Sunday, July 25, 2010

Paneer Kofta Curry

When the milk is about to go bad..Bring milk to a boil in a big pan, and add lime juice. Stir till the milk separates, then strain out the paneer and let drain. Boil, peel and mash potatoes. Mix potatoes, paneer, corn starch, salt, chopped cilantro, finely chopped green chillies and a pinch of garam masala. Make small round koftas and fry on a slow-medium flame. For the gravy, blend together boiled onions, soaked cashewnuts and khuskhus, ginger-garlic paste and a green chilli. Heat oil, fry the white paste, add water, salt, sugar and cream and boil on a medium flame. Add koftas and serve.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

White summer cake with Berries and Lemon Curd

One of my best friends defended her PhD thesis. I baked this cake for celebrating. The frosting did not cooperate much due to the crazy summer heat, but the flavors were perfect for the summer.

Parts: Cake, lemon curd, frosting, berry filling and toppings.

Cake: I cheated and used boxed mix. I used Betty Crocker classic white cake. Follow the instructions on the back, but add a few tbsps of lemon juice and some lemon zest. Either make three layers, or bake two uneven layers, and slice the larger one into two to make three layers.

Lemon Curd: This recipe came from David Libovitz. It took longer than expected, but note to self - do not overcook, or the butter will separate.

1/2 cup (125 ml) freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup (65 g) sugar (or 1/2 cup, 100 g, if using regular lemons)
2 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, cubed

1. Place a mesh strainer over a bowl, and set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the lemon juice, sugar, egg yolks, eggs, and salt.
3. Add the butter cubes and set the pan over low heat, whisking constantly until the butter is melted.
4. Increase the heat and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and just begins to become jelly-like. It's done when you lift the whisk and the mixture holds its shape when it falls back into the saucepan from the whisk.
5. Immediately press the curd through the strainer. Once strained, store the lemon curd in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to one week.

Frosting: One and half packs of cream cheese + one and half stick of unsalted butter, let it soften at room temperature. Add some lemon zest, vanilla extract and add 5-6 cups of icing sugar while mixing with a hand mixer. Adjust sugar according to the taste and consistency.

Berry Filling
: Chop Strawberries, raspberries, black berries and a few blue berries and mix. Add a little lemon zest.

Toppings: Sliced mangoes, kiwi, strawberries cut into vertical quarters, other berries.

Assemble: Take the first layer of the cake, spread some of the frosting, and then spread the berry filling, which will stick thanx to the frosting. Add the next layer of the cake and spread the lemon curd. Add the third layer, frost it completely and then arrange the mango slices, in a circle, followed by concentric circles of the berries. Add a slice of kiwi in the middle.
Of course feel free to decorate as you like it (I just did it this way and came out very pretty, except for the melting icing).

Veg. Biryani

This recipe comes from with a few modifications.

Soak rice for about half an hour. Soak saffron in water. Chop veggies in big chunks (green beans, carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms. Make chunky chips of the potatoes. Slice onions (horizontally to get fine slices). In a pot, heat oil+ghee, add small ilaichi, big ilaichi, bay leaf, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon (and shahee jeera, which I forgot). Add ginger + garlic paste and add the vegetables. Saute for a long time, till the veggies are slightly underdone, and browned on the outside. Add some green peas right at the end. Then, add turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder and garam masala and saute for a few seconds. Then add salt and yoghurt and cook for a bit. Remove half the vegetables and then add more yoghurt.

In the mean time, in a big pot, boil water with oil, salt, bay leaf, green ilaichi and cloves. Add the rice and cook till slightly underdone, then drain out. Brown onion slices on a slow flame till dark brown in a little bit of oil. Chop nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios, raisin, etc). Finely chop coriander and mint (which I didn't have). Add the saffron to some yogurt and add some rose water to it.

Now, start with the vegetable layer (the one with extra yogurt). Then add the layer of half the rice. Spread the saffron yogurt, sprinkle the nuts, half the brown onions, coriander and mint, Then later the rest of the vegetables, and repeat. Cover and cook on a low flame for about half an hour. Serve hot.