Wednesday, December 2, 2009

ZeeTV Episode : Italian Cooking : Brinjal Roll-ups & Pumkin Risotto

Pellegrino Artusi wrote the introduction to La Scienza in Cucina e L'Arte di Mangiar Bene (The Science of Cookery and The Art of Eating Well) a century ago, he included advice on when meals should be served:
Breakfast (a cup of coffee and perhaps a pastry) upon arising;
Luncheon at about 12:00;
A more substantial dinner seven hours later.
Since then things have changed; most Italians still eat a simple breakfast consisting of coffee or a cappuccino and a pastry, but the main meal is, if possible, at 1:00, and there is a light supper at about 8:00.
Artusi doesn't say anything about how the meals should be organized, because he assumed his readers would know.
If you've never been to Italy you may well not, even if you enjoy cooking Italian dishes... eating at Italian Joints / Restaurants abroad is nothing close to the food served at home in Tuscany...
So here are some tips for organizing an Italian Dinner.

The organization of an Italian dinner ...
  • The portions are generally larger, and, more importantly, the meals have been organized as a primary entree, be it pasta, meat, or fish, with some sort of side dish.
  • Culinarily, Italy is an incredibly diverse country: Dishes, ingredients, cooking times, and seasonings change radically from one region to the next.
  • A weekday lunch will begin with a primo, or first course, a deep-dish plate of soup, risotto, or pasta of one sort or another. The serving size is about a cup, or perhaps slightly more, and is not intended to be a full meal. In restaurant meals or festive dinners there may be several first courses, for example a risotto, a pasta dish, and ravioli, but their total volume will still be about a cup. By the way, this is called an assaggio di primi, a sampling of firsts.

  • The primo will be followed by a secondo, a fish, meat, egg or vegetable-based main course with a side dish chosen to complement it (for example, scottiglia, a hearty Tuscan stew, might be accompanied by boiled spinach squeezed dry and sautéed with olive oil and garlic). Again, portions are small -- about a quarter pound of the second course, plus a serving of the side dish, and bread. And again, in especially festive occasions there may be more than one secondo. Lunch will usually close with fresh fruit, and a demitasse of espresso.
  • Taken as a whole,the meal is extremely balanced: carbohydrates from the first course and the bread, proteins from the first and second courses, vitamins and minerals from the vegetables and the fruit.
  • In all cases there will also be wine. Indeed, a Piemontese dinner with its rich cheese-based appetizers and hearty braised meats would be but a shadow of itself without a glass of Barolo or Barbaresco, while the fritto misto (mixed fried meats and vegetables) that's such a nice second course on a summer day would seem hopelessly cumbersome were there not a zesty Chianti Classico d'Annata to clear the palate between bites.
  • In a festive meal there may be several wines, chosen to complement their courses, and there will likely be a bottle of sweet sparkling wine with the dessert.
Now that you are all set to organize your Italian Food, here are 2 Italian Veg Recipes.
And NO! It's not Pasta! Its neither Pizza!
The 1st one is a starter : Brinjal Roll-ups
2nd one is a main course recipe : it's RISOTTO!!! and it's PUMKIN RISOTTO!

BRINJAL ROLL-UPS:
 
http://www.mypopkorn.com/tv/aamhi-saare-khavayye-november-18-episode-video-3.html

PUMKIN RISOTTO:
http://www.mypopkorn.com/tv/aamhi-saare-khavayye-november-18-episode-video-4.html

Khate Raho!
Amrutha Langs

ZeeTV Episodes : Scottish Recipes : Shephard's Pie & Crispy Chocolates

Scotland - the land of scones, whisky and bagpiper!!!

Mealie pudding, fruit slices, square sausage, tablet, rowies, drop scones, haggis, broth and a wee dram of whisky now and again - I wish I was born a Scottish!!! For their food atleast!
It's such a feast to enjoy such delicious food.
Here I have put 2 of the tastiest and famous Scottish recipes.
I hope you enjoy cooking them and sharing them with your family and friends.


Shephard's Pie:
http://www.mypopkorn.com/tv/aamhi-saare-khavayye-november-11-episode-video-5.html

Crispy Chocolates:
http://www.mypopkorn.com/tv/aamhi-saare-khavayye-november-11-episode-video-6.html

Khate Raho!
Amrutha Langs

Friday, November 6, 2009

World Classics : Soups

Healthy and nutritious, soups are always ordered by those keeping a tab on thier diet. Soups are not necessarily boring... they can also be amazingly yummy!!!
Here are some soup recipes from all over the world
Do try them...
Buon Souppetito!!!

Fruit Soup of Denmark
Ingredients:
• 250 gm mixed fruit, dried
• 125 gm dried apples
• ¼ cup currants
• ½ cup seeded raisins
• 8 cups cold water
• 2 cups tapioca
• 1 stick cinnamon
• 2 tbsp sugar
• 1 tbsp lemon rind, grated
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ cup heavy cream
• Slivered almonds
Directions:
1. Wash the dried fruits and drain. Add enough water to cover. Reserve the balance. Let stand overnight.
2. In the morning add the tapioca (or red sago), cinnamon and the remainder of the water. Bring slowly to the boiling point, cover with a lid, reduce the heat and simmer very slowly for 2 hours.
3. Add sugar, lemon rind and salt. Simmer a few minutes more. Chill.
4. Serve cold, topped with dabs of whippped cream and slivers of almonds.


Prune and Sago Soup of Denmark
Ingredients:
• 18 large prunes
• ½ cup seedless raisins
• 6 tbsp sago
• 8 cups water
• 1 stick cinnamon
• 1 cup grapefruit juice
• Sugar to taste
• ½ cup green grape juice
• Heavy cream
Directions:
1. Wash the prunes, cover with water and cook until tender. Remove pits. Wash the raisins and drain. Cover with hot water and let stand until soft and plump.
2. Simmer sago slowly in the 8 cups of water with the cinnamon stick until soft, about 1 hour.
3. Add the prunes, raisins and juice. Taste, and add sugar according to your taste. Simmer slowly for 1 hour more.
4. Add ½ cup of grape juice and blend while the soup is warm. Top with whipped cream if you wish.
5. Serve immediately.


Plum Soup of Denmark
• 750 gm plums
• ½ cup sugar
• 1 stick cinnamon
• 8 cups water
• 5 tbsp cornstarch
• 3/8 cup green grape juice
Directions
1. Cut plums in half and remove seeds; do not skin.
2. Boil with sugar and cinnamon. When soft, push through coarse sieve.
3. Reheat. Add cornstarch, boil 5 minutes. Add grape juice.
4. Serve garnished with whipped cream and cookies


Warm Fruit Soup of Denmark
Ingredients:
• ½ cup dried pears
• ½ cup dried peaches
• ½ cup dried apricots
• ½ cup dried prunes
• ½ cup dried apples
• ½ cup raisins
• ¼ cup sago
• ½ cup sugar
• 2 cups water
• 1 stick cinnamon
• ½ cup lemon juice
• 2 drops oil of cloves
• ½ cup grape jelly
Directions:
1. Soak dried fruits in separate bowls over night, using 1½ cups of water for each variety of fruit.
2. Drain the fruit, saving all the juices. Cut soaked fruit into small pieces. Simmer the fruit in the fruit juices until soft.
3. Drain again and into the juice put the tapioca, sugar, the 2 cups of water and the stick of cinnamon. Let boil until the sago is clear, 30 to 35 minutes.
4. Stir in the lemon juice, oil of cloves and the jelly. Cook until the jelly dissolves. Add the fruits and heat through.


Berry Soup of Netherlands
Ingredients:
• 1/2 cup barley
• 6 cups water
• 1/2 cup white sugar
• 1 cup frozen raspberries
• 1/2 cup raisins
• 1 cup pitted cherries
Directions:
1. In a large bowl, soak the barley in the water overnight; do not drain.
2. In a large saucepan over low heat, simmer the barley for one hour. Then add the sugar, raspberries and raisins and simmer for another 30 minutes.
3. Add the cherries and simmer for another 15 minutes, or until the soup becomes relatively thick.
4. Allow to chill in the refrigerator and serve cold.


Chicken Clear Soup of Japan
Ingredients:
• 6 cups Chicken Broth
• 1/3 cup Dry Sherry
• 1/2 tsp Soy Sauce
• Thinly Sliced Lemon

Garnishes
• 6 Sliced Fresh Mushrooms
• 2 Green Onions and tops (Sliced diagonally)
• 1 Very Thinly Sliced Carrot
• a little butter

Directions:
1. Bring broth to a boil. Add sherry and soy sauce; simmer 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Ladle soup into small bowls; float a lemon slice in each bowl.
3. Saute the garnishes with little butter in a pan arrange them on tray to add to the soup as desired.


