Sunday, December 21, 2014

Eggless & Butterless Christmas Fruit Cake

 So the favorite festival of the whole World, Christmas is finally here and I think the whole World is decked up with lights. Here in India, the celebration of Christmas is limited to some colorful lights and eating cakes on Christmas Morning. But nowadays, people in India are also putting up a Christmas tree at their home and decorating it with ornaments like it should be. A man dressed up as a Santa Claus can be seen at almost all the supermarkets and shops here nowadays, this way children are getting aware of all festivals around the World. 


   I don't decorate and put up a Christmas tree every christmas but I always bake lots of fruit cakes every year for my family and relatives. I made this Dry Fruit & Nut cake last Christmas, but this year I tried an eggless version of Fruit cake, which came out really well. I'll share the recipe today, so you all can try out that too for your vegetarian friends. Tastewise it doesn't make a bit of difference, that I can assure you and the texture was outstanding. I got many positive feedback from relatives.
This recipe uses Yoghurt/curd as the binder and don't need any eggs or butter as other recipes do. As there is no egg, there is no need of beating. A totally hassle-free but healthy and flavorful fruit cake loaded with lots of goodness. Usually for making fruit cakes, you need to soak the dry fruits and nuts in rum and wine for a month or more, but this time I couldn't do it and soaked them in orange juice and rum for 7 days only and got an excellent result, but the more it soaks, the better the outcome is.

Recipe Source : Sailu's Kitchen, makes a 7" round cake/Loaf
You Need :
All purpose flour : 1 1/2 cups
Yogurt : 1 cup
Dark brown sugar : 1/2 cup
White Sugar : 1/2 cup
Vegetable oil : 1/3 cup
Baking powder : 1 1/4 tsp
Baking soda : (1/2 tsp + 1/4 tsp)
Vinegar : 1 tbsp
Vanilla essence : 1 tsp.
Honey : 2 tblsp.
Hot water : 2 tblsp.
Lemon zest/essence : 1/2 tsp.
Spices ::
Shah jeera powder : 1/2 tsp, powdered
Cinnamon powder : 1/2 tsp.
Dry ginger powder : 1/4 tsp, optional but recommended
Clove powder : 1/4 tsp.
Nutmeg powder : 1/2 tsp. pinch

Dry fruits and nuts :: 1 1/2 to 2 cups (tutti frutti, black raisins/currants, dates, candied lemon & orange peels, golden raisins, candied cherries, cashewnuts and almonds)
Dark rum : 3-4 tblsp.
Fruit juice : as needed to completely soak the dry fruits and nuts

How To :
  • Preparing  the dry fruits : traditionally, dry fruits and nuts are soaked in rum fully. But I didn't, instead Isoaked them in orange juice and little amounts of rum. But you can completely avoid rum.
  • Preheat oven to 200 degreeC. Grease the bottom and sides of a pan with butter/oil. Set aside.
  • Sieve the flour with shah jeera powder, cinnamon powder, ginger powder, clove powder and nutmeg powder and keep aside.
  • In a bowl, add room temperature yogurt and powdered sugar(brown and white) and beat till the sugar is well incorporated. Add baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda and vinegar. Mix. Leave aside for 5 minutes and you will find that bubbles appear on the top.
  • Add the vegetable oil, vanilla essence, honey, lemon zest and mix well. Now, slowly fold in the flour little at a time, without over mixing.
  • Sprinkle 2 tblsp. flour over the rum soaked dry fruits and fold them into the batter lightly.
  • Just before pouring the batter into the loaf tin, dissolve 1/4 tsp baking soda in 2 tblsp. hot water and pour this mixture over the cake batter and fold it in with a light hand. Do not overmix or over beat.
  • Immediately pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake at 200 C for 30 minutes, them lower the temperature to 170-180 degree C and continue baking till done or till a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake, comes out clean. 

  • Remove from oven and cool on wire rack for 30 minutes and remove from baking pan. Bring the cake to room temperature and slice.
  • Enjoy with a cup of Coffee or Tea....................................................

 Tips : 
  • Instead of Vinegar, you can use lemon juice.
  • Instead of soaking the fruits in alchohol, you can soak them in grape juice or orange juice. 
Sending this recipe to Kolkata Food Blogger's ongoing event, "Christmas Recipes"

Wishing all my readers, visitors, blogger buddies, friends and family members an awesome MERRY CHRISTMAS.........................

