Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Lemon Syrupy cake

Its time to bake some cake. I haven't been able to bake this cake for a while as we had a lot of other sweets at home. Homemade Gulab Jamun was obviously one of them ;). So as soon as the sweet stock went down a little I jumped in the kitchen and turned on my oven. You don't need any excuse to bake a cake, you may need one for not baking it though :).

This was a very soft, moist and lemony preparation. I have been planning to try the sweet and sour combination for a while. Well, my sister loved it and I did too. I ate like two big pieces of it and skipped dinner. Phew!!

Lemony Syrupy cake
Makes 6 big pieces (10x4 inch tin)
Recipe Source: Lemon Syrupy cake

1. 125 g butter
2. 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3. 2 whole eggs
4. 1 lemon zest
5. 3/4 cup all purpose flour
6. 2 tsp baking powder
7. 4 tbsp milk (direct from refrigerator or at room temperature)
8. 4 tbsp lemon juice (about 1 1/2 medium size lemon)
9. 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Place the butter in a bowl and keep it inside the oven (warm mode) for 30 seconds so that the butter can melt a bit. Now pour in the granulated sugar and whisk the butter and sugar together. Keep whisking till you feel that the sugar has almost melted and the mixture has become fluffy. You may need to keep the bowl in the oven for 30 seconds or so every now and then to heat up the butter a bit. This would help in dissolving the sugar faster. Let the mixture sit for about 2 minutes so that the sugar dissolves properly. I was whisking continuously, eagerly waiting for the sugar to melt. When I rested the mixture for a while (I was actually resting my arm ), I realized the sugar has melted.

Now add the eggs one by one and beat well. Put in the lemon zest. Mix the flour and baking powder in a separate container and pour them in this bowl. Whisk the contents of the bowl till the mixture has taken the form of a fine paste. Now add the milk. Milk would give liquidity to the mixture. I always use milk as a safety weapon when I am in trouble and it has never failed me. So when you are baking a cake or making some brownies and you feel that the batter has thickened up/doesn't look right or the sugar-butter mixture looks overheated, pour in some milk and see the results.

 I baked the cake in an Oven Toaster Grill (otg). Pre heat the otg at 180 degrees. Grease a tin of size about 10x4 inches. Pour the mixture in the tin and keep inside the otg for 10 minutes or till you get a nice golden crispy top. While the cake is cooking make a syrup of the sugar powder and lemon juice in a pan on a low heat. Let it cool. Check the cake if it is done using the usual "toothpick coming out clean" method.  Now when the cake is ready, poke holes all over the cake and pour over the cooled syrup evenly. Let the cake sit for a while.

The wait would be difficult as the whole house will be full of a beautiful lemony and buttery flavor. Actually we started eating the cake right from the tin itself  :-). It was simply wow!! The sweet and sour combination worked out really well for my tastes.

Have fun baking and eating guys. :)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

American Pancakes

My niece wanted pancakes for dinner. Though pancakes are mainly known as a breakfast item but one can eat pancakes anytime. I have been following Jamie Oliver a lot these days. So I looked around and tried one of his versions of pancakes. The result was beautiful and tasty.

American Pancakes
Adapted from Jamie Oliver
Makes 4

1. 1 cup all purpose flour
2. 1 cup whole cream milk
3. 1 whole egg
4. 1 tsp baking powder
5. butter
6. a pinch of salt
7. honey

First whisk the flour, milk, egg, baking powder and the salt in a bowl till it all blends together. Now heat (keep medium heat) a pan or skillet and add some butter to it. Pour about 3 table spoons of the mixture on the heated pan or skillet. Tilt the pan to spread the batter evenly. Let the pancake turn golden brown which will take about 3-4 minutes. Add butter on the top and flip the pancake. Cook till it is golden brown on the other side as well.
Serve hot with honey, maple syrup or chocolate sauce. I served with honey on top and some bananas with chocolate sauce poured over the banana.
Pancakes tasted delicious and they had an eggy aroma with a very smooth texture. I used all purpose flour with baking powder, you can use self raising flour instead of all purpose flour and you won't need the baking powder then.

This recipe is definitely the one which you will always use for making pancakes after you have made them once. I kept the batter for about two days in the fridge and it was fine. The only change that I would bring upon next time is I will make them a little thicker.

