Friday, 1 July 2016

Besan Mirchi (Green chillies coated with Gram flour)...mommy's here!!

Besan Mirchi (Green chillies coated with gram flour)because my mom has come visiting and she must must must cook everything that I love!!...these mirchis are normally eaten as an accompaniment to meals but I eat them as a snack, with my snacks, instead of meals and of course with my meals J



Besan Mirchi mmskitchenbites







Besan Mirchi (Green chillies coated with Gram flour)


Ingredients:

  • Fresh long/fat green chillies, about 250gms (refer to notes)
  • Besan/ Chickpea Flour/Gram Flour, 2 heaped tablespoons
  • Cumin seeds, 1 tsp
  • Heeng/Asafoetida, ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder, ½ tsp
  • Coriander powder, 3 tsp
  • Saunf/Fennel seeds powder, 2 tsp
  • Amchur/Dried mango powder, ¾ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 1 tbsp



Instructions:


Wash the chillies well but don’t wipe them dry – you would need the water clinging onto them to help with the cooking. Cut the chillies into about ¾ inch long pieces.

Besan Mirchi mmskitchenbites



Heat a flat heavy bottom pan on low heat and dry roast the besan till it changes colour to fairly light golden brown. Do constantly keep on stirring – it goes from the perfect colour to burnt in seconds.

Besan Mirchi mmskitchenbites



Remove the besan from the pan into a bowl. Mix amchur into the besan and keep aside.

In the same pan, now heat the oil on low flame. Add the cumin seeds and asafoetida.

Once the cumin seeds start spluttering, add the chillies and sauté for a few minutes till the chilies till start going soft.

Besan Mirchi mmskitchenbites



Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, fennel powder and salt. Mix well. Cover and cook for 2–3 minutes.

Besan Mirchi mmskitchenbites



Remove the cover and sprinkle the besan (mixed with amchur, kept aside earlier) evenly on top of the chillies. Ensure the chillies are just moist enough so that flour sticks on to the chillies (if not, sprinkle a teaspoon or two of water)

Besan Mirchi mmskitchenbites


Stir well but gently for 5 –6 minutes till the flour is cooked and sticks to the chillies.

Switch off the heat and let it cool.

Serve at room temperature (or even cold) with paranthas or dal and rice.

This can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.




Notes:

  • Any kind of fat, long green chillies which are not too hot work well here …even capsicum/green bell peppers.  If the chillies are too hot, you can of course remove the seeds before using.


  • Depending on the chilli variety you use, these mirchis will either remain slightly crunchy or go completely soft…tastes good either way.


  • Don’t add too much besan as it clumps up and takes away from the flavor of the chillies.



  • If you don’t have amchur, you can substitute with a couple of teaspoons of lime juice towards the end of cooking.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Instant Chilli Garlic Jam...Jammin' and Jammin' !!

Instant Chilli Garlic Jambecause all recipes on the net and from my precious personal sources specify quantities which I will never ever dare to make and all that sterilising etc scares me to death! This one happens in a jiffy and the quantity is enough for one person to last a few mealsthis goes into my burgers,  eggs, chicken cutlets, salads, anything, everything!! J



Chilli Garlic Jam mmskitchenbites




Instant Chilli Garlic Jam


Ingredients:

  • Fresh Red Chillies, 4
  • Garlic cloves, 4
  • Honey, 2 ½ tbsp
  • Juice of half a lime


Chilli Garlic Jam Ingredients mmskitchenbites

Instructions:


Slice the chilies along the length. De-seed 2 chillies according to the heat you want in your jam (or leave them all in) and chop them to your liking – either a very fine dice or slightly chunkier as you see in the picture below.

Chop the garlic roughly the same size as the chilies.

Prep for Chilli Garlic Jam mmskitchenbites



Now put in the chilies, garlic, honey and juice of half a lime in the smallest non-stick pan that you have and bring to quick boil.

The second it starts bubbling, turn the heat down to lowest possible and stirring frequently, let it simmer for 4 –5 minutes till the chillies and garlic soften and the “sauce” consistency is to your liking.

