Friday, 19 December 2014

Gulio


I am so happy that I am able to make Kuswar for the first time all by myself. I am already one with making 5 items & I have another 3 more to go. Like I mentioned before, all the Kuswar recipes are my Mother's recipe. My Mom makes the best Kuswar & I am glad that I am able to share here yummy recipes to my followers. Today I am sharing Gulio recipe, Gulio in Konkani means round. since this snack is round in shape  its called as Gulio. This snack is sweet & you can alter the sweetness of this snack by adding more or less Jaggery. This is how it is made



Makes: 6 cups of Gulio
Making time: 1 - 2 hours
Total time: 15 hours

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups boiled rice (brown or white any variety is fine but I used brown)
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 1 cup white Jaggery
  • 1/2 tspn Cardamom powder
  • 1/2 tspn salt
  • Oil for deep frying
Method
  1. Soak the rice in water for at least 6 to 8 hours. Overnight is better.
  2. Now grind the rice along with coconut, salt & cardamom powder to a smooth paste
  3. Now in an nonstick Pan or any other big pan, add the rice paste & keep stirring to form a stiff dough. Once the dough is formed, turn off the heat & set aside to cool down a little.
  4. Now start making small balls with this dough & place them in a greased plate.
  5. Heat the oil & fry these gulios on medium heat until they are dark brown.
  6. Once they are fried store them in an airtight container.
 
Here is the step by step process to show how to make the Gulio dough,
 
 
 

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Chakli



Chakli/ Murukku & many names this Indian savory snack has. I already have one Chakli recipe on my blog. This one which I am posting today is my Mom's recipe & the best Chakli recipe you will ever find or have tasted. When you bite a piece it so crispy & melt in your mouth types. This is a recipe to keep & share. I made around 60 of these yesterday & have stored them in an airtight box. This recipe is very easy to make & can be done under  2 - 3 hours. This is how I made them,



Makes: 50 - 60 chaklis
Making time: 1-3 hours
fry time: 2- 4 mins
Equipment: Chakli making press with star tip

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of semolina (200 gms)
  • 5 cups Rice flour (1 kg)
  • 100 Gms Butter
  • 100 gms melted hot Vegetable shortening (Crisco or Dalda)
  • salt as per taste
  • Chili Powder optional
  • 3 tspn cumin seeds
  • 1-2 cups water for mixing
Method:
  1. Dry roast the semolina & Rice flower separately & set aside.
  2. Now boil 2 cups of water in a pan, add butter & salt to it.
  3. When the water reaches rolling boil, turn the heat to medium & add the semolina slowly into the water stirring continuously.(Like the way we make upma)
  4. Now allow the semolina to cook in this water which will take just a minute or 2. Make sure you keep stirring. You will notice that the water is all drained & the semolina has become like a pudding. Just turn off the heat & set this aside.
  5. Now in a big bowl add this cooked semolina, rice flour, hot shortening, cumin seeds & water as much as needed to make a soft dough.
  6. The dough should neither be very soft nor very thick.
  7. Prepare the Murukku making press with a star tip.
  8. Now take a large ball size of dough & fill the Murrukku maker with this. Make spiral shapes or just loose Murrukus. I made some large spiral Murukus & some small ones.
  9. I piped the Spiral Murrukus on a Parchment paper first.
  10. Now fry them in hot oil for about 2 to 3 minutes. I fried 5 Murukkus at a time in the oil. Depending on your Pan size you can decide on how many will fit in. When the Murukku starts sinking, that's when you know it is done.
  11. Once they are cooled, store them in an airtight container.


Note:
  1. If you want you can skip adding the vegetable shortening & just butter instead.
  2. If the Murukku is breaking off while piping, just add some water to the dough to make it a little soft. This process will help the piping process easy.
  3. I divided the dough into 2 batch & added chili powder to one batch of dough to make spicy Murukku.
  4. To drop Murukku into oil, just lift the murukku with your hands & slip them into the oil. The another method is to slowly bring the parchment paper closer to the oil & slip them into the oil from the paper.