Have fun eating pancakes. :)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Vegetable Pizza with homemade dough

Oh we had to eat pizzas yesterday. Something from inside spoke I guess. "The Voice" was loud and clear from within all of us, specially from me and my sister. Originally we were planning for egg mushroom rolls but I guess the rolls are not having the best of their times (If you read previous post you will realize this is not their first rejection ;) ). Pizza is more popular amongst us and we have been planning to have pizza with homemade dough for a while. For me making every component of a dish myself is very important. So I started with the dough, moved on to the sauce, chopped some veggies and finally baked the pizza. It was a delicious thin crust pizza, well balanced with sauce, toppings and cheese. Dough recipe is a simple and fast recipe and is the best that I have seen so far. Why wouldn't it be, after all its a Jamie Oliver recipe :).

Lets bake some Pizza.

Vegetarian Pizza
3 medium and 1 regular size pizza

For Dough:
1. 266 grams all purpose flour
2. 66 grams very fine semolina
3. 1 1/2 tsp dry yeast
4. 1/3 tbsp caster sugar (I have also used 1 tsp granulated sugar and it works fine)
5. 1 tsp salt
6. 1 tbsp olive oil
7. 216 ml lukewarm water

Jamie Oliver rightly mentions on his site about this dough recipe "Once you have tried this easy pizza dough recipe, you'll never look back (trust me)".  He is absolutely right. I will never look for another pizza dough recipe after this. This is the easiest and fastest dough recipe and made perfect pizzas.

For preparing the dough mix the sugar, oil and yeast in the lukewarm water and let it rest for like 5-7 minutes. Mix the flour, semolina and salt in a big bowl. Now create a well in the flour. Pour the water inside this well. Now using a fork push the flour from the walls inside the well. Dust your hands well with flour (I missed doing this and it got a little messy). Now start kneading the dough. Knead it on a surface well dusted with flour while dusting your hands with flour every now and then. Knead till it becomes soft and smooth. Dust the bowl with flour in which you started kneading the dough and keep the dough in it. Cover it with a damp cloth and let it rest for around an hour or till it gets double in size.

You can roll out the pizzas about 10-15 minutes before you want to bake them. If you have extra dough you can wrap it in a cling film and save it in the fridge or freezer for later use. To make the pizza base, dust the surface with flour and using a rolling pin roll out a ball of dough. If you like thin crust pizza, roll the dough to a thickness of about 1/2 cm or even less.

For Sauce:
1. 5-6 chopped garlic cloves
2. 1 fine chopped red onion
3. tomato seeds and pulp of 4 tomatoes
4. 2-3 tomatoes with seeds removed (use the ones from which you have taken out the seeds)
5. 1/2 tsp dry oregano
6. 1/4 tsp black pepper
7. 1+1 tbsp olive oil
8. red chilli flakes (as per taste)
9. salt to taste

Put the garlic, onion, chopped tomato, salt in a mixer and blend. Now in a pan heat 1 tbsp olive oil and add the blended mixture to it. Cook it for a few minutes till it starts drying and then add the tomato seeds/pulp, oregano, pepper, chilli flakes and 1 tbsp olive oil. Cook for another minute and keep it aside.

For Topping:
1. 1/2 Zucchini
2. 2 medium sized red onion
3. 1 Cubanelle pepper
4. 200 g button mushrooms
5.  1/2 green capsicum ( I had a large one so halved it)
6. 1-2 tomato (use the ones from which you took out the seeds for sauce)
7. 8 -10 french beans
8. Grated and cubed cheese

Cut out thin stripes of zucchini lengthwise while maintaining its width. Slice up the button mushrooms (you can also chop them in chunks). Keep the zucchini and mushrooms on a foil and keep them in the oven on the grilling plate for a while. Spray a little olive oil before keeping them inside. Let them grill for a while till the zucchinis get little brown marks on them and the mushrooms also browns up. Simultaneously cut the french beans, tomato, capsicum, onion and cubanelle pepper. Now take the vegetables out of the oven. You may choose any kind of vegetables chopped up in different shapes and in amounts as per your liking. Grill them, saute them or use them raw. Just make sure that the vegetables are not too dried up and do maintain their crunch. And always half cook them as they are going to get baked with the pizza.

Grate any kind of cheese you like. I used grated Amul Cheese along with grated and cubed Britannia Cheese cubes (chilli pepper flavor).

