Thursday, December 13, 2012

Soft Pull apart rolls

 This is the easiest roll recipe as all you need is to gather all the measured ingredients into a big bowl, knead and let rise. There is no two part step like the regular bread making where the wet ingredients are mixed first, dry ingredients are sifted together and mixed in increments..

2 cups warm water
2 tbsp dry yeast (I used RED star, rapid rise)
2 1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/3 cup sugar
5-5 1/2 cups bread flour

 1 egg white + 1 tbsp milk, lightly beaten for the glaze

Mix the water, sugar, butter, salt, dry milk, eggs and 5 c. flour together until combined. Add the last 1/2-1 c. of flour to the dough (if  the dough is too sticky ).  If using a kitchen aid mixer, let the mix knead on high for 5 minutes until the dough becomes slightly stiff and stretchy.

Rise the dough until doubled in size. About 1 hr (2 hr tops if the house is cold)

Shape the dough into balls and place  30 rolls on a cookie sheet (5 rolls by 6 rolls).

Second rise  on a cookie sheet until the  rolls begin to touch. Brush the tops with beaten egg whites and milk.

 Bake at 350 degrees on the middle rack for 25-30 minutes. Butter tops after roll are out of the oven.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

William Sonomas: sour cream chocolate bundt cake

The beauty of this bunt cake intrigued me, the simplicity of the baking method and the ease had to be  put to test. This recipe from the Williams -Sonoma's need a very special occasion and I waited for mine at Thanksgiving. This being the first time with  bunt, it sort of was a failure as tiniest part of the cake was not released as easily as it should have.  When I finally managed to nudge it  gently out of the pan, my next bet was to attach the cake with the icing (which looked more fudge-ish than  smooth flowing icing) which apparently was too thick and made the cake only heavier and more fragile than ever.
All looked fine until I had to load it with more icing on top and transfer it to  a beautiful plate which was another disaster in itself. Never in the past have I been so disappointed with my baking skills. After some pep talk from my hubster, I reluctantly packed the not-so-beautiful looking bunt to the Thanksgiving dinner hosted this year at my cousins at NY. I was able to retrieve only about 2/3rd of the bunt which my family relished happily  and the crumbled 1/3rd was put to the best use which eventually turned into a trifle with cake pieces, whipped cream, fudge and M&M on the top. The kids, mine and my sisters begged for seconds and thirds and it was the biggest hit of all the desserts I made for that day.

Now, I'm here to tell you that I later decided to give this recipe a second chance only because it was the moistest cake (duh, it didn't hold it's shape, remember?) that I made ever in my 12 years of baking and I got a big thumbs up from Dear H (who is not that much of a cake-eater). So I promised myself to make this for my Dear Hubby's surprise party. ( More cake pics  from the party at the bottom) Boy, am I glad that I did! He absolutely loved it and was singing praises for me. So, here's the praise worthy, melt in your mouth kinda cake recipe.

Sour Cream - Chocolate Bundt Cake from Williams-Sonoma

For the cake:
    2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
    2 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
    5 eggs lightly beaten
    1 1/2 cups sour cream
    1 1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
    4 tsp vanilla extract
    1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

    1 cup cocoa powder, sifted, plus more for dusting pan
    7 1/2 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
    1 cup boiling water

For the ganache:

       6 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
       2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
       1/2 cup heavy cream

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F. Grease the Anniversary Bundt Cake Pan with butter and dust with cocoa powder; tap out the excess.

To make the cake, in a bowl, combine the 1 cup cocoa powder and the chocolate. Add the boiling water and whisk until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth and blended. Set aside.

Over a sheet of parchment, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, one minute. Reduce the speed to low, add the brown sugar and beat until blended. Increase the speed to medium and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating until incorporated before adding more and stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add in the vanilla.

While still at  low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream and beginning and ending with the flour, beating just until blended and no lumps of flour remain. Slowly pour in the chocolate-cocoa mixture and beat until no white streaks are visible, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the chocolate chips. I added the chocolate chips right into the mixer, skipping folding the chocolate chips with hand.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached to it, 60 to 65 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool upright in the pan for 15 minutes. Invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Let the cake cool completely, at least 1 hour.

Return the cooled cake to the pan. Using a serrated knife, gently saw off any excess cake that extends over the edge of the pan. Set the wire rack on a parchment paper lines baking sheet. Invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan.