Remove from the heat and your instant jam is ready for use.

This jam can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week in an air-tight container. (You can quickly reheat for use if the honey crystallizes in the refrigerator)



Halloumi and Chilli Jam Salad mmskitchenbites


Pictured with Halloumi Cheese (or use Paneer)

Toss salad leaves of your choice in a little olive oil and arrange on a serving plate.

Heat a non-stick pan on high heat. Cut the cheese into desired shapes and cook in the pan without any oil for about a minute each on both sides.

Arrange on the serving plate, top with the Chilli Garlic Jam and chomp down IMMEDIATELY! I mean it – the cheese will turn rubbery if you wait too long.

If Halloumi is hard to come by, feel free to substitute with Paneer/Indian Cottage Cheese. 
Halloumi is quite salty on its own so remember to season the Paneer liberally with salt before adding to the salad.



Chicken Cutlets with Chilli Jam mmskitchenbites



Pictured with Chicken Culets

Basic recipe here



Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson from here 

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Maharashtrian Thecha (Spicy Green Chilli-Garlic Chutney)…spike and spark!

Maharashtrian Thecha (Spicy Green Chilli-Garlic Chutney)when you need something to spike your day! Like every other chutney, this too has several different versions – mine comes from my friend Ndo play around with the quantities and ingredients to zero in on “The One” that will bring a smile to your face, “The One” you will look forward to seeing at every meal, “The One” you will stick around with for a lifetimeThe One” you can call the spark of your life!! J







Maharashtrian Thecha (Spicy Green Chilli-Garlic Chutney)



Ingredients:


  • Fresh Green Chillies, 4 large or 8 small
  • Garlic Pods, peeled, 8
  • Raw Peanuts, 1/8 cup (or de-skinned ready roasted peanuts)
  • Oil, 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste

Optional Ingredients (refer to notes):

  • Fresh Coriander, finely chopped, 1-2 tbsp
  • Fresh Coconut, scraped or finely grated, 1-2 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds, ½ tsp



Instructions:


Heat a non-stick pan on medium low heat. Add the peanuts and lightly dry roast till the colour changes, while stirring continuously.
Remove from heat, de-skin and keep aside.

Make a couple of slits in the chillies to avoid popping while roasting or cut them into 2-3 pieces each.

Heat ½ tsp oil in the same pan. Add the chilies to the pan and roast evenly till the skin blisters or chars slightly. Remove and let cool.

Heat the remaining ½ tsp oil to the pan and roast the garlic till you see black-brown spots on the garlic. Remove and let cool.





Once cooled, lightly pound the roasted green chillies and garlic together with the peanuts and some salt in a mortar and pestle to attain a coarse consistency (alternatively you can use ‘pulse’ function and grind it in mini food processor or a blender – just ensure the consistency remains coarse)

Thecha can be stored in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days in an air-tight container.

Traditionally eaten with Jawar Bhakris or Rotis, but also works very well with puri or parantha of any kind.








Notes:

  • For a nut free version, feel free to skip peanuts and use coconut instead. 

  • The potency of the chillies here reduces after storing – hottest when eaten fresh.

  • Choose the kind of chilies that work for you – hot, medium hot or mild. The roasted blistered skin adds enough flavour even if using mild chillies. 

  • If it turns out too spicy/hot, add coriander, coconut or lime juice to tone it down. 

  • If you want to add:

  1. Coriander – add fresh finely chopped while grinding
  2. Coconut – add freshly grated while grinding
  3. Cumin – roast lightly with the garlic first and then grind with the rest of the ingredients

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Orange and Fennel...Mein Bhi Nigella!!

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Orange and Fennel...I love meals where all you need to do is mix everything up, bung it in the oven and, hey presto, dinner is servedNigella’s recipes never let you down and this one is no exception (remember the Za'atar and lemon Roast Chicken posted on the blog earlier?)as always, slightly modified to suit our taste buds and ingredients on hand...easy enough for a weekday meal and good enough for a weekend meal!