Assembling the pizza:
Dust a tin foil with flour. Now keep the rolled out pizza base on it. Apply a thin layer of sauce. Sprinkle salt and black pepper. Now arrange some portion of all the vegetables on the sauce. Sprinkle salt, black pepper and oregano. Now top it off with grated and cubed cheese. Let it bake in the oven. I baked the pizza at 250 degree Celsius for about 7 minutes and for around the same time at a lower temperature (160 degree Celsius). I baked at a lower temperature so that the base can cook properly.

Serve hot. You can sprinkle with oregano and chilli flakes on the top.

Pizza was delicious and was cooked well. The sauce turned out to be really good and the sides of the pizza had that crunch. The toppings were really tasty. This was a yummy pizza which finished soon and I didn't get time to take enough pictures. I am sure I will make pizzas soon. Next time I will make the pizza with soft mozeralla and shiny parmesan.

So go ahead and make a delicious pizza for dinner tonight. Enjoy the rest of the sunday guys. :)

Sev-tamta-nu-shaak (Sev Tamatar ki Sabji) with Thepla

My brother in law (jiju) had been asking for sev ki sabji (Sev Curry). I had initially planned to make egg mushroom rolls for dinner but then changed my plan. My sister was more inclined towards the rolls but she thought let jiju's wishes be given some importance once in a while ;) . If I was making sev tamatar ki sabji then it made perfect sense to serve it with theplas. So I went ahead and made a Gujarati dinner. Gujarati food has always been fascinating me. I love gujarati kadhi, dhokla, thepla and a lot more. And their food always reminds me of that scene in the bollywood movie 3 idiots in which Kareena Kapur describes Gujaratis as cute and their food dangerous :).

Sev tamatar ki sabji is very famous amongst Gujaratis and is a very crucial part of their cuisine. Sev is popularly used in Indian snack food and is easily available in the market. Sev tamatar ki sabji is a sweet and sour preparation.

Serves 3
Recipe Source: Archana's Kitchen

1. 4 cup chopped tomatoes (cut the tomatoes in chunks)
2. 1 tsp chopped ginger
3. 1/4 tsp cumin powder
4. 4-5 curry leaves
5. 1 1/2 tsp sugar
6. 1/4 tsp asafoetida
7. 1/2 tsp red chilli powder (as per taste, a little lesser would do)
8. 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
9. 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
10. 1/2 tsp turmeric
11. 1 1/2 cup sev
12. 1 tbsp oil for frying
13. salt to taste

Heat a wok and put the oil in it. Now add the curry leaves, cumin seeds and mustard seeds to the oil. Let the seeds pop and then add the asafoetida. Put the chopped ginger, red chilli powder, turmeric and roast the spices for about 10 seconds. Now add the tomatoes, cumin powder, sugar and salt to the wok. Add about 1/2 a cup of water to this and let it cook. Cook till the tomatoes become soft. Just before serving add the sev and serve hot.

Serves 3
Recipe Source: Archana's kitchen

1. 4 cup whole wheat flour
2. 1 cup chopped Fenugreek leaves
3. 1 cup yoghurt
4. 1 tsp half crushed cumin seeds
5. 1 tsp asafoetida
6. 1 tsp Turmeric
7. 4 tbsp oil
8. 1 tsp salt

Mix the whole wheat flour, salt, turmeric, fenugreek leaves, crushed cumin seeds, asafoetida powder and oil. Now start making the dough by adding the yoghurt. Mix and knead till you get a soft and smooth dough. You can use water if required. Cover and keep for 15 minutes.

Now make small balls out of the dough and start rolling the bowl one by one. Roll out the theplas by applying oil instead of flour to give them a cleaner texture. I made smaller theplas of about 4 inch diameter. You can roll out thin theplas of about 5-6 inch diameter (depends on how many you need to make). Heat an iron skillet and place the thepla on it. Turn the thepla when little air pockets start appearing. In about a minute apply oil and cook the thepla with a flat spatula while turning it around.

The combination of the methi (fenugreek) thepla with the sweet and sour tomato sabji is amazing. Not everyone likes the sweet taste in a sabji and I am one of them but this one tasted really good. The sweetness was complimenting the other flavors. Theplas were so yummy that my niece ate like 3-4 small ones. You can also serve the thepla with just pickle or curd.