Danish Cauliflower Soup
Ingredients:
• 1 medium cauliflower
• boiling water
• salt
• 6 tbsp butter
• 4 tbsp flour
• 10 cups stock/bouillon
• 1 cup cauliflower water
• 3 egg yolks — beaten
• 1 tbsp cold water
• ¼ tsp white pepper
• 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
Directions:
1. Cook cauliflower covered with salted boiling water until tender, not too soft. Drain; save cooking water. Separate into flowerettes and keep for tureen.
2. Stir butter and flour together in pan. Add liquids and boil 3-5 minutes.
3. Add egg, water, pepper and cheese. Pour over cauliflower in tureen.


Mushroom Soup Danish Style
Ingredients:
• 6 tbsp butter
• 4 tbsp flour
• Salt to taste
• ½ tsp white pepper
• 4 cups chicken stock
• 500 gm mushrooms
• 8 tbsp cream
• Parsley
Directions:
1. Heat the butter in a pan; add the flour and seasonings.
2. Gradually stir in the stock, stirring until thick.
3. Add the chopped mushrooms and simmer 20 minutes. Add the cream slowly, and sprinkle with minced parsley.
4. Serve immediately.


French Onion Soup
Ingredients:
• 2 large yellow onions, quartered and sliced very thin
• 1/2 cube butter
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 3 cups chicken broth
• 1 tsp. nutmeg, freshly grated
• 2/3 cup grated white cheddar
• ½ cup Gruyere cheese, grated
• 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
• salt to taste
Directions:
1. Melt butter in a pan and saute the onions.
2. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Add the white cheddar, the nutmeg, and the pepper and then adjust salt to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Ladle soup into oven-proof bowls, and divide the gruyere cheese on the top of the soup. Place under the broiler until cheese bubbles.


Greek Lemon Chicken Soup
Ingredients:
• 3 cups chicken & rice soup(broth of chicken and rice cooked together)
• 2 cups water
• 1 Egg, well beaten
• 2 medium Lemons

Directions
1. In a pan, combine the chicken rice soup and water. Boil for 5-6 minutes.
2. In the meanwhile, add some of the hot soup mixture to the well-beaten egg; stir until completely combined.
3. Add this egg-soup mixture to the hot soup; stir to combine.
4. Simmer for 2 minutes or until soup thickens slightly.
5. Slice one of the two lemons into thin circles and squeeze the other lemon.
6. Just before serving, add the lemon slices and juice to the soup.
7. Serve hot.


Garlic Soup of Spain
Ingredients:
• 200 gm white bread
• 2 cloves of garlic
• 2 eggs
• olive oil
• 1 tsp paprika
• salt
Directions:
1. Bring just over 4 cups of water to the boil in a pan. Add a pinch of salt. Now add the crushed garlic, the paprika and pieces of bread and the beaten eggs.
2. Simmer for 5 minutes. Place the mixture in a blender and then add about 4 tbsp of olive oil during the blending. Blend well.
3. Serve immediately or re-heat if necessary.


Osh - Healthy Soup from Persia
Aash-E-Sholeh-Ghalamkar
Ingredients:
• 500 grams vegetables: parsley, dill, coriander, spinach, spring-onion
• 100 grams long-grain or basmati rice
• 100 grams peas
• 100 grams beans
• 100 grams lentils
• 500 grams lamb
• 3 large onions and 2 tomatoes
• 1/2 tsp turmeric and red chilly powder(if you want spicy)
• cooking oil
• ginger, garlic paste
• black pepper and salt to taste
Directions:
Soak peas, beans and lentils in water for 4-5 hours. Peel and chop onions and fry in oil until slightly golden. Cut meat into small pieces and fry with onions and ginger and garlic until it changes colour.
Add peas, beans, lentils, tomatoes, turmeric, red chilly powder, salt, pepper and hot water, and cook over low heat for about one hour. Wash rice and add to the aash. Cook for another 20-30 minutes.
Wash vegetables and chop finely. Add to aash and cook for another 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add more hot water during cooking if necessary.


Russian Soup - Borscht
Ingredients:
• 2 medium Beetroots (scrubbed & cut into chunks)
• 1 medium Carrot; sliced
• 1 medium cucumber, cut into chunks
• 1 medium potato
• 1/2 cup Spinach leaves
• 1/2 cup sprouts
• 1/2 cup Chopped fresh dill
• 2 tbsp lemon juice
• 1/8 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
• 2 cup Vegetable stock

Directions
1. In a food processor, puree the beetroots, carrot, cucumber, potato.
2. Add the spinach, sprouts, dill, lemon juice, and pepper. With the machine running, gradually add the vegetable stock and process until smooth.
3. Transfer the borscht to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until chilled, atleast 2 hours.
4. Serve the soup in individual bowls, garnishing each one with sprouts.
Alternatively if you wanna have it hot, cook the borscht and serve hot!

-Khate Raho!!!
Amrutha Langs

ZeeTV Episodes : Greek Recipes - Chicken with Okra & Tzaziki with Chicken Wrap

Greek Recipes

Chiken with OKRA

Ingredients:
4 chicken drumsticks,
150gms ladyfingers(okra)
1 bowl tomato puree
1 bowl onion chopped
lemon juice
garlic
olive oil
Salt

Method:
Marinate the chicken with garlic, lemon juice, salt, tomato puree and olive oil.
In a pan saute the onion on olive oil and then add the marinated chicken once the onion is light brown.
Meanwhile toss the okra in another pan with just a pince of salt.
Once the chicken is cooked add the okra to this chicken and mix together.
Chicken with okra is ready!
A simple dish, very easy to make, but a completely different combination.
You can view the video of this recipe on the following link:
http://www.mypopkorn.com/tv/aamhi-saare-khavayye-november-4-episode-video-3.html


Tzatiki and Chicken Wrap

Ingredients:
1 bowl Cucumber grated
1/2 bowl Yogurt
olive oil
garlic
1 bowl boneless chicken
Oregano
Salt
lemon juice
2 wraps (rotis) made out of maida (flour)

Method:
Toss the chicken in olive oil with little salt and oregano and let it cook till chicken is tender.
Meanwhile, make the Tzatiki dip. Take yogurt, grated cucumber, garlic, olive oil, oregano, salt and make a smooth paste in mixer. and the dip is ready.
You can apply this dip to the wrap and place some chicken pieces and make a roll and eat!

Try serving his dip with Indian samosas!!!


You can view video of this recipe on the following link:
http://www.mypopkorn.com/tv/aamhi-saare-khavayye-november-4-episode-video-4.html

Khate raho
Amrutha Langs

Friday, October 30, 2009

ZeeTV Episodes : OKTOBERFEST RECIPES: Chicken in Beer & Sausages in Beer-Raisin Sauce


The Germans are known to the whole world as a true beer-loving nation.
And there is no exaggeration here!

Beer's history dates back to prehistoric ancient times when the Sumarians discovered the fermentation process (about 6000 years ago). Babylonians and Egyptians developed the art of brewing beer, and passed it to Romans who considered it to be a barbarian drink. The Teutons, the ancient Germans, regarded beer as a sacrifice to the gods. They started producing the first proof beer in the early Hallstatt Period (about 800 B.C.). In the Middle Ages beer brewing turned into a favorite occupation of monks who served it with their meals.


The art of brewing beer owes much to monasteries where it was developed scientifically. Then began the flavoring of beer, first in Brabant monasteries, which gave the Brabant king, Gambrinus, the title of patron saint of beer. Besides its outstanding peculiar taste, beer is also highly estimated as an economic factor.


And Germany is the country where beer is greatly praised and served everywhere.

Anyone who has been to a beer garden in Germany knows that the people who idle there for hours take the accuracy of their pours seriously.
and ... Its not just about drinking beer but its about enjoying every moment with the beer and singing and tanzing err... I mean ... dancing on some merrymaking songs like... Komm und tanz or Heimatland or Jaegersburger March or Hoer mir mal zu or schoene platz ...
Oktoberfest is the world's largest beer festival which is held annually in Munich, Germany.
This 16-day party attracts loads of people every year who consume like a million gallons of beer, and load and loads of pairs of pork sausage, and roasted chickens during the two-week extravaganza.
While the event reinforces stereotypical images of beer-loving, meat-loving Germans dressed in dirndls and lederhosen, visitors to the annual event come from all over the world.
Oktoberfest is in fact one of Munich's largest and most profitable tourist attractions.
The folk festival has given its name to similar festivals worldwide that are at least in part modeled after the original Bavarian Oktoberfest. The largest Oktoberfest held outside of Germany takes place each year in the twin cities of Kitchener-Waterloo in Canada, where a large ethnic German population resides. The largest such event in the United States is Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati in Ohio, which boasts half a million visitors each year.


So Prost!!! ... Gesundheit!!!
Let us also Rise Beer and try these BEER RECIPES:

Chicken in Beer

Ingredients:
1 bowl of Chicken Pieces (boneless/thigs/breasts)
1 small bowl of onion sliced
1 tablespoon Butter
1 bowl beer
2-3tablespoons brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Bread sliced cut into fingers and deep fried

Method:
Take some butter in a pan, and saute the onion till golden brown.
Meanwhile, in a bowl take the brown sugar, beer and salt and marinate the chicken pieces in it for atleast half an hour.
Once the onion is done add the marinated chicken to it and let it cook for a while, later add pepper and salt if needed.
Serve with the bread fingers!!!