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pan Fried Spicy & Juicy Chicken Drumstick

      Have you heard about the Electric Tandoor machine, nowadays available in the market?  Those are best kitchen device for tandoori and grilled items. I found one online here : eTandoors , it's very handy kitchen gadget when you have to prepare in bulk fora party at home. This device works just like an oven, you can bake biscuits, cakes and also can grill fish, meat, paneer, chicken and vegetables. You can also barbecue meat, shashlik and kababs. Making pizza at home will be a piece of cake for you in this electric tandoors. It gives you the oil-free cooking advantage and also take less time to cook as well compared to ovens and microwaves. If anyone already using this kind of electric tandoors, please share your feedback with me, I'm planning to buy one soon.
  Today I'll share one accidental cooking experiment which turned out quite well. One evening I was all set to make Tandoori chicken in my convection oven, I marinated the chicken pieces the night before, when I was about to put my micro-convection to pre-heat, the power went off. When I checked the fuse, it has blown off. With no other way out, I started preparing my marinated chicken pieces on a pan with very little oil. So, the process was little distressing. As I wanted to use very less oil to cook them, I had to constantly stand and stir them. Even though, the process was little tricky, but the end result was quite delicious treat. I gave it my own touch. Hope this recipe will help someone when needed.

       Here is my other post if you make Tandoori Chicken in oven. Now to the recipe-------------

You Need :
Chicken legs or thighs : 4 nos.
For marinade ------------
Lemon juice : 2-3 tblsp.
Red chilli powder : 2 tblsp. or to taste
Salt to taste
Yogurt : 4 tblsp.(1tblps. for each legs or thighs)
Ginger-garlic-green chilli paste : 2 tblsp.
Onion paste : 1 tblsp.
Turmeric powder : 1 tsp.
Coriander powder : 1 tblsp.
Cumin powder : 1 tblsp.
Garam Masala Powder : 1 tblsp.
Red food color : 1 tsp.(optional)
Chaat masala : 2 tsp.
Oil : 2-3 tblsp.
Tomato Sauce : 2 tblsp.
Green chilli sauce : 1 tblsp.
Honey : 1tblsp. 
Kasuri Methi(dried fenugreek leaves) : a big pinch/1 tsp.

How To :
  • Clean the chicken thighs or legs. Then make some cuts on chicken thighs or legs, in a bowl, take 1 tblsp. chilli powder, little salt and 2 tblsp. lemon juice. Mix and apply nicely allover teh chicken pieces and also on all the cuts. Keep aside for 1/2 an hour. 
  • Then prepare another marinade. In a bowl, add red chilli powder according to your taste, salt, yogurt, all spice powders, onion-ginger-garlic-green chilli paste, rest of the lemon juice, lastly add food color. Mix well everything. Apply this marinade on chicken pieces nicely. Keep aside for 6-7 hours or overnight.
  • Heat 2 tblsp. oil in a pan, add the marinated chicken pieces scraping off the excess marinade from them. In medium heat, let them roast on one side. Turn them from time to time to the other side and this way, fry the chicken pieces from all asides till they are cooked through. If needed, add little more oil in the pan. 
  • When done, mix in a bowl tomato, green chilli sauce and honey. Pour over the cooked chicken pieces and let the sauces coat all chicken pieces very well. Lastly I flavoured them with one pinch of kasuri methi or dried fenugreek leaves. 
  • Pan-fried chicken legs are ready to grab and gobble.

Little spicy, little tangy Chicken lollipops are ready. I have served them on a bed of salad, as a side dish with roti and some subzi. Check this site of eTandoors if you are planning to buy electric Tandoori machine.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pritha's Rui macher Nawabi Kalia

     So last week, I was the star blogger of the series "Know Your Blogger-2" by "Kolkata Food Bloggers". That's why you didn't see me introducing a new blogger to you, my friends have tried my recipes and introduced myself to their readers. That was an awesome week, but one week has gone, this week I'm featuring another food blogger from Kolkata and fellow KFBian, Pritha Chakraborty, she blogs @Guilt Free. One of the youngest and most active food blogger of our group. She is very passionate of what she does. She is journalist by profession, even though she posts almost every alternate day on her blog. She is very new in this blogging world, but in very short time she posted over 100 very innovative recipes on her blog. You will find lots of experimental baked items, traditional Bengali recipes along with lots of continental dishes too. Not only she posts regularly, she also posts special festive recipes everyday on every festive occasions. Recently she posted 30 recipes in 30 days during Durga Puja festival and now she is posting Christmas recipes in these last 10 days of Christmas. Hop on to her blog to see those special Christmas recipes. What I love about her blog is her write-up, before every recipe she adds some anecdotes in very amusing and humorous way, that always bring smile on my face. I recently got a chance to meet her on a special event organized by KFB. 