Meanwhile make the ganache:
 In a heatproof bowl, combine the chocolate and butter. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream just to a boil. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and butter. Whisk until they melt and the mixture is smooth.  First time around, I got a very diluted version of ganache and I made addition of 1 tbsp of chocolate chips at a time to thicken this. Second and the third time was a perfect ganache so I guess there is no way to fail with this ganache.

Pour the ganache over the top of the cake, allowing the ganache, to drip down the sides. Let the cake stand until the ganache is set, at least 15 minutes.
 As an addition, I topped my ganache with cake crumbs and chocolate chips.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Caramel cheesecake

 For the cheesecake 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/3 cup butter butter, melted
4 pkg, (8 oz each) Cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1tsp vanilla
4 eggs
2 tbsp salted pistachio, lightly crushed for garnishing

For the caramel sauce

1 1/2 cups sugar
1.2 cup water
heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of kosher salt

HEAT oven to 325F. (300F for darker pans)
MIX graham crumbs, 3 Tbsp. sugar and butter; press onto bottom of12-inch spring form pan. I  have used a tart pan with fluted sides.
BEAT cream cheese, 1 cup sugar and vanilla with mixer until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust.
BAKE 55 min. or until center is almost set.  Resist the urge to open the oven door as the cheesecake will crack on the top. It will not effect the taste and will easily be covered with caramel sauce, whipped cream, fruits ot melted chocolate. Cool half hour and loosen the sides gently with a butter knife before removing rim. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Caramel sauce

Place the sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan in a heap. Do not spread. Pour the water in the centre and let the sugar mixture come to a boil on high heat. Do not swirl, stir or meddle with during the process to avoid sugar crystal lumps in the final product. The boiling sugar syrup turns clear to amber real quick. As the edges of the bubbling syrup gets darker, you may swirl to even out the caramelising. (Lighter the caramelized sugar, lighter the sauce).

 As soon as you achieve the shade of caramel, set the saucepan aside away from heat. Pour in the heavy cream. The syrup will bubble up dramatically, wait for the sizzle to subside.  Add in the vanilla extract and a pinch of kosher salt. Stir and bring it back to heat on medium heat. The sauce can be reduced to thicker consistency on simmer. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator.

 Remove the cheesecake from the refigerator. Pour 3 tbsp of caremel sauce and spread it leaving an inch away from the edges. Garnish with crushed pistachios. Chill for 4 hrs.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cream puffs/ Pate Choux & Eclairs


Cream puff swan babies inspiration comes from my 12 yr old's French club. The school year is coming to an end in a couple of weeks and they are having a potluck of French food. Even without fore seeing my future, I'm the first one to sign up for desserts...selfishly! :D Later, I ponder

Monday, June 4, 2012

Pretzels- Auntie Anne's copycat

I found it! The Auntie Anne's pretzel recipe!
 Here it is, under the name almost famous...almost? Really? Auntie anne, that's OK, I think you have arrived!

Finding THE recipe, OK, I get it...not any big achievement

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Batate song/ saung

Batate Song served with Cilantro lime rice
Saung/ song is one of the lip smacking relish, marking its spot in konkani lunch sides. I have posted a quick dish and also the kind that

Friday, June 1, 2012

Asiago and Romano cheese rolls

M's favourite over the past year has been the new addition of cheese. A boy who loved to snack on string cheese and grilled cheese (mainly made of mozzarella) all these years has made an upgrade to Asiago cheese.  It opened up a whole another world for him!
 He loves  Asiago cheese bagels, tortilla toasted with Asiago, Quesadilla with Asiago, pizza bites topped with Asiago. Can one get serious medical condition from excessive Asiago binge? 

Here are his fav rolls  which he loves to eat hot off the oven with cold butter. Recipe is similar to laadi paav with the exception of placing the rolls with a little extra space so it spreads during 2nd proofing (2nd rise). Cheese lovers rejoice!

 In my 'To bake' list,  Parmesan knots from the Gourmet magazine is next.

2 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
2 tbsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Asiago cheese
1/2 cup Romano cheese
1 stick butter, cold, roughly chopped
5-5 1/2 cups AP Flour

Proof the yeast with warm water and sugar for 15 minutes in a mixer bowl.