For the video of this recipe click on the following link:
http://www.mypopkorn.com/tv/aamhi-saare-khavayye-october-28-episode-video-3.html



Sausages in Beer & Raisin Sauce

Ingredients:
10 Sausages (cut into half / like a banana split)
2 tablespoons Butter
some Mushrooms & Carrots
1 smal bowl Raisins

1 bowl beer
3-4 tablespoons Brown Sugar
a pinch of cinnamon powder & clove powder
salt 7 pepper to taste
1 tablespoon cornflour

Method:
For making the Sauce:
Soak the raisins overnight (or atleast for half an hour) in beer.
In a pan take some butter, add brownsugar and let it caramalize. Now add the soaked raisins along with beer.
Meanwhile, take 1 tbspn cornflour and mix it with water, and add this paste to the above mixture, stirring constantly,so that no lumps are formed.
add salt and pepper to taste. a pinch of cinamon and clove powder.
and the Sauce is ready.

Toss the sausages, mushrooms and carrots seperately and take them in a bowl.
Now pour the beer and raisin sauce over it and serve as a starter.

For the video of this recipe click on the following link:
http://www.mypopkorn.com/tv/aamhi-saare-khavayye-october-28-episode-video-4.html



-Khate Raho!!!
Amrutha

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kitchen Essentials : Quick Recipes

These are some real quick recipes for the hectic days or for the days when you dont feel like cooking...

  • Make a thin square slice of a Paneer chunk (of the size of a bread slice), cut capsicum rings, fry it and use is as a patty for sandwich.
  • Half-boil green peas and then fry them with chopped ginger and lots of garlic. Add lemon juice and coriander leaves.
  • Boil small potatoes, peel them. Make powder of ajwain (owa). Fry a little garlic paste, add the ajwain and then add the potatoes and little bit of amchoor powder.
  • Fry chopped ladyfinger (just slit them in middle and fry) till crispy and cooked, add little amchoor powder. Tastes yum. and its a real quick starter. You can make a tadka for it of - raai (mustartd seeds/mohri) and garlic.
  • If you are tired of the same old rice and dal and feel like eating something different but dont have time for biryani or pulao. Just take a spoon of oil, put some crushed black pepper and jeera and add rice. Add water, salt and cook the rice. Pressure cook the dal, and give a quick tadka of red chillies and load of garlic and add some corriander to this dal before serving. You dalt tadka and Jeera rice is ready in 15 mins!!!
  • Take some fresh curd, add some salt and red chilly powder, add chopped onion and mix. Quick Raita is ready to be served with parathas or biryani or a dip with hot kachoris or samosas.
  • Take some mint leaves, corriander, ginger and form it into a fine paste, add some lemon juice and rock salt to it and pour it into a bottle and store this in your refrigerator. Whenever needed take 2 spoons of this mixture in a glass and some cold water to it. Makes a great cooler for hot days!!! and it also works as an appetizer, just like jaljeera.
  • Toss some brinjals on mustard seeds and hing and let it cook till its soft and nice brown. Meanwhile, mix garam masala powder, red chilly powder, salt, corriander powder and cumin powder to dahi and make a smooth mixture. Now pour this mixture on the brinjals and let it cook for 5 mins. Delicious "restaurant-style"  Baingan Kashmiri are ready.
  • Toss some boneless chicken with garlic and ginger paste and red chilly powder. Meanwhile, take a maggi / knorr soup packet and mix it with water and make a think paste. Now add this paste to the chicken once its tender. Add salt to taste and your delicious chicken is ready without any special masalas or any difficult method. Children love it and everyone dives into it. People will not understand its the soup packet that has done the miracle. (Soup packet can be : tomato, muchroom, or veg any flavour is fine, it depends on your taste buds completely)
  • Take some ripe bananas and mash them in a bowl, add sugar and wheat flour / rava (semolina) to it. Make a batter out of it by adding little milk if needed. Now make small pancakes out if it and serve hot with honey!!!
What say guys??? Is cooking all that difficult???
Naaahhhh!!! I dont think so... I think Indian Men should also start cooking, what say gals???

-Khate Raho
Amrutha

Monday, October 26, 2009

KIWI CHEESE CAKE - Gaurav's Surprise Birthday Party

... A few days ago I was expecting some friends for my husband's surprise birthday bash.
My goal was to entertain from my kitchen.
The house was decorated ...


I made a great menu with - pizza tarts, garlic bread, champinones rellenos, fried rice and mushroom-babycorn veggie with chinese style gravy.
















Dessert was a real effort. It was a lucious kiwi cheese cake.
I'm sure it was delicious.
It was beautiful.
I had made some kiwi swirls for decorations.
I was proud.
But as the saying goes!!!
Pride goes before a fall...
As I was putting the cake back in the fridge, it slipped right off the cake stand.
SPLAT!!!
hehehe

so, finally I had to make another cake... that was CHOCOLATE RUM CAKE, as I was out off kiwis...
it turned our quite well... infact everyone enjoyed!!!


And the party ...






-Khate Raho!!!
Amrutha

APPLE!!! APPLE!!! APPLE!!! - ALL THE WAY!!!

We have a fun Five in A Row book to read this week, How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman.

It has a bunch of books to read along. It will be a week full of apples, other apple pie ingredients and the far away places they come from.


The Amazing Apple Book by Paulette Bourgeois

A Cow, A Bee, A Cookie and Me by Meredith Hooper

How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the USA by Marjorie Priceman

Johnny Appleseed: The Legend and the Truth by Jane Yolen

What Food is This? by Rosemarie Hausherr

Apple Harvest by Calvin Harris

Children Just Like Me by Barnabas Kindersley

And Everything Nice: the Story of Sugar, Spice and Flavoring by Elizabeth K. Cooper

Apple Valley Year by Ann Warren Turner

The Apple Pie that Papa Baked by Lauren Thompson

Robert Frost by Robert Frost

The Growing Up Tree by Vera Rosenberry

The Biography of Sugar by Rachel Eagen

The Biography of Spices by Ellen Rodger

The Apple King by Francesca Bosca

Pancakes, pancakes! by Eric Carle

It's going to be a yummy week.
I'm sure we'll make an apple pie and do some APPLE recipes!!!
After all,
An Apple A Day, Keeps Doctor Away!

-Khate Raho!
Amrutha

Friday, October 23, 2009

CHOCOLATE RECIPES

Today I got a mail from one of our family friend Mr. Phadnis, and he has asked a recipe for yummy chocolates.

Here's the letter...

Dear Amrutha,
Could you pl send me a guaranteed recipe to make a real soft and delicious cadbury chocolate from Cocoa powder? I have tried but invariably land up with hard crusty chocolates, difficult even to give a nice shape.

Sir,
Here I am giving some yummy chocolate recipes for you. I know that Chocolate is great for gift giving as well as for serving at your own table for dessert.
You can buy chocolate in a variety of shapes sizes and forms, but if you really want to present something special, there is nothing like making homemade chocolates.

Here I am gicing a few tips and foolproof recipes.
Do try them and let me know.

The first thing you need, of course, is some chocolate and a mold.
You can get chocolate in a variety of flavors - milk, semi-sweet, dark, white. You can even get the white chocolate in colors if you like. You can buy them in chips or in blocks.


The most important step while making homemade chocolates is to melt the chocolate.
Now you may use double boiler method or the easier option, which is microwave.
Whichever way you opt for, please pay attention to it.
Chocolate is like baby, no doubt its sweeeeet, but also you need to treat it very carefully.

While using the double boiler method, do not let even a drop of water go into the chocolate, as it can spoil the chocolate, it can become just like when you drop limejuice in milk.
So be vry careful with that.

Now once its melted.
Add nuts of your choice, or now that strawberrys are gonna be in market, use fresh strawberrys, by washing them and most importantly drying them completely.
Now dip the whole nuts or raisins or berries in the chocolate and place over a tray. (tray should be well greased with unsalted butter or place aluminium foil on it).
and freeze them.
or if you want a particular shape then scoop the melted chocolate with a teaspoon/tablespoon(depending on the size wanted) and pour in the moulds.

If the chocolate doesn’t slide right out, try tapping the back gently or running it under warm water.
and Voila C'est pret!!!

Chocolate with cocoa powder recipe

Place some butter in a medium saucepan.Add 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder and 1/2 cup milk(add more if needed)
Boil it over medium heat.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and add 1 cup of powdered sugar. Mix until the sugar is well blended. If you don't want lumps in your chocolate, sift the powder sugar first.

Stir in 1 tablespoon vanilla and chopped walnuts or any type of nut.
Pour or scoup the mixture in the mould and freeze.


