Saturday, 8 October 2016

Celebrating Durga Puja with some Natural sweetness



Durga Puja celebrations are on full swing.  Almost every locality is trying their best to showcase intricate craftsmanship and detailing on the Pandals. These pandals are a piece of art in itself where inspirations are drawn from all walks of life. So while, one pandal is highlighting the tribals and their lifestyle , another one has chosen the theme Butterfly or Prajapati, as they call in Bengali, this year. You truly have to see it to believe it that the decorations are so life like and so intricate. 

The essence of Durga Puja is an amalgamation of the culture, artistic expression and the joy of celebration. People get dressed up in their fineries and visit each pandal with enthusiasm and joy. Another thing celebrated during Puja with fervour is the love of food. People enjoy the nightlong Pandal hopping along with eating out.  From roadside stalls to high end restaurants, every place is full of people who are celebrating Ma Durga and her arrival on Earth. 



Food forms an integral and important part of the festivity. The young ones like to put their hands on streetfood like Puchka, jhalmuri , momo, ice cream etc . While some others like to indulge in traditional food, in the form of Amish and Niramish thali (Veg and Non veg).  

Streetfood is high on demand at this time of the year, where people like to just grab something on the go. Amongst others,  Ice creams are an eternal favourite with people of all ages. With the weather still humid and the scorching sun, people love to relieve the heat by indulging in some yummy Ice cream. Keeping the traditional flavours in mind, Mother Diary has come up with a new flavour, Nolen Gur Ice cream. Bengal is well known for the sweet Nolen gur available, which is basically date palm jiggery. This gur is used extensively in many traditional Bengali sweets and other desserts. Using the same gur in an ice cream, gives you a natural and organic sweetness. 



Us being, total Ice cream lovers, found ourselves digging into the Nolen gur Ice cream cups. The natural sweetness and the beautiful brownish hue of the Ice cream rings traditional bells and is a wonderful way to celebrate the season of Festivity.


It is available in pack sizes of 750 ml and 90 ml and is priced at Rs 150/- and Rs 20/- respectively. 

Happy Puja Binging

Disclaimer : This post is in association with Mother's Diary

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Welcoming Festivities with fun, fervour and hygiene

India is the land of Festivals with each having its own charm and significance. The basic purpose being getting together and celebrating life in general with new clothes, gossips and lots of  food.  Month long preparations begin where meticulous plans are carried out to make the most of the upcoming festivity.

This time of the year brings along a string of festivals. With the nip in the air and the appearance of new blooms, nature announces the beginning of the most important  festival amongst Bengalis-Durga Puja. Calcutta being a very cosmopolitan city, it is amazing to see people from all religions get together to celebrate the festival of cuture, passion and artistic expression. All over  the city,  beautiful and intricate Pandals are set up which compete with each other in detailing, craftsmanship and innovation. 
Year long preparations are done to decide the theme, colours and the detailing which includes the idol Durga with her 4 children who are believed to have descended on Earth at this time of the year.

The run up to the celebrations include buying new clothes, getting rid of new and buying new things for the house and most importantly maintaining a clean and hygienic surrounding in and around the house.

The seasonal change brings with itself the appearance of all sorts of insects esp cockroaches in the house. Cockroaches are carriers of bacteria that can lead to an array of diseases from diarrhoea to food poisoning. The presence of cockroaches should be taken very seriously  as they can live in all places and corners of the house, in cracks and crevices, behind cylinders, under the cabinet etc. They crawl on food and utensils at night and spread food poisoning and they love to hide in hard to reach areas where regular cleaning does not help.

A regular cleaning regime becomes important to ensure a check on cockroaches and with the festival season approaching it becomes all the more important to combat them with sure shot methods. Some of the things to remember are never to leave food in open esp at night, ensuring areas like sink, under cabinet and around cylinder are clean as these are some of the most favourite hiding spots. The most effective way to maintain cleanliness in all areas is the usage of Godrej Lal Hit as it comes with its unique deep reach nozzle which helps to kill even the hidden cockroaches. Use Godrej Lal hit every month and ensure a safe hygienic and clean household.