Go ahead and make yourself a tasty Gujarati meal. Have fun :).

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Kerela style Drumstick Fry

This is a follow up post of the last recipe for Jeer Mirya Kadi (Cumin Pepper Curry). I made the curry & drumsticks fry and served with rice.

Kerela style Drumstick Fry
Serves 3
Recipe Source: Drumsticks Fry

1. 2 Drumsticks
2. 2 Red Onion
3. 5 Red Chillies
4. 7 garlic cloves chopped
5. Olive oil to fry (you can use coconut oil as in the original recipe)
6. 1/ 4 tsp turmeric
7. Salt to taste

Fry the chopped garlic and chopped red chillies in olive oil in a wok. Now add the chopped onions and fry till translucent. Put the turmeric powder and fry for 10 seconds. Now add the drumsticks and add salt as per your taste. Now add some water and cover the wok. Let it cook for around 20 minutes. Now remove the lid and let it sit on the high heat for another 2 minutes or so till most of the water is dried up.

The drumstick tasted nice and was succulent. It went well with the cumin pepper curry. The lack of the tamarind which I felt in the drumsticks was balanced with the tamarind from the curry. I would add a little tamarind to this preparation when I make it the next time.

Have fun :)

Jeer-mirya kadi (Cumin Peppercorn Curry)

For lunch we usually like to eat rice with some daal (lentils) or some other rice preparation such as tomato rice or lemon rice. I have lived in Delhi, UP and Rajasthan for most of my life but have spent some good 1.5 years in Bangalore as well. There is quiet a variation in food when you move from one part of India to another. I don't know my favorite yet, it could be pyaaz ki kachori from Rajasthan, chicken shawarma from Delhi, chaats from UP or Bisebelle bath from Bangalore. But I sure love the south Indian flavors and the usage of  different kind of spices, coconut, coconut oil, red chillies, urad dal, chana dal, lots of garlic, curry leaves, mustard seeds, tamarind and a lot more in the day to day cooking. So many more flavors to work with. Konkan cuisine has been on my list for a while though I have not prepared much from it yet. It is rich and sounds different from other cuisines. I came across  a cumin pepper kadhi which I felt would turn out delicious and had very different kind of flavors from what I usually eat. I could also put the good old coconut to some use which has been sitting in the fridge for quiet a few days now. Similar was the state of drumsticks. I and my sister had bought drumsticks in our last grocery shopping thinking we would make drumstick sambhar. You can see that our comfort level is not that high with drumsticks. I was browsing something and came across a beautiful kerela style drumstick and shallots fry. So I thought I would give it a go with this curry and rice. (Recipe for the drumsticks fry will follow).
The kadi was tasty and had a really good consistency. For me those were very different flavors and we really enjoyed our lunch.

Jeer-mirya kadi
Serves 3
Recipe Source: Aayi's Recipes

1. 1 cup coconut
2. 1 tsp cumin seeds
3. 4 dry red chillies
4. 6-7 black peppercorns
5. 1 piece tamarind
6. 6-7 cloves of garlic
7. olive oil to fry
8. 5-6 cups water 
9. salt to taste

Fry the cumin seeds, chopped/crushed red chilies and the peppercorns in oil. Grind these fried spices with coconut and tamarind. Now cook this coconut paste in a wok with about 5-6 cups of water for around 10-15 minutes. Add salt. Fry the chopped garlic in olive oil and add to the curry. This should be enough to serve 3, if you feel less then add some more water and cook. Finally add some chopped coriander and serve hot with rice.

The  tamarind and the spices complimented the sweetness of the coconut well. Go ahead and give it a try. Have fun cooking :)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkins!!! So exciting. Well not exactly. Till maybe today the best memories that I have of pumpkin were of a dry pumpkin preparation that my mother makes mostly on festivals with Kachori (a yummie indian bread stuffed with yellow urad lentil). It is a really tasty dish with a savory, sweet flavor. The kachoris compliments it so well.  I will take her permission and will post that recipe here soon. So that's how I started eating pumpkin. But recently I have been reading too much and it felt like I have not done enough with pumpkin. So I am starting my tour with pumpkin. I have bought a good whole pumpkin which is really beautiful.