Try RUM KUGELN, that's also a nice change from the regular chocolates, here's the link to it...
http://amruthazcookbook.blogspot.com/2009/09/rum-kugeln.html


Khate raho!!!
Amrutha

MUSHROOM RECIPES

My Friend writes to me,

Dear Amrutha,
My husband loves Mushrooms, but doesnot enjoy the mushrooms cooked at home, prefers the restaurant.
I have always wanted my curry to taste like the one in restaurants. But I have never got that. Suggest a recipe.
-Pallavi

Pallavi here's a recipe for you...
Any MUSHROOM is undoubtedly the tastiest veggie dish!!!
I make this mushroom dish quiet often and everyone at my place enjoys it, infact love it!!!
Its not just my husband's fav, but my in-laws also enjoy eating it...
I am giving here 2 mushroom recipes, which are tried and tested and successful!!!
So enjoy!!!

MUSHROOM MASALA CHINESE STYLE

Ingredients:
1 big bowl of mushrooms washed and diced
6-7 cloves of garlic
2 red chillies
1 small onion cut into 4pieces
2 tablespoons cornflour
1 smal bowl of water
2 tablespoons kasuri methi
salt to taste
1 tablespoon oil

Method:
Grind the red chillies with garlic and onion and make a fine paste.
In a kadhai (or wok), heat the oil and put the kasuri methi, and then add the paste to it.
Saute a bit.
Add the mushrooms and let the mushrooms cook and let it become dry.
Meanwhile, mix the cornflour in water and make sure there are no lumps formed.
Now stiring constantly add this cornflour paste to the mushrooms, and keep stirring it.
Now add salt to taste.
Its ready to serve!!!

  • For the chinese touch: donot use kasuri methi, add soya sauce or if you enjoy spicy food then schezwan sauce to it.
  • You can add baby corn, capsicum, cherry tomatoes, brocolli, cabbage for a different touch.
  • You may also deep fry cauliflower by dipping in cornflour paste and add this fried cauliflower to this gravy.

MUSHROOM WITH DILL

Ingredients:
1 bowl mushrooms washed and diced
1 bowl dill (shepu) washed and finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
salt to taste

Method:
In a pan, melt some butter, add the mushrooms and finely chopped dill.
Let it cook for 10 mins, add salt and its ready!
Its the easiest recipe and very healthy and believe me extremely tasty!!!

Do try it and let me know

Khate raho
Amrutha

Thursday, October 22, 2009

ZeeTV Episodes : Halloween Delicacies

Halloween (also spelled Hallowe'en) is an annual holiday celebrated on October 31. It has roots in the Gaelic festival of Samhain and the Christian holy day of All Saints. It is largely a secular celebration but some have expressed strong feelings about perceived religious overtones.
Irish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America during Ireland's Great Famine of the 1840s

The day is often associated with orange and black, and is strongly associated with symbols like the jack-o'-lantern. Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, wearing costumes and attending costume parties, ghost tours, bonfires, visiting haunted attractions, pranks, reading scary stories, and watching horror films.
The term Halloween, originally spelled Hallowe’en, is shortened from All Hallows' Even – e'en is a shortening of even, which is a shortening of evening. This is ultimately dervied from the Old English Eallra Hālgena fen.It is now known as All Saints' Day.

Because the holiday comes in the wake of the annual apple harvest, candy apples (known as toffee apples outside North America), caramel or taffy apples are a common Halloween treat made by rolling whole apples in a sticky sugar syrup, sometimes followed by rolling them in nuts.

One custom that persists in modern-day Ireland is the baking (or more often nowadays, the purchase) of a barnbrack (Irish "báirín breac"), which is a light fruitcake, into which a plain ring, a coin and other charms are placed before baking. It is said that those who get a ring will find their true love in the ensuing year. This is similar to the tradition of king cake at the festival of Epiphany.

Other foods associated with the holiday:
Apple cider (unfiltered apple juice) , Barmbrack (Ireland) , Bonfire toffee (Britain) , Candy apple , Candy corn (North America) , Caramel apple , Caramel corn , Cider , Colcannon (Ireland) , Popcorn , Pumpkin, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread , Roasted pumpkin seeds , Roasted sweet corn , Soul cakes , Novelty candy shaped like skulls, pumpkins, bats, worms, etc.

Corn on the Cob with a twist
Ingredients:
2 Corns
10 tablespoons butter
3-4 tablespoons corriander / dill / parsely

Method:
Mix the corriander / dill / parsley (whichever you have taken) with butter and apply it generously to the corn.
Cover the corn with its leaves and tie it with a thread if needed and roast the corns.
Serve hot!!!

You can view the video of this recipe on the following link:
http://www.mypopkorn.com/tv/aamhi-saare-khavayye-october-21-episode-video-4.html


Green Pea Soup

Ingredients:
1 bowl of boiled peas mashed
1 spring onion chopped finely
2/3 cloves of garlic
salt and oregano to taste
some mozarella cheese
1 tablespoon butter
1 bowl of vegetable stalk
1 tablespoon fresh cream

Method:
In a soup pot take some butter and add garlic and spring onion to it once its sauted add the mashed peas.
Add the stalk and let it boil.
Now cut the mozarella to small pieces and add it into the soup.
Let it cook for 5-10 mins and then add salt and oregano to taste.
Serve hot with a dollop of fresh cream.

You can view the video of this recipe on the following link:
http://www.mypopkorn.com/tv/aamhi-saare-khavayye-october-21-episode-video-3.html

Khate Raho
Amrutha Langs

Diwali in Kenya

With lots of Patels and Mehtas in Kenya their influence have considerable economic influence and are a well-respected minority. They also celebrate the major Indian or Hindu festivals of the Hindu solar calendar.


They usually celebrate their festivals the same way India does. The significance, customs and belief related to the festival of light, therefore is almost same like that of India. Illumination, worshiping of God and Goddess of wealth and prosperity are some of the common practice. Diwali is also declared as a national holiday in Kenya.

Delicacies are:

Ugli

The traditional Kenyan accompaniment to meats and stews.

2 Cups maizemeal or cornmeal or semolina
4 Cups of water
salt & pepper to taste
Method:
In large saucepan boil the water. Sprinkle maizemeal into boiling water, stirring. Cook porridge for 20 minutes until it is very thick and smooth. Stir continuously to keep the mixture from sticking or burning. Cover the pot and leave on a very low heat for 10-15 minutes to finish the cooking. Serve hot.



Vegetable Curry


Ingredients:
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 tblsp. oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. mustard seeds (the black kind, if possible)
8 medium potatoes, quartered
1 and 1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, crushed
1 large garlic clove, minced and crushed
1 tblsp. ground cumin
1 tblsp. whole coriander, crushed
2 chili peppers or 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. salt
4 cinnamon sticks
6 cloves
4 oz. tomato paste
1/2 bowl. green beans
1/2 of a small cauliflower
1 medium eggplant
1/2 bowl. fresh green peas, shelled, or 1 small package of frozen green peas
1 bunch of fresh leafy greens (kale, spinach, collards, etc.), or 1 small package of frozen greens
1/2 cup dry chickpeas, cooked (optional)

Method:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large, heavy skillet or pot, brown the onions in moderately hot oil along with the cumin seeds and mustard seeds.
Add the potato pieces (peeling is optional), and stir to coat each piece with the spices. Now add the remaining spices and continue to stir for several minutes.
Thin the tomato paste with about 2/3 cup of water. Stir into the pot. Add vegetables, one at a time, cooking for a minute or so between each addition, and put in the cooked chickpeas last.

If your pot is not oven proof, transfer mixture to one that is.

Cover with a lid or seal with foil and bake for about 45 minutes, checking after the first 20 minutes.

The consistency should be rather thick, but add liquid if necessary to prevent burning. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

Serve over rice or with Chapatis

Khate Raho
Amrutha Langs

Diwali in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is on the extreme southeastern point of India. Related to the epic of Ramayana, Diwali holds a special importance for the people here. The festival is marked by illumination, making of toys of enamel and making of figures out of crystal sugar popularly known as Misiri. The sugar crystals take the place of sweets. Hindus light oil lamps to invite the blessings of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Burning of crackers in the evening of the festival is a common practice of this festival. Srilanka's celebration may lack many of the traditional aspects of Diwali such as games, fireworks, singing and dancing, but the tradition of a large meal is admirably preserved.


Delicacies are:

Egg Hoppers

2 cups white long grain Rice

3/4 cup THICK Coconut milk or Evaporated milk
1 tbs Cooked white Rice
1 tsp dry Yeast
1/2 tsp Sugar
2 tbs lucke warm water
1-2 cups THIN Coconut milk or diluted Evap. milk
Eggs

METHOD:

Soak rice in water overnight (or until soft).
Add yeast and sugar into luke warm water and set aside.
Drain water from cooked rice. Blend the soaked rice, milk and cooked rice in a blender until thick and creamy (The consistancy should be that of thick cream).
Transfer into a bowl and add the foamy yeast mixture. Mix well.
Close and leave in a warm placefor at least 6 hrs.