Welcome the season of festivals with lots of fun , fervour and assurance from Godrej Lal hit to have your house free from the menace of cockroaches.

Happy Durga Puja to all of you.

Read more about Godrej Lal Hit here : http://www.godrejhit.com/product-lal-hit.html

You can buy it online from :
  
http://www.bigbasket.com/pd/40007017/hit-kills-hidden-cockroaches-400-ml/



Disclaimer : This post is in association with Godrej Lal Hit

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Doodh wali Tori/Turai/Jhinge/Ridge gourd


While growing up, I had no interest in food. I was too caught up with my love for music, needle work and everything else but food. Therefore, I never entered the kitchen but to seldom chop some onions for my mom. It was perhaps in those rare visits to the kitchen that I subconsciously picked up few recipes and techniques of cooking. Visual learning is pretty mighty, I discovered later in life. When I began my tryst with kitchen affairs, I would recall all of that and put them to experiment.
My Great Grand Father had come to Calcutta from Punjab and had set up his transport business. Living in Calcutta, my Great Grand-mother, my Grand-mother and then my mother adopted the local produce and used them in our typical Punjabi recipes. For example, we put the raw Papaya into our Parantha's and made a new avatar which nobody in Punjab is aware of. The raw banana found its way in our style of Kofta curry and the humble Jhinge/Ridge gourd found itself in a creamy milk and cream gravy.
This week, at Kolkata Food Bloggers the theme of our ongoing series of event is "Family Signature Recipes" where Debjani Chatterjee Alam is the featured blogger who blogs from Debjanir Rannaghar. For this event, I decided to share our family favourite recipe of Doodh wali Tori/Ridge gourd. 
A super simple way of cooking the ridge gourd and then simmering it in milk and finishing up with some cream to give it a delicious creamy avatar. At home, at times, we make this dish with more milk and then dunk in small pieces of Roti and chopped onion to make it into a one bowl dish. 
Do try this rather amusing and simple dish of Tori/Jhinge/Ridge gourd and pair it with your Roti/Parantha and some onions.



Ingredients : For 2 servings
  • 4-5 Tori/Turai/Jhinge/Ridge gourd
  • 1 medium size onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1-2 green chilly, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp cream
  • 1 tbsp oil
Procedure : 
Peel and chop tori/ridge gourd.
Take oil in a pressure cooker and add cumin seeds. As they start spluttering, add chopped garlic, green chilly and onion. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes or till the onion becomes slightly brown. 
Add turmeric powder and salt and stir it well.
Add the chopped tori/ridge gourd and mix again.
Put the lid of the pressure cooker and allow 3-4 whistles on medium heat. 
Let the pressure release on its own.
Take a kadai/deep pan and add the cooked tori/ridge gourd. On medium heat, evaporate the excess water from the cooked tori. 
Now, add milk and let it cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes or till the milk reduces to a required consistency. 
Finish off the dish by stirring in cream.

Our family favourite one bowl dish with small pieces of roti and chopped onions in the Doodh wali Tori/ridge gourd 

This recipe is part of KFB's ongoing event where Debjani is the featured blogger who blogs from Debjanir Rannaghar



Happy family recipe enjoying
Amrita

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Ara’yes- Crispy Mutton mince stuffed Pita



