Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Chili Mushroom (Mushroom Cooked With Capsicum and Spring Onions)

Chilli Mushroom
I am very fond of mushrooms and paneer. So while cooking Chili Chicken I thought why not make chili Mushroom. When I made it for the first time the amount of onions became too much thus made it again. Permutation and combination resulted in the birth of this dish. Tender juicy mushrooms, crunchy capsicum and wonderful flavor os spring onions and sauces is simply delicious and if made slightly drier version then it can be had as appetizer also.

Preparation Time: 15-20 min.
Cooking Time: 20 min
Servings: 6 Large servings

Ingredients Required For Making Chili Mushroom:
  • 1 Medium size onion
  • 400 gm. Mushrooms
  • 1 Bunch of Spring Onion (Having at least 8-10 tender spring onions)
  • 200 gm. Capsicum
  • 20 ml. Soy sauce
  • 20 ml. Green Chili sauce
  • 4-5 Green chilies
  • 10 ml. Vinegar (Preferably fruit based)
  • 2 Tea spoons Corn flour
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 ml. Olive oil / any cooking oil
Directions For Making Chili Mushroom:
  • Peel and cut onion to fine pieces or thin long pieces.
  • Wash mushrooms in running water.
  • Remove all limp stalks and cap of mushrooms cut them to long thick pieces.
Washed  and Cut Moshrooms
  • Set aside for later use.
  • Peel onions and cut them to thin long pieces.
  • Remove the seeds and stalk from capsicum and cut then to 2 inches pieces.
  • Clean spring onions of all yellow leaves and roots and wash nicely.
  • Cut the green leaves and shallots to small pieces.
  • In a thick bottom wok take oil and heat it.
  • When the oil is hot (Not smoking) add the pieces of onion and shallots and cook on low flame with regular stirring till they turn transparent. Stirring and low flame is important as that will avoid onions to go brown.
    Onions being fried on low flane
  • When the onion  are nicely transparent add capsicum and green chilies and cook on high flame for 2-3 min. with continuous stirring.
Capsicum added to trasparent onions
  • Add spring onion leaves and shallots. Cook on high flame for 2-3 min. with continuous stirring.
Shallots and spring onion added 
Ready for Mushrooms to be added
  • Add Mushrooms and stir and cook for 2 min on high flame.
Mushrooms added to the mixture of greens
Ready for Corn Flour to be added
  • Bring the flame to low and add roasted corn flour and stir to mix.
Corn Flour Added and Mixed
  • Add
    • Soy sauce
    • Chili sauce
    • Vinegar
    • Salt and mix nicely.
    • Mixing the sauces, flour and vinegar should not take more than 2-3 min.
    • Add 50ml. water and bring the flame to high.
Sauces added
Ready to Serve
  • Cook with continuous stirring for 2-3 min. Water will help corn flour to get cooked and all ingredients to get mixed with mushrooms nicely.
  • Remove from wok in a serving bowl and serve hot with roti/parantha/garlic bread and any soup.
    Chili Mushroom
  • If you want your chili mushroom less spicy and hot then add less green chilies and green chili sauce.
  • Mushrooms should never be over cooked as they will lose the juiciness and will become limp and tasteless.
  • Make sure the onions are cooked to transparent state on low flame if not cooked properly the raw onion taste will spoil whole vegetable. (First time I made chili mushrooms I made two mistakes 1) Too much onion, 2) Onion partially cooked. Result was bad)
  • If the shallots are too big then onion can be avoided.
  • Add salt in the last as mushroom juice starts leeching with salt
Suggested Variations:
  • Pieces of Paneer (cottage cheese/Ricotta cheese) can be added along with mushroom to make Chili-Paneer-Mushroom.
  • Finely cut Garlic can be added when onions are being cooked.
  • Do not try to add too many flavor of herbs etc. because mushroom taste will get over powered.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Banana-Jaggery Eggless Cake

Banana-Jaggery Cake

Banana-Jaggery cake

Cake is the flavor of season in the month of December, as from thanks giving to Christmas and New Year eve fall in this month. Many either are pure vegetarian or opt to have egg less cake. Egg-less cakes are made either from Dates, chocolate and fruits. Though most of them are in texture like any other cake the recipe of the cake I am blogging today is slightly wet / moist but is extremely tasty and healthy. Iused to make Banana-Sugar cake but Banana and jaggery was introduced to me by my daughter-in-law who inturn got this wonderful recipe fromPushpa (Anand's wife). Banana and jaggery both are rich in iron and whole wheat as well as banana is rich in vitamins and fibers. Extremely easy to make this cake is delight of all cake lover's especially egg-less cake lovers. My daughter in law made this for my mother and she delightfully cut this cake.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Baking Time: 50 minutes (Approx)
Servings: makes 800 gm cake (Approx)

