Monday, January 31, 2011

Geeta Baliga | Crab Thai curry

This recipe is from Geeta Pachhi's daughter - Sunita Shenoy

Crabs - 5 to 6 medium sized
Red bell pepper - 1 
(cut length wise)

Yellow bell pepper -1
Onions - 2, medium sized (cut length wise)
Oil - 3 tbsp
Thai curry paste (ready made paste is available)

Coconut milk (thick) - 1 cup
Sat to taste

1. Wash crabs several times removing the dirt and the yellow of the crabs.
2. Cook them with salt and keep aside
3. Heat oil in a big pan. Add lengthwise slit onion and bell pepper and fry till they become soft and transparent.
4. Add thai paste according to ur taste and coconut milk as per desired consistency and simmer for 5 seconds.
5. Then add cooked crabs in this and stir for a few minutes. (Add basil or lemon grass leaves optional)
6. Serve with rice.
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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Batate Phodi - Potatoes coated with Semolina and Tawa Fried

I can eat any number of these any given time... They take long time to be made as they are slow cooked on tawa but they disappear in no time. This is one of my comfort foods when served with Rice and Dal, even on its own straight off the hot tawa. My Bong family opine that this can't be had as a side with Rice. But we amchis like anything fried with Rawa coat!

Potatoes - 2, sliced
Turmeric powder - a tsp
Red chilli powder - as per taste (optional)
Asafoetida powder- a pinch
Salt - to taste
Rawa / Suji / Semolina - required to coat the potato slices
Oil - 2-3 tbsp

1. Marinate the potatoes with turmeric powder, red chilli powder, asafoetida and salt.

2. Coat the potato slices with rawa and place on hot tawa. (on low flame)
3. Drizzle oil all over and cover with lid.
4. After 3-4 mins, invert all the potato slices and drizzle little more oil.
5. Remove from tawa when the slices are cooked.

This goes out to Veggie / Fruit a Month: Potato hosted byDivya originated by Priya

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Geeta Baliga | Amchi Food | Sungta PhaNNa Upkari - Shrimp Red Curry

Yet another dish from Geeta Pachhi's kitchen that's sure to tingle tongues and win hearts!!!

Shrimp - 1 kg 
Chilli powder - 3 tbspn 
Onion - 2 big onions, sliced 
Garlic cloves - 3, mashed 
Tamarind pulp - 2 tbspn 
Oil - 5 tbspn (preferably coconut oil) 

1. Peel the shrimp and devein them.Wash thoroughly in the water 5 to 6 times. 
2. Add the shrimp heads cleaning them thoroughly (optional). Keep aside.
3. Heat oil. Add chopped onion, mashed garlic and fry till they become brown in color.
4. Add the chilli powder and tamarind pulp and stir for 1 minute.
5. Add the washed shrimps. After a while the shrimp gets cooked and the water comes out from the shrimp , add salt to taste.
6. Simmer till all the water evaporates and the curry becomes dry.
7. Serve with rice and dal

Chilli powder is mentioned as 3 tbsp as Byadgie (less spicy) chilli powder is used here. If using a spicy chilli powder, add as per spice tolerance.
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Friday, January 28, 2011

Alu Bharta

Potato is a common favourite of Amchis and Bongs. This dish easily booked a spot in my Comfort Food list. Alu Bharta could be prepared in umpteen ways. This version was taught to me by my kids’ nanny Savitha. Her version also had a boiled egg. She would place an egg amidst potatoes in pressure cooker for boiling. That was the first time I came to know that eggs could be boiled in pressure cooker too…

Alu bharta + Steamed Rice + Dal / Rasam = Bliss + Comfort for me

…….And I believe many can vouch for this.

Potatoes – 3, medium sized
Red chillies – 1 or 2 based on spice tolerance
Onion – 1 small, sliced
Mustard oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Egg – 1 optional

1.      Boil potatoes, peel and mash together. (Along with egg if using it)
2.      Deep fry red chillies in oil till crisp, remove from oil, press wth hands into flakes and keep aside.
3.      Saute sliced onions in mustard oil till golden brown.
4.      Add mashed potatoes, salt and red chilli flakes. Keep stirrng on medium flame till they are mixed well and the mash turns reddish.

This goes out to Veggie / Fruit a Month: Potato hosted by Divya originated by Priya

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Geeta Baliga | Amchi Food | Sear Fish curry

Another mouth watering sea food delicacy from Geeta Pachhi. Let's straight away dive into the recipe without further ado...