Orange Fennel Roasted Chicken mmskitchenbites





Roasted Chicken Thighs with Orange and Fennel


Ingredients:

  • Chicken thighs, bone in and skin on, 6-7, about 1 kg
  • Fennel Bulbs, 2-3, about 700 gms
  • Red Onion, 1 medium size
  • Olive Oil, 1 tbsp

    Marinade:

    • Olive Oil, 45 ml/ 3 tbsp for the marinade 
    • Dijon Mustard, 4 tsp
    • Salt, 1 tsp or to taste
    • Black Pepper, ½ tsp or to taste
    • Fennel seeds, 1 tsp
    • A mix of Orange juice and Lemon juice, 125 ml, around half cup (about 70% orange juice and 30 % lemon juice)
    • Zest from 1 Orange
    • Zest from 1 Lemon


    Instructions:


    Remove the dill-like fronds from the fennel and save for later, then halve and slice out the core. Cut the bulbs into quarters and then cut each quarter, lengthwise, into 3.

    Fennel bulbs mmskitchenbites


    Peel and halve the onion.  Cut into quarters and then cut each quarter, lengthwise, into 3.

    Whisk all the marinade ingredients in a small bowl – oil, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, orange juice and zest, lemon juice and zest, lemon juice and zest and fennel seeds.

    Orange Mustard Marinade mmskitchenbites



    Place the chicken, fennel and onion in a baking dish (or a zip lock bag) and pour the marinade all over it. Stir so that everything is coated by the marinade and cover with a foil or cling film. Leave to marinate in the refrigerator – depending on the time you have anything from half an hour to a whole day works.

    When ready to cook, get the chicken back to room temperature by leaving on the kitchen shelf for about half an hour.

    Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

    Arrange the chicken so that the fennel and onion are at the bottom and chicken pieces are all lined up on top, skin side up.

    Cover the baking dish with foil and put it in the oven for 30 minutes.

    After 30 minutes, increase the temperature to 200ºC and remove the foil from top of the baking dish.

    Drizzle or brush about a tablespoon more oil on the chicken and put it back in the oven uncovered for another 30 minutes or so till the chicken is golden and cooked through. Let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

    Serve as is - Using a large spoon, mix up the fennel and onion and their juices in the pan and then heap a large spoon over each chicken thigh. (Perfect for dunking bread to soak it all up) 

    OR 

    Transfer chicken, fennel and onion to a serving platter. Transfer the juices to a saucepan and over a hob boil over medium heat, stirring till it is slightly thick syrupy consistency. Pour back over the chicken.

    Garnish with the reserved fennel fronds. Goes well with mash, bread or just a nice crisp salad.





    Fennel Orange Roasted Chicken mmskitchenbites






    Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson from here

    Saturday, 30 January 2016

    My Chicken Cacciatore (Italian Hunter's Chicken Stew)...a curry is a curry!!

    My Chicken Cacciatore or Italian Hunter's Chicken Stewgoing by how often this is made and how much we like it, this should have made it to blog much earlier but I guess better late than everstarted off as a mix of recipes picked up from the net, and now settled to this final version after trying various permutations and combinationsone of the easiest recipes one can come across especially when one wants a “curry” without actually making the effort of making one !! :-) 

    Italian Hunter's Chicken mmskitchenbites




    Chicken Cacciatore (Italian Hunter's Chicken Stew)


    Ingredients:

    • Chicken thighs fillets, boneless and skinless with all excess fat removed, around 600 gms (you can use a mix of thighs and drumsticks, bone in, skin on if you prefer; adjust cooking time accordingly, weight to be around 900gms –1 kg)
    • Regular flour/maida, about ¼ cup (can skip for dietary constraints, refer to notes)
    • Salt, to taste
    • Crushed Black Pepper, to taste


    For the sauce:

    • Onions, finely sliced, 1 cup
    • Tomatoes, skinned and roughly chopped with their juice, 1 cup
    • Garlic, finely chopped, 4 –5
    • Mixed peppers –red, green and yellow, sliced into long strips, about 2 cups (keep them a little chunky if you prefer it that way)
    • Mushrooms (White or Cremini), quartered or thickly sliced, about 2 cups
    • White Wine, ¼ cup (or use chicken stock or water)
    • Chicken Stock, ½ - ¾ cup (or use water)
    • Rosemary, finely chopped, 1 tbsp if using fresh or 1 tsp if using dried (or sub with Thyme)
    • Cherry tomatoes, a handful (optional)
    • Salt, to taste
    • Crushed Black Pepper, to taste
    • Red chili flakes, to taste (optional)
    • Oil, 1+ 2 tbsp



    Instructions:


    Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken and dredge them in flour. Keep aside.

    Heat about 1 tbsp of oil in a large heavy bottom pan/skillet or Dutch oven. Once the oil is hot, add in mushrooms and sauté, stirring, for a couple of minutes or so to colour and soften a bit. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and keep aside.

    Add in the peppers to the pan and cook, stirring, until slightly softened. Remove from the pan and set aside.

    Heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil in the same pan and fry the chicken over medium high heat in batches until golden brown on both sides. Remove and keep aside. If using skin on chicken- place the chicken in the pan skin side down first. The skin will also release some extra oil while frying that you may need to remove before proceeding.

    Add in the garlic, rosemary and onions to the same pan and fry till the onions just start to turn slightly golden at the edges.

    Pour in the wine/chicken stock and scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Let it bubble and simmer until the wine is reduced by half.

    Stir in the red chili flakes and tomatoes and crush them a little with the back of the spoon. Add in the stock and let it come to a bubble.

    Return the chicken to the pan (skin side up if using skin on chicken pieces), along with any juices that have accumulated on the plate.

    Bring to a boil again then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through – about 20-25 minutes.(about 40 minutes if using bone in chicken pieces, till the meat is almost falling off the bone)

    Stir the peppers, mushrooms and a handful of cherry tomatoes, if using into the chicken. Return to a simmer, cover, and let it cook for another cook 10 minutes to blend in the flavors. Check for seasoning and adjust to taste.

    Switch of the heat and top with a few more cherry tomatoes.

    Ideally, let it rest for a at least a couple of hours before reheating and serving with boiled pasta, rice or a loaf of crusty bread.



    Notes:

    • This is typically made with bone in and skin on pieces. I have never liked the look or the taste of skin on chicken in a slow cooked “curry” and hence always use skinless chicken pieces. Bone in or boneless depends on what I have available at home but as always I never use chicken breast for anything which even remotely looks like a curry.


    • Feel free to use bite size chicken pieces instead of whole fillets.


    • Using flour –again depends on which version you are following but it does add body to the sauce and keeps the chicken nice and soft especially when cooking boneless pieces.


    • The use of onions, peppers and mushrooms is optional – depending on which recipe version you want to follow and what you have available.


    • You can skip the above veggies and add some cannellini beans towards the end to have a more substantial version of the stew.


    • You may need to add about ½ tsp of sugar depending on the tomatoes that are used.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016

    Oats Poha (Savoury Oats Hash) ...Indian love!!

    Oats Poha (Savoury Oats Hash)a.k.a. Oats, the Indian way (one of many!)breakfast to us Indians normally means hot, hearty and savouryand though most like me could and do survive on a quick toast or cereal, it is only when breakfast is served hot right off the stove that our soul is at peacehowever, when and if you do run out of quick enough options, you take something not traditionally Indian and give it some special Indian loveand Voila!! Breakfast is served J...works extremely well as a side dish as wellkeep it vegan or add in some meat proteinseasonings as under or like a traditional Poha or whatever you are in the mood for J





    Oats Poha (Savoury Oats Hash)

     


    Ingredients:

    • Old-fashioned/Rolled oats, 1 cup ( can use regular porridge oats/instant oats but rolled oats have a lot more texture and can sustain cooking without turning into mush)
    • Onion, finely chopped, ½ cup
    • Mixed chopped vegetables of your choice, finely chopped, ½ to ¾ cup (I normally use carrots, peas and peppers; if using frozen peas, thaw them first)
    • Fresh green chilies, 1-2, finely chopped (optional)
    • Mixed dried herbs of your choice, ¼ tsp
    • Black Pepper powder, ¼ tsp – ½ tsp
    • Salt, to taste
    • Milk or water, 1-2 tbsp if needed
    • Oil, 1 tbsp


    Instructions: 

    Put the oats in a colander and rinse briefly under cold running water. Keep aside for 10-15 minutes so that the water drains out completely (finish your prep in the meantime). Skip this step if using porridge oats.

    Fluff up the rinsed oats – each grain would be separate but soft/plump (avoid overzealous rinsing, washing, soaking unless of course you have tried it that way and would prefer a softer gooier version of this J)

    Heat the oil in a thick bottomed pan. When the oil is hot, add the green chilies and onions and sauté till translucent and soft.

    Add in the salt, crushed black pepper and the carrots. Cook for a couple of minutes and then add the mixed dried herbs, peppers and peas. Mix well and cook further for a minute or so.

    Add the drained out oats and stir to mix well. If using instant oats – add the oats, mix well with the veggies, and sprinkle a a tablespoon of milk or water.

    Cover and reduce the heat to low, and cook for 5–6 minutes or until the oats are tender – but not mushy. For Instant oats, cook for 3-4 minutes.

    If the oats are still not cooked enough to your liking, sprinkle a tablespoon of milk or water all over and cover and cook for another couple of minutes.

    Stir lightly to mix and fluff. Taste and adjust seasonings.

    Switch off the heat, cover and set aside for a couple of minutes.

    Serve warm, as is, or with a bowl of plain yogurt or topped with a fried egg.


    Notes: 

    • Use gluten free oats to make it gluten free. 
    • Keep it nut free or top it up with roasted peanuts and cashews. 
    • Skip the milk and use water to make it vegan.
    • If this seems too dry to your liking – you can add in a chopped tomato along with the veggies. 
    • Add some additional carbs by either adding boiled and cubed potatoes along with the rest of the vegetables or fry some cubed potatoes till crisp and add them a couple of minutes before switching off the heat. 

    • Top it up with a fried egg or add in some cooked chicken or meat or sausages.

    Tuesday, 12 January 2016

    Pear (and Chocolate) Muffins...the fruity love affair continues!!

    Pear (and Chocolate) Muffinsokay, okay, so I know that eating cakes and muffins should be the last thing I should be doing but when you end up looking at those fruits staring at you with sad, forlorn eyes every time you open the refrigerator, you have to figure out a way to use them!! J




    Pear (and Chocolate) Muffins


    (Recipe from the Goddess Kitchen, very slightly modified)

    Ingredients:

    • Ripe Pears, medium size, 3 (around 500gms)


    Dry Ingredients:

    • Regular All Purpose flour/Maida, 250gms
    • Baking powder, 2 tsp
    • Granulated sugar, 150gms
    • Salt, a pinch
    • Dark Chocolate, chopped or chips, 100gms (I have made both with and without, using dark and regular chocolate chips – they all work)



    Wet Ingredients:

    • Butter, salted or unsalted, melted and cooled to room temperature; 75gms (if using salted butter, skip the salt mentioned above in the dry ingredient list)
    • Egg, 1 large
    • Milk, 240ml
    • Vanilla Extract, ½ tsp (optional)


    Instructions:


    Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

    Line the muffin tray with paper liners.

    Wash, peel, core the pears and then dice them into ½ inch to ¾ inch pieces.

    In a large bowl, sieve in the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt (if using). Mix in the chocolate chips.

    In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, eggs, milk and vanilla extract.

