Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chocolate Biscuit Pudding

Well there's nothing  much to say about this simple desert, except that it will bowl over  your friends and family. The key ingredient is Marie Biscuits which is a common find in the pantry at most of our homes. So, just  go ahead and try this delicious chocolaty biscuit pudding which has  an awakening  scent of coffee in each bite.
Prep Time:20 mins + Refrigeration
Marie Biscuits: 1 big packet (20 nos)
Custard Powder: 4 heaped  tablespoons
Coffee Powder: 2 teaspoons
Cocoa Powder: 3 tablespoons
Milk: 1 1/2 cups
Sugar: 1/2 cup
Heavy Whipped cream/Cool Whip: half the box, about 2/3 cups
Almonds + Walnuts: 1/4 cup
Chocolate bar: to grate

* You could even add cashews if you like them

Heat the milk in a deep pot, stir in the sugar. When the milk starts to boil, take some milk out in  a cup, dissolve the custard powder and cocoa powder until there no lumps in it. Pour this mix back into the hot milk and keep stirring until it starts to thicken. Once the custard is made, take it off from the heat and let it cool. 

Meanwhile make some coffee concoction in water and sugar. Now crush half of the biscuits into a crunchy powder. Dip rest of the biscuits one by one and form a base in the setting dish. After the custard has fully cooled  and become thick, pour this custard over it. Add one layer of the whipped cream. Top with half of the crushed marie biscuits and half of the nuts. Repeat with the layer of custard, whipped cream, crushed biscuits and nuts. Finally top it with lots of chocolate shavings. Let it set in the fridge for about 5 hours. 

Serve cold. Another thing to note is that this a pudding consistency, so it wouldn't exactly cut up like a firm slices. This has to be served in bowls.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Soy Nugget Manchurian

Nutri-nuggets or soy nuggets are popularly used an an alternative for meat. Back home in India, our mothers would make a masala curry tricking us into eating this as chicken curry. High in protein, they are a great choice for vegetarians and can be made in varied preparations. We tried something different on the lines of indo chinese and is a big hit in our homes.. 

Prep Time:  20 mins + soaking time
Soy Nuggets (soaked in hot water with salt): 1 cup
Onions (cubed): 1/4 cup
Bell pepper (cubed): 1/4 cup
Ginger (finely sliced): 1 tablepsoon
Garlic (finely sliced): 1 tablespoon
Green chillies (slit): 4-5
Spring Onions (chopped): one bunch
Corn starch: 5 tablespoons
Chili Garlic sauce: 2 -3 tablespoons
Soy Sauce: 3 tablespoons
Vinegar: 2 tablespoons
Tomato Ketchup: 2 tablespoons
Sugar (optional):  1 teaspoon
Dried red chillies: 2-3
Salt to taste
Oil to fry

Soak the soy nuggets in hot water and salt for about 20 mins. They will drink it up immediately and fluff up. Dissolve the corn starch with some ketchup in little water to make a thickish paste. Keep aside. Put  the fluffed up nuggets into the corn starch mix n let it sit for a while you chop rest of the veggies.

Afters thats done, heat some oil on a deep wok. Shallow fry these soy nuggets until the coated corn starch gets all cooked. Take them out. In the remaining oil, fry the dried red chillies, chopped ginger, garlic, green chillies. Toss in the onions, bell peppers. Add back the fried soy nuggets. Add in all the chill garlic sauce, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar. Adjust the salt and spice. Keep tossing till everything gets well coated. Finely garnish with chopped spring onions.

The manchurian is ready to serve  to make complete your indo chinese dinner night  either with some fried rice or noodles.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Nankatais are sweet flaky biscuits that are made mostly around festival time in India. With just a handful ingredients, you don't need to wait for a festival to enjoy these delicacies. We have done two variations on the basic recipe. Hope you like them as much as we did munching on them.

Grandma's style old fashioned  Nankatais
Prep Time: 20 - 25mins
All purpose flour: 3 cups
Rava / Semolina: 1 cup
Sugar: 1 1/2 cup
Cardamom pods(powdered): 4
Butter: 5 tablespoons
Oil: 3 tablespoons
Mix the all purpose flour/maida, semolina, cardamom powder and sugar. Melt butter and mix with the oil and pour this into the dry flour mix. Keep mixing till it resembles a pie crust mixture which is very crumbly. Then shape them into small balls and bake  in a greased  tray at 375° F for about 15-20 mins. When they turn into a lightish color and get cracks, they are done. Make sure they don't burn. Cool them and enjoy these snacks at anytime.
Nankatais with a  choco twist

All purpose flour: 3 cups
Rava / Semolina: 1 cup
Sugar: 1 1/2 cup
Cardamom pods (powdered) : 4
Butter: 4 tablespoons
Oil: 2 tablespoons
Milk: 1 tablespoon
Coco Powder: 1/2 teaspoon

With the same base dough, you could make it a little more fancy by altering the ingredients a little. So to the previously mixed dough (maida, semolina, sugar, cardamom powder, butter, oil) add a little milk and baking powder and make a smooth dough. Take out 1 teaspoon of this new dough, mix in the cocoa powder. Make tiny balls of these brown dough and keep aside. With the remaining white dough, shape them into balls and slightly flatten then in your palms and press the centre with your index finger. Now press the lil choc balls in this centre to get a nice pattern.
Bake them in a greased tray at 375° F for about 15- 20 mins.