        Last week, I was quite busy prepping for a Bake sale organized by KFB, so picked a recipe which is very festive and can be made for daily cooking as well. I chose her Rui Macher Nawabi Kalia. It's a dish where Rohu or any sweet water fish is cooked in a onion-tomato gravy with a touch of some special spices, like garam masala and dry fruits like cashews and raisins. I followed her recipe to the T, so I'm not giving you the recipe here again, please hop on to her page for the original recipe and give this festive dish a try.  It was a delicious mouth watering fish dish, I totally enjoyed with some hot rice. Thank you, Pritha for this wonderful recipe. 

I'm sending this to Kolkata Food Blogger's Ongoing event, "Know Your Blogger-2"

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Dhaba Style Dal Fry with Dum Aloo with Spring Onion

Winter is knocking at our doors already. I just love the beginning of Winter, not so cold, not very hot. Just so pleasant. In this weather, what I crave for is some spicy side dish with rotis. I cook this Dal Fry quite often at home, but never happened to post this on blog. Last week, I again made this dal fry with some spicy Dum aloo with a touch of season's first Spring Onion.

Dal Fry :
Dal fry is a very popular restaurant recipe hailed from North Indian Punjabi Cuisine. It is regularly served on roadside Dhabas, too. Dal Fry is mainly made with Toor dal/Arhar dal/Pigeon Peas or often made with many combination of lentils to make it more nutritive. I often made this dal with yellow/Green Moong dal and Chana dal combo or Moong dal or Red masoor dal combo. It is tempered and seasoned with some specific spices from Punjabi Cuisine. It tastes great with any Indian flatbread like Paratha or roti or naan and even with Jeera rice or simple Pulao.  Traditionally, this dal is cooked using Ghee (Indian clarified butter), but I prefer to cook this with oil and I flavour the dal with ghee or butter at the end of cooking.

You Need :
Moong Dal : 1/2 Cup
Red Masoor Dal : 1/3 cup
Chana Dal : 1/3 cup
Onion : 1, sliced
Ginger-garlic paste : 1 tblsp.
Tomato : 2, chopped
Green Chilli : 2, chopped
Dry Red Chilli : 1
Mustard seed : 1/4 tsp.
Cumin seed : 1/4 tsp.
Asofoetida/Hing : a pinch
Turmeric Powder : 2 tsp.
Red Chilli Powder : 1-2 tsp.
Coriander Powder : 1 tsp.
Garam masala Powder : 1 tsp.
Kasuri Methi(dried fenugreek leaves) : 1 tsp.
Ghee/Butter : 1 tsp.
Oil : 1 tblsp.
Salt to taste
Lemon Juice : 1 tsp.
Fresh Coriander leaves for garnishing

How To :
  • Pressure cook the dal you are using with water, little salt and 1 tsp. of turmeric powder till dal is well-cooked. Remove from heat and mash the dal with the back of a ladle and keep aside.
  • Heat oil/ghee in a kadai or pan, temper with dry red chilli, mustard and cumin seed. Then add a pinch of asofoetida/Hing and immediately add sliced onion and green chillies. Stir for a minute, then add ginger-garlic paste and saute for a minute or two. Then add chopped tomatoes and saute till they soften. 
  • In there, add turmeric, red chilli and coriander powder and mix with the onion-tomato sauce, cook for few minutes till oil separates. Then add mashed dal, mix and season with salt. Add 1/2-1 cup of water and cook till you get your desired consistency. 
  • Lastly, add kasuri methi and 1 tsp.f ghee/butter and simmer the dal for a minute. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and mix the whole dal. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves. 
  • Serve hot with any Indian flatbread like Paratha, naan or chapati. Also serve serve with Jeera Rice or simple pulao.
I served this dal with Dum Aloo with Spring Onions and roti in dinner. A pure bliss......................

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Mutton Korma ~ A spicy and Juicy Goat Meat Curry

      Here is the time again to introduce another talented food blogger from Kolkata and a member of Kolkata Food Blogger to my reader. She is Priyadarshini, who runs the blog, "Let's Talk Food". She is totally devoted to foods and very creative when it comes to food. As her blog's name is, she literally talks to food. Her experiments with food is quite extraordinary and out of norms. But when she creates, she creates something extravagant, nobody could have ever thought of making what she makes, I can vouch for it. Here is some of her creations : Doi Mishti Cupcake, Chilli Cranberry Sandesh, Almond Blackberry Laddoo and many many more such food. Even her Bengali traditional dishes also has her own touch which just results in lipsmacking delicacy. I won't say more, you have to visit her page to believe me. I can guarantee you'll get to know so much more about food after a visit to her blog. As a food blogger, I totally respect her and a big fan of her creativity.