    Fold in the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and then stir in the pears.
     Stir only till the ingredients are combined – overzealous mixing will result in tough muffins and you don’t want that (and hence muffins recipes are perfect for lazy cooks like me).

    Using an ice cream scoop or two table spoons, evenly fill in the muffin cups with the batter – till about ¾ full.

    Place in the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes until golden brown/ till a toothpick inserted in the centre of the muffin comes out clean.


    Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the muffin tray.












    Friday, 8 January 2016

    Afghani Dill Rice...my way!!

    Afghani Dill Ricea facebook query, a browse through some old pictures and here is a post that was supposed to happen a couple of years back but finally sees the light of the day todaythis one is for you SDenjoy!! J We normally eat this with a simple grilled fish but this should work with any mild flavoured curry or a hearty dal like Chana dal



    Afghani Dill Rice


    Ingredients:

    • Basmati or any Long Grain Rice, 2 cups
    • Fresh Dill leaves, pick out the tender leaves and discard the thick stems, wash well in running water and squeeze out the water, finely chop the leaves, 4 tbsp (If using dry, no more than ½ tbsp for every cup of rice) *refer to notes
    • Onion, finely sliced, 1 medium (optional)
    • Green chilies, finely 1-2 (optional)
    • Garlic, finely grated/pounded, 1 clove (optional)
    • Salt, to taste
    • Oil or melted butter, 1 tbsp + 2-3 tbsp
    • Water, to cook the rice + 2-3 tbsp for bottom layer + 2-3 tbsp for top layer  *refer to notes
    • Fresh lemon juice, to taste (optional)



    Instructions:


    Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a small pan and fry the green chilies and onions till onions start caramelising and just start to change colour. Switch off the heat and keep aside.

    Wash the rice till water runs clear. Soak in cold water for about 20-30 minutes. Drain well.

    Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil ( about 8 cups of water) and add the rice. Let it cook for about 6 minutes till about 80 percent done (just like you would for making a Biryani; there should be enough bite left in the rice so that the rice don’t go mushy when we steam cook later)

    Drain the rice in a colander.

    Once the rice is slightly cool enough to handle, add the onion and green chilies mix, dill leaves and grated garlic to the rice. Mix well with a light hand so that the dill leaves are mixed well in the rice but the rice grains don’t break. Taste the rice for salt and add more if needed.

    Remove about 1 cup of cooked rice mix and add in the oil and water to it. Mix well so that the rice gets coated completely with the oil and water

    Take a non stick pot and spread the oiled rice at the bottom of the pot in a thick layer.

    Scoop the rest of the rice out of the colander and form a volcano shaped mound in the middle of the pot.

    Make 3-4 holes in the rice mound with the back of a spatula to release the steam – 1 in the centre and 2-3 on the side.

    Sprinkle 2-3 tbsp water on top of the rice.

    Cover the pot with a tea towel and place the pot lid tightly over the top of the towel. (The tea towel will absorb the steam and the rice won’t turn mushy)

    Turn on the heat to lowest and let the rice steam for about 25-30 minutes. Switch of the heat and let the rice rest for at least 5-10 minutes before serving.

    The oil and water in the bottom layer will help form a nice golden crust to the rice. You can either break up the crust to mix it in completely with the rice or scoop out the crust part later and top up every serving with it. I normally break it up and mix it in – it may be considered sacrilege by most but it helps avoids huge drama on the table about who gets more crust!! J ( and with this I remember why this post/picture took this long to make to the blog – I had plans to post this to show the complete crustoh well L )

    Sprinkle lemon juice over the rice right before serving.


    Notes:

    • The amount of dill I use is drastically less than the authentic version. I don’t go beyond 2-3 tbsp for every cup of rice used as against the authentic ¾ to 1 cup of dill against every cup of rice. (It is very strong herb and a little goes a veryyyyyy long way – more so if you are new to using it)


    • The reduced amount of dill is also the reason why you see dill being mixed in with the rice right after par boiling the rice instead of layering it in the rice in the pot the authentic way – one layer of rice, sprinkle of dill leaves, layer of rice, and sprinkle of dill leaves and so on and so forth.