 

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Nevri

 
 
 
"Deck the halls with boughs of holly, 
Fa la la la la, la la la la. 
Tis the season to be jolly, 
Fa la la la la, la la la la. "
 

 Yeah........ just another 9 days for "Christmas" I am so excited & looking forward for a grand fun filled Xmas.  Last year there was no celebration for us as we had just moved to Austin & were settling. I really cried last Christmas because we dint do anything  at all & I had decided that next year it is going to be a grand Christmas celebration. Yes, Xmas is grand this year in my home here in Austin. My tree is already up & I am yet to decorate my full house this week.
 
 
 
Well we Mangalore Christians make "Kuswar" for Xmas. Kuswar means set of sweets that is made during Xmas. One of the items that goes into Kuswar is "Nevri" , which is in todays post. This is similar to Gujiya, a sweet Puffs/ samosa, but the filling is very different. This sweet is my husbands favorite. I just made this today & I am totally exhausted, as this is very labor intensive job. In total I made 54 of these & they are all stored in the airtight box. I will be giving it as Christmas goodies to all my friends once I am done making all the items. This sweet is my Mom's recipe & there are various versions people make.  This is how I made it.
 
 
Makes: 60 Nevriyo
Making time: 3- 5 hours
Cooking time: 5 to 8 mins
 
Ingredients:
 
For the Dough
  • 5 cups all purpose flour
  • 5 Tbsp melted & warm Vegetable shortening (I used Crisco) (In India Dalda is used)
  • 1 tspn Salt
  • 1.5 cups Water (As much as required to form a dough) 
For the filling
  • 4 cups grated coconut (I used slightly sweetened coconut)
  • 1/2 cup dry roasted Kuskus (White Poppy seeds)
  • 1/2 cup dry roasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted Cashews
  • 1 Tspn powdered cardamom/ Elachi
  • 1.5 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tspn salt
Method:
  1. Make a soft dough with flour, shortening, salt & water. Make sure you knead it well. Now rest it for 1/2 hour by covering it with a kitchen towel. I used my Kitchen aid stand mixer to make the dough, as its easy & fast. If you don't have kitchen aid, mixing it with hands works fine too but it can be a little tiring.
  2. Now mix all the ingredients in a big bowl that is mentioned under filling.
  3. You will need a mold to make this sweet. These are available in Indian store.
 
Assembling the Nevri
  1. Make small lime size balls out of the dough, dust with a little flour and roll them into very thin flat circles, the size of Puris. (If you don't make it very thin, they will not be crispy)
  2. Now place this puri in the center of the Mold & now place about 1 tsp of the filling mixture right in the centre of the puri .
  3. Wet your fingers & run it around the sides of the dough where exactly it seals. Now close the mold & press it tightly so that the dough seals in well.
  4. Remove any excess dough from around & place the Nevri on a parchment paper a greased plate.
  5. Repeat the steps until all the filling/ dough has been used up.
  6. Now heat about 1 ltrs of oil in a heavy bottom frying pan, Once the oil is hot, fry 5 Nevri at a time on medium heat. Make sure you rotate the Nevri for even cooking. Once they are golden brown, remove from oil & place them on top of paper towel.


 

 

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Basic sponge cake



           ( The cake in the above picture is upside down & you can see the flower nail on top)

I lately realized that I haven't uploaded a basic Vanilla sponge cake recipe in my blog. This is a basic cake recipe that I use for all kind of cakes as a base. You can use the same recipe & add different flavors .  For example: Add instant coffee powder to make a mocha sponge cake, Strawberry essence or puree for Strawberry sponge cake.