Mix in eggs and rest (except the cheese) of the ingredients and mix on high for 5 minutes until the dough becomes slightly stiff and stretchy.  You can knead the cheese by hand if you are worried to ruin the shredded cheese texture. Add in cheeses and mix one last time. Scrape the bowl to make sure the bottom does not sticky. Cover the bowl with a wet kitchen towel and let the dough rise until doubled in size.

Punch the dough to deflate air and divide into 3 balls and further dividing each ball into 10 . This helps get even sized rolls. Place thirty rolls on a cookie (baker's half sheet pan)sheet (5 rolls by 6 rolls). Place the sheet pan in the oven to rise (No, we are not baking yet so don't turn the oven on).

  Let them rise on a cookie sheet until the rolls begin to touch each other filling all gaps. About 1 hour.

 Bake at 350 degrees on the middle rack for 25-30 minutes. Lightly butter the tops (cold butter from the fridge makes this part easy) after roll are out of the oven.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

lunch thali

Rice, Masoori saar-upkari, bhenda talasani, cauliflower bhajo

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Smiley cookies

Photo enlarged!
  Cuteness Overload!  Where ever you see smileys it sure makes one smile. Aren't these the cutest little thing ever, created to bring smiles to the person receiving it? Be it with a card, at the end of a note or in an email. I just love smileys!!!

I figured these baby bites were the perfect treats for 7 year old cubs for their end of the year party at the scouts. Today we thank our Scout master for preparing  restless little boys into becoming responsible  citizens of tomorrow. I plan on sending these home as a favor with all that cubs that attend today as we ended up with way more that we should have in the house ;)

 Woot woot to my  little scout who is graduating from a tiger cub to wolf! 

I made a batch of  basic sugar cookie recipe  and the regular Wilton royal icing to make these.
  • 2 sticks cold butter, cut up
  • 1cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract/ paste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
In a mixer bowl, cream together butter cubes and sugar

This time I remembered to use vanilla paste (TJ Maxx, 6$...what a steal!) before mixing in the dough. Beat all ingredients till the mixture is creamy. Scrape bowl all the way to the bottom (crucial).


Add in egg and beat just until mixed.


Add in flour and baking powder and mix. At this point, be kind to your mixer and knead the rest with hand. (Using mixer to get a completely smooth dough will result in tough textured cookies and we don't want that!) The dough comes together sooner than you can sing your ABC's :)


See! Make two flat discs out of it.


Refrigerate. I don't track time, but usually while the discs are chilling, I prepare parchment lined pans, set aside a couple plates for placing cookies in freezer and am clearing up my area for rolling out the dough. What I mean to say is that timing does not matter here.

 Oh, and I have the dough disks in a bowl instead of saran wrap because I want to be able to switch the discs in between work. Keep following the  pics, you will see!

Roll out the dough between two parchment sheets or in my case Silpat at the bottom and parchment on top. Silpat at the bottom helps by staying stuck to the counter and does not slide like the parchment sheet does. Always!

 My cookie cutter was the 'inside' of linzer torte. Cut away!

 here's my linzer torte cookie cutter to show you what I mean!


Remove all the cookies and place on a plate( you can freeze directly on the cookie sheet too but my freezer does not allow my 9x 13 sheet to sit flat). So I always have one extra step....not a biggie!

 Freeze for 5 to 10 minutes. In the mean time, ball up the scraps and switch with the disc from the refrigerator. This is where using the bowl instead of cling/saran wrap helps. I mean do you seriously have the time to mess with saran at this point?

BTW, always always freeze before baking . That is if you hate mis-shapened cookie ( seriously, it will spread like nobody's business). Go ahead and bake!


Cool completely.  I let it sit 30 minutes.


Outline with thick royal icing.


 Flood with thin consistency.


Pipe in the details with 1m tip. Enjoy!


Vedakki mor thalippu/ bendekai majjige huli

Lady fingers -1lb
Curd/yogurt - 2 cups
Onions -2, thinly sliced
Red chillies -2
Green chillies -4, slit
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds -1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds -1/2 tsp, coarsely crushed
Methi seeds -1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Coconut oil- 1tbsp
 Vegetable oil - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Cut lady fingers in 1" pieces. Whip curd with turmeric and salt, keep aside.