    • The onion and green chilies are again something I started using to adapt to our taste.


    • Garlic and lemon juice – optional and varies from family to family (or restaurant to restaurant!)


    • You could use saffron water instead of regular water to steam cook the rice. I quite like the colour of rice as is. If using saffron, take about 2 pinches of saffron, crush it slightly and soak it in ¼ of hot water for about 20 minutes before using.


    • I normally use my non stick karahi/wok as the bottom surface is just wide enough to form a half inch thick layer of rice at the base for the quantity of rice I normally cook and deep enough to form the mound with the balance rice.

    • It may take you a couple of tries to figure out how much time you need for steaming to get that perfect crunchy crust at the bottom depending on your stove, your pan and the amount of rice. It is crucial to use a non-stick pan and you must must switch off the heat before the smell of burnt rice starts emanating from the pot!! J

    • Switching of the heat and discovering no crunchy crust at the bottoms or a barely there crust is not the end of the world - the rice will still taste delicious!! J

    • And last but not the least – do remember and I mean it ABSOLUTELY do remember to sneakily tuck away a few pieces of the crust in the kitchen before serving!! J

    P.S. way too many smileys in this post...err, I am blaming the new year!! JJJJJ

    Wednesday, 6 January 2016

    French Apple Cake...let's keep the doctor away!!

    French Apple Cakeso while the rest of the world starts 2016 with the usual healthy eats, we over here have a cake!!...but wait, it has fruitsthat’s good enough to begin with, no? J   Okay, so last year, around August I discovered this David Lebovitz’s recipe and it is absolutely fabuloushonestly, cooked apple never tasted this goodultra moist and golden brown...and that hint of rum, does magic!!...one of the easiest cakes recipe...this has been made plenty of times since then...careful though, it has a tendency to disappear within minutescheers to a Happy, Healthy, Peaceful and a Fruity New year!! J






    French Apple Cake


    Ingredients:

    • Regular All Purpose flour/Maida, 110gms
    • Baking powder, ¾ tsp
    • Salt, a pinch
    • Apples, 3-4 large ( any variety would do, the original recipes calls for 4 but in the one pictured here I had only 3 on hand; 4 apples work well for people who like/love cooked apples whereas 3 work very well for those who don’t!)
    • Vanilla Extract, ½ tsp (optional)
    • Regular All Purpose flour/Maida, 1 tbsp
    • Eggs, 2 large
    • Granulated sugar, 150gms
    • Dark Rum, 3 tbsp (optional but strongly recommend to use it, rum does wonders to this one...oh well, rum does wonders to everything!!)
    • Vanilla Extract, ½ tsp (if skipping rum increase to 1 tsp, and don't worry, the cake still tastes yum even without the rum)
    • Butter, salted or unsalted, melted and cooled to room temperature, 115gms (if using salted butter, skip the salt mentioned above in the ingredient list)



    Instructions:


    Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

    Heavily butter an 8 or 9 inch springform pan and place it on a baking sheet.

    Wash, peel, core the apples and then dice them – about 1 inch long pieces for people who like/love cooked apples whereas ½ inch long pieces work better for those who don’t! Toss the apples with ½ tsp of vanilla extract and then 1tbsp of flour. Keep aside.

    In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs till foamy. Add in the sugar, rum and vanilla extract and whisk well for a couple of a minutes.

    Stir in half of the flour mixture, and when it is incorporated, add in half of the melted butter, followed by rest of the flour and the remaining butter, mixing after each additions. 

    Gently fold in the diced apples until they’re well-coated with the batter.

    Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top a little with a spatula.

    Place the baking sheet into the middle rack of the oven and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or till a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.

    Let the cake cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake from the pan and carefully remove the sides of the cake pan, making sure no apples are stuck to it.

    Best served warm by itself or with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. Great at room temperature as well.

    According to David Lebovitz, the cake will keep for up to 3 days covered but I have never had the chance to find out!!