Long time ago I had read in a cake form that, adding a flower nail in the center of a round pan will rise the cake much taller than the regular height. That's why I decided to try it myself & see. I was so happy to see my cake taller & I could cut them into 2 layers & make a tall cake. This is a great tip for all bakers. Here is a very simple recipe & I am sure you will never go wrong.


Makes 1, 7  inch  or 8 inch round tall cake
Total Time required: 45 mins to an hour
Baking time: 30- 45 mins

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 70 gms butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tspn Vanilla essence
  • 1/4 tspn salt
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 4 Tbsp curd/ Yogurt (Full fat)
  • 1 Tspn Baking powder
  • 1/2  tspn baking soda
Utensils:
  • 8 Inch baking pan
  • Parchment paper
  • OTG Baking oven
  • 1 large cake mixing bowl
  • Electric beater
  • sifter
  • flower nail 
Method:
  1. Sieve the dry ingredients & keep aside.
  2. seperate the eggs yolks from glare
  3. Cream the butter, egg yolks & powdered sugar for about 2 to 3 mins. Untill its fluffy
  4. Add in salt, Vanilla essence, curd, 3 tbsp water & all the dry ingredients to this mixture & mix well.
  5. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks in a separate bowl.
  6. Now fold in the egg white into the cake batter with a spatula & give it a gentle good mix, so everything is combined. Do not over mix. You can do this with a spoon or a spatula.
  7. Prepare the baking Pan by greasing it with butter & line the parchment paper at  the bottom of the pan.
  8. Now place the flower nail in the center of the baking pan.
  9. Now pour the cake batter into the pan & pat the cake pan on the counter top to release any air bubbles.  
  10. Bake this in a preheated oven for about 35- 45 mins at 180 degree. Or until toothpick insert comes out clean.
  11. Remove the pan outside & allow it to cool down for about 20 mins. Now slowly invert the pan & remove the cake from the pan gently. Once the cake is completely cooled, pull out the flower nail carefully & set aside


Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Witch finger cookie

 
I know this Halloween post is coming really late... well I have been having a really busy schedule which has not given me time to blog. The last 3 months, I have been busy with dance choreography, performance & cake baking business, I have started a home baking business here in Austin Tx. I make theme based cakes for all occasions. I have named my business "Sweet Zions Bake house". You can find me on face book page here. I love dancing & I have been into stage shows right from my childhood days. Now I am performing on stage after almost 6 yrs. I feel really nice to get back into choreography & performing.

Coming back to todays post, I made these spicy witch finger cookies during the Halloween week. The spicy cookie recipe is here. In the recipe post you will see that I have made round shaped cookie. for this shape, you need to just roll them in the shape of fingers & bake them. Once they are cooled, Just add some Jam/jelly or ketchup on the tip of the finger & stick the almond on top.
 
 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Jalebi

 
 
 
Jalebi is one of India's most famous sweet. This is also called as street food as many street food vendors make it hot & sell on road side. I remember having these every time I visited commercial street in Bangalore. The parallel street of commercial street has a line full of street food shop. I used to love the dosa, Idli & paani poori stall there too. Today I am sharing an instant Jalebi recipe which is adopted from Madhura's recipe. This Jalebis are very easy to make & gets done under 10 mins.
 