Add thin warm coconut (or diluted evap. milk) to the thick batter while stirring (The consistancy of the batter should be similar to pan-cake batter).
Add salt to taste.
Pour spoon fulls into heated, greased hopper-pan (Can experiment with a Chinese wok, which is similar in shape to a hopper-pan)
make sure that the inside of the pan is well covered with the batter.
Close with lid and cook until done.

To make egg hoppers, cover the inside of the pan with the batter by swerling it (same as before) and then crack-drop an egg to the center, close with lid and cook until done.

Serve with any spicy curry.


IMBUL KIRI BATH - COCONUT TREACLE MIX


800 g finely scraped Coconut
2 Cups Treacle (Coconut or Kithul treacle)
4 Cloves
Pinch of Salt
MILK RICE
2 Cups short grain white Rice
2 Cups thick Coconut milk
2 tsp Salt
3 Cups Water

METHOD:
(1) Prepare the Coconut Treacle Mix
Pour the treacle into a pot and bring to a boil while stirring.
Add the Coconut and mix well.
Take off the heat.
Add the pinch of salt and the cloves, mix well.

(2) Prepare the Milk Rice
Put Rice and water into a pan and bring to a boil.
Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Add coconut milk and Salt.
Stir with handle of wooden spoon, cover and cook on low heat for another 10-15 minutes (until the milk has been absorbed).

(3) Combine
Divide the slightly cooled milk rice into two portions.
On a flat dish, evenly spread out a layer of milk rice using one portion (should be at least. 1 cm thick).
Then evenly spread the coconut treacle mix on top.
Cover it completely (including from the sides) with the second portion of the milk rice.
It is important to do all this before the milk rice cools down too much as it will become too sticky to handle.
Cut into blocks.

Serve with bananas at tea time.

Khate Raho
Amrutha Langs

Diwali in Singapore

One of the festivals that unite the people irrespective of their religion and nationality is Diwali in Singapore. Hindus celebrate the annual Festival of Lights - Diwali - with elaborate light and candle decorations, creating a beautiful spectacle as the night draws in. The festive atmosphere generates a feeling of joy and happiness and is to be felt and shared in Singapore. As a policy, crackers are not sold to avoid noise pollution and only sparklers can be bought.


To mark Deepavali- the Hindu festival of lights, "Little India" on Serangoon Road is decorated with lights, garlands and colorful arches. Today, Little India is the emotional and commercial center of the local Indian community. On Diwali day, children accompanied by parents will go to open area to light the sparklers since most of the people live in high-rise apartments.

There are more than 18 temples in Singapore and it is customary to offer prayers at the temples. The whole atmosphere provides a feeling of being at home and enables newcomers to easily integrate with the rest of the society. This reminds us of the Tamil proverb "Yaadhum Oore Yaavarum Kelir" which means, 'every country is my own and all the people are my kinsmen.'

Delicacies are:
The ethnic diversity of the nation imparts a strong influence on the cuisines of Singapore. The cuisines of Singapore bear strong influence of the Malaysian, Indian, Chinese, and Indonesian delicacies. The western traditions can also be reflected in the Singaporean cuisines. In Singaporean hawker stores one can come across a Chinese chef experimenting with tamarind, turmeric and ghee, which bear strong influence with the Indian style of cooking.

Char Kway Teow - stir-fried rice noodles with shrimp

Oil -- 1/4 cup


Garlic, minced -- 2-3 cloves

Sambal oelek (chile paste) -- 1-2 tablespoons

Chinese sausages, sliced into rounds -- 1-2

Shrimp, peeled and deveined -- 1/2 bowl

Fresh rice noodles -- 1 bowl

Soy sauce -- 1/4 cup

Brown sugar -- 1 tablespoon

Eggs, beaten -- 2

Mung bean sprouts -- 1 cup

Scallions, chopped -- 3-4 each

Method

Heat the oil in a wok or heavy-bottomed pot over high flame. Add the garlic and sambal oelek and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Add the Chinese sausage and shrimp and stir fry until shrimp is almost cooked through.

Reduce heat to medium and stir in the rice noodles, tossing them to heat through. Scrape the bottom of wok or pot frequently to minimize sticking. Then stir in the soy sauce and brown sugar and stir in to season the noodles.

Scoop the noodles away from the center of the wok or pot and pour the beaten egg into the cleared space. Let the egg cook until just set, and then stir into the noodles.

Add the sprouts and scallions and continue to cook, tossing frequently, until the sprouts are just cooked through. Adjust seasoning and serve hot.


Khate Raho
Amrutha Langs

Diwali in Myanmar

Diwali is also celebrated in Myanmar...


Sharing the eastern border of India, Myanmar has a good number of Hindu populations. Hence most of the Hindu festivals are celebrated here. Diwali is one of them that is celebrated according to the Hindu solar calendar.
The festival day is celebrated by worshiping God. A good number of lights or traditional lamps are lit to illuminate the home inside and outside. Delicious foods are cooked and new garments are worn. Traditional dancing and music follow to mark the occasion. Everyone enjoys the sweets, the lights, the crackers and the enthusiasm to the festival. But there is much more to Diwali than feasting and merrymaking.

Delicacies are:

Moh let saung
(Coconut milk with sago)
l cup sago (sabudana)

4 cups water
¾ cup chopped palm sugar
ice cubes
4 cups coconut milk
1 cup sugar

Method:

Wash and soak sago for approximately l hour, drain and put m a large saucepan with 3 cups of the water. Bring to the boil and simmer over a moderate heat until sago grains are clear. Cool and chill. Put palm sugar in a small saucepan with remaining water and heat gently until the cakes of sugar dissolve. Cool and strain the syrup. For each serving, put approximately 4 tablespoons of chilled sago into a tall glass, add 3 tablespoons syrup (or more according to taste) and mix well. Add 2-3 ice cubes and fill up with coconut milk. Stir and serve immediately.

Spiced coconut and sweet potatoes
Ingredients:
1 Onion, chopped

3 Garlic Cloves, crushed
2 Large Chillies, finely chopped
1 teasp Ground Turmeric
1 teasp freshly grated Root Ginger
Salt and Black Pepper
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 bowl Coconut Milk
1/2bowl Water
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
4-5 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and sliced

Directions

In a pan take a soonfull of oil, put chillies, garlic, ginger, turmeric, onion, and saute for a while.
Then add the soy sauce and salt and pepper.
Now add the coconut milk and little water if needed. Cook for 5 minutes stirring constantly.
Add the sweet potato, mix well and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Put the lemon juice and serve hot.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Diwali in Indonesia

The name Indonesia came from two Greek words: "Indos" meaning Indian and "Nesos" meaning islands. The majority of population in Indonesia follows Islam. Hindus constituent about 2% of Indonesia's total population. However, the Indonesian island of Bali is famous for celebrating the festival of Diwali, as a majority of the population here are Indians. It is one of the most revered festivals of the locals here. The celebration and rituals of the festival is mostly similar to that celebrated by their counterparts in India.


Delicacies are:

Indonesian food reflects the country's diverse cultures and traditions. In general, Indonesian food is rich in spices. The indigenous cooking techniques and ingredients have benefited from trade and influences originating in places as far away as India, China, the Middle East, and Europe.


Different regions in Indonesia offer different dishes. The Minangkabau region for instance, in West Sumatra, is represented all over the world for it's Padang style food (Padang is the capital city of West Sumatra). Padang style food is pretty spicy and in local restaurants it is being served by waiters who will put all of the earlier prepared dishes on your table and you only pay for the ones you have touched.


Indonesia is well known for its cuisine. Especially the rice table, that was actually an invention of the Dutch, back in colonial times, is very well known. It consists of a lot of different dishes, a bit like a buffet. Most of you know fried rice (nasi goreng), satay (or sateh in bahasa Indonesia) and maybe some of the Indonesian soups (soto). But ofcourse there is a lot more to the Indonesian cuisine.

Rice is a staple food for the majority of Indonesians. It holds an important place in the country's culture. It shapes the landscape, is served in most meals, and drives the economy. Plain rice is known as nasi putih. Often, it is accompanied by a few protein and vegetable side dishes. Rice is also served as ketupat (rice steamed in woven packets of coconut leaves), brem (rice wine), and nasi goreng (fried rice).


In the eastern part of Indonesia, however, corn, sago, cassava, and sweet potatoes are more common. Sago is a powdery starch made from processed pith, the soft and spongy cells found inside the trunk of the Sago Palm (Metroxylon sago). Sago is usually cooked as pancake and eaten with fish and vegetable side dishes.


As its endless coastlines are strategically located between two oceans, the country enjoys an abundance of salt-water fish and seafood. Its many lakes and rivers too provide fresh-water fish. Not surprisingly, fish is major source of protein for the people of Indonesia. Fish is usually smoked, grilled, baked, or cooked.


