without puliogarai.
When I was little, I have  seen the preparation of this puliogarai paste, the basic paste required to make this tamarind rice. Each and every ingredient was choosen carefully both in quality and quantity. The exact measure of all ingredients, the oil used and so on. The big iron kadai used to be used to boiling this paste. The aged tamarind will be used, mean to say that, tamarind which is bought atleast a year back, is cleaned, pounded and made into big size balls,dried in sun and then stored, after an year this tamarind would have turned to very dark, black colour. This tamarind may be around 3-4 kilograms, used to be soaked in water previous day.
The next step is to make the dry roast powder, well before and keep ready which will go to the puliogarai paste.
Then a stove will be lit in the backyard near to the tap and the big iron kadai is lit, given the seasoning, then add thick tamarind juice and allowed to boil for hours, until it reaches medium consistency.
Then salt and jaggery is added and boiled again to reach more thicker consistency.
Finally Powder is added and boiled in low flame to get lehyam thick, cooled and stored in sterlized air tight bottles.
So when you want to make puliogarai, cook rice and cool.
Add lehgyam and dry roast powder salt and mix and then give the tempering.
Add grated dry coconut and serve.
Now I live abroad, everytime I used carry this paste from My Mom's place and prepare the puliogarai.
But sometimes it used to get over early or due weight limitations I was not able to carry the basic paste, then I used to always think If I had the infrastructure I would have prepared it myself. That's when I started experimenting to make in very less quantity, say just enough to make once or two times.
I succeeded, though I have made a small changes in roasted powder by adding little bit of chana dal and urad dal, which is not used in original powder, but again I have added to give body to the mixture, since I make it in very less quantiy.
To get the exact taste I would suggest you use either sesame oil or groundnut oil only.
Also I would suggest you to make this paste in a week's advance and go ahead with preparing the puliogarai, the older the paste the better the taste.
I have seen storing this in my house for more than a year, without fridge.

Rice - 250 grams,
Oil - 2 tablespoon(preferably sesame or groundnut oil),
Mustard Seeds - 1 tablespoon,
Asafoetida - fat pinch,
Tamarind - 1 large lemon size soaked in water for atleast 3-4 hours,
Jaggery - 2 tablespoons,
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon.

For Roasting and grinding:
Oil - 1 teaspoon,
Chana Dal - 1/2 teaspoon,
Urad dal - 1/4 teaspoon,
Coriander seeds - 3 teaspoons,
Red Chillies - 10-12,
Pepper Corn - 1/2 teaspoon,
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 teaspoon,
Mustard seeds - 1/4 teaspoon,
Fenugreek seeds - 1/8 teaspoon,
Sesame seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - a pinch,
Curry Leaves - 5-6 leaves.

Though originally all the ingredients under dry and roast table is done without oil, as large quantities of ingredients are used and easy to dry roast.
But since I am using very less quantity so I am using oil to roastthe ingredients, with any oil of your wish.
In a pan add oil and heat it. Add all the ingredients under roasting table and in medium low flame fry until evenly browned.
Remove from heat, cool and grind it to fine powder and keep aside.
Strain the thick pulp from the soaked tamarind and keep aside.
In broad deep kadai, heat oil, add mustard seeds and allow to crackle.
Add the thick pulp, and allow to boil with turmeric.
When it reaches to medium thick consistency, add salt and jaggery and boil.
Continue to boil until it thickens to very thick paste.
Add the ground powder and boil for 3-4 minutes you see the whole mixture coming together as a big lump.
Remove from heat and store.

How to proceed:
Cook 250 grams of rice with enough water and spread with fork, to separate the grains, and completely cool it.
Spread the paste on the rice and mix with rice well.
Adjust the salt.
Tear around 10-12 fresh curry leaves into pieces and mix with rice.
In a kadai heat a tablespoon of sesame/ground oil(very important), add a teaspoon of mustard seeds and a pinch of asafoetida.
Add a tablespoon of grated dry coconut and mix.
When mustard seeds crackles, add 3 tablespoons of peanuts and 1 teaspoon of chana dal and fry until brown and add to the rice and serve and enjoy!!!!!!!!!