Ingredients Required For Making Banana-Jaggery:

  • 150 gm. Jaggery
  • 225 gm. Whole wheat flour
  • 225 gm. Banana (Peeled)
  • 1/2Teaspoon Cinnamon powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder (Level)
  • 1 Teaspoon Eating Soda (Level)
  • 150 ml. Olive oil/sunflower oil
  • 100 gm. walnut kernel
  • 100 gm. Cashew
Directions For making Banana-Jaggery Cake:
  • Cut peeled banana to small pieces.
Banana cut to pieces
  • Break the jaggery to small pieces.
  • Mix jaggery and banana in a bowl, cover and keep aside for 10 min. 
Jaggery added to Banana pieces and mixed
After 10 min. Banana and jaggery mixture
  • Mix
    • Flour
    • Baking powder
    • Eating soda
  • Sieve the flour mixture through a fine sieve three to four times to ensure through mixing.
  • The mixture of jaggery and banana will have liquefied in 10 min. Make it to fine paste. 
Paste and jaggery paste
Whole wheat flour and jaggery banana paste
  • Add flour to jaggery banana paste.
Jaggery banana paste added to flour 
  • Add oil and cinnamon powder and mix.
Oil being added to flour banana mixture

Cinnamon powder added to flour jaggery mixture
  • Mix the nuts and sprinkle 10 gm. of whole wheat flour on then and give a shake so as to coat them with flour.
  • Add these nuts to the batter and stir to mix the nuts in batter.
Batter of cake
  • The batter will be thick not pourable like in egg cakes.
Consistency of Batter
  • Put the batter in a butter paper lined baking dish.
Batter in baking dish
  • Bake for 30 min at 150oC temperature.
  • Increase the temperature to 160o C and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Poke with a needle if it comes out clean then switch off the oven. If it comes out sticky with batter then bake for 5-10 minutes at 160o.
Cake after 50 min.  of baking
  • When the batter does not stick to the needle then switch off the oven and remove the cake from oven. Cool on the rake.
Banana-Jaggery Cake Ready to be cut
My Mom  Cutting the Cake
  • Cut the cooled cake to required pieces. If hot cake is cut then pieces will not come out neat. 
Banana-Jaggery Cake

  • Do not add any raisins as they do not taste good in this cake.
  • Do not increase the amount of cinnamon the flavor will become overpowering and unwelcome.
  • Always measure the baking powder and eating soda with standard measuring spoon to get best results.
  • Get jaggery powder from market to ease your work.
  • The baking dish should never be filled more than 3/4th. Else the cake will remain half-baked from the center.
  • Always coat the nuts with flour to ensure they do not settle at the bottom.
  • If you do not want to use butter paper then thinly coat the baking dish with oil then dust flour on it before putting the batter in it.
  • Keep 150 ml of water in the oven while baking below the cake rake to ensure the top exposed surface of cake does not become hard.
Alternate Suggestions:
  • Organic jaggery can be taken rather than normal jaggery.
  • Multigrain flour can be taken in place of whole wheat flour.
  • Almonds can be added along with the nuts.
  • Bananas can be mashed in the peel itself but the mash should be weighed to the given weight in the recipe. 

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Walnut-Spice cake

Walnut-Spice Cake with Walknut by the side
Walnut-Spice Cake
Christmas season, birthdays or any occasion cakes for all occasions are available in various flavors in market but what a charm it holds when for the loved ones cake is baked at home. It has a personal touch and we can make as many variations as possible. On my children birth days they used to demand I make chocolate cake or spice walnut cake. My husband used to lend helping hand and children used to boast to their friends of the delicious cake their mom makes and how papa dear is always there to help her in baking the cake. My daughter in law recently went for trekking and made me make this cake since then her colleague have been pestering her to ask me to blog the recipe of Walnut-spice cake. Make this Christmas special for your loved ones by baking this cake.   