Heat vegetable oil and season with mustard seeds, methi seeds, red chillies, green chillies, onion and curry leaves. Saute till translucent and a slight change in color. Add in lady fingers and saute well. Add in whipped curd and cook till oil separates from the gravy. Take of heat and add in coconut oil.

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Egg masala

  • 4 eggs, soft boiled (7 minutes), each made into chunks (in my case 8 pieces)
  • Red onions - 3, finely chopped
  • Tomato - 4, finely chopped
  • Jeera - 1/2 tsp, coarsely crushed
  • Haldi -1tsp
  • Chili powder - 1 tsp
  • Green chillies - 5 slit
  • Oil - 1 tbsp
  • Kasuri methi - 1 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Heat oil and add in jeera and green chillies. Add in onions and saute. When the onions are caramelised add in tomatoes, haldi, chili powder and salt. Cook for few minutes turning every now and then to prevent burning. Add a cup of water and simmer for 10 minutes. At this point it is back to semi dry gravy. Toss in chopped egg pieces and mix gently. Garnish with coriander leaves and kasuri methi. Yum!

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Angry birds cake, Marble cake with Swiss meringue frosting

   Fondant figures waiting to be assembled on the cake. See below for the finished cake.

The flavor for this cake is marble and the best recipe to get this from is Martha Stewart. She makes some pretty amazing ones. Her marble cake was the best choice as its one of the good ones out there. The only problem I encountered was quadrupling this recipe because hers makes one  9x5 loaf pan and I needed it for a 10" square. I doubled the recipe and got a batch of cupcakes along with the 10" square so be ready to have some extras for taste testing.

The icing is Swiss meringue, Martha's recipe again as this is the best recipe for  a smooth wedding cake look alike kind cakes. The icing is also good for making roses and intricate details as it can withstand some extra handling of the pastry bags without melting or altering the consistency unlike the butter cream.
 Decorations are made of fondant, all the little figures, catapult, little stones and the henge I did not bother making them from scratch as today was not the day for experiments and besides Wilton  and Duff  Goldman  both sells great fondant and are reasonably priced. So don't bother unless you actually plan on eating them. Mine was more for the deco, anyway.
 Here's how it all looked put together. It was a big hit, taste wise among the grown-ups and the 12 yr olds loved demolishing the cake to death. That was whole purpose of making this cake. What did you think...the kids looked forward to eating it? No Siree! They couldn't wait to pick the little figures off the cake and trying some free throws before popping them into their mouth.  "Cool looking cake" is all I heard from the party hostess at the bowling alley and the kids and most importantly the birthday boy!

I have doubled the recipe that yields one 10" square and about 8 cupcakes. Bake for 1 hr and 15 minutes for cake and 18 to 15 minutes for cupcakes.

Yield Makes one 9x 5 loaf cake

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 3/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan; set aside. Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in vanilla. Add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour. Set aside 1/3 of the batter.
  3. In a bowl, mix cocoa and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water with a rubber spatula until smooth. Add the cocoa mixture to the reserved cake batter; stir until well combined.
  4. Spoon batters into the prepared pan in 2 layers, alternating spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate to simulate a checkerboard. To create marbling, run a table knife (or wooden skewer) through the batters in a swirling motion. I skipped marbling but instead put a couple tablespoons of chocolate batter in random places.
  5. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until a cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer pan to a rack to cool 10 minutes. Turn out cake from pan and cool completely on the rack. Cake can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days

A look on the inside!



Swiss Meringue buttercream

2 1/2 cups sugar
10 large egg whites
4 cups (8 sticks or 2 pounds) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  1. Place sugar and egg whites in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, and whisk until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. Test by rubbing the mixture between your fingers; it should feel completely smooth.
  2. Transfer bowl to mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until mixture has cooled completely and formed stiff and glossy peaks, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the butter, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated after each addition. Don't worry if the buttercream appears curdled after all the butter has been added; it will become smooth again with continued beating. Add vanilla, and beat just until combined.
  4. Switch to the paddle attachment, and beat on the lowest speed to eliminate any air pockets, about 5 minutes. If using buttercream within several hours, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature in a cool environment. Or transfer to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator, up to 3 days. Before using, bring buttercream to room temperature, and beat on the lowest speed with the paddle attachment until smooth, about 5 minutes. This is one step that is crucial  is to beat the chilled buttercream to room temperate for the smooth finish on cakes.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Varan Bhaat

One of all time favourite dish in Maharastrian meals is varan bhaat with hot ghee and vangi batat bhaji according to my DH. Today is one 'happy meal' kinda day for V. Recipe courtesy, dear M-I-L.

