Monday, December 23, 2013

Caramel Cake

Wishing all our dear readers a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Christmas is a wonderful celebratory time of the year. It's also the time for baking goodies and eating delicious elaborate feasts or just spending some cozy time with the family. Here is a simple cake to brighten your holiday spirits. 

Prep Time: 40 mins
All purpose flour: 1 cup
Baking powder: 1 teaspoon
Butter: 1 stick
Eggs: 2
Sugar: 1 cup (1/2 cup for caramel + 1/2 cup beating)
Vanilla Essence: 1 teaspoon

*Making the caramel is the trickiest part. If you don't make it right it will crystallize very soon and this cake totally depends on the caramel. Of course the experienced cooks out there have no problems with that. 

Heat half cup of sugar with one teaspoon of water and let it melt until completely golden brown and bubbling. Microwave little water and add 2 teaspoons of water. It will bubble up, but stir continuously. Turn off the heat and keep aside.

Beat butter and the 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Add one egg at a time and beat thoroughly until ivory in color. Add the vanilla essence. Sieve the flour and baking powder together a few times. Add the flour little by little and beat well. Pour in the caramel syrup slowly and beat the batter until all smooth. Sometimes, there is a chance the caramel will still crystallize looking like tit bits of caramel which is completely okay (Notice our picture of the cake batter).

Butter the dish and dust 1 teaspoon of flour so that the sides don't stick. Pour in the batter and bake at 350 F for 30 mins.

Take it out and cut the cake into slices.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ari Pathiri

Pathiri is like a pancake or phulka made of rice flour. It's a very popular dish from the local north Malabar region in Kerala. The word pathiri traces its origin to the Arabic word "fateerah" meaning "pastry". It's so thin and soft that it melts in your mouth and usually served with side of a non veg curry.

Prep Time: 30 mins
Rice Powder (Very finely powder) *: 1 1/4 cups 
Water: 1 cup 
Salt: to taste 
Oil/ghee: 1/2 teaspoon (optional) 
Rice flour: to dust and roll 

*We usually use the Double horse or nirapara pathiri powder. 

Boil the water. Add salt and the rice flour and continuously stir. It will be little lumpy. Turn off the heat and cover it for about 10 mins. 
Knead it thoroughly in one single stretch with your hands into a smooth dough. Most important, don't add more water or more flour because that will change the texture of the pathiri. It will roll out into a big ball which is not sticky, that's when you know you have the right dough. Heat a pan/tava. Roll into small lemon size balls. Dust in little rice flour and flatten with a rolling pin. 
You can use a small round plate to cut out perfect circles. Put it on the tava and cook on medium heat. Keep rotating with a tissue and then flip and you will see that it rises just like a phulka. 
Eat them fresh and hot with your favorite curry. Some people prefer to soak the pathiri in warm light coconut milk while serving.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Varutharacha Kozhi Curry / Kerala style Chicken Curry

This is the most traditional way chicken curry is made in Kerala and we bet that every malayali who loves non veg  has eaten this once or more. The gravy has a base of  roasted coconut with some flavorful spices making it a terrific combination for rice, chappathi,  idiyappams or appams. 

Prep Time: 40 mins
Chicken (chopped): 1 lbs 
Onions (Sliced): 1 big 
Shallots: 3-4
Tomatoes (chopped): 2 medium 
Potatoes (cubed): 2 medium
Ginger-Garlic paste: 1 1/2 teaspoons 
Green Chilies: 3-4 
Curry leaves: 1 sprig or more 
Grated Coconut: 1/3 cup 
Turmeric powder: 1 teaspoon 
Red chilli powder: 1 1/2 teaspoons 
Coriander powder: 2 teaspoons 

Garam Masala
*Dry roast on low flame and powder the following 
Fennel seeds: 1/2 teaspoon 
Cumin seeds: 1/2 teaspoon 
Cloves: 3-4 
Peppercorn: 1/2 teaspoon 
Cardamom: 1 pod 
Cinnamon Stick: 1

Dry roast the grated coconut and shallots on low-medium heat. When it starts to turn golden brown, add chilli powder, coriander powder and stir. Turn off the heat. Grind it all together. Add little warm water and make it into a smooth paste. In a deep dish, heat some oil and add the slit green chillies, curry leaves and sliced onions and saute. Add the ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder and little bit of salt and mix it well. Add the chopped potatoes and tomatoes and saute. Add the cut chicken pieces and saute everything on medium heat. Add the ground garam masala. Cover and let it cook for 10-15 mins. When the chicken is almost cooked ,it becomes almost like  a gravy. Do not add any water at this time.  First add the ground coconut paste now .OnlyiIf you think its too thick, you can add warm-hot water and let it all come to a good boil. Adjust the salt and spice levels according to your taste.Serve hot.


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