Sear / King fish - 1/2 k.g (6 to 7 small pieces)
Grated coconut - 1 cup 
Chilli powder -2 tbspn * 
Green chillies - 3, slit
Onion - 1, chopped 
Ginger - 1" piece, chopped
Salt to taste
Tamarind  - 1 small marble size ball
Coconut Oil - 1 tbsp

1. Wash fish thoroughly in water 
2. Apply  some of the chopped onion, chopped ginger and salt to the fish pieces.
3. Grind coconut with chillipowder and tamarind to a fine paste.
4. Remove from the grinder and add rest of the chopped onion and ginger to it and simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Add water according to ur consistency and salt to taste.
6. Add fish pieces in the gravy and simmer for a few secs . 
7. Add coconut oil top after removing from flame.

1. Instead of tamarind, add 2-3  Kokum (Garcinia Indica) while simmering the masala.
2. Chilli powder is mentioned as 2 tbsp as Byadgie (less spicy) chilli powder is used here. If using a spicy chilli powder, 1 tbsp would be sufficient.
3. Fish curry can be made with Teppal (Sichuan Pepper) also. In that case, onion and ginger must be omitted. Instead 12 to 13 Teppals should be added when you are about to remove the masala paste from the grinder. Simmer this Teppal masala fro some time with sufficient water and then add fish. cook till the fish is cooked. Drizzle coconut oil on top after removing from flame. 
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Monday, January 24, 2011

Lakshmi Masi's Dimer Jhol - Bong Egg Curry

This dish has a secret way to my man's heart. Dimer Jhol or Egg Curry is his all time favourite. Mostly this gets cooked during lunch and gravy is kept as thin as to last till dinner. Abbas would always rave about his Laskhmi (pronounced as Lokkhi) Masi's Dimer Jhol and challenge that nobody could match her levels. He was very right in saying that coz I myself have tasted this dish cooked by her and nothing can beat it. I feel there are some unique dishes that are like signatures of individuals. If one tries to recreate it, the magical element of a hand's touch can't be brought to it.

Lakshmi Masi is Ma's sister and this is her signature dish. Whenever she would visit us, we took it for granted that she would make it for us. Each time I would stay near her while she cooked it and recorded in my mind each step with proportions, but failed to recreate the magic again. She is no more with us but her memories fail to fade away. This dish is a tribute to her coz the last time I made it, Abbas was bowled over and he said 'This is IT!!!' 

Boiled eggs - 4
Potatoes - 2, medium sized, cut into quarters
Onion - 1, medium sized, sliced
Ginger paste - 2 tsp
Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Red chilli powder - 2-3 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Cinnamon stick - 1"
Bay Leaves - 2
Salt - to taste
Sugar - a pinch
Oil - 2 tbsp (Mustard oil can be used for authentic Bong taste, I genrally mix mustard and sunflower oil)

To pound:
Cardamom - 2-3
Cloves - 3-4
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp

1. Deshell the boiled eggs and make small incisions randomly all over them. Marinate with salt and turmeric powder. Shallow fry them in oil till their exteriors turn golden. Keep aside
2. Marinate potato quarters with salt and turmeric powder and shallow fry in oil till the exteriors turn golden. Keep aside.
3. Temper the remaining oil with cumin seeds and bay leaves.
4. When the cumin seeds splutter, add chopped onions and a pinch of sugar. Saute till they are golden brown.
5. Add ginger and garlic paste. Saute till the raw smell goes.
6. Now add half a cup of water along with red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, and salt.
7. Also add the shallow fried eggs and potatoes. Gently keep stirring till the water evaporates.
8. Add another half cup of water and still till the water evaporates. You may repeat this process one or time if you wish to.
9. Now add a cup of water and pound garam masala, adjust salt if required. Cover and cook till the potatoes are cooked. Remove the lid and cook till the gravy has attained your desired thickness.

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Guest Post from an Evergreen Inspiring Lady!!!

I'm very elated to have the first guest post of my blog. I just asked her once if she could pass on a recipe of hers to post on my blog? She was so liberal to let me choose any dish from her collection of pics posted in FB. I chose the Amchi Crab Curry without any second thoughts. Her enthusiasm and passion in life is an ideal example for us to look up to. I have only met her once in person but in touch with her through FB. I'm very grateful to you Pachhi for being so kind in sending the recipe and also letting me publish your clicks of the dish. Hope to have more from you in this space.