 Varan bhaat ani Vangi batat bhaji

Varan Ingredients:
 Toor daal 1 cup
ghee 1tbsp
turmeric 1/4 tsp
cumin seeds 1/2 tsp, crushed coarsely
hing 1/2 tsp
salt to taste

Pressure cook toor daal with enough water and cook thoroughly.
Mash the daal and add salt and half a cup of water to it. Bring it rolling boil and take off heat. Separately, prepare seasoning by heating ghee in a pan, add crushed jeera and hing. Take pan off heat and add turmeric powder. Pour seasonings to the daal and cover. Serve with rice and half a teaspoon of ghee.

Vangi batat

Small purple vaangi 6-8
potatoes 2-3
Onions- 3, finely chopped
jeera -1tsp, crushed coarsely
chilli powder- 1tsp
turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
sambar powder- 1 tsp
goda masala- 1 tsp
oil 2tbsp
salt to taste
coriander leaves to garnish

Cut each vangi lengthwise into 6 pieces. Cut potatoes to the same size as well.

Heat oil in a kadai and saute onions till translucent and slightly changes color. Add all the masala powder and potatoes. Roast till potatoes get a slight crisp at the edges and then add vaangi. Saute for a couple more minutes. Add half a cup of water, cover and cook on simmer till potatoes are cooked thoroughly. When done, take off heat and garnish with coriander leaves.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Kadgi ani chane ghashi / kadgi ani thori ghashi

One of the easiest and most often cooked curry in the Konkani household
is this. Ghashi is what we call for the curry made with the basic ground coconut masala, one vegetable, one pulse followed by mustard seasoning. A simple, quick and a delicious one at that.

Most common combination is Black chana and  tender jackfruit or  sprouted green gram (moong) and tender bamboo shoot which is equally delicious. I believe that the combination is dependent upon the availability as fresh bamboo and the tender jack fruit are both seasonal and for this dish we cannot make do with the brine vegetable (In India, that is).

I have used kabuli chana as it is the one of the staple in my pantry and I make do with the canned kind when I'm pressed for time. Below is a picture of dried tuvar and jack fruit ghashi.

1 cup grated coconut,
1 tsp tamarind pulp
8 roasted red chillies
1 can jack fruit
1/4 tsp Methi seeds
1/2 cup Thori aka whole tuvar Daal or
1/2 cup Kabuli chana or Kala chana

For seasoning
2 tbsp oil
¼ tsp mustard seeds
2 sprigs curry leaves
2 red chillies

Soak thori/ chana in warm water for 6 hrs. Drain water and rinse a couple of times. Cook with enough water in the pressure cooker for 5 whistles till almost cooked (not completely soft as it has to further cook with the masala). Do not drain the water the pulse is cooked in.

Drain the canned jack fruit and chop the jack fruit pieces in two. Add it to the cooked chana and cook till soft. About 10 minutes.

Dry roast the red chillies and methi seeds. Grind it along with coconut, tamarind pulp and salt into a smooth paste.Add ground masala  to the kadgi and chana and bring the curry to a boil and simmer for 5 Min's. Take off of heat and season.

Temper by heating 2tbsp oil and when heated to a smoking point add mustard seeds, 2 red chillies and 2 sprig of curry leaves. Add it to the curry and cover. Serve with rice as a side.

 The picture of kadgi ani thori ghashi.

Substitute and make your own combo's

Pick one pulse and one vegetable
Thori --for--- black chana , whole vaal, Avro (Navy beans)
Kadgi --for--- Suran (Yam), green plantains, potato
I especially add extra Kadgi since we prefer more of them than pulses. so instead of 1 can, I usually end up with 2 cans.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Gosale upkari

Lunch thali: Surai sheeth, kolmbo, doNNe mirsange bhajo ani gosale upkari

Ridge gourd/ Gosale is always a 'two dishes out one' kind of vegetable. This gourd is always used after scraping off the ridges to make it  edible into any delicacy, be it in upkari (vegetable stir-fry), podi (deep fried )or cutlet. The ridges are then seperately made into a chutney or thambli  (same recipe, thinner consistency and with the addition of mustard and red chillie seasoning) depending on what the cook desires for the day. Today is a upkari and ' gosale shire/ghire chutney' day for me.