I have been sharing so many posts on desserts and cakes that I have actually started feeling guilty for doing so. It makes me feel so unhealthy especially because I am very particular about our daily eating habits, trying to make it as healthy as possible. I exercise daily and adopt portion control to satiate my sweet desires. In fact even the desserts I make are just for 2 portions, my daughter Vaanya and my husband Vishal. 
Since Baking is my prime love, I cannot help but keep experimenting some form of it in my tiny kitchen. This time I decided to try some Savoury baking. With Kolkata Food Bloggers ongoing event 'Bake Mania', I decided to experiment with an interesting recipe I came across while going through a book called 'The middle Eastern kitchen' by Rukmini Iyer. 
As I learnt from the book, Ara’yes is a simple and traditional Levantine recipe which has a crispy meat stuffed Pita bread. The traditional recipes call for the raw mince meat to be mixed with spices and then stuffing it in the Pita bread to be baked, grilled or toasted. The book, however, suggested to cook the mince meat first and then stuffing it. I followed the idea in the book of cooking the meat first. The basic recipe of the mince meat is the one that I keep making at home, a basic and homely mutton keema recipe. I made the Pita breads at home and kept them a little thin than usual because I wanted a more crispy Ara’yes. 
Vaanya, my daughter loved it more than anyone else. In fact, while I was taking pics I thought that she will not be interested in it but when she saw me taking a bite of it, she got inquisitive and after the first bite she demanded more of it. That obviously made me super happy and we ended up making a dinner meal out of it. I paired my Ara’yes with a hung curd dip to which I added chopped onions, tomatoes and fresh coriander leaves. 
Make it more spicier to suit your taste buds and enjoy this crispy meat filled sandwich. 




Recipe Source : Adapted from Rukmini Iyer's book 'The Middle Eastern Kitchen'
Meat filling

Ingredients :

  • 300 gms Mutton mince
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tomato, grated
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tbsp refined oil

Whole Garam masala (Khada masala)

  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole green cardamoms, slightly crushed
  • 1 whole black cardamom
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves
  • 1-2 dry red chilli (de-seeded)
  • 4 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

Procedure : 
Wash the mutton mince and strain it to let the water drain out completely.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add the whole Garam masala (Khada masala). 
Now add the onions and cook on medium heat till they are brown in colour and nicely caramelized. 
Add the ginger garlic paste and cook till it leaves oil. 
Now add the mutton mince and stir it in well. 
It will leave some water. Keep cooking it on medium heat till the water evaporates. 
Cook till the mutton mince leaves oil. Now add the grated tomatoes and salt, turmeric powder and garam masala powder and cook for 5 more minutes. 
Add 1/2 cup water and close the lid of the pressure cooker. Cook for 2 whistles and then reduce the flame to low and cook for 15 minutes. 
Let steam escape naturally and if there is water in the mutton mince, reduce it on medium flame. 

Whole wheat Pita

Ingredients : Yields 4-5 pita breads
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • a pinch of sugar
  • warm water for kneading (about 1/2 cup)
Procedure : 
Take flour, instant yeast, salt, sugar and olive oil in a bowl. Mix well.
Add warm water little by little and knead it to a dough using water as required. 
Take a greased bowl and put the dough in it. Cover it with a damp piece of muslin cloth and allow to rise for an hour or more or till it doubles in size. 
Heat a griddle or tawa.
Make 5-6" round pita bread from the dough and put on the griddle on low heat. Cook both sides and allow it to puff up by placing it on the heat. 
Alternately, bake the pita bread in a preheated oven (at 200 degree Celsius) for 10 minutes or till it puffs up. 
Cut them in halves. 

Ara’yes assembly : 

Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius.
Grease an oven tray.
Take halved pita breads and stuff them with the mutton mince mixture.
Brush with butter or olive oil and sprinkle some salt on it. 
Place these on the baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes or till they become crispy. 

Serve with a dip made with hung curd, chopped onions, chopped tomatoes and chopped coriander leaves. 

This recipe is part of Kolkata Food Bloggers ongoing event called Bake Mania where our member Urmi Ghosh who blogs from Ume's Kitchen is the featured blogger of the week. 