Preparation Time: 40-50 min.
Baking Time: 45-50 min
Serving: makes 750 gm. Cake (Approx)

Ingredients Requi8red For Making Walnut-Spice Cake:
  • 6 Eggs 
  • 200 gm. Maida (Refined Flour)

Refined Flour (Maida)
  • 150 gm Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoon Honey
  • 150 gm Nutrelite Butter/White butter
  • 100 gm Walnuts deshelled (Akharot)
  • 8 Cloves (lawang)
  • 3 cm. Cinnamon piece (Dalchini)/1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 4 Green Cardamoms (Choti Elaichi)
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder (Level not heaped)

Directions for Making Walnut-spiced Cake:

Making Golden Syrup:
  • In a thick bottom pan take 50 gm of sugar and heat on low flame with continuous stirring.
  • The sugar will start melting keep heating on low flame and stirring till the sugar turns to dark brown (not black) liquid. It will take 4-5 min.
  • Switch off the gas and add 100 ml. of water to the hot melted brown color sugar in the pan. The sugar will stiffen do not worry.
  • Boil the mixture with stirring so as to dissolve all sugar.
  • When the sugar water mixture reduces to half remove from heat and cover. Keep aside to cool and future use.

Making The Batter Of The Walnut-Spice Cake:
  • Mix baking powder and refined flour and sift it through a fine sieve four or five times to ensure thorough mixing of baking powder with maida. Keep in a dry container.
  • Mix all spices and make a course powder.
  • Add the spices powder to the golden syrup cover and keep aside.
  • Cut walnuts to small size and sprinkle 10 gm. refined flour on it. Mix nicely so as to coat the walnut pieces with maida(Refined flour).
  • Separate egg whites from egg yolk.
  • Powder 100 gm sugar to a fine powder. Keep 50 gm sugar separate for making golden syrup.
  • Cut the butter to cubes and take in a wide deep bowl.
  • Beat the butter with a wooden fork or fingers to soften it.
  • Add all sugar powder and whisk with wooden fork or fingers till it gets creamy consistency. It will take minimum 10 minutes.
  • Beat egg yolk and add small portions and whisk with fork. Continue till all egg yolk has been incorporated in butter sugar mixture.
  • The mixture should look creamy and be light.

Butter and Sugar Egg yolk mixturemixture
  • Whisk egg white till stiff peak are formed of the froth of egg white.

Egg White being whisked
Frothy stiff peaked Egg White
  • To the creamy mixture of sugar, butter and egg yolk add one spoon of refined flour and baking powder mixture and mix with light swirling action. Add one spoon of egg white and fold it to the mixture. Repeat this alternate mixing of egg white and flour mixture till all the egg white and flour is finished.

Egg White and Flour being added 
Batter before golden syrup is added
  • Add spices and golden syrup mixture and honey to the above mixture and mix with light swirling action.

Golden syrup with spices, Honey added to Batter
  • Add the walnut pieces and mix lightly.

Walnuts added to batter and mixed
  • Line a baking dish with butter paper and pour the batter in it.

Batter being poured in Baking dish lined with butter paper
Ready for Baking
Baking The Cake:
  • Pre-heat the oven to 160 centigrate and place a small metallic /oven proof dish with 150 ml. water ot the bottom.
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 160­o C for 30 min.

After 30 minutes
  • The cake will rise and start becoming light brown from top.
  • Increase the temperature to 180oC and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
  • Keep checking by poking a long needle in the cake and switch off the oven immediately when the needle comes out clean. The time may vary from 5-10 min depending on the size of eggs.

After 45 minutes
  • Remove the cake from oven cover with a thin cloth or butter paper and cool on a rake.

Walnut-SDpice Cake
  • Turn the cake in the baking dish upside down on a big dish and pat the baking dish lightly with hands. The cake will fall free on the plate.
  • Remove the butter paper and cut the cake to the required size or decorate it as per your choice with icing then enjoy with hot tea/chocolate/coffee with family and friends.

Walnut-Spice Cake with Walnuts on the side

Merry Christmas to my friends. Celeberate this christmas with Walnut-Spice Cake.
  • Butter shouldf be chilled noty at room temperature when you cut it to pieces for whisking.
  • Avoid using metallic spoon or fork. If wooden fork is not available use your fingers for making fluffy cake. Metal fork causes heavy whisking thus reducing trapped air.
  • Do not heap the spoon while measuring the baking powder.
  • Measuring spoon set is availabler in market which gives standard measurement, use them preferably.
  • Sugar powder should be very fine.
  • Add egg yolk slowly with continuous whisking to avoid curdling of butter.
  • Coating nuts with flour is must to avoid them from settling at the bottom while baking.
  • Caramelize the sugar on low flame and do not burn it the golden syrup will not be golden in color or taste.
  • Water is kept in the oven to make sure the top exposed surface remains moist and soft.