    Last month she posted a recipe of Mutton Korma on her blog and I literally drooled seeing her pics. Immediately, I thought to recreate it in my kitchen. After few days, I arranged all the ingredients and followed her recipe to the T and what to expect, totally lipsmackingly delicious juicy and spicy Mutton curry. I made a semi-thick gravy to go with my chapati/roti. Visit her page for original recipe......

You Need :
Mutton : 1 kg.
Potato : 2, cut into big chunks/halves(optional)
Onion : 1, (thinly sliced)
Coriander powder : 1 tblsp.
Salt to taste
Sugar – 1+1 tbsp
Bay leaves
Mustard oil : 3-4 tblsp.
For marination :
Minced onion : 1, large
Minced papaya : 2 tblsp.
Ginger paste : 1.5 tblsp.
Garlic : 1 tblsp.
Tomatoes : 2-3, medium
Turmeric powder : 2tsp
Red chili powder : 1 tsp
Salt : 1 tsp.
To roast and grind together :
Whole Cumin seeds : 2 tblsp.
Dry red chilli : 2
Cardamom : 2
Cloves : 2
Garam Masala : To grind
Cardamom : 3-4
Cloves : 3-4
Cinnamon : 2 inch stick
Black Cardamom : 1 (only seeds)
Mace : 1
Nutmeg : a pinch
Whole Black Peppercorns : 8

How To :
  • Marinate the mutton with the ingredients listed under "For marination" for at least 3-4 hours, more the better.
  • Roast whole cumin seeds, dry red chillies, cardamom and cloves on a hot tawa till aroma comes out, then cool a bit and grind into powder. Also make a powder of the ingredients listed under "Garam Masala". Set aside.
  • Heat mustard oil in a pan and once the oil starts smoking, reduce heat and add a tbsp sugar. Once the sugar melts, add sliced onions and potato pieces if using and fry until the onions turns a little brown and potatoes too. Add the marinated meat and fry in medium high heat until the meat has browned on all sides and oil begins to separate.
  • Now add salt, coriander powder, roasted cumin-chilli powder and fry further till oil separates. Add the Garam Masala powder and mix well, fry for another few minutes and then add warm water, enough to cook the meat. Cover and cook till meat is almost tender, stirring occasionally. It can take upto 45mins to 1 hr. It depends on the meat you are using. You can also pressure cook the meat but cooking in the pan in slow heat, tastes lot better. It's upto you.
  • Remove cover and cook on low heat until meat is tender and the water reduces. Remove from heat when meat is cooked and you have your desired consistency of gravy. Just before removing from heat, heat 1 tsp. ghee in a small bowl and pour it over the meat.  
  • Serve hot with rice or roti/naan/paratha. 
I'm sending this post to Kolkata Food Blogger's ongoing event, "Know Your Blogger 2"

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Soya Nuggets in Goanese Gravy

   I am always in hunt for something different recipe for Soya chunks or Nuggets, which is not so loved by anyone in my family, especially my daughter. I found this recipe on Nutrela's Fb page where they shared the recipe and I immediately saved the recipe and tried within few days. This is soya chunks cooked in a Goanese Curry recipe. I already tried this curry version with chicken, but not with soya chunks. It tasted really delicious and the best part is my daughter polished it off who just hate to east soya chunks, gave a thumbs up and asked me o make this again. For me, it's a keeper recipe. Give it a try, folks!!!!!!!!!!!

You need :
Soya Chunks/nuggets : 1 cup
Tomatoes : 1 cup, chopped
Green Peas : 1/2 cup
Onion : 1
Garlic : 4-5 cloves
Grated coconut : 1/2 cup
Whole Dry red Chilli : 1-2
Black peppercorns(whole) : 4-5
Cinnamon sticks : 2, (1" stick)
Poppy seed : 1 tsp.
Coriander seeds : 1 tsp.
Oil : 2 tblsp.
Salt to taste
Sugar : 1 tsp.
Fresh Coriander leaves for garnishing

How To :
  • Boil the soya chunks in a bowl of water for 4-5 minutes, drain and squeeze as much water as possible and keep aside for later use.
  • Heat 1 tsp.oil in a pan, add dry red chilli, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick, poppy seed, coconut and coriander seeds. Roast on a medium flame till aroma releases and keep aside.
  • Pierce the onion  with a fork and roast it in open fire till black, remove the outer skin when cool and keep aside. Boil the tomatoes in a bowl of water, boil and when they are pulpy, remove, cool and make a smooth puree. In a blender, add roasted onions, garlic, roasted spices and with  a little water, make a fine paste.
  • heat rest of the oil in a pan, add the masala paste, tomato puree, salt and sugar. Mix well and add soya chunks and green peas in there. Cook for 4-5 minutes in medium flame with lid closed. Check the consistency you desire for gravy. Remove from heat.
  • Serve garnishing with fresh coriander leaves.

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