Happy Savoury Baking
Amrita

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Aloo Dum- low calorie version


When I was a school going kid, my tiffin was regularly hauled by my friends. Usually my Mom would pack me Parantha's of all possible fillings. On other days my tiffin beamed of sabzi and plain Parantha and on those fortunate lucky days I carried my treasured tiffin of my Mom's absolute lipsmacking Aloo Dum. My friends would finish it off even before the lunch bell rang, hiding beneath the desks and sneaking it while the teacher explained some boring subject on the blackboard. Yes, that was the magic of tiffin time that we all still cherish. 
I, on the other hand, loved my friends Puri sabzi and that addictive unstoppable fried goodness called Bhujiya. I just loved it so much. I was happy to trade my tiffin with their box of goodness. 
Whenever my friends came home, their was only one collective demand 'Aloo Dum'. My mom loved to plate it with generous dollops of tamarind chutney and some chopped fresh coriander leaves. She would put a toothpick on each making it easier for us to pick our's and relish it. 
With Kolkata Food Bloggers ongoing event on Street Food, I could think of nothing better than my Mom's Aloo Dum. Although now mommy makes a healthier version with the Airfryer so that the deep frying part is avoided. 
Make it and enjoy it as much as my friends always did. 


Ingredients : 
  • 500 gms baby potatoes, parboiled
  • 2 medium sized onions, chopped
  • 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 medium sized tomato, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup curd
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • fresh coriander, chopped
  • green chillies, chopped
  • Tamarind chutney
Procedure : 
Peel potatoes and make holes with a fork in 3-4 places. 
Take a bowl and add salt to taste, a pinch of turmeric powder and little refined oil. Coat the potatoes in it. Put this in the Airfryer for 10 minutes at 200 degree. Remember to turn the potatoes after 5 minute mark.
(If you do not have the Air fryer, deep fry the potatoes)


Take 2 tbsp oil in a deep pan, add chopped onions. Cook for 2 minutes and then add ginger garlic paste (once onions start browning on the edges)
Cook for another 2 minutes or till the mixture leaves oil.
Add the chopped tomatoes and cook them till they are soft and mashed. Add the tomato puree and cook till the mixture leaves oil.
Add salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. 
Lower the flame and add the lightly beaten curd. 
Mix the potatoes.
Garnish with coriander leaves and green chillies and top with spoonfuls of tamarind chutney before serving.

This recipe is part of Kolkata Food Bloggers ongoing event Street Food Expedition where Moumita Ghosh is the featured blogger of the week who blogs from Peek'n'Cook



Happy healthy binging
Amrita

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Chocolate mud cake with SMBC frosting


It was time of the year to bake a cake again and I jumped on the opportunity to try my hands on some techniques I have never tried before. It was my dear Husband's birthday on the 27th of this month and more than us, our daughter Vaanya was super excited about the celebration. The cake was attempted keeping Vaanya and her fetish with pink in mind. And boy, how elated she was to look at it. 
I had seen a similar image of a cake on Pinterest one day and had decided to attempt it. With the D day nearing, I pushed myself out of a lazy slumber and bought the necessary equipments and ingredients. The cakes were baked a night before and while they got baked in batches, I made the icing. The cakes were cooled, stacked with the icing in between and given a crumb coat. Next morning, I gave all the finishing touches to the cake while my daughter was away at school. The cake was dressed up in a pink drip and adorned with buttercream flowers. I knew Vaanya was going to love all the pinkness.  
The day was spent in a long drive to the highway and once we came back home in the evening, Vaanya was eager to have the cake cut. The day came to an end with the cake cutting, eating cheer and laughter. May God bless us with such beautiful moments forever.



Chocolate Mud cake 

Recipe source : Cocawind

My notes : 
  • I halved the recipe and then pour the batter in two 6" round pans.
  • Baked them at 180 degree Celsius for 20-25 mins. 
  • Made other half of the recipe and repeated to yield four 6" round cakes.
  • Trim tops so that all are equal.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream icing (SMBC) 

Recipe source : Here

My notes : 
  • I followed the recipe to the T
  • Separated 3/4 of the icing and kept separate for frosting the cake.
  • Added pink food colour till I achieved the desired colour and frosted each cake layer with it. 
  • Once all the layers were stacked, I frosted the outside and refrigerated to set. I kept mine overnight. You may keep for 3-4 hrs.
  • With a glass of hot water and an offset spatula, give the cake a final frosting finish. Every time dip in the hot water, wipe your spatula and try and give a neat finish to the frosting. 
  • Refrigerate

Pink Drip : 

Take equal quantity of white chocolate and cream. Heat cream and add chopped white chocolate to it. Stir it well. Add little milk to make it a little runny. Add pink food colour. 
Take spoonfuls of the drip and pour on the edge of the frosted cake, all around. Now fill the top of the cake with the drip too. Refrigerate.


