Apr 20, 2014

Basil Ice Cream


Hello Friends, iam back!!! 

Can't believe its been more than an year since my last post. Those of you on FB knows that we recently welcomed the arrival of our daughter to the family. With an grown up and an infant, life has become more busier than ever. I felt very sorry that i had abandant this little space of mine for a very long time.
But seriously there was no time to cook or click. Now as the baby is growing, i can have some time of my own. 

When priya of Priya's Versatile Recipes started an event called Shhh cooking secretly challenge, i used this event as an opportunity to revive this blog. I was paired with Padmajah of Seduce Your Taste Buds for the challenge. The secret ingredient she gave me was basil and chocolate. I decided to make a basil ice-cream with some chocolate chunks. Basil has a very strong flavor and using a few leaves goes a long way in the recipe. If you are a basil lover give it a try and you will never be disappointed.






Basil Ice Cream

Ingredients:
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
15 large basil leaves
a handful spinach leaves
3 oz  semisweet chocolate bar, chopped

Method:

In a small pan, combine milk and sugar, bring to a boil over medium heat, stir until sugar dissolves. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. 

In a small pan, combine cream, and basil, bring to a simmer over medium heat, remove, cover and allow it to steep for at least an hour. 

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Blanch spinach in boiling water for 30 seconds and then pour into a bowl filled with ice water to stop them from cooking further. Squeeze the excess water from spinach and place it in a blender along with  the milk mixture and blend well. 

Pour  the mixture through a strainer and extract the liquid. Also strain steeped cream through the strainer  and stir to combine. Cover and freeze the ice-cream mixture in a deep baking dish.

Check the mixture after 30 minutes, as it starts to freeze near the edges pull it out of the freezer and using a whisk or a spatula ( i used my blender to beat the mixture ) stir until the frozen bits are broken and mixed up well. Cover and return to the freezer.

Check the mixture every 30 minute and beat well as it freezes until the icecream is completely frozen.It will take 2-3 hours to be ready.

Add chocolate chunks to the mixture when the ice-cream is almost frozen, stir well to combine.

Notes

- i used spinach purely to get the green color, you can also use green food coloring .

- if you have an icecream machine churn your mixture after letting it cool overnight in the refrigerator.

- instead of using chocolate chunks you can also drizzle some melted chocolate over the almost frozen mixture and mix.



Sep 14, 2012

Savory Pull-Apart Bread | Eggless Baking


This bread had been on my baking list for a while and finally i made it. I decided to go for the savory version as the sweet one is made with cinnamon and iam not a great fan of cinnamon. The dough is the basic yeast dough and the fillings can be easily customized. I have tried to explain the recipe with step by step pictures, it seems to be a bigger process but trust me it was very easy and the result was awesome.



Savory Pull-Apart Bread

Ingredients:

For the dough

3 cups bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup warm water
3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted

For the filling

1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup coriander leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic chives, chopped
2 green chillies, chopped
5 garlic cloves, grated finely
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Make it


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Put the yeast, sugar and warm water in a small bowl and stir well. Leave in a warm place for 10 minutes, or until bubbles appear on the surface. The mixture should be frothy.

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Sift the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture. Mix to a soft dough. Turn on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, until smooth. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

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Punch down the dough and knead for 1 minute. Mix the herbs together along with green chillies and garlic. Roll out the dough into a rectangle (doesn't have to be perfect). Brush the dough with melted butter and sprinkle the filling evenly on the rolled out dough.

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Cut the dough into equally thin strips with a pizza cutter (i got 5 strips). Stack the strips on top of each other and cut into equal squares (again i got 5 squares).

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Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan and stack the squares upright in the loaf pan, squashing them together. If you loose any of the filling just sprinkle them over the top. Cover with a plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes or until the dough is well risen.

Preheat the oven to 210 degree Celsius. Brush the loaf with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the bread is brown and crusty. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool on the loaf pan before turning out.





Notes:

Use any combination of herbs that you like.

You can also add some cheese to the filling.