The first stop is a pumpkin bread. If you will keep reading my blog, you will realize that one of the things I like doing is baking breads. This pumpkin bread came out really well. You can have it in breakfast or in snacks with tea or coffee. So go ahead, give the beautiful pumpkin a chance to show how great it can turn out. I gave a piece of raw pumpkin to my niece and she was happy even with that :)

Pumpkin Bread
Makes 3 X (7" x 3") loaves
Recipe Source: Kholouds Bakes

430 g pumpkin puree
4 eggs
3 cups white sugar
1 cup olive oil
2/3 cup water
3 1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Mix the eggs, olive oil, water, sugar and salt till the sugar dissolves properly. Now add the pumpkin puree to this mixture. Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger separately. Now add this mixture to the pumpkin puree mix and whisk together both the mixtures properly. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees. Prepare the tins by greasing them with olive oil. Now pour in equal amounts of mixture in all three and place inside the oven with timer set to 50 minutes.

Use a tooth pick to check if the bread is done. Follow the golden rule, if the tooth pick comes out clean it is done, if not keep it a while longer. Let the loaves rest for a while. Cut them in different shapes and sizes as per your wish and serve.

The bread was soft, moist and flavorful. Really worth a try. The next time I bake this bread I will try with a slightly lesser amount of sugar to give it more of a savory taste.

Hope you enjoy the bread as much as I did. :)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Eggless Carrot cake

Today I knew I had to make dessert. My sister is so fond of sweets. Carrot cake has been on my list for some time now. It sounds so inviting. When I imagine carrot cake it already starts melting in my mouth and I reach another world. I am not a big dessert lover so you can imagine that carrot cake is really something.

It is the eighth day of Navratri, a nine day festival of Hindus in which each day a form of the Hindu Deity Durga is worshiped and celebrated. Worshipers don't eat non vegetarian food during this festival so I could not use egg. I had to cook egg less carrot cake. I searched around and landed on a beautiful carrot cake recipe. The cake turned out to be absolutely gorgeous. So here you go :)

Serves 6
Recipe Source: Sharmis Passions

1. 4 medium size carrots (grated carrots measured a little more than a cup)
2. 1 1/2 cup Yoghurt
3. 4 tbsp + 4 tbsp Milk
4. 1 cup sugar
5. 1/2 cup olive oil
6. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
7. 1 tsp vanilla extract
8. 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
9. 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
10. 1 tsp baking soda
11. 1 tsp baking powder
12. 1/2 cup cashew nut and raisins
13. 1 tsp salt

Mix both the flours, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl. In another bowl mix 4 tbsp milk, yoghurt, olive oil and sugar. Keep mixing till the sugar dissolves. Now add cinnamon and vanilla extract to this mixture and mix well. Add in the carrots now. Finally add the flour mixture to this mix. I felt that the batter was thick at this point so I added 4 tbsp milk slowly into the mixture. Now add the raisins and half crushed cashew nuts. Heat the oven to 180 degrees. Take a baking tin and grease with olive oil. Pour in the batter and keep inside the oven. Set the timer to 30 minutes. It actually took 25 minutes to cook the cake.
To check whether it is cooked or not put a toothpick/knife inside and if it comes out clean the cake is cooked. You can also garnish with chopped cashew nuts.

It turned out extremely moist and delicious.  I was waiting for the cake to cool down a bit. My niece and her friend was playing and I gave them the side crunch of the cake. They liked it so much and could not stop eating. So when you can't use egg or are out of egg, feel free to replace it with yoghurt.

Bake and enjoy :)

Cheese, Mushrooms and Baked Rice Casserole

I bought mushrooms today. Mushrooms are like a bag of chips. As soon as you get them you have to cook them (eat them) . Haha. My sister wanted rice for dinner. So I thought lets do something with rice and mushroom. One pot meals, casseroles always makes me smile. I looked on for recipes and the one where the rice needs to be baked caught my attention. So here we go. The dish had rich flavors and a very wholesome taste.

Serves 3
Recipe Source: Chattavore's blog

1. 200 g quartered button mushrooms (You can use any kind of mushrooms and increase the amount depending on how big a fan of mushrooms you are)
2. 1 red onion
3. 1 cup white rice (Original recipe uses brown and wild rice, you can use any variety of rice which is available)
4. 3 1/2 cup + 1 cup water
5. 3 tbsp butter
6. 2 tbsp all purpose flour
7. 1 cup milk
8. 100 g grated cheese
9. coriander leaves
10. black pepper
11. salt to taste

Boil 3 1/2 cup water with 1 tbsp butter and 3/4 tsp salt. Heat the oven at 250 degrees. In a casserole put the rice and pour over the boiled water. Now cover the casserole with an aluminium foil and keep it in the oven. Set the timer for 25 minutes. Cooking time will depend on the kind of rice so keep checking the rice to make sure it has sufficient water and is cooked properly. Baked rice will be very fluffy and nice.