Next to meat and fish, Indonesians' other main source of protein is soy. Soy-based dishes such as tahu (tofu) and tempe are very popular in Indonesia. In fact, tempe is an adaptation of tofu to the tropical climate of Indonesia. It is uniquely Indonesian. Tempe is made through a controlled fermentation process that binds soybean into a cake form. The fermented soybean holds more protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins than regular tofu. Tempe is usually prepared by cutting it into small pieces, soaking it in a salty sauce and then frying it to a golden brown. Cooked tempe can be eaten alone or accompanied with chili.


Perhaps the most famous Indonesian condiment is called sambal. It is made from various spices including chili, shallots, garlic, and trasi (shrimp paste). It can be served either as a side dish or as a substitute for fresh chili. Sambal is often cooked with fish, vegetables, and meat. Some popular Indonesian sambal include sambal bajak, sambal balado, sambal belacan, and sambal tomat.

Fruit is also an important part of the Indonesian diet. Fruit is usually served fresh, made into dessert, jelly, or rujak (fruits mixed with savory sauce). Tropical fruits such as banana, papaya, coconut, pineapple, jackfruit, salak, and others are widely available throughout the islands. Seasonal fruits such as water melon, mangosteen, rambutan and durian are also available. Traditionally, the main meal is served at midday. Food that was cooked in the morning is set out all at once for the rest of the day. Members of the family then help themselves, serving with a spoon and eating with their right hands. Today, meals are eaten using modern utensils, usually a fork and a spoon. A soup or vegetable dish may be included in a meal. Sambal is often served with the food.


And one such recipe of fruit with jelly is Jakarta Delight, the recipe for which you can find on my earlier blogs.

Another recipe is:

Kroket Kentang - Potato Croquettes

Ingredients:

2 eggs, lightly whisked
2 teaspoons water
2 cups breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons oil
2 bowls peeled potatoes, cooked and mashed
4 tablespoons powdered milk
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
4 chopped garlic cloves
10 shallots
2 stalk sliced celery
1 bowl cooked ground meat
2 diced carrots
water as needed
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper (to taste)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
4 teaspoons cornstarch, mixed with
2 teaspoons water


Method:

For Fillng:
Stir-fry garlic and shallots with a little butter or margarine.
Stir in meat, carrot and celery.
Then add water and the rest of the spices.
Mix in cornstarch and stir until mixture thickens.
Add a little bit of the above mixture to the center of a small round ball of mashed potato.
Cover the mixture and shape into a round ball.
Roll the finished ball into lightly whisked egg mixture and then roll onto the bread crumbs.
Deep fry in hot oil until lightly browned.

Khate raho!!!
Amrutha

Diwali in Malaysia...

In Malaysia...
Malaysia as a country is well known for its diversity. Among diverse culture of Malaysia, Diwali is celebrated in Malaysia by people of all races inhabiting there. Far away in another part of the world, even though Diwali Festival is not celebrated with all that pomp and gaiety, for Indians it is still a time to take a trip back the memory lane and enjoy the festival days spent back home in India celebrating the grand occasion. It is time to invite the Malays and Chinese to their houses. Its a public holiday in Malaysia and time to visit and pay homage to the elders. However crackers are banned in Malaysia.
The Hindu community of Malaysia constitutes about 8% of its total population. The community celebrates Diwali festival as a symbol of triumph of good over evil. The Malaysian people call Diwali as Hari Diwali. The south Indian tradition of oil bath precedes all the rituals of Diwali Festival. The Diwali celebration includes visits to temples and prayers at household altars. Diwali is celebrated almost all over the Malaysia except in Sarawak & Federal Territory of Labuan.
Delicacies are:

A meeting of cultures, a wealth of culinary delights... this is Malaysian Cuisine.


Cabbage in Coconut Gravy (Kubis Masak Lemak)

Ingredients:
2 red chillies
4 shallots
2 cups water
1 cup shelled prawns
300 gms cabbage
2 cups thick coconut milk from 1 coconut
4 cups thin coconut milk from 1 coconut
1 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

Method:
Pound the red chillies and shallots. Place in a pan with thin coconut milk and bring to boil.

Add prawns and sliced cabbage. When the cabbage is tender, addd in the thick coconut milk.
Let the gravy boil once and lift from flame.
Serve hot with rice.

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce


The all time fav and very popular in India

Ingredients for  SATAY:


4 chicken breast fillets, cut into long thin strips

1 tbsp coriander seed and 2 tsp fennel seed (dry-fried and ground well)

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 oiece lemongrass (two inches long), shredded

1/2 tsp turmeric

2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil

Juice of 1/2 a lime

Ingredients for PEANUT SAUCE


150g peanuts, fried/grilled and blended coarsely

1 tsp vegetable oil

2 shallots finely chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 or 2 chillies, seeded and finely chopped

1 piece shrimp paste (belacan) or 1 tbsp fish sauce

2 tbsp tamarind sauce

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 tbsp honey

Method:
Prepare the marination. Add ground fennel and coriander to garlic, soy sauce, sugar, salt, turmeric, lemon grass, sesame oil and lemon juice in a wok. Heat up, slowly stir over the fire till it boils. Allow the mixture to cool, spread it over the chicken and leave in fridge for 8 hours.

Thread each chicken strip onto bamboo skewers. Arrange on a flat plate.
Prepare the peanut sauce. Fry onion, garlic and chillies in a wok. Add shrimp paste or fish sauce, coconut milk and honey. Simmer briefly. Add the peanuts.
Grill or barbecue the satay. Brush the chicken with a piece of lemon dipped in a mixture of oil and water.

Diwali in Nepal...

In Nepal...

Surrounded by majestic Himalayas, Nepal, is a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual society and the only Hindu Kingdom of the world. Hindus in Nepal celebrate the Diwali festival with bright lights, gift exchanges, fireworks, and elaborate feasts to welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of light and wealth. Various houses and shop front in Katmandu, Nepal, displays the bright lights typical of Hindu communities during Diwali.

Diwali is celebrated here with the usual Hindu festivities and rituals. Diwali in Nepal is known as Tihar. Just like most places in India Diwali is celebrated here to honor the goddess of wealth and god of prosperity-Lakshmi and Ganesh respectively. The festival here continues for five days. Every day has its special significance. The first day is dedicated to cows as they cook rice and feed the cows believing that goddess Lakshmi comes on cows. The second day is for Dogs as the Vahana of Bhairava. Preparation of delicious food especially meant for the dog is a typical characteristic of the day. Lights and lamps are lit to illuminate the entire surrounding and some of the specialty items are prepared to mark the third day of the festival. Fireworks, Lamps and crackers are widely used. The fourth day is dedicated to Yama, the Hindu God of Death. He is prayed for long life. The fifth final day is Bhhaya Dooj dedicated for the brothers who are wished long life and prosperity by their sisters.
Delicacies are:



Shikarni (Shrikhand in maharashtra)


Ingredients

200 gm of Yogurt

1 gm Saffron

5 gm Cinnamon

40 gm Sugar

5 gm Cardamom

5 gm Almond

3 gm Black Pepper

Method:

Tie yogurt in a muslin cloth and let all the water content drain off.

Mix the yogurt with sugar, powdered cinnamon, cardamom, cardamom, black pepper saffron and whip.

Strain the remaining moisture content with the muslin cloth and serve chilled topped with Almond or any other dry fruits.
 
 
 
Nepali Vegetable Momo


Ingredients:

Dough for wrappers:
3 cup All-purpose flour
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup water
Pinch of salt

Filling:
3 cups assorted vegetables (spinach, cauliflower, carrot, green peas, red pepper, green pepper), finely chopped
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup green onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 teaspoon timur
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 fresh red chilies, minced
1 cup cottage cheese (paneer), roughly crushed
2 tablespoon clarified butter
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek
1 tablespoon water-flour mixture (thickening agent)
Salt to taste

Instructions:
For Dough:
In a large bowl combine flour, oil, salt and water. Mix well, knead until the dough becomes homogeneous in texture, about 8-10 min. Cover and let stand for at least 30 min. Knead well again before staging the wrappers.

For Filling:
In a non-stick pan heat clarified butter, splitter fenugreek until it turns dark. Add chopped onions and sautee until just slightly light brown. Add turmeric, garlic, ginger, and chilies. Fry for 30 sec. Put vegetables and stir-fry until slightly soft. Do NOT over stir-fry the vegetables. Salt and pepper the vegetable mixture. Add cheese, green onions and cilantro, mix well. To solidify the vegetable mixture, add one tablespoon of flour-water mixture. Mix the mass over until thickened. Transfer the vegetable filling into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow cooling.