Alternate Suggestions:
  • 50 gm of deseeded dates can be soaked in 100 ml of milk for 30 min and then ground to coarse paste and added along with golden syrup- spices mixture.
  • Whole wheat flour or multi grain flour can be taken instead of refined flour (Maida) to make the healthier version of Walnut-Spice Cake.
  • 20 ml. Rum can be added along with golden syrup-spice mixture to give a Christmas touch.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Uttaranchali Massor dal (Lentil broth as made in Uttaranchal , India)

Uttaranchali Masoor Dal

I was going through the stats of my blog when I realized that one of the readers was interested in knowing how masoor dal is made in Kumaon, Uttaranchal. Thus I thought of blogging the recipe for cooking my humble masoor dal as it is made in Uttaranchal. Really speaking sometimes the taste of childhood and the love with which mother / grandmother cook and serve make even simple thing too special and we try to replicate them. I will give the recipe for the dal but from where I am going to bring the same love and care as my mother had poured into the dal. God forgive me for my audacity of trying to replicate the taste.

Preparation Time: 5 min.

Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes

Servings: 4 Large servings

Ingredients required For making masoor Dal:

  • 150 gm. masoor dal
  • 1/2Tea spoon Turmeric powder
  • 2 Tea spoon Ghee (If the ghee is melted then 10 ml.)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2Tea spoon Cumin Seeds
  • 2 Tea spoon Jambu (Herb from Kumaon)
  • 2-3 Whole Red Chilies
  • 1Pinch of Hing (Asafoetida)
Directions For making masoor dal:

  • Wash masoor dal till water comes out clean.
  • In a thick bottom cooking vessel take
    • Washed dal
    • 5 ml. ghee
    • Salt
    • Turmeric powder
    • 250 ml. water
Washed Masoor Dal, Turmeric powder, salt and water
  • Heat the ingredients in the vessel on high flame till water starts boiling.
  • Lower the flame, cover and cook on low flame with occasional stirring for 20 min.
Masoor dal after 20 min of cooking on low flame
  • If required add hot water in little portions as such that the dal should not become too thin and watery.
  • Cook till the dal becomes soft but not completely dissolved in water.
Masoor dal after 25 min. of cooking on low flame
  • Remove from gas.
Masoor dal ready for seasoning
  • In a small pan / serving spoon heat ghee.
  • When the ghee is very hot add cumin seeds.
  • Cumin seeds will splutter, add whole red Chilies. Chilies will change the color to dark red.
  • Immediately add Jambu and Asafoetida.
  • Lovely flavor of seasoning will come and jambu will start becoming brown in color.
Seasoning (Tadka) ready
  • Add this hot ghee with seasonings to the hot dal and cover the immediately after putting the spoon with seasoning in the dal.
  • When the seasoning is put to the dal should be covered immediately to avoid spilling of dal and seasoning. Also covering the dal after the seasoning is added will make sure the taste and flavor of jambu, cumin, red chili and Asafoetida seep nicely to the dal. 
Seasoning (Tadka) added to Cooked hot dal
Uttaranchali Masoor Dal
  • Masoor dal as made in Uttaranchal is ready to be served with rice (Bhaat), Palak ka kapa and bhanga (A Kumaoni seed used to make chutney) ki chutney.
  • Garnish with fresh, finely cut coriander.
  • Do not change ghee to any other cooking oil the taste will not be the same. If you want reduce the amount to half of the amount told in ingredients.
  • Taste of this dal depends on the exact state it is to be cooked if cooked less it will not mix with water if overcooked it will become like a paste.
  • If you are cooking in pressure cooker keep the cooker on medium flame till pressure is built and the moment cooker gives first whistle, switch off the gas and allow the cooker to cool. Dal will get cooked while cooker is getting cooled.
  • Since Jambu is available only in Kumaon so if you do not have it, no option other than do not use it. The flavor which red chilies, cumin seeds and Asafoetida impart to ghee itself is heavenly.
Suggested Variations:

  • None.


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