Now melt 1 tbsp butter in a frying pan and fry the onion. When the onion becomes translucent add the mushrooms and cook till they get brown . Now add the remaining butter. You will love the hot sizzling sound from the mushrooms. Now add the flour and cook for a little more than a minute. Add the milk and 1 cup water and let the sauce thicken up. Instead of water you can use chicken or vegetable broth.  Add the grated cheese, let it melt and season with salt and black pepper.

Pour this mixture over the rice, sprinkle a few coriander leaves and cover with aluminum foil. Keep it in the over for another 20 minutes.

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Serve hot.

Rice came out to be well cooked, fluffy and the mushrooms had a slight crunch. Coriander complimented all the other flavors. Overall a very well balanced dish. You can also serve garlic toast along with the casserole to add a crunchy texture.

Hope you enjoy the dish. Feel free to ask any queries. :)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Tacos with vegetable salsa & baked beans

I, didi, jiju and mishthi were sitting in a local restaurant in pune which serves delicious Vada Pav, Misal Pav, Pohey and other Maharashtrian breakfast delicacies. We were eating Misal pav which is I guess is mine and jiju's all time favorite. I love the concept of the spicy sprout curry with sev, onion, green chilli and lemon. The pav compliments it wonderfully. The curry was a little sweeter than the ones I usually eat. But nonetheless it tasted beautiful. I asked my jiju that what would he like to have in dinner. He said "Tacos". Thus my wonderful journey with tacos began.

I looked for a recipe to make taco shells because it seemed very much impossible to get them from anywhere nearby. Also I am a crazy person when it comes to preparing dishes and preparing the items used in them from scratch. I screwed up the first batch of taco shells. Knowing me and obviously as a reader of this post you can obviously guess what would have happened next. I made another batch :). The flour and corn flour both were finished at home so I ran to the market to get some more. The onion prices are over and above the skies so I just bought half a kilogram. Lets save some money on onions!! :) Here is the recipe to tacos. They were delicious. Everyone at home ate wholesomely and we kept the extra ones safely in an air tight box for later use.

Vegetarian Tacos with fresh vegetable salsa, baked beans and sauces
Serves Four

For Taco Shells:
1. 1 1/2 cup corn flour (Makai ka Atta)
2. 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour (Maida)
3. 2 tsp Olive oil
4. Luke Warm Water
5. 1 tsp salt

For Baked beans:
1. Olive oil (For frying)
2. Onion
3. 200 g red kidney beans (soak them for about 3-4 hrs so that you can boil them easily)
4. 1/2 tsp cumin powder
5. Lime Juice
6. Black Pepper
7. Salt to taste 

For Vegetable Salsa:
1. 3 fully ripe tomatoes
2. Spring Onion
3. 1 Red Onion
4. Cucumber
5. Green Capsicum (You can also use red or yellow, I had green so I used green)
6. 1 Cubanelle Pepper
7. Zucchini
8. Green Chilli 
9. Coriander
10. 1/2 cup Boiled corn kernels
11. Lime Juice
12. Black pepper
13. Salt to taste

For red sauce:
1. Tomato pulp and seeds (from the ones you used in the salsa)
2. 1 red tomato
3. few coriander leaves
4. few fresh mint leaves or a pinch of dry mint powder
4. Black pepper
5. Salt to taste

For green chili sauce:
1. Coriander leaves
2. 2 green chilli
3. 1/4rth green capsicum (It was a big capsicum)
4. cucumber pulp (from the ones you used in the salsa)
5. 1/4rth cucumber
6. lime juice
7. Salt to taste

I will take you through the recipe in an order which I think is the most intelligent way. I may not have followed the same order the first time I prepared the dish but when I will prepare the same dish again, I will follow the same route. I am assuming here that your gas stove is a 2 burner stove. Even if there are more, it truly depends on your multi tasking skills that how many of them you can use together. 