Put it together:
Give the dough a final knead. Prepare 1-in. dough balls. Take a ball, roll between your palms to spherical shape. Dust working board with dry flour. On the board gently flatten the ball with your palm to about 2-in circle. Make a few semi-flattened circles, cover with a bowl. Use a rolling pin to roll out each flattened circle into a wrapper.
For well excecuted MOMOs, it is essential that the middle portion of the wrapper be slightly thicker than the edges to ensure the structural integrity of dumplings during packing and steaming. Hold the edges of the semi-flattened dough with one hand and with the other hand begin rolling the edges of the dough out, swirling a bit at a time. Continue until the wrapper attains 3-in diameter circular shape. Repeat with the remaining few semi-flattened dough. Cover with bowl to prevent from drying.
For packing hold wrapper on one palm, put one tablespoon of the filling mixture and with the other hand bring all edges together to the center, making the pleats. Pinch and twist the pleats to ensure the absolute closure of the stuffed dumpling. This holds the key to good tasting, juicy dumplings.
Heat up a steamer, oil the steamer rack well. This is critical because it will prevent dumplings from sticking. Arrange uncooked MOMOs in the steamer. Close the lid, and allow steaming until the dumplings are cooked through, about 8-10 min. Take the dumplings off the steamer, and immediately serve.
To serve, arrange the cooked MOMOs on a plate dressed with an ample amount of hot tomato achar.

Diwali in Mauritius

In Mauritius...


Diwali is celebrated with great enthusiasm at Mauritius as this country have great Indian crowd. The Diwali celebrations at Mauritius is as good as in India. The festival of lights- Diwali is celebrated in October/November. Diwali marks the victory of Rama over Ravana and also commemorates Krishna's destruction of the demon Narakasuran. Earthen oil lamps are placed in front of every home turning the island into a fairyland of flickering lights.

Mauritius is a beautiful landmass full of picturesque landscapes and enchanting spots. Mauritius accounts a 63% of Indian majority of which 80% follow Hinduism. Hence, celebration of almost all the Hindu festivals in this island is a common phenomenon. In Mauritius, Diwali celebration is an age-old tradition. Beautiful rows of twinkling candles and lamps of all sorts are lit all over the island to celebrate the return of the hero of the Ramayana, Rama, from his 14 years of exile.

Besides celebrating the victory of good over evil and light over darkness, the little flickering lights also symbolize the beginning of summer. The main day of the festivities is seen as a particularly auspicious day for merchants to make up their accounts and balances for the previous year, to go unburdened into the next. After the morning prayers, Hindus share sweets prepared specially for the occasion with family members, neighbors and friends of any faith, in accordance with the multicultural spirit of Mauritius.

Delicacies prepared in Mauritus are:


The eating habits of the Mauritians inevitably reflect the ethnic diversity of its people: Creole rougailles, Indian curries, Muslim bryanis, Chinese sweet-and-sour pork, French delicate dishes, English bacon and eggs, ...... you name it, you'll get it there.


Basic ingredients of the Creole cuisine are the tomatoes (known as pommes d'amour), onions, ginger, garlic and chillies. Palm heart and Camarons (giant prawns), venison and wild boar are favourite items of French cuisine. Fresh fish and seafood set the keynote for Chinese cooking.

A yummy spicy tangy mango pickle
MANGO KUTCHA:

Ingredients:
2 green mangoes
4 red chillies (sliced)
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tea spoon white vinegar
1 small bowl of onion finely chopped
1 tea spoon mustard oil
1 tea spoon mustard seeds (for tadka)
1 tablespoon ginger garlic each of it crushed
and salt to taste

Method:
Grate the Mangoes and keep aside.
Mix turmeric powder with the vinegar and form a paste.
Heat the mustard oil in a pan (preferably kadhai), stir fry the red chillies, Mustard seeds, ginger, garlic and stir in the turmeric powder and vinegar paste.
Add onions and fry till golden brown.
Then add the grated mangoes and serve hot with parathas or nan or as a dip with samosas, etc.
You can cool and store this in fridge as well. Stays best for 7 days.

Gateau gigli rier is another nice recipe which you can read on my previous blogs.

Khate raho!!!
Amrutha

DIWALI - all over the WORLD!!!

India is a land of festivals and the country celebrates the maximum number of religious festivals in the world. This is primarily because of the presence of different religions and communities in the country. Every festival celebrated in India has a specific significance and is celebrated with great pomp and gaiety. India is pre-dominantly a Hindu country and a large number of Hindu festivals are celebrated across the nation. The largest Hindu festival is Diwali - the festival of lights.

The Sparkle of Diwali


Diwali festival in India is celebrated throughout the nation in different ways and patterns. However, there are certain rituals and traditions associated with Diwali that are commonly followed throughout the country. The festival is celebrated in the months of October or November and marks the defeat of evil Ravana at the hands of Lord Rama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The festival is celebrated for five consecutive days and also marks the end of Narkasura at the hands Lord Krishna. The festival is mainly celebrated to mark the end of the evil and disperse darkness and spread the light of peace, goodwill and knowledge. Diwali also consists of Lakshmi Puja, wherein Goddess Lakshmi, the deity of power, prosperity and wealth is worshipped. In most parts of the country, the five days of Diwali begin with Dhanatrayodashi or Dhanteras on the first day (auspicious for making purchases), Narkachaturdashi (when Lord Krishna killed the demon Narkasura), Lakshmi Puja, Varsha Pratipada or Padwa (beginning of a new year for the traders and businessmen) and Bhaiyyadooj (celebrates the brother-sister affection).
The growing ethnic and cultural diversity of Hindu religion throughout the world provides the opportunity to participate in the celebrations and rituals of Diwali festival that enhances the feelings of being part of a close-knit group of Indians. Most Diwali celebrations around the world focus on family and friends and it is a time to reflect on the past and envision for a future, perhaps, in a world where people live together in harmony.


Outside India also, as Diwali approaches, people clean their home to escape bad luck in the upcoming year and families gather for a feast and stay up late, celebrating with the help of crackers and sweets. They believe that the Hindu goddess of good luck visits homes that are brightly lit. Children make "diyas" which are small clay lamps to light and bring the good luck goddess to their home so they can receive new clothes and toys. One family may have many thousand of these little diyas decorating their home.

In my next blogs I will take you across those 17 countries wherein they celebrate DIWALI...
Happy Diwali

World Classics : JAKARTA DELIGHT

JAKARTA DELIGHT

Ingredients:


• Bananas

• Bread crumbs

• Sugar

• Coconut grated

• Nutmeg powder

• Cinnamon powder

• Orange jam syrup

Method:

• Cook bananas, sugar, coconut and bread crumbs till it gets just mixed.

• Add nutmeg powder and cinnamon powder.

• For serving put this mixture in a bowl and put orange syrup over it and serve hot!

Diwali in Guyana

Guyana, formerly known as British Guiana, is located on the northeast coast of South America. Guyana is 82,978 square miles in area and has a population of about 7,70,000. Hindus constitute 33% of Guyana's total population. The Co-operative Republic of Guyana in Southern America celebrates Diwali according to the Hindu Solar calendar. The day of the Diwali festival is declared as a national holiday in the official calendar of Guyana.


The tradition of celebrating the Diwali festival is believed to have been brought to Guyana in the year 1853 by the first indentured people from India. The legends related to the festival are similar to that of India. The celebration of the festival includes, distribution of sweets, illuminating the inside and out side of the house, exchange of greetings, cleaning of houses and wearing of new clothes. The celebrations hold special significance for the people of Guyana. The distribution of sweet signifies the importance of serving and sharing whereas exchange of greeting cards denotes the goodwill of each other. The sweets distributed mainly consist of mithai, pera, barfi, and kheer.

The tradition of wearing new cloth for the people of Guyana is significant especially in Diwali festival. They believe that wearing new cloth is the symbol of healthy souls in healthy bodies. Cleaning of their homes and keeping them well illuminated in and outside is a practice meant to illuminate the road for Goddess Lakshmi so that while goddess Lakshmi visits their home she faces no problem of light as the Diwali night is regarded as the darkest night of the year.


Delicacies are:

CORN CHOWDER WITH TORTILLA CHIPS AND CHEESE

Ingredients:


• 1 big bowl of sweet corn

• 2 strips of spring onion

• 1 big bowl of diced carrots, capsicum, potato, cabbage

• 2 cloves of Garlic

• 1 small bowl of vegetable stock

• Salt and pepper/ oregano to taste.

• Tortilla chips

• Cheese

Method:

• Blend in together the corn, and garlic together.

• Meanwhile make vegetable stock and while boiling the stock add the spring onion for flavor. (Remove before mixing it with the corn)

• Now mix the stalk with the corn chowder, and form a thick chowder.

• Saute the veggies and pour the stalk and corn chowder over it and let it cook for a while.

• Add salt and pepper / oregano to taste.

• Meanwhile bake the tortilla chips with cheese.

• While serving - pour this chowder in a flat soup dish and serve with tortilla and cheese.


Vermicelli Cake:
Ingredients:
2 tbsp margarine or butter

1 pk vermicelli (280 g/ 10.oz)
5 cups milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup condensed milk
some crushed almonds (optional)

Method:
In a large pot, melt the margarine or butter over med heat

Add the vermicelli noodle and fry it until the majority of the noodles are light brown
Add the milk, vanilla extract and condensed milk to the noodles and bring to a boil over med heat
Once boiling, lower to low-med heat
Stir frequently, until it becomes a thick consistency
Once thickened, stir in almonds
Pour into a pan and let it sit for 1 hour to set
Cut into squares and serve

Monday, October 12, 2009

Diwali in Trinidad and Tobago

In Trinidad & Tobago...