Buttercream flowers

To the rest of the SMBC icing, divide into 4. Colour pink to one part, purple to another, green to the third and leave the 4th as it is. 
Pipe pink icing to a piping bag with a Rose petal nozzle and pipe flowers over a piece of butter paper and over a flower nail. Once done, transfer the piece of butter paper to a flat plate and refrigerate.
Repeat same with purple flower.
Watch here 
Pipe some of the icing(not coloured) over the top of the cake, half an inch behind from the outer diameter. 
Peel the flowers from the butter paper and put on the cake. Arrange it the way you want.
Pipe the leaves with a leaf nozzle.
Refrigerate.



Happy Cake decorating
Amrita

Friday, 22 July 2016

Homemade Coffee Liqueur


I love DIY- do it yourself. As a child, I remember spending time more over all sorts of crafts than anything else. It just satisfies my creative soul to another level. I have had phases of love affair with embroidery, artwork, crochet, tatting etc which continued well till my college life. My love for food started after marriage and I realized my old love for diy's in it too. Instead of buying steep ingredients from the shelves, I experimented with them at home in the form of diy.
Making Coffee liqueur at home was in the cards for a long long time and I just kept procrastinating it. Once a bottle of Vodka (which was esp bought for the liqueur making) got over just because I kept postponing the idea and my husband found his greedy eyes on it. So, after much contemplation another bottle was demanded from the culprit and this time I decided to hide it. It turned out that I was so good in putting it away that I myself forgot all about it. Kolkata Food Bloggers ongoing event Chef's challenge made me remember about it and thus finally I had my bottle of Homemade Coffee Liqueur. 
I found loads of ideas on Pinterest and ended up making a version myself with adjusted quantities. Making it is literally a breeze because it is essentially mixing all the ingredients. Keep it in a clean bottle and let it age for 2-3 weeks for better and enhanced flavouring. 
I used my liqueur in Nigella Lawson's sinful Coffee Pannacotta with boozy chocolate sauce. I have a list of other sinful desserts to be tried out with the coffee liqueur and will keep sharing them as well. Till then, make your homemade version of Coffee Liqueur and stock it. 



Ingredients : Makes 150 ml or around 3/4 cup 
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp instant coffee
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vodka (I used White Mischief ultra pure Vodka)
Procedure : 
Heat water and sugar in a pan on medium flame. Allow the sugar to melt.
Stir in instant coffee.
Let this mixture simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
Add vodka and vanilla and mix.
Store in a clean glass bottle and let it mature for 2-3 weeks for the flavour to enhance. 
Use it in your cakes, brownies, tiramisu, puddings etc

Happy DIY Coffee liqueur
Amrita

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Coffee Pannacotta with Boozy Chocolate sauce


Its our 'Blogger of the week' time and this week features the founder of our group Kamalika Chakrabarty who blogs from Silence sings. Her theme for this week is Chef's Challenge and each member is supposed to make a dish inspired from their favourite chef. 
A little lost in the beginning, I found my answer in Nigella Lawson's Coffee pannacotta with chocolate sauce shown on Masterchef Australia. The moment I saw it, I knew I was making it. And thus I started with making a homemade version of Coffee liqueur (blogpost coming soon next). As usual, I modified the quantity and adjusted it to 2 servings. The original recipe has a more pouring consistency of the chocolate sauce but I have made mine a little thicker for my plating idea. I designed the plate with a little piece of crunch from a chocolate walnut disc and some chocolate rings. 
This dessert is rich, decadent, extremely delicious and a must try for coffee lovers.