 Ridge gourd cut up

 Ridges removed for making the vegetable tender. The scraps are saved to make into a delicious chutney or thambli.


Ridge gourd/ Gosale - 2, skinned and chopped
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
red chillies- 2, broken
curry leaves- 1 sprig
coconut- shredded, about a table spoon
oil- 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a pan. Temper with mustard seeds, red chillies, curry leaves. Add in gosale and cook (for  about 10 mins) covered without additon of water.  Add salt and coconut.As simple as that.

Friday, February 17, 2012


 Among zillions of tiramisy recipes in the blogsphere, here's my 'go to' tiramisu recipe if I'm pressed for time is to make do with store brought lady fingers (gasp!), comes together in less than hour minus the 24 hr chilling period. A perfect  no fail recipe is always a favourite on in my list.  I would proudly serve this version of a  tiramisu to any Italian...thats how perfect these are!

Serves 8
Note: For the best results, make this 24 hours in advance of serving

1 cup heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon dark rum, Amaretto, Kahlua, or Godiva liqueur (I used dark rum)

1/3 cup superfine sugar
1 2/3 cups mascarpone, soften at room temperature for 1 hour
1 batch lady finger cookies from here or 3 packages (31/2-ounce kind) lady finger cookies
3 cups very strong, cold coffee
1 tbsp Cocoa powder, for dusting
1 tbsp instant coffee powder, for dusting

In a large, cold bowl, whip the cream to stiff peaks. Refrigerate until ready to assemble the tiramisu.

In the bowl of an electric standing mixer, combine the egg yolks, rum and sugar. Beat the mixture at a high speed for 2 minutes. It should be quite thick and leave a trail when the beater is lifted away. Place the softened mascarpone in a large (seperate) mixing bowl, and gently fold in the beaten egg-and-sugar mixture.Now, fold in the chilled whipped cream. Cream is now ready for layering.

Dip each ladyfinger briefly into the coffee, and arrange in rows on the bottom of a cake pan 'the kind that had easy release lever on the sides used for cheese cakes. Line the sides and bottom with parchment paper. Any bakeware dish works as well (preferably 8" but I used 6-inch round in my case and ended up with leftover so I had to make 3 individual cups as well) or pyrex baking dish. Gently spread an even layer of the mascarpone/cream mixture over the ladyfingers, and top with a second layer of coffee-dipped ladyfingers. Spread with the mascarpone mixture. You can make a  third layer of ladyfingers, and end with a layer of the mascarpone but the taller the tiramisu, more temperamental it gets. So newbies stick to double layers.

 Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for no less than 24 hours, and up to 36 hours. Dust generously with cocao and coffee powder and  cut into 6 wedges for serving (having kept aside  3 of them made into cups, I got one extra serving for taste testing).

Optional, a dollop of whipped cream, chocolate wafers or sticks and a  strawberry.

Recipe # 2  from 'taste of home' magazine for icecream lovers
Tiramisu icecream dessert

•¼ cup chilled whipping cream
•1 tsp confectioners’ sugar, sifted
•About 2/3 cup good quality coffee ice cream
•About 2/3 cup good quality vanilla bean ice cream
•4 savoiardi (Italian crisp ladyfingers), each broken into quarters
•½ cup freshly brewed espresso
•A small piece of bittersweet chocolate.
Whip the cream with sugar until it just holds medium-stiff peaks. Set aside for a moment. Divide the coffee ice cream between the glasses, top with the vanilla ice cream, then put the ladyfingers over the ice cream. Pour the hot espresso on top and dollop with the whipped cream. Grate some chocolate over the cream. Serve immediately.


Kolmbo, a konkan variation of Madras sambar with freshly roasted and ground masala with many other vegetables than the regular tomatoes and onions like that of idli sambar. This kind is mainly used as a lunch/dinner side and has marked as one of the main dish for a konkani lunch. The vegetables that goes in this dish are drumsticks/mashinga sang (a must), tindora/gherkins, brinjal/vaingaNa  along with the usual potatoes, tomatoes and onions and are not limited to the mentioned few. In my moms kitchen, carrots, beans and cauliflower are a staple in kolmbo but V thinks that English vegetable were not an addition in the authentic kolmbo. My childhood memories of kolmbo were all the vegetables I hated; stem of cauliflower & knolkol too. The ground fragrant masala is what matters here. All else is secondary, I say!