 
Makes: 15- 20 Medium size Jalebis
Making time: 10 mins
serves: 6 people
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup all purpose flour (Maida)
  • 3/4th cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbspn lemon juice
  • 1 tspn plain curd (Yogurt)
  • 1/4 tspn salt
  • 1 tspn Eno (Fruit salt)
  • Orange or yellow color
  • 1/4-1/2 cup water for flour
  • 2 cups of Oil for deep fry.
Method:
  1. Make a sugar liquid with 1/4 cup of water & 3/4th cup of sugar in a heavy bottom Pot. Add 1 Tbsp of Lemon juice into it. The liquid should reach 1 thread consistency. Once done turn off the flame & set aside
  2. In a bowl mix Flour, curd, salt, color, lemon juice & water. This paste should be of dosa batter consistency.
  3. Finally add in Eno into this batter. While adding you will notice that the batter will start bubbling. Give it a good mix & the batter is ready
  4. Prepare a Ziploc bag, piping bag or a empty ketchup bottle.
  5. Fill the piping bag with this batter & make a small hole on the tip of the bag.
  6. Now drop the jalebis into the hot oil in circular motion to get the shape of the jalebis.
  7. Deep fry them for about a minute or 2 on medium heat. Once fried remove from oil & set aside on a paper towel.
  8. Now just dip each jalebis one at time into the sugar syrup gently. Make sure the sugar syrup is coated on both sides of the Jalebis. Now set aside the Jalebis & continue this process for all the Jalebis.
  9. Once done put the Jalebis in an airtight box or serve them hot.  


 

Note:
  1. I used Piping bags to fill the Jalebis. Zip lock bags works great too.
  2. 1 string consistency is when you put the sugar syrup between your thumb & index finger it should form 1 thread .
  3. Adding color is optional. I used my icing gel color. I added about 3 drops of orange color.
 

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Egg Masala



I have become very lazy to blog after moving to Austin. I am always busy with something or the other & been addicted to TV off late:) Well I have also been taking cake decoration class here & I realized that I love teaching so much. My classes went on very well & my students were great. I finally thought, I should seriously make some time for blogging & here I am the "lazy me" Some of you must have already checked my egg masala video recipe. Today I will be posting the same recipe here. You can also visit the video here.

Serves: 4
Making time: 30-40 mins
Video Recipe : here

Ingredients:
  • 5 Boiled eggs
  • 2 cups thinly chopped onions (Cut them long)
  • 2 medium red tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. minced Ginger
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 6 to 8 curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Black pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Garam Masala Powder (Everest)
  • Salt as per taste
  • 4 Tbsp. of Oil
 
Directions:
  1. Boil around 5 to 6 eggs. For perfect boiled eggs, make sure you are using cold water. The eggs should be fully covered under water & boil them for 12- 15 mins. Add a tbsp. of salt to the water. Once they are boiled, put them in the cold water & wait for another 5 to  10 mins until they are cooled. Once they are cooled completed, remove the skin slowly. This way you will get perfect boiled eggs.
  2. Add about 2 Tbsp. of oil in a Pan, once heated,  crackle the mustard seeds
  3. Add in ginger garlic & onions into them. Now allow the onions to turn pink. This will take about 3 to 5 mins. Make sure you keep sautéing in between.
  4. Once the onions turn pink, add in tomatoes & cook this again for another 3 to 5 mins, until the tomatoes are all mashed up.
  5. Add in all the dry Masala powder into this mixture & saute well.
  6. Season this with salt as per taste & also add in curry leaves.
  7. Cut the eggs into half. Now in a separate flat pan, add about 2 tbsp. of oil and shallow fry the eggs for about 2 to 3 minutes on both sides.
  8. Now slowly coat the Masala on to the fried eggs & the dish is ready to serve.
Note:
  • Please watch the video recipe to know how exactly the eggs are fried & added.  Click here for the video
  • If you want to make a curry, just add a cup of hot water to the masala & 1/2 cup of coconut milk.

 


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Khara Biscuit



Khara Biscuit (Spicy wheat cookies) have always been one of my favorite cookies since childhood. This cookie is available in almost all bakeries in India. The iyenger bakeries in India are very famous for their spicy cookies. In the past I have baked these biscuits using all purpose flour * they have turned out very good. However this time I wanted to make them a little healthier, so that I would eat more:). These whole wheat cookies are very very tasty. This is a keeper & will definitely make them often. This is how I made them.