This bread goes well with soups and even can be made into a sandwich with fried eggs.

Aug 21, 2012

Spicy Egg Fry

A delicious and spicy egg dish that can be put together in no time, perfect to pair with rice, roti or pulao . We had it for our sunday brunch with some bread toasts. You can also serve it as an party appetizer.



Spicy Egg Fry
Serves 2 to 3

Ingredients:

4 eggs
2 large onions, peeled and diced
1 tablespoons chopped ginger
1 tablespoons chopped garlic
5 dried red chillies
curry leaves, a handful
2 thai red chili (optional)
1 teaspoon black pepper powder
2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
salt, to taste

Method:
To prepare hard-boiled eggs, place eggs in a pan and cover with cold water. Eggs should be immersed completely in water. Bring the water to a rapid boil, then immediately remove from heat, cover and let it rest for exactly 10 minutes. Drain the water, roll the eggs around to crack the shells, then fill the pan with cold water and allow to stand another 5-10 minutes. Peel the shells and quarter the eggs and keep aside.

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, once hot add in the chopped ginger, garlic, curry leaves and red chilli and fry.

Add the chopped onions and fry until the onions are browned and well roasted. Add salt, pepper powder and the eggs, mix well to coat without seperating the yolks.

Check for seasoning, mix in the chopped coriander, thai red chilli and serve.

Aug 14, 2012

10 Minute - Egg Fried Rice


Egg fried rice can be made in just 10 minutes if you have some left over rice. You can also add any vegetables you like and make it a great meal on its own. No left over rice? no worries, just cook some rice, let it cool down and put it in the refrigerator for about 1hour and you are ready to go! I know some of you might ask, why not use freshly cooked rice instead of left overs? The answer is, when frying the rice the moisture in the freshly cooked rice makes the rice to steam and turn mushy instead of frying the rice. Now lets move on to the recipe,




Egg Fried Rice
Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked day old rice (i used basmati rice, jasmine rice would work well)
1 small onion, peeled and diced
1 small carrot, chopped and blanched
3 to 4 green beans, chopped and blanched
2 red thai chillies, deseeded and chopped
3 eggs, beaten with 1 tablespoons dark soy sauce
3 to 4 scallions/spring onions, chopped
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Heat oil in a wok, scramble the beaten eggs with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In the same wok, add in the onions and fry until golden brown. Add the carrot and beans and saute on high heat for 1 minute.

Now, add the rice, egg, chilli and scallions. Fry on high heat until well mixed, check for seasoning.

Serve hot.

Aug 8, 2012

Murukku


Murukku is a traditional indian snack that need no introduction. When i was a kid, i remember my mom making huge amount of murukkus and storing it in big stainless steel buckets ( called as thukku in tamil ) that would last for a month. She used to make it in the traditional way by soaking and roasting the rice and grinding it in a rice mill which is an elaborate process. I normally use the store brought rice flour to make it a lot easier. When you have all the ingredients handy murukku can be made in no time. I usually make murukku in large batches , comes handy whenever you need a snack to munch on.


Murukku

makes about 25 to 30

Ingredients:

2 cups rice flour
1/2 cup urad dal flour (see how i made it)
4 tablespoons melted butter
salt, to taste
warm water, as need for the dough
1 teaspoon sesame seeds (white or black)
oil for deep frying

For urad dal flour:

1 cup urad dal/ulundhu/black gram 4 dry red chillies

Dry roast the urad dal along with red chillies until light brown and smells good.

Let it cool down completely. Grind it to fine powder.

Store the leftover in a sir tight container for later use.

How to make murukku:

In a wide bowl, mix together rice flour, urad dal flour, salt, sesame seeds and butter.

Add water little by little and knead the dough to a soft ball.

Insert a small amount of dough into the murukku press.

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed kadai, once the oil is hot press the dough on a slotted spoon rotating the murukku press so that you get the shape and drop it into the oil.

Fry until golden brown and drain on paper towel.

Once cool, store it in an air tight container.



Notes:

You can also use store brought urad dal flour and substitute chilly powder for red chillies.