Kolmbo (this one has only batato ani mashinga sang), surai sheeth, miriye pappod, mirsange happol, batate happol

Oil 1 tbsp
red chillies- 8-10
chana dal- 2 tbsp
urad dal-2 tbsp
coriander seeds- 2 tbsp
jeera- 1 tsp
methi seeds- about 15
turmeric- 1/2 tsp
hing- 1/2 tsp

Grind the roasted ingredients with the following
1/2 cup coconut
1 sprig curry leaves
tamarind paste- 1tsp
salt to taste

Drumsticks- rough skin peeled lightly
potato- 1 small, cubed
brinjal-4, quatered
pearl onions- about 15
tomato-2, finely chopped
cauliflower florets-about 2 cups
Tindora - about 10, quaterd
carrot -1 cubed

Seasoning: oil, mustard seeds,2 sprigs of curry leaves, 1/4 tsp hing.
cilantro for garnish

Pressure cook 1 cup of tuvar dal.
In a big stock pot, cook all the vegetables till half done, add the ground masala, tamarind paste and salt. Bring it to rolling boil. Simmer & cook till all the vegetables are cooked through. Add the seasoning and garnish with cilantro.
Serve with rice.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

beetroot Upkari

  • Rooting for  ruby red beetroot, here's a quick & super easy side, nothing glamorous or fancy - just a good for you 'unmessed with' beets.  I've been making repeats with a couple of delicious ways to serve these healthy addition to our diet. A sweetish hot beet upkari  &  oven roasted beets are 2 favourite side dishes devoured happily by both my kids. Did I mention that I have one picky kid & another extremely picky?!
  •    A week  ago few of beet shreds went into the red velvet cake as a trial & I was very proud that the kids had no idea that they were eating healthy. I almost feel powerful to have complete control of what goes into their bodies...well, almost! In near future I do have plans of making a raitha & a cold soup as well. Did I mention that I have a few golden beets growing in my kitchen garden?

  • beets - 4, peeled, cut
  • mustard seeds - 1/8 tsp
  • red chillies 3
  • curry leaves- a sprig
  • coconut - 1tbsp
  • salt

  • Heat oil in a pan. Temper with mustard, red chillies & curry leaves. Add the matchstick beets, salt & half a cup of water. Cover & simmer for 15 to 20 mins till completely cooked. Garnish with grated coconut.

Monday, August 15, 2011

chudi pooja

 I am having a great summer so far.
 A relaxing 2 week road trip with the kids went e-x-t-r-e-m-l-y well. Driving around with kids for hrs together is not as daunting (this time around) as it was until a few years ago. Thank's to all the fast food chains for 3+ meals (parental judgement is futile here), nintendo & gameboy which were used to the max. Meeting up & staying over at a few of the closest family we have here in the U S as well as visiting a few places around at temp destination were all going as planned. What a perfect way to make use of hot summer days & vacation, I thought.....only until I came home to a minor setback of a break-in. It brought all the smiles down & scared my babies for sure! It was pretty hard to assure the kids that all would be okay, the very first night back home while I was scared just as much... but materials can always be replaced. Luckily we moved past the fear pretty quick under the circumstances and planned to have the house ready for the Chudi pooja this coming weekend.

Here's how the front of the house looks today.
I'm happy how my little tulsi plant was decorated for the day.
I couldn't be happier that the chudi pooja and lunch we hosted  went really well. Just plain old laughter, good food and might I add a perfect, amchi meal, if you ask me! It was a beautiful day weather wise & the special shravan celebration for the sumangali friends made my house feel blessed as well.

Menu for the day was: Dalithoy, tendle bibbe upkari, jainavro ani kadgiche tepla randay, pulikoddel, duddhi upkari, batato ani karathe podi, valval, kolmbo ani sheeth.

 A friend who recently returned from India got us kele halvo ani kashi halvo which we relished like there is no tomorrow. Thank you Prabhu family!

My darand looks very festive today along with my walkway.

 A beautiful Sunday came to an end with melodious songs from Vinaya Shenoy and  our tabla artist, Rajesh Pai who religiously entertain us at every occasion with his music perfomance.