Friday, June 26, 2009

Crunchy Apple Tart

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
Sugar, for dusting
1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Apricot jam / Strawberry jelly


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Using a rolling pin, roll pastry in each direction to close seams.Using a cookie cutter or round sharp edged cup cut out circles of pastry. Dust it with sugar.Place pastry circles on a chilled sheet pan and let cool in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
Using a vegetable peeler cut wafer thin apple slices. Put apple slices in lemon-juice-spiked water.
Flip pastry circles over on the sheet pans and poke them with a fork to provide an outlet for steam. Sprinkle pastry with sugar and arrange apple slices on top.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Poke the crust; if it feels soft it needs more time in the oven.
Microwave some apricot jam / strawberry jelly for 30 seconds. Dab (don't brush) the jam on the tarts. Cool tarts at least 3-4 hours and seal in a Ziploc plastic bag. Serve at room temperature or heat in the microwave. Also can be served with a dollop of ice cream. Goes very well with crunchy tart.
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Tea Time Bites

A cup of hot tea with some home made bites would be a perfect combination and a power booster after lunch or on a rainy day. The preparation time of the dough is 15 minutes and the cooking time is 15 minutes. In hardly 30 minutes cookies are ready from your own oven. There are also some cookie dough available in market. This is my version of making dough with less butter and no eggs.

You need:

1 cup of plain flour
2 tbsp of butter-bring to room temp
1/3 cup of sugar
1 tsp of vanilla extract
A pinch of nutmeg powder
A pinch of salt
1 tsp of lemon/orange zest
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of sour cream
Few drops of milk
1/4 cup of nuts like chopped almonds,pistachios,walnuts

Mix all the dry ingredients ... plain flour,salt,baking powder,nutmeg powder. Bring butter to room temp and blend with sugar till the mixture gets softened. Add vanilla extract and lemon zest.Now bring all the dry and wet ingredients together.This mixture resembles bread crumbs. Now add sour cream and sprinkle few drops of milk to form a dough. The best way to do this is with hands on a floured surface. Wrap the dough with cling sheet and refrigerate for 10 -15 minutes. Remove from refrigerator divide in to equal parts and shape it to round and flat. Top it with nuts on each cookie dough.Preheat oven at 400 degrees and bake for 8-10 minutes till the color changes to golden brown.Remove from oven, let it cool for sometime and serve with tea.

Tip: Chocolate chips or strawberry jelly are also very good alternate for nuts.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Palak Paneer

4 cups of baby spinach
Paneer cubes -1 cup
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 finely chopped tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic minced
A piece of ginger chopped
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Garam masala powder 1/2 tsp
Salt according to taste
Oil 4 tbsp
Sour cream 1tsp(optional)

1.Wash spinach thoroughly and microwave with 1/4 cup of water for 6-8 minutes until its cooked.
2.With 2 tbsp of oil in a pan saute ginger,garlic and onion till its golden brown.Add chopped tomatoes cook for about 3-4 minutes.
3.Remove from fire and transfer the mixture to a food processor and also add the cooked spinach.Pulse it for 2 times.Do not over blend .This is just to bring the mixture together. 4.Meanwhile with the remaining 2 tbsp of oil fry the paneer till it turns slightly brown and pat with kitchen tissue to remove excess oil.
5.In a pan, add the processed mixture and paneer cubes.Add all the spice powder- red chilli powder,cumin,coriander,garam masala and salt.Bring it to a boil.Finally, add the sour cream / whipped cream.
6.Palak paneer goes well with rotis, naan and basmati rice.

Tip:To get the real taste of paneer, soak the fried paneer in luke warm water for 2-3 minutes.This increases the size and softness.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Stuffed Zucchini

Zucchini -2 nos
Diced tomatoes- 1/4 cup
Dried Basil- 1 tbsp
Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Lemon juice- 2 tsp
Finely chopped garlic - 1 tsp
Grated romano and parmesan cheese- 4 tbsp
Chopped spring onions- 4 tbsp
Salt and pepper

1. Cut zucchini into 1 inch pieces. Scoop out with melon baller or a rounded spoon.
2. Place in a bowl filled with water and microwave for 3 minutes with a pinch of salt.This is to make the zucchini tender.
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix all the other ingredients..diced tomatoes,garlic,olive oil,lemon juice,basil,chopped spring onions,salt and pepper.
4. Fill the scooped zucchini with the tomato mix and top it with cheese.
5. At 375 degree, bake for 8-10 minutes till the cheese melts and becomes golden brown.
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Friday, June 5, 2009

Eggless Mango Ice cream

Mango ice cream is simple and semi homemade. It just needs 3 ingredients.

1 Can of Mango pulp
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 container of whipped cream

1 Mango cut into small bits /1/4 cup of tutti fruity
Mint leaves for decoration

Mix mango pulp,condensed milk and whipped cream.Whisk well till it becomes fluffier.Do not beat with hand mixer since that flattens the mixture.Transfer to a bowl and freeze it.Remove it after 2-3 hours mix with the mango pieces and put back in the freezer for 8-10 hours.Decorate with mint leaves.Mint leaves goes very well with mango ice cream.This is very good make ahead dessert for parties.

Home made Jangiris

1cup Urad dal
1/4cup Raw rice
2 pinch Orange food colour
Oil for deep frying

For sugar syrup the ratio is 2:1, 2 cups Sugar: 1 cup water
1tsp Rose essence(optional)

Soak Urad dhal and rice together for 60-90 minutes.
Grind them with salt by sprinkling 1/4 cup of water when its too hard to grind
Grind them until they turn soft.. add the food colour to the batter before taking off the batter from the grinder..

Meanwhile take a square shape cotton cloth about 10"x 10" in size and cut open a hole with a scissor...wash the cloth n keep it humid..heat oil in a pan.Take a ladle full of batter and pour it in the cloth holding the cloth tightly press over the hot oil into concentric rings. Initially its going to be hard.With practice it comes out very well.
Heat sugar with water until it turns to one string consistency.Add the rose essence to the syrup.Once jangiris are done, the oil will be slightly bubbling.At the time, take off the jangiris n put them directly in sugar syrup, turn the jangiris well in both sides..jangiris absorbs the sugar syrup and get a beautiful transparent orange colour, arrange them in a plate.
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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Barley Pilaf

Barley 1 cup
Vegetable stock/water 2 ½ cups
Onion (red/white) chopped 1 cup
Mixed Vegetables (carrot, zucchini, peas, beans) 1 cup
Garlic 3 pods crushed/chopped finely
Cilantro and Parsley finely chopped ¾ cup
Ginger 1 inch piece
Garbanzos 1 can ( drained)
Garam masala powder 1 ½ tsp
Lemon zest 1 tsp
Olive oil/butter 3 tbsp
Roasted walnuts 2 tbsp

Dry roast barley in a pan/kadai for 2 mins. Transfer and cook barley in a pressure cooker with vegetable stock/ water. Let it go for 3 whistles.Meanwhile heat oil/butter in a pan, add garlic, chopped ginger and onions. Cook for 2-3 mins until the onions turn slightly brown.Add the vegetables and garbanzos. Let it cook for 5-8 minsStir in with garam masala powder,lemon zest and cilantro/parsley mixture.Add the cooked barley and mix well with all vegetables.Garnish with roasted walnut and serve hot.
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