First put the kidney beans in a pressure cooker with some water and salt for boiling. In another cooker/boiler put the corn with some salt and water for boiling. Now lets make the taco shells. 

In a bowl put both the types of flour & salt and mix properly. Add the oil and mix it well with the flour. Now slowly start adding water to the flour mixture and prepare the dough. When you have a nice soft consistent dough, make around 8 equal size balls from the dough. Clean the kitchen slab properly and dust with some flour and start rolling out the balls with a rolling pin. Meanwhile your corn would be done and you can use this burner to deep fry the taco shells. Put a wok (kadhayi) and put enough amount of oil in it for deep frying. Roll out the tacos in round shapes of about 5 inch diameter. Prick the taco shells using a fork in order to avoid them from puffing up. 

Now deep fry the shells on a medium flame while turning both sides. You need to cook them till they are cooked properly and take them out before they start browning. While taking them out fold one side on another across the central line (diameter) or basically make them into a U shape. Place them on a paper towel so that the extra oil is soaked up.

Chop an onion finely and fry it in a pan with some olive oil. When the onion becomes translucent add the kidney beans (after removing excess water). Fry for 2 minutes and add some salt, black pepper, cumin powder and a few drops of lime juice. Add enough lime juice so that it cuts out on the sweetness of the beans a bit but not a lot as it may overpower the taste. You can add lemon zest instead of lime juice.

For vegetable salsa, fine chop all the vegetables and mix together in a bowl. Remember to take out all seeds from vegetables such as cucumber and tomato while making the salsa. Add corn kernels, coriander leaves, lime juice, salt and black pepper. 

For the red and green sauce, fine blend all the ingredients together respectively for both the sauces.

To compose the taco together, take a taco shell and put some salsa in it. Now add some fried beans and again add some vegetable salsa on the top of that. Please warm up the beans before putting them in the taco shell. This is the only hot component of the dish. Now add some red and green chutney. Add the green chutney carefully as it will be a little spicy. Serve hot.

You can add the green capsicum a little less as it has a very strong flavor and it may overpower the flavor of other vegetables in salsa (My sister said so). You can also add a bit of the red chutney to the beans while frying them. So when you put this hot mixture in the taco the beans and the sauce both are hot and definitely the texture would be a little different from the one where you add them separately.

I hope you enjoy the tacos. I prepared them and then served to my family. You can also keep all the components as is on the dinner table and everyone can prepare their own tacos as per their taste.

Still learning to take pictures so please bear with  me till the time the pictures does not clearly show what I intend to put across using words. There is lesser quantities in the pictures here (as compared to what I have mentioned) because they finished fast. ;)

Have fun :)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Just a beginning!

I have been thinking of starting my own food blog for quiet some time now. I have been discarding my thoughts thinking what can I possibly write/present which hasn't been written before. Then a friend asked me that why don't you start a food blog. Obviously he is aware of the anxiety within me. I told him about my fears and said there are so many food blogs these days. He said that a blog will serve as a platform for feedback and will also give you a measurable goal. So I thought what the hell and sat down to start a blog of my own. I had to try on a million names to get to this one "My Adventure With Food". The title is very apt. Its an adventure in itself as I have left my job to make my place in the food industry. I have given up so much to try on something in the field where I feel I truly belong. This blog will help me present my recipes to a worldwide audience, will inspire me to take good photographs, encourage me to write down recipes in a presentable way and will serve like my own kitchen diary. All in all I will be able to share the pleasure that I get by creating good food with others as well. It couldn't be better. So here I am ready to pen down all what happens in the kitchen and then after that (I love the eating part as well ;) ).
I welcome you all to provide your feedback and comments.

Now let me tell you a bit about myself.

I am a Computer Engineer by education, traveler at heart and a chef in my kitchen. I love to cook and sometimes I like just making the good old recipes that I have got from my mother, sometimes I like to try recipes that I read somewhere and sometimes I just stand in the kitchen and start experimenting with different ingredients and spices. I have recently moved to Pune to live with my sister, her husband and their 5 year old beautiful daughter. I have got so many more people to cook for and to do experiments on.
So get hooked to my blog as I am planning to put up some really good recipes for delicious food and amazing fun. Now I have to go to sleep as my niece has a poem recitation in the morning and I need to get up for that as she really wants me to come to her school and hear her out.

Good Night. :)