Introducing 'The Evergreen Inspiring Lady' - Geeta Baliga:

Over to you Pachhi -

Hello, my name is Geeta Baliga. Seema Kamath invited me to blog about my special recipes. First, let me tell you about myself. I was born in Chennai and grew up in Calicut, Kerala. I was the 12th  of 12 children of my parents Vinayak and Sushila Kini. I got married at the age of 21 to Mr. Mohan Baliga and moved to Hubli. I have 2 daughters and a son. I was an entrepreneur and ran a very successful pre-school called Rose Bud in Hubli for 35 years. Now all my children are gown up and settled in North America. I now have 5 adorable grand children, the oldest being 19 and youngest 7. I have now moved to the US to stay closer to my family. My passion for cooking was inspired by my mother-in-law, Rukmini Baliga, who made fantastic and authentic Konkani food. Konkani cuisine is known for great fish curries and other seasonal delicacies like "Kadgi Chako" and "Keerla Sukhe"etc etc My husband's family was also large (10 children) and we constantly had family visiting us for whom I helped cook barrels of curries, chakkulis and ubbatis, phenories, shevai, thile undo, halvas etc. While in Hubli I had friends from all parts of India - Panjabi, Marasthrian, Sauzi and Lingayat (Hubli locals), from whom I learnt to make other types of cuisines. Over time my reputation grew as the best cook in the family and circle of friends, particularly for seafood.

So, here is my first recipe... Crab Curry. Enjoy.

Medium size crabs - 6, if they r too big cut it into half
One half of full big coconut - grated
Green chillies - 6, slit
Red chilli powder - 2-3 tbsps
Tamarind - a small ball
Ginger - 2" piece, finely chopped
Turmeric powder - a pinch

For seasoning:
Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 5-6
Onion - 1 medium sized, chopped

1. Grind coconut with tamarind and red chilli powder in to smooth paste. Keep aside.
2. Wash the crabs 4 to 5 times. Remove the yellow stuffs from its shell while washing.
3. Cook crabs adding little water with chopped onions, chopped ginger, slit green chillies and salt.
4. Add the masala paste and simmer. Don't add too much water to avoid becoming too much watery.
5. Then season with mustard seeds and curry leaves or season it with chopped onion. That's all.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Poolao or Palao, any which way, banao aur khao...

4 o’ clock hunger pang – Sindhu (my Sis) and I charge into the kitchen! In less than another 15-20 mins, both of us waiting for the pressure cooker to whistle… Our anxious walk around the kitchen would remind one of people outside Operation Theatre waiting for the doctor to come out… Once the whistles are done, we wait for the cooker to cool down and stop hush hush, so that we could open the lid and attack!!! Our guest to taste these culinary achievements (at times mishaps) was our Granny. She was always supportive and actively stood by our side in all such passionate things that we did… Miss her to the core!

With hubby and Ma disliking one pot meals, now I hardly get to indulge into these delicacies. What made me realize how badly I missed a pulao? Had gone to the beauty parlour and the beautician’s hub calls up. She is instructing him to get all the ingredients for making Pulao. I come back home and was casually chatting with my maid. Asker her what she cooked? (That’s one question I don’t fail to ask even in the shortest of conversations) Fate had it that she too cooked Pulao that day and I was put in a ‘Do or die’ situation. Luckily there was some plain rice and fish curry just enough for Abbas from the previous day and Ma was in Kolkata. I made this 1-pressure-cooker-3-whistles rice and satiated my Pulao forbidden soul.

Note: After Abbas finished his dinner I asked him to taste it but he was firmly reluctant. Pestered him to have just a spoon. Well, little was he aware that no one can eat just one spoon of this dish… He he

Rice – 2 cups
Veggies – 1 cup, chopped into cubes (I used carrots, beans, potatoes and green peas)
Onion – 1 small, chopped
Bay leaves – 2
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil + ghee or just oil – 2 tbsps
Water – 4 cups

For the masala:
Coconut – grated, 2 tbsps
Onion – 1
Tomato – 1
Ginger – 1” piece
Garlic – 4-5 cloves
Mint leaves – 10
Coriander leaves – a handful
Cardamom – 2
Cloves – 3
Cinnamon – ½” stick