Considered as the land of the Humming Bird, Trinidad and Tobago has a good number of Indian populations. For that reason, Hindu festivals, customs, traditions and observances forms an integral part of the society, which comprises the unique beauty of the twin island state. The Diwali celebration has a unique flavor here in the Caribbean island nation. Here 43 per cent of the 1.3 million populations are ethnic Indians.

The festival day is regarded as a national holiday. The festival is also marked by scores of functions besides the usual rituals of the festivity. The functions and celebrations during Diwali Festival also have an official imprint as the Ministers of the Government also participate in the celebrations sometimes. The celebrations continue for over a week and the headquarters of the National Council of Indian Culture at Diwali Nagar becomes the focal point.

Diwali, otherwise known as the Festival of Lights, is one of the most anticipated events in Trinidad. Although it is a Hindu festival, in the island's multicultural and multi-religious society it is a national holiday observed by people of all denominations. The day is marked by prayers, feasts and the lighting of thousands of diyas (small clay pots filled with oil in which a wick is immersed and lit) all over the country.

In the Hindu community, there are two stories of the origin of Diwali, and in the weeks leading up to the festival they are acted out in full costume in open-air theaters in villages all over Trinidad. Employees and even government ministers dress in East Indian garb and variety shows featuring aspects of Indian and Hindu culture are staged.

The climax of Diwali however, is the lighting of diyas after sundown - a delightful experience that should never be missed. In yards, open spaces, staircases, roundabouts and porches, diya s are lit by the thousands. They are usually placed on bamboo stalks bent into fantastic shapes and designs. In villages where there is a strong Hindu presence it is common to see whole streets decorated in this manner.

If visiting Trinidad during Diwali, it helps to have a vehicle to travel to many of the areas where the glittering displays can be seen. In some villages, one may have to join the throngs of people walking through the streets in order to get a first-hand view of the lights and to receive sweets which are handed out.



Delicacies are:

GUAVA CHEESE CAKE
http://www.mypopkorn.com/tv/aamhi-saare-khavayye-october-7-episode-video-4.html
Ingredients:


• 1 cup cream cheese

• ½ cup castor sugar

• ½ cup Peru paste / jam /jelly

• Vanilla essence

• Digestive biscuits

• Butter

• Lemon zest

Method:

• In a serving bowl, make a layer of digestive biscuits and butter.

• Now mix cream cheese, sugar and peru jam and add little vanilla essence.

• Now pour this layer over the biscuits layer and refrigerate for 6hours!

• Before serving grate some lemon zest over it!



some more DIWALI all over the World Recipes coming soon
Keep reading my blog and keep cooking!!!

KHATE RAHO!!!

ZeeTV Episodes : GATEAU GIGLI RIER - HASRYA SHANKARPALA


GATEAU GINGLI RIER
(SESAME SEED BALLS) – LAUGHING CAKE.
HASRYA SHANKARPALA!!!
Video Link:
http://www.mypopkorn.com/tv/aamhi-saare-khavayye-october-7-episode-video-3.html

Ingredients:

• 2 cups Maida

• ¼ cup castor sugar

• 2 tbsp butter (softened)

• ¼ cup water

• 2 tbsp sesame seeds

• 1 egg whisked

• 2 tbsp baking powder

• For coating: sesame seeds and 1 egg whisked

• Oil for frying (peanut oil)

Method:

• Mix butter and sugar, then add whisked egg to it.

• Mix baking powder with the maida and then fold it in the butter mixture and add sesame seeds.

• Add little water to form a dough.

• Roll out the dough into a cylinder and cut into small pieces and make small balls out of it.

• Now roll these balls in whisked egg and sesame seeds.

• Deep fry till golden brown.

Serve hot with JAM or cool and store in an air-tight container, and serve with your DIWALI PHARAL or just as a snack with Tea.

Happy Diwali!!!
Amrutha Langs

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

ZeeTV Episodes : Rum Kugeln

Ingredients:

• 1 small bowl of finely ground walnuts

• 3-4 tablespoons icing sugar

• 1 small bowl dark chocolate

• 1 egg white

• 1 tablespoon rum

• And shredded chocolate for rolling the chocolates.

Method:

• Combine all the ingredients, to form dough.

• Keep it in refrigerator and then make small balls out of it.

• Roll these balls in shredded chocolate and refrigerate and serve!!!


Khate Raho
Amrutha Langs

ZeeTV Episodes : Goulash with Semmel Knoedel


Ingredients:

• 1 bowl onions sliced

• ½ bowl Capsicum chopped

• 1 bowl pieces of chicken

• 1 bowl sour cream

• 1 tablespoon cornflour

• 1 tablespoon tomato paste

• 1-2 garlic cloves

• Salt and oregano to taste

• 1 teaspoon lemon zest

• Oil

• For Knoedel: Corn flour, mashed boiled potatoes, bread slices, salt, parsley.

Method:

• Sauté the onions with garlic and then add capsicum.

• Let capsicum cook, and then add salt lemon zest, and tomato paste.

• Mix.

• Now add the chicken and cover and cook till its tender.

• Meanwhile, make a dough out of mashed potatoes, cornflour, bread slices, salt, parsley and make small balls and deep fry them and keep aside.

• Now add the corn flour by mixing it in little water.

• Keep stirring continuously.

• Remove from flame and pour in the serving dish add sour cream and the Knoedel.


Khate Raho
Amrutha Langs

ZeeTV Episodes : Chebureki

Chebureki (Russian Recipe)

Video of this episode:
http://www.mypopkorn.com/tv/aamhi-saare-khavayye-september-23-episode-video-2.html

Ingredients:

For the dough:

• Flour

• Salt

• 1 egg

• milk

• some warm water

Filling:

• Mushrooms

• Dill

• Butter

• salt and pepper to taste.

Method:

• Make dough combining all the ingredients and let it sit for an hour.

• Till then make the filling by sautéing the mushrooms on butter adding a little salt and pepper to taste and the dill.

• Now roll out puris out of the dough and fill this mushroom filling into it. Fold it in half, like a karanji and seal it.

• Deep fry these karanjis and the cheburekis are ready to be eaten!!!


Khate Raho
Amrutha Langs

ZeeTV Episodes : Bliny

Bliny (Russian Recipe)
Video of this recipe:
http://www.mypopkorn.com/tv/aamhi-saare-khavayye-september-23-episode-video-1.html


Ingredients:


• 1 teaspoon yeast

• Milk

• Maida

• 2 Egg yolks

• 2 egg whites

• Salt sugar

• Butter

Method:

• Prepare the yeast and leave for 10 mins.

• In a large bowl mix Maida sugar salt and milk and the yeast, add melted butter and finally the egg yolks mix the ingredients and form uttappa batter consistency.

• Cover tightly and keep aside for an hour to rise.

• Add the whipped egg whites to this risen batter and gently give it a whisk.

• On a frying pan put little oil and spoon the blinys.


Khate Raho
Amrutha Langs

ZeeTV Episodes : Eggplants with plum sauce

Eggplants with plum sauce (Japanese Recipe)


Ingredients:

• 4 small brinjals (eggplants)

For the sauce:

• 2 tablespoons pickled plum paste

• 2 tablespoons lemon juice

• 2 tablespoons maple syrup

• 2 tablespoons olive oil

• Salt to taste

Method:

• Mix all the ingredients for sauce and keep them aside.

• Cut brinjals length wise and deep fry them and keep aside.

• Later pour the sauce over the brinjals and serve.



Video of this recipe:
http://www.mypopkorn.com/tv/aamhi-saare-khavayye-september-16-episode-video.html


Khate Raho
Amrutha Langs

ZeeTV Episodes : Tori no Kara age

Video of the 16th september episode- Japanese Recipes:
http://www.mypopkorn.com/tv/aamhi-saare-khavayye-september-16-episode-video.html

Tori no kara-age – deep fried chicken nuggets with mayo (Japanese Recipe)


Ingredients:

• 2 chicken breasts (made into small pieces / boneless chicken)

• 3 tablespoons soya sauce

• 2 tablespoons grated ginger / ginger paste

• 2 tablespoons grated garlic / garlic paste

• Salt and pepper to taste

• 4 tablespoons corn flour

• 2 tablespoons Maida

• Oil for frying

• Lemon slices for garnishing

• Mayonaise and Wasabi


Method:

• Marinate the Chicken pieces with soya sauce, ginger and garlic paste, salt and pepper and a little bit of oil for 30 minutes or so.

• Roll each piece in Corn flour and Maida and then deep fry the chicken.

• Serve hot with mayonnaise and wasabi. (You may mix wasabi with mayonaise).


Khate Raho
Amrutha Langs