Enjoy once they are cooled.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Italian Chocolate Salami

Well like the name suggests this is nothing like a regular salami. Salami is actually cured, feremented and air-dried meat shaped like a  cylinder. Originating from Italy, its now very popular with different varieties across Europe.

Now coming to this elegant creation, its super easy to make with just a handful of ingredients. And due to the similarity in its look to the original salami, we borrowed the name. Well another interesting fact is that  this creation is in the family for  almost 20 years and has won many prizes in many cooking competitions.

So waste no time and definitely give this  a try!!! 

Prep Time: 10 mins +Refrigeration time
Marie Biscuits: 1 big pack (about 15-20)
Cocoa Powder: 2 1/2 tablespoons
Sugar: 3/4 cup
Butter: 1 stick
Spiced Rum: 1/4 cup or lil more if you like the kick
Almonds/Walnuts (Finely chopped): 15-20

Powder the marie biscuits and sugar. Add the cocoa powder and chopped almonds. Pour in the melted butter and rum. 
Knead well into a smooth dough and make it into a cylinder. Wrap it in cling foil and refrigerate for about 3-4 hours.
When completely firm, slice it into circles and serve cold, either with ice cream or even as an after dessert with a hot cup of coffee..

We are sending this recipe to Spicy Tasty's Sizzing Summer contest  - Summer themed Dessert.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Broccoli Asparagus Stir Fry

Here is one easy stir fry recipe which can be ready in a jiffy. Absolutely delicious and super healthy these two vegetables are great by itself or together.

Prep Time: 5 mins
Broccoli Florets: 1/2 cup
Asparagus (cut into halves): 10 - 12
Garlic (sliced): 2 pods
Chili Flakes: 1-2 teaspoon
Pepper Powder (optional): 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil to fry

Heat some oil in a pan, add the chopped garlic pods and flakes. Add the broccoli florets and asparagus and saute. Sprinkle salt. Saute well. Its completely your choice when you decide to take it off the gas because some people like it fully cooked while some like with a little crunch.
This makes a perfect side for any meal.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Vendakka Malsyam / Okra in Coconut gravy

If you are also wondering whats with the peculiar name of this dish which literally mean okra fish in malayalam; there is no great story behind it. As far we understand this simple creation is very local  to Kannur, a region in the North Malabar and gets its name because of its similarity to the fish curry. Just that the  fish is substituted with okra . A great recipe for everyone.

Prep Time: 15 mins

Okra/Vendakka (cut): 10 - 12
Red Onions (sliced):  1/4 cup
Tomatoes (sliced): 1
Ginger (chopped): 1 teaspoon
Garlic (finely chopped): 1 teaspoon
Green Chili (chopped): 2-3
Curd: 1/4 cup
Grated Coconut: 1/3 cup
Cumin seeds/ Jeera: 1 teaspoon
Coriander Powder: 1 1/2 teaspoons
Dried Red Chilies: 3-4
Turmeric Powder: 1-2 teaspoons
Water: 1/2 cup

Pearl Onions/ Shallots (finely chopped): 2-3
Garlic (finely chopped): 1 teaspoon
Curry Leaves: 1 sprig
Mustard Seeds: 1 teaspoon
Dried Red Chilies: 1-2
Oil to fry

* You can cut the okra into 2 -3 pieces same as for sambar.

Heat some oil (1-2 tablespoon) in a pan. Add the cut okra, ginger, onions and saute for about 10 minutes till the okra is medium cooked. Put some turmeric powder. Add the sliced tomatoes. Add water and cover. Let it come to a boil. Make  sure the okra doesnt get over cooked and thus mushy.
Meanwhile, grind the grated coconut, a pinch of turmeric powder, coriander powder, dried red chillies, jeera, garlic and curd into a fine paste. Add this ground mixture to the okra. Let  it simmer on low heat until everything incorporates well. For seasoning; add oil, fry the garlic and chopped shallots until golden brown, then  splutter mustard seeds, dried red chillies and curry leaves.  Adjust the salt.

Serve hot with rice.


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