Recipe source: Nigella Lawson 

Ingredients : Serves 2
  • 1/2 cream (I used Amul cream)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee powder 
  • 2 tbsp water (for dissolving coffee)
  • 3/4 tsp gelatin powder
  • 1 tbsp cold water (for blooming gelatin)
Boozy Chocolate sauce:
  • 50 gms dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp coffee liqueur

Procedure : 

Coffee Pannacotta:
Take 1 tbsp cold water in a small bowl and add gelatin powder to it. Mix well and let it bloom for 5 minutes. The gelatin will become spongy. 
Heat 2 tbsp water in a pan and add the coffee powder. Add sugar and stir till it dissolves. 
On low heat, stir in cream. Add salt. Mix well.
Remove from heat and stir in the gelatin. Mix well so that the gelatin dissolves. 
Sieve the mixture to attain a smooth texture and allow it to cool. 
Pour the mixture in desired bowls and refrigerate for 3-4 hrs or till set. 

Boozy Chocolate sauce :
Take coffee liqueur in a pan and boil it. Add chopped chocolate to it and stir well. Remove to a bowl and allow to cool.

Garnish

Chocolate rings : Melt dark chocolate over a double boiler and spread a spoonful on a sheet of acetate with a spatula. Use a pastry comb to make lines through the chocolate. Roll the acetate sheet gently and secure ends with some cello tape. Allow to cool completely. Remove the cello tape gently and take out the curls carefully. 

Chocolate coated coffee beans : Melt some dark chocolate and dip whole coffee beans in it. Remove on a piece of parchment paper and allow to set.

Chocolate walnut disc : Melt some dark chocolate and spread like a circle on a piece of parchment paper. Roughly crush a walnut and sprinkle on the chocolate. Take a small circular cutter and make an impression on the half set chocolate. Allow to cool completely. Remove carefully to get the chocolate disc.

Plating
Take a spoonful of the boozy chocolate sauce and spread it on the plate with the help of a spoon.
Dip the pannacotta mould in little hot water for few seconds and gently remove the pannacotta. Place it on the plate. 
Insert the chocolate walnut disc and the chocolate rings on the pannacotta. 
Place the chocolate coated coffee beans on the plate.

Note : 
  • You can make a chocolate sauce without the liqueur by substituting it with cream. 
  • Taste the pannacotta before setting in the mould for sweetness and add more sugar if required.
This recipe is part of Kolkata Food Bloggers  ongoing event Chef's Challenge where Kamalika Chakrabarty is the featured blogger of the week who blogs from Silence sings




Happy relishing
Amrita

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Mango Sorbet


We have almost reached the fag end of the lovely Mango season and like every year I did my experiments with the mighty fruit. The mango ice cream I experimented this year was loved and relished so much that I made it three times over. The Lychee lemon sorbet was a hit too at home, so much so it gave me the idea to try a mango version of it. Since I do not have an Ice cream machine, the texture of the Lychee sorbet was not very soft. I expected the same with my Mango sorbet, but surprisingly it came out much smoother in texture. I reckon, it is because of the texture of the fruit which lend its natural smoothness. 
The lovely part of a sorbet is that it just melts in your mouth and refreshes your palate making you feel not too heavy with the dessert. It is light, refreshing and a smooth dessert and this season I am in love with Sorbet's. 
Since my last experiment with Lychee pannacotta , I have been hit hard with the dessert plating bug (if there is any) There was no set plan for plating this dessert but since the texture of the mango sorbet was so smooth that I got near perfect quenelles, I quickly planned one before clicking pictures of the same. I randomly put the quenelles on some chocolate biscuit crumb and threw in some mango cubes along with mint leaves. 


