Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Caramel Pudding

My husband's favorite sweet dish and my MIL's specialty - "CARAMEL PUDDING".

Some call this caramel custard, some call it caramel pudding..whatever you call it, its a blissfully soft and spongy dessert with a sweet caramelised topping. Just perfect to end a hearty dinner with.

Trust me, this one dish, will leave your guests thoroughly IMPRESSED!

Here's how to make it...



Serves: 10 people (3 boxes)
Level: Medium

Ingredients -
For the Pudding mix - 
1 litre warm milk
6 eggs
7 slices white bread, torn into small pieces
1.75 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence

For the caramel -
1.75 tblsp sugar
1 tsp water

Pudding mix: 
Step 1 - Break the eggs and beat them well till frothy. Keep aside.

Step 2 - Add sugar to the warm milk and stir well till all the sugar dissolves.

Step 3 - Add the beaten eggs and bread pieces to the milk. Stir well.

Step 4 - Add the vanilla essence. Keep aside covered for 10 - 15 mins. This softens the bread in the milk.

Step 1 - Add sugar and water to a flat bowl. Keep moving the bowl with the help of tongs over an open medium flame.

Initially, the sugar will start melting. Gradually it will start caramelising. Keep swirling the liquid around so it coats the entire bowl. When a deep brown color is reached, turn off flame and keep aside to cool for 5 mins.

Caramel pudding:
Once the caramel bowl cools down, pour the pudding mixture into it.

Steam this in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles.Remove when done and let it cool.

Refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours before serving.

Turn this pudding onto a dish before serving.

Serve cold...just out of the fridge.

Preferably use a steel or aluminium flat bowl to caramelise the sugar. As we will have to put this bowl in a pressure cooker later.

After the whistles, open the pressure cooker as soon as all the steam escapes, else the pudding could get watery.

While turning the pudding onto a dish, run a knife around its edges to loosen the grip. This helps in releasing the entire pudding evenly on the plate.

Happy cooking everyone!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Honey Soya Chicken

A Chinese inspired chicken starter dish...and NO..it isint sweet. Honey just helps coat the chicken pieces better and gives a perfectly caramelised color to the dish.
Its just finger-licking good !!

Whenever I browse recipes in my book, and I come across this recipe..I start craving for it. So as you might have guessed by now, its a regular in my kitchen.

Heres the recipe for you to try...

Serves: 3 - 4 people
Level: Easy

1.25 kg chicken, medium or small pieces pref. with bone
2.5 tblsp soya sauce
2.5 tblsp ketchup
2 tblsp ginger garlic paste
1.25 tblsp honey
1 tblsp green chilly sauce
1 tsp chilly powder
1 tblsp oil

Step 1 - Marinate the chicken with all the ingredients except oil. Mix well. Keep covered for minimum 1 hour.

Step 2 - Take a pan. Pour the oil in the pan, add all the chicken pieces, along with the marinade and let it cook covered for 10 - 15 mins, stirring occassionally. At this stage the chicken will let go of all its water and start cooking. Then when the chicken is almost done, cook it uncovered, till the sauce coats all of the chicken well.

Serve hot.

This dish tastes great with some mashed potatoes/fries and steamed veggies.
And no..I have not forgotten to add salt to the ingredients, your soya sauce will have enough of it. But you can add salt while cooking, if you think it isint enough.

Do let me know how you like it.

Happy cooking!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gujarati Kadhi

After an awesome weekend getaway...which always turns out to be really heavy on the tummy!!...all of us really wanted something light to eat the next day...
My MIL and I were in no mood to slog in the kitchen..nor did we feel like eating out again...
So we decided on some nice light khichdi with some gujarati kadhi. It cant get anymore awesome than this on a tired day...:)

Heres how I made it..,

Level: Easy
Serves: 7 - 8 people
Adapted from: Tarla Dalal's "Exciting Vegetarian Cooking" cookbook

3 tblsp gram flour
3 cups yogurt
4.5 cups water
2 tsp ginger-chilly paste
4 curry leaves
4 tblsp sugar, or as desired
Salt to taste
Chopped coriander leaves

For tempering:
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
2 dry red chillies. broken
3 tsp clarified butter/ghee

Step 1 - Beat the yogurt and gram flour together. To avoid lumps, add yogurt slowly to the flour and keep beating till smooth at every stage, till all the yogurt is used up and is lump free.

Step 2 - Add in the water, curry leaves, ginger-chilly paste, sugar and salt and mix everything well. Keep it to boil stirring regularly.

Step 3 - In another small pan, heat the clarified butter. Add in mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add in cumin seeds and let it brown. Add in the asafoetida and dry red chillies. Stir in for a couple of seconds and pour this over the boiled yogurt kadhi.

Step 4 - Let it boil for 5 more mins so the flavours incorporate well. Add in the chopped coriander.

Serve piping hot with some soft khichdi.

Do not boil the kadhi on a high flame, it could boil over.
Do not leave the yogurt mixture unattended as it could curdle.

Happy cooking!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Power packed soup

The origins of this soup, will always be a mystery to me...:)
My mother was visiting my brother, sis-in-law and niece in London last year, when she had a similar fresh soup out of a carton. She read the contents and tried to recreate this at home.
The final result was so very cool, that I dint care if this matched the original version...:)

So heres the mystery soup for all of you.

Level: Easy
Serves: 3 - 4 people

1/2 onion, cubed
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 potato, cubed
1/2 tomato, cubed
3 inch pumpkin, cubed
1/2 small bunch coriander leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 carrot, cubed
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup split orange lentils / masoor dal
1/2 tsp butter
3/4 cup milk
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Step 1: Pressure cook the cubed onions, potatoes, tomato, pumpkin, coriander leaves, carrot, garlic cloves and split orange lentils. Puree them and keep aside

Step 2: Take a vessel and heat the butter in it. Add in the chopped onions and saute on slightly high flame till they are brownish. Add in the pureed veggies and milk and let it boil. Add water to get the consistency you desire. Add in salt and pepper.

Serve hot.

You can have this soup with some nice toasted bread...or some really soft fresh bread. It tastes great either ways.
You need to cook the coriander leaves with the other veggies, this totally enhances the flavour of this soup. Try not to alter or avoid this step. Its quite strategically critical !! :)

Happy cooking!