  1. Grind together the ingredients called for under the masala header using little water if required.
  2. In a pressure cooker, heat oil, add bay leaves.
  3. Add sliced onions and saute till they turn transparent.
  4. Now add the ground masala and sauté till raw smell goes.
  5. Add the veggies, rice, turmeric powder and salt and mix well.
  6. Add water and close the lid.
  7. I generally cook for 3 whistles i.e. the cooker is left on high flame till the first whistle, put it on low flame and cook for next two whistles. Or first five minutes on high flame and next two on low flame and switch it off. Do not open the lid till the pressure cooker is silent (You know what I mean!)
  8. Server with raitha. (I love it on its own)

I had forgotten to take pictures of it. So clicked after having packed it for lunch…

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Alu Kumro Tarkari

This is the first dish that got me hooked to Bong cuisine. My Bhabi (SIL) used to make it for breakfast as a side to go along with Puris or Parathas. It’s a simple and quick to prepare dish and I simply love it. Bhabi’s version had only potatoes but this time I added cubes of Pumpkin coz it was begging to be used while it lay abandoned in our refrigerator for a couple of weeks…With or without Pumpin, the dish wins over hearts…

Potatoes – 3, medium sized cut into 1cm cubes
Pumpkin – 1 cup, cup into 1cm cubes (optional)
Green chillies – 2, slit
Nigella seeds – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Red chilli powder – as per spice tolerance
Salt – to taste
Mustard oil – 1 tbsp (mandatory)

  1. Heat oil in a pan. Add nigella seeds and slit green chillies and sauté for a minute.
  2. Add cubed potatoes and pumpkins, salt and turmeric powder and sauté till the cubes get a golden exterior.
  3. Add a cup of water and  red chilli powder. Cover and cook till you potato-pumpkin cubes are cooked and you get a  gravy of desired consistency.
  4. Using the back of a spoon or a masher, mash lightly to get a beautiful texture.

This goes out to Veggie/Fruit of the month: Potato hosted by Divya

and also to Complete My Thali hosted by PJ and strated by Jagruti

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Flourless Dark Chocolate Muffins - just 3 ingredients

I had baked Chocolate Mud Cake on my birthday and I distributed it among my team mates, bus mates, kids' creche caretakers and my maid. At the end of the day, when Abbas asked me for a slice of the cake, I was ashamed! I didn't have a crumb of it left and wanted to crawl under a rock... He said "How could you forget that I haven't eaten it?" He shook his head in disbelief and I can't express how I bad I felt! Anyway to make up for my grave mistake, I again donned my apron and baked these muffins. They are simply too delicious. The recipe was bookmarked from Suma's Cakes and More where it was a guest post by Madhuri of CookCurryNook... It was actually a flourless chocolate cake and called for 500g of dark chocolate. Since I had only 200g bar on stock, I adjusted the other two ingredients proportionatley and baked them in my muffin tray.

Bitter-sweet dark chocolate compound - 500 gms  (I used the Selbourne brand 200g)
Butter - 1/2 cup + 2 tbsps (I used about 1/4 cup)
Eggs - 5 nos, at room temperature (preferably large-sized) (I used 2 eggs)

My measurements yielded me 9 muffins

Method:1. Cut the dark chocolate into small pieces and microwave with the butter for 1-2 minutes till the mixture melts into a molten liquid. The melting can also be done in a double boiler method.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 190C/375F. Prepare your muffin try with muffin liners. 
3. Now, while your chocolate-butter mixture is cooling, separate the egg whites from the yolks and put them into two separate medium sized bowls.
4. Whip the egg whites in a medium/large grease free bowl until stiff peaks are formed and set aside (do not over-whip or the cake will be dry)
5. With the same beater beat the egg yolks together and set aside.
6. Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate. Stir well.
7. Next, fold in 1/3rd of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and follow with remaining 2/3rds. Fold until no white remains, without deflating the batter.
8. Pour the readied batter into muffin liners (the batter should fill the 3/4 of liners), and bake for 20 minutes. 
9. Cool muffins on a wire-rack for 10 minutes before serving.



This goes out to Priya's Bookmarked Event Every Tuesday

Also goes out to 'Delicious Desserts' event hosted by Aliena @ What's Cooking Today

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Golden Lentil Balls with a Cheesy Interior

Wanted to make lentil fritters in a different way than the usual! Sneaked in a pinch of mozzarella cheeze in the center. Crunchy golden balls could be made ahead and deep fried just before serving.