Makes: 20 medium size cookie
Making time: 20 mins
Baking time: 15 mins
Freeze time : 1 hour

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (Pastry flour & not the atta flour)
  • 1 tspn Baking powder
  • 1/2 tspn baking soda
  • 1/2 tspn salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 stick Butter (113 gms)
  • Handful of chopped curry leaves
  • 2 tspn Chili powder
  • 1 Tspn cumin seeds
  • 1 green chili finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup ice cold water
  • some flour for dusting
Method:
  1. Sieve the flour, baking powder, soda & set aside. Cut the cold Butter into small cubes
  2. In a bowl add in sifted flour along with salt, sugar, chili powder, curry leaves & green chilis.
  3. Now ad din the cold butter cubes to this flour mixture & massage it with your fingers. The butter has to get well mixed with the flour & should looks like bread crumbs.
  4. Now add in cold water little by little to form a dough. Once the dough is formed, wrap it with a cling wrap & freeze it in the freezer for an hour.
  5. After an hour, remove the dough out & roll it to 2 inch thickness. Now cut it with a cookie cutter to any shape you want. You might need to dust the surface with some flour before rolling the dough.
  6. Now line the cookies on a parchment paper & bake it in a preheated oven at 350 F for about 10 - 15 mins. Some ovens might take 20 mins.
  7. Once they are baked remove them & allow them to cool down.
  8. Once cooled, store it in a air tight container or bottle.


Note:

  1. The wheat flour used here is a pastry flour & not the chapathi atta. I brought a whole wheat flour from HEB. This flour is not as smooth as the plain flour. This coarseness in the flour makes the cookie crispy & gives a great texture.
  2. Local Bakeries generally add a lot of green chilies but I have used very few & compensated it with chili powder. If you want you can add more green chili's.
  3. My cookies were not very spicy but just the way I wanted.
  4. Don't over bake your cookies. 15 mins is more than enough. The cookie will be still soft to the touch but will harden up once its cooled. Just incase you feel you have under baked your cookies, don't panic! Just put them again in the oven for another 5 mins & they are done.
  5. These cookies are not gooey chewy like chocolate chip cookies. The texture is more or less like a sugar cookie

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Eggless Chocolate 7 up Cake



We have a big Indian Girls group here in Austin & I am happy to be part of this group. Whatsup keeps us connected for planning events, chitchat etc....  Most of the girls in this group are vegetarians & don't even eat eggs. I am now kind of an official baker for all celebrations. I made this eggless Chocolate cake for one of the friends B day celebration. This recipe is slightly different from the regular eggless recipe I follow.  The cake turned out very good & had a good spongy texture. This is how I made it.



Baking time: 40 mins
Making time: 60 mins
Makes: 2, 9 inch round cakes. Or 1 tall 9 inch cake.

Ingredients:

  • Cake flour - 2 cup
  • 1 can/tin Milkmaid (Condensed milk) 
  • Sugar -1/4 cup (1 cup if you want it very sweet)
  • 1/2 cup coco powder
  • Baking Powder - 1 tsp
  • Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
  • Butter- 120 gms
  • Vanilla essence -1tsp
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup 7 up or sprite
Method:
  1. Pre heat the oven for 10 minutes. Grease and flour 2, 9 inch cake pan 
  2. Sieve Flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, soda and keep it aside.
  3. Cream the Butter, sugar &  condensed milk with a electric beater for 3 minutes.
  4. Now add the dry ingredients to the above wet mixture & beat for another 1 minutes until well mixed. 
  5. Now pour 1 cup of 7 up & beat the batter on high speed for about a minute.  
  6. Pour the cake batter equally in 2, 9 inch cake pans & bake it for about 25- 30 mins at 350 Degree F.
  7. Once the cakes are done, allow them to cool down for about 10 mins & then remove them from the Pan. All the cake to cool completely on a rack/plate before cutting or decorating.
Note:

  • I decorated the cake with Dairy whipping cream & filled it with chocolate whipping cream.
  • I used the big star tip to get this Rosette pattern.
  • I have used around 4 cups of whipping cream for this cake.
  • This cake is a 3 layered cake. The above recipe will make 2, 9 inch cake. If you want another layer, Just half the recipe & bake another 9 inch cake.
  • Whipping cream is very light & can get smutched off easily. The high heat also melt off the cake. Generally I add gelatin in my whipping cream recipe to stabilize the cream. Since this cake was a vegetarian cake, I dint use whipping cream.
 