Ingredients : Serves 2-3
  • Mango pulp from 1 ripe mango(I used a variety called Langda)
  • 1/4 cup or less sugar, depending on the sweetness of the mango
  • 1/4 cup water
Procedure : 
Heat sugar and water in a pan till sugar dissolves.
Strain the mango pulp to remove any fibre and add it to the pan.
Cook for a minute and them remove from flame.
Allow to cool completely.
Transfer to a freeze proof container and freeze overnight or for minimum 6 hrs.
Next morning break the crystals with a fork and put it back in the freezer. Repeat 3-4 times. This will help achieve a smooth texture.
For plating, crumble a chocolate biscuit (I used hide and seed) and put on a plate. Make quenelles out of the mango sorbet with the help of two spoons and place on top of the biscuit crumbs. Place cubes of mango randomly on the plate and finish with mint leaves. 
Otherwise just scoop out the sorbet and enjoy it. 



Happy Mango Relishing
Amrita

Monday, 4 July 2016

One Pot Ham and Peas Fusilli Pasta


Kolkata Food Bloggers encourages new and interactive events where its members can showcase versatility and passion. Our new ongoing event is featuring one member for a week where the chosen one gets to decide on a theme of their choice. For this week, our featured blogger is Chitrangada Kundu who blogs from Color and Spices, a blog with wonderful recipes and amazing breath-taking food photography. 
Recently, KFB held a demo workshop where Chitrangada tried explaining us a thing or two about Food photography. I was lucky to get an opportunity to attend the same and was enthralled at her knowledge and passion. With the limited time, she tried to pack in as much information as possible and shared lots of her hard-learned tips. 
For this week, our event showcases One Pot meal wonders. I have been elusive of this fuss free way of cooking and decided to try an easy pasta recipe. This is literally a dump in kind of a recipe where everything is just put in the pan and then allowed to cook. Simple and easy as a breeze, it is a quick way to beat some sudden hunger pangs.


Ingredients : Serves 2
  • 1/2 cup Fusilli Pasta
  • 1/4 cup chicken ham, cubed
  • handful of green peas
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp of mixed dried herbs
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • parmesan cheese for sprinkling
Procedure : 
Heat oil in a pan and saute onions till translucent. Add chopped garlic and ham cubes. Stir for a minute.
Add flour and the fusilli pasta and mix.
Stir in water and milk. 
Add salt and pepper.
Cook for 10-15 minutes and then stir in the peas.
Cook for another 5 minutes or till the pasta is done. 
Sprinkle parmesan cheese and dried herbs on top and serve. 

This recipe is part of Kolkata Food Bloggers ongoing event One Pot meals which features our blogger Chitrangada Kundu who blogs from Color and Spices



Happy Enjoying a fuss free One Pot meal
Amrita

Monday, 27 June 2016

Easy Mango Ice cream


Of the few things to love about Summers is the availabilty of the king of fruits-the Majestic Mango. I absolutely adore mangoes and have a little weak heart for the variety which is interestingly called 'Langda' or 'Langra'. The origin of the name is debateful but it is believed that since most of the names are derived from the places of origin, it too could be named after a certain place called so. But, whats in a name. Langda has a distinct taste and even though it has a green skin which might trick you into feeling its not ripe, it is one of the most sweetest mangoes. 
Vaanya, my daughter, is a mango lover too. This season she has been wanting to eat the Langda over another sweet mango called Himsagar and has been relishing her Mango escapades with the oozing nectar and the consequent mess. 
A very ripe Langda in my fridge made me kick my lazy self and turn it into an easy mango ice cream which has been in my list for a long time. This is one super simple recipe, very much like the easy strawberry one I made. It is best to make it a night before and let it set in the freezer overnight and then relish it in the day. 


 Ingredients : 
  • 3-4 tbsp condensed milk (adjust depending on the sweetness of your mangoes)
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and pureed( I used Langda variety of Mango)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup whipped cream(see notes)
Procedure : 
In a bowl, combine milkmaid, mango puree and milk. 
Fold in the whipped cream and pour in a freeze proof tin.
Allow to set in the freezer for 5-6 hours. Best is to leave overnight.
Take out and beat the mixture and allow to set again in the freezer. Repeat this 4-5 times to break the ice crystals. 
Scoop and serve.

