Friday, July 23, 2010

Batata Song (Potatoes in a spicy Konkani gravy)



Batata stands for potato, but what about song? I wonder whether there is any word called 'Song' in Konkani. There might be several explanations for such a weird name. But the one that I am aware of is that, one starts singing 'SSSsuuu SSSsuuuu SSSuuu' after savouring this red chilli laden dish. One could decrease the spice level, but it wouldn't justify the name. There are two versions of Batata song, one is prepared with freshly ground masala and the other with powdered spices. I love both (coz I am a spice freak). The current one goes well with dosas. I make it along with Neer Dosa or Pan Polo (will blog it soon) for a heavenly breakfast.

Ingredients:
Potatoes - 4, medium sized, boiled, peeled and diced
Onions - 3 medium sized, diced
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste

For masala:
Coconut - 1/2, grated
Red chillied - 10-12, or as per spice level
Coriander - 1 tbsp
Tamarind - lemon sized ball

Method:

1. Dry roast the ingredients called for masala except tamarind and grind on cooling with little bit of water.
2. Heat oil in a pan and saute the chopped onion till translucent.
3. Then add the ground masala and saute till oil oozes out from the sides.
4. Add the boiled diced potato pieces and salt.
5. Add 2 cups water or more if your require a thicker gravy. Boil till potatoes are well blended with the aromatic masala.
6. Have it as a side dish with dosas, Indian bread or rice.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mushroom Pizza

I am not a huge fan of pizza. Only thing I love about them is the Cheeezzz. My kids too love cheese. When I presented them with their first ever pizza, Tammu nibbled on the cheese and obidiently handed over the rest back to me and was aiming at the pizza in Mannu's hand which she was religiously eating. I generally don't like haunting the pizza joints coz eating out for me would mean dining at a proper restaurant. I prefer home-made pizzas although with store bought pizza base. This time, mushroom was in the limelight. You could replace it with chicken or paneer perhaps. My pizza was almost Indianised for I smeared Indian curry base on top of the base before adding the toppings. No Italian seasonings. Please do try out, its easy to make and am sure everyone's gonna like it.

Ingredients:

Pizza base - 2
Capsicum - 1, cut into juliennes
Onion - 1 medium, cut into rings
Cheese - grated, to garnish the pizza with
Mushrooms - 8-10, washed and sliced or diced

For the curry base:
Onions - 2 medium, finely chopped
Tomatoes - 2 medium, pureed or finely chopped
Tomato sauce - 1 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tbsp

Method:
1. Heat oil in a pan and pan fry the mushrooms. Remove from oil and keep aside.

2. In the same oil, saute onions till they turn transparent. Add ginger-garlic paste and saute till the raw smell goes off. Add tomatoes and saute till oil oozes out. Add tomato sauce and salt. Combine and keep aside.
(Readymade curry bases are readily available in the market. They can be used too.)

To assemble:
Smear the half of the curry base on top of a pizza base uniformly. Top it with capsicum juliennes, onion rings, mushroom and sprinkle grated cheese uniformly on top. Grill the pizza for 5-6 mins, serve them hot.

(Shredded chicken or paneer can be used instead of mushroom)
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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Devil's Food Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream filling




This is the second challenge of the event I am participating in, called "A Sweet Punch". Divya had chosen this recipe for the month of July. After having faced the Tiramisu challenge, I was pretty confident and all the more excited to bake this delight. But I didn't have a muffin tray. I had just relocated from Chennai to Bangalore and I didn't know where I could find one. Every mall I went had cake tins, bundt pans but no muffin trays. I was very disheartened until I found Suma's blog where she has given details of places in Bangalore which sell all kinds of baking related goodies. Bingo! Columbus must not have been this happy when he discovered America as I was. I went to Jamal's Inc at Forum Mall, Whitefield and was stunned at their collection. A food buff like me would want to buy each and everything they have in store. I bought a muffin tray, muffin liners and a bundt pan too. Divya, Ria and Maria, I request you to have Bundt cake as one of your challenges (not just to put my purchase to best use, but also for all of us to explore baking further)

The cake was really impressive. It was the first time I was baking cup cakes and that too with filling and frosting! How cool is that??? I want to take this opportunity to thank the Sweet Punch team for taking this initiative. I am loving it. I'm sure my fellow participants would second my opinion.


Here goes the recipe:



Devil's Food Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream filling
Recipe source - 
Baking Bites
Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream (low fat or full) -
can be substituted with yogurt or cream mixed with a tsp of yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2-oz dark chocolate
1 cup water, boiling

Method
Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly grease two 12-cup muffin tins.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light.
Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by sour cream and vanilla extract.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
Add half of flour mixture to the butter mixture, followed by the sour cream and vanilla extract, followed by the addition of the rest of the flour mix.
Stir well between each addition and mix until no streaks of flour remain.
Stir the cocoa powder and the dark chocolate into the boiling water (easiest in a large measuring cup).
Pour chocolate water into the rest of the batter and stir until uniform.
Evenly distribute batter into prepared baking cups. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and the cakes spring back when lightly pressed. (It’s fine if you can’t fit both trays into the oven at the same time, just wait until one batch finishes before putting in the second pan)
Turn cupcakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting and filling.


Vanilla Cream Filling

3 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 cup milk (low fat is fine)
1/2 cup butter (or trans fat-free shortening)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 scraped vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk together the flour and milk and cook in a small saucepan over medium heat until thick. This will only take a few minutes.
Stir continuously to prevent the mixture from clumping and do not bring all the way to a boil.
When thickened (consistency will be that of a thin pudding or custard), strain with a mesh strainer into a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool completely to room temperature.
When the milk mixture is cool, cream the butter (or shortening) and sugar together in a medium bowl until lightl. Add in the milk/flour mixture and the scraped vanilla bean seeds (or vanilla extract) and beat at high speed with an electrick mixer for 7 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape into a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip, or a large ziplock bag with the corner cut off, and set aside until ready to fill your cupcakes.




Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat, with an electric mixer, until frosting is creamy, 3-5 minutes. Add additional powdered sugar as needed to achieve a thick, but not stiff, frosting that is easy to spread. Add additional milk, if necessary, to thin the frosting if it gets too thick.


Assembly
(A photo how-to of the assembly method can be 
found here.) Take a cooled cupcake and, using a small pairing knife, cut a cone of cake (1-inch across by 1-inch deep) out of the top. Trim off the pointy end of the cone, leaving a flat circle of cake. Set aside and repeat this process for all the cupcakes.
Take the cream filling and squeeze a tablespoon or so into each cupcake cavity, filling the hole up to the top with filling. Top off with a flat circle of cake to plug the hole and keep the filling in place.
Using a butter knife or a small offset spatula, frost each cupcake with a layer of chocolate buttercream frosting. Place a dollop of icing in the center of the cupcake (on top of the cut out circle of cake) and spread from the center to the sides of the cupcake.
If you have leftover filling, transfer it to a fresh ziploc bag and cut a very small opening in one corner. Pipe a swirly line down the center of each cupcake.
Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
Makes 2-dozen.



























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