Grind together:
a cup of soaked lentils - I used channa dal, and kept spoonfuls of dal aside before grinding
1" piece of peeled and chopped ginger
2-3 garlic cloves
2-3 cloves
1/2" cinnamon
3-4 green chili

and mix with:
1 small onion chopped
a handful of coriander leaves chopped
a tsp of chopped curry leaves
salt - to taste
rice flour - just enough to absorb the extra moisture and give the balls a crunchy exterior

Stuff in small bits of mozzarella cheese as shown below:

Deep fry to indulge in these golden beauties.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Chocolate Mud Cake

I was born on an auspicious day, Makara Sankranti! This year Sankranti has deviated from its ususal 14th to 15th... No holiday on my Birthday! Yesterday night post dinner after kids had gone to bed, got Abbas into helping me prepare a cake. Well, I hesitantly asked Abbas and to my surprise (read SHOCK!), he said I myself was planning to bake a cake for you... I had already decided it was going to be Divya's Chocolate Mud Cake the day I laid my eyes on the pics! I was chopping chocolate and they were disappearing into my helper's mouth! I wanted to shoo him away. While I was busy melting chocolate, preparing sugar solution... his highness was chatting with his Bro and was pitching in once in a while to check if I needed help! I asked him to measure a cup of flour and mix with cocoa powder and baking soda. He inverted my flour container to pour it into a cup and almost another cup of flour spilled into the mixing bowl. I put all the flour back into the container and meausred myself, threw in other ingredients and he performed the most difficult act of mixing them together! And before I knew it, he had disappeared from the kitchen. I let the cake bake in the oven and went to bed. Early morning, I woke up and decorated the cake by cutting out stencils and dusting with icing sugar. All thanks to Suma coz I got this brilliant idea from her blog!

Here goes the recipe to dive into Chocolate Niravana as Divya rightly said:

Recipe source - Lakshmi Nair

Flour – 1 cup
Baking soda – ½ tsp
Cocoa Powder – ¼ cup
Sugar – ¾ cup
Boiling water – ¼ cup
Instant Coffee Powder – 1 tsp
Dark Chocolate – 125 gms,grated or chopped (I used Milk chocolate of Selbourne brand)
Butter – 125 gms,unsalted
Eggs – 2


1. In a mixing bowl, mix together sugar, boiling water and coffee powder till the sugar dissolves. [If you are using granular sugar, it wouldn’t dissolve completely and that is fine]
2. In another pan melt the butter and add the chocolate,make sure the pan is on low heat. In about 2-3 minutes, it will melt completely and become a chocolaty mass. Switch off the flame.
3. Add this to the sugar mix and mix everything together with a wooden spoon. Let it cool and come to room temperature.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the baking tin-grease and line an 8’ round cake tin.
5. Preheat oven to 175C.
6. Sift together flour, baking soda and cocoa powder.
7. When the chocolate mix is cool, beat in the flour mix little at a time-you could use a wooden spoon or a hand mixer.
8. After all the flour has been mixed in, add the eggs one at a time and beat well.
9. Transfer to the prepared baking tin and bake for 30-35 minutes[it took exactly 35 minutes in my oven].
10. Cool the cake in the tin and then invert to a cooling rack.
11. Using a sieve, dust powdered sugar on top and slice into wedges.
Serve with a dollop of Chocolate ice-cream and transport yourself into Chocolate Nirvana!!

And that's the way I cut out my stencil:

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Caramel Custard

One of my favourite desserts... I always tasted these in restaurants and craved to recreate at home. Ma prepares a pudding which is in the same lines of this dish. I didn't know how to get the caramel layer on top. Googling yielded me several recipes and I finally picked this coz the custard recipe was quite similar to Ma's pudding recipe except that Ma adds a few torn bread slices to it. Due to lack of proper vessel for steaming, when the custard was inverted, it had a free fall and totally changed shape. The pictures hence might not be so appealing but it tasted excellent nevertheless. I'm hunting for ramekins to prepare this next time.

This reminds me of Srujanie, one of my friends and ex-colleagues in Kolkata. She would cook and bring all those dishes that I loved, to office and pampered me. She is a great cook, I really miss her... She had once brought this custard and I alone gobbled it all!


For the custard:
2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence

For the caramel
3 tablespoons sugar (I suggest to use 11/2 or 2)
1/2 cup water
a deep mould for steaming

Method for the caramel
1. Melt the sugar on low heat until it turns a deep brown. Remove from fire, add the water carefully, then put back on fire and cook on slow heat until a thick honey-like syrup is obtained. This is the caramel.
2. While still hot, pour the caramel into the mould (rinsed in cold water) and gradually turn the mould so that the sides get coated with the caramel. Leave aside.