 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Beetroot Velvet Cup cake


Being a mother, feeding my son veggies is always my top priority, My lill one loves cup cakes & that too if its chocolate. I made some Beetroot velvet cup cakes for him yesterday & he loved it. I also iced some of these with Cream cheese frosting & they tasted out of this world! My lil one doesn't like icing & he loves to eat them just plain. My hubby & myself couldn't stop licking the icing. I topped these cup cakes with Strawberry to make it look beautiful. The Strawberries & this cream cheese frosting is like match made in heaven. I would have eaten more than 5 Strawberries dipping in the frosting in a minute (lol). This Cream cheese frosting is different compared to the regular cream cheese frosting & a must try.

There is so much craze these days for colored cakes & the Red Velvet cake is the most wanted ones. When it comes to coloring the cakes or icing I feel not so good. But these colored cakes are consumed once in a while, hence its fine if you are having occasionally. We all know that anything artificial is not good for our body. The velvet cake is not about the color but its about the texture of the cake, You can make velvet cakes even without any color. The magic for making cakes velvety, is the  combination of baking soda & sour ingredient, In this recipe its sour cream. There are recipes that use vinegar as well, but I love the flavor of sour cream & hence use it.



Makes: 15 cup cakes
Bake time: 25 mins
Making time: 45 mins

Ingredients:
  • 1.5 cups cake flour
  • 1.2 cup sugar  (powdered)
  • 1 stick Butter (115 gms/8 Tbspn)
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tspn Vanilla extract
  • 1 medium size beetroot grated
  • 1/2 Tspn Baking powder
  • 3/4 tspn Baking Soda
  • 4 tbspn Sour cream
  • 1 cup water.
  • 3Tbspn Coco Powder
Method:
  1. In a sauce pan add 1 cup of water, grated beetroot & cook this on medium flame for about 5 to 8 minutes. Until the water is drained off.
  2. Once the Beetroot mixture is cooled, put it in the blender & puree it. Now sieve this mixture to remove any lumps & set aside
  3. Cream the butter & sugar until fluffy.
  4. Add eggs & sour cream one at a time & beat it with a electric mixture until its light & fluffy,
  5. Sieve the dry ingredients & set aside
  6. Now add in dry ingredients, Beetroot Puree & water little by little, while continue beating the mixture with the electric beater.
  7. Once all the dry ingredients, Beet puree & water is added, mix the mixture for another 2 minutes until everything is well mixed.
  8. Line the cup cake liner & pour the batter upto 3/4th. Bake this in a pre heated oven for about 25 to 30mins in a 350 F oven.

Cream cheese mixture:
This cream cheese mixture is out of the world. This is so tempting that this frosting can be had with fruits too. It was super yum with fresh Strawberries. The frosting is not very thick like other frostings. Its very light & soft.

Ingredients:
  • 200gms Cream cheese (Philadelphia)
  • 1 cup whipped cream or topping. (I used cool whip)
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tspn Vanilla extract
Method:
  1. Whip the cream cheese, Vanilla extract & icing sugar until light & fluffy.
  2. Now fold in the whipped cream into cream cheese mixture
  3. The frosting is ready.

Note:
  • Since Beetroot has a very strong raw smell, I decided to boil it before I pureed it. if you like them raw, then you can make a raw puree.
  • If you want your cup cakes to look red color, then reduce the amount of cocoa powder.
  • This icing is a soft icing, if you want it more stiff you may add in stiff whipping cream . I used the ready to use cool whip, which was very light & soft.