Note:

  • Take 1/4 cup of whipping cream and then whip it with a handheld beater till it gets thick and fluffy. 
  • In case, you do not have condensed milk, add powdered sugar to the mango puree.
  • Remember, this is a soft set variety of ice cream and therefore will not be as firm.



Happy Mango relishing
Amrita

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Lychee pannacotta with Ginger biscuit crumb and Coconut lemon curd


I am back to crazy 'Masterchef Australia' watching days. With the current season going on at number 8, I realized that I have missed many seasons in between my first tryst with the series. It all started with series 2 and I remember those days when Dinner was finished by 9 PM so that I could indulge in some non-stop gastronomic ride. My baby, Vaanya was then just few months old and needed attention all the time. Vishal and me would take turns to look after her while we eagerly watched each episode very religiously. 
This season my interest got rejuvenated and I have been ogling and drooling at all the artistic desserts that have been put up. Plating is the key in making even a simple dish shine and stand out in front of complex ones. With all this in my mind, I decided to try my hands in a simple dessert with different elements and a pretty plating technique. Firstly, I decided to hero the fruit-Lychee and pondered on all the other components which can go along with it. In terms of flavours, I decided to pair my lychee with ginger and coconut. So, the idea of ginger biscuits crumb and a coconut lemon curd came into my mind which sounded like a perfect harmony to my lychee pannacotta. 
I used some thickened grape juice to brush the plate and then very patiently decorated all the components on it. My over excitement led me to try 2 different platings with the same dessert. I am super mighty happy with the outcome. Do share your thoughts on the dessert. Will mean a lot to me. 


Components : 
  • Lychee Pannacotta
  • Ginger biscuit crumb
  • Coconut and lemon curd
  • Reduced grape juice
  • Fresh lychees
  • Mint leaves
Ingredients and Procedure

Lychee Pannacotta : 
  • 1 cup cream (I used Amul)
  • 9-10 lychees, peeled and deseeded
  • 2 tbsp sugar, powdered
  • 1 1/2 tsp gelatin powder
Blend the lychees in a mixer and strain.
Bloom gelatin in 1 tbsp cold water and allow it to get spongy for about 5 minutes.  
Heat cream and sugar on medium heat and add the pureed and strained lychee mixture. Do not let this mixture boil. 
When the mixture is warm enough to touch, add the bloomed gelatin and mix well. 
Pour in moulds of your choice. I chose my small spherical moulds and some silicon cupcake moulds. 
Refrigerate for 4 hours.

Ginger Biscuit : 
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar, powdered
  • 25 gms butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp dry ginger powder
Beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
Add baking powder, baking soda, dry ginger powder, salt to all purpose flour. 
Add flour mixture to butter-sugar mixture and mix well.
Knead the mixture to a dough and cling wrap it. 
Refrigerate for 1 hr.
Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.
Roll the dough and cut round shapes from it.
Place on a baking paper lined baking pan and bake for 15-20 minutes. 


Coconut and lemon curd : 
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 25 gms butter, cut in cubes
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
Take egg yolk and sugar in a bowl and put on a double boiler on low heat. 
Keep stirring the mixture.
Add butter cubes and mix well.
Add coconut milk and stir till it thickens for about 3-4 minutes.
Finish with adding lemon juice and mix well.
Allow to cool and then transfer to a piping bag. 

Plating : 
Brush your plate with the reduced grape juice which is made by simply putting grape juice in a pan and heating it till it thickens. 
Crumble the ginger biscuits and put them on the plate in a round shape, a little bigger than the pannacotta size.
Demould the Pannacotta and gently put on top of the ginger biscuit crumb. 
Add some fresh peeled and deseeded lychees.
Pipe the coconut lemon curd in intervals and finish with arranging fresh mint leaves. 



Happy Masterchef Inspirations
Amrita

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