For the custard:
1. Beat the eggs with the sugar thoroughly.
2. Boil the milk. While still boiling, pour into the egg-sugar mixture and beat vigorously until well blended. There should be no lumps.
3. Add the essence, beat once again and pour into the mould.
4. Cover the mould with a piece of aluminium foil. Bring down the foil on all sides and tie at the rim of the mould with the piece of string.
5. Steam cook the custard on very low heat for 30-45 minutes. (A fine needle pierced through should come out clean). Remove the foil. Cool, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
6. Just before serving, cover the mouth of the mould with a plate. Quickly turn the mould over on to the plate and remove the mould. Serve immediately.

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Meringue Cake


Recipe source:

Cake Batter:

4 largeeggyolks
1 cup (100 grams) sifted cakeflour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) (114 grams)  unsaltedbutter
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated whitesugar
1 teaspoon purevanillaextract
1/4 cup (60 ml) milk

Meringue Layer:
4 largeeggwhites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated whitesugar
1/2 teaspoon purevanillaextract

1 cup (240 ml) heavy whippingcream
1- 2 tablespoons (14 - 28 grams) granulated whitesugar
1 pound (454 grams) fresh strawberries, cut into bite sized pieces
Confectioners Sugar (powdered or icing) fordustingtop of cake

Cake:Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Grease and flour two - 8 x 1 1/2  inches (20 x 3.75 cm) round cake pans. Set aside.
Separate the eggs while they are still cold, placing the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another bowl. Cover the two bowls with plastic wrap and allow the eggs to come to room temperature before using (about 30 minutes).

In a mixing bowlsiftor whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat in the vanilla extract.

With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans, smoothing the tops with an offset spatula. Set aside while you make the meringue layer. 
Meringue:In a clean bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Beat in the vanilla extract. 
Divide the meringue between the two cake pans, gently smoothing the tops with an offset spatula.Bake for approximately 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. The meringue layers will have turned a light brown and will be crisp to the touch but soft inside.Place the pans on a wire rack to cool. When completely cooled, remove from pans. 

Shortly before serving whip the cream with the sugar until soft peaks form. Cut the strawberries into bite sized pieces and, if necessary, add a little sugar to sweeten them. Place one of the cake layers, meringue side up, on a serving platter. Spread the whipping cream onto the cake and top with the strawberries. Gently place the second cake layer, cake side down so the meringue layer is facing up, onto the first layer. Dust with confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar. If not eating immediately, cover and place in the refrigerator until serving time. The assembled cake will hold in the refrigerator for a few hours. 
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ucche, Shozne Data, Bori ar Alur Tarkari - Bitter Gourd, Drumstick, Lentil Dumpling and Potato Stir Fry

One of my favourite side dishes on a Bong platter. The combo of Bitter Gourd and Drumstick is very rare, and takes the dish to an entirely different level. I fail to express the taste of this side dish, one has to taste it to feel it. The presence minimal spices lets one taste all the veggies in their natural form unadulterated.

I learnt it from Ma who learnt it from someone else. She must've told me that someone's name atleast 24 times. But I forgot. Anyhow, whoever it is, god bless her! My ears have a special filter which only let in what is necessary out of Ma's non-stop iterative speech! Anyway, all credit goes to her for me learning Benagli so quickly. I picked it up by imitating her tape recorded excerpts which get repeated with each word in the same order each time. Jokes apart, I can't stand Ma's silence. Ma, you keep talking (while my ear filter is intact, lol)

Bitter Gourd – 1 medium, sliced
Drumstick – 2 to 3, cut into finger sized pieces
Potato – 2 medium sized, cut in french fry style
Bori – ½ cup (optional)
Panch phoran – 1 tsp or Nigella seeds – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 2 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Oil – 2 tbsp

  1. Shallow fry bitter gourd, drumstick, potato and bori by marinating them with salt and turmeric powder in a tbsp of oil. (Make sure you fry the boris at the end coz they absorb all the oil)

  1. Heat remaining oil in a pan. Add panch phoran or nigella seeds.
  2. When they splutter add all the shallow fried ingredients, turmeric powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder, salt and combine.
  3. Add 1 cup of water and cook on low flame covered till all veggies are cooked.

There is no need to cook till all water is evaporated. You could leave some amount of water coz if it is left to stand, Boris and Potatoes might absorb any remaining water.

This goes out to Jagruti's Complete my Thali event

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