Monday, 18 April 2016

Chocolate and Pistachio Fudge




I have been wanting to post recipes off my draft for a long time now and here is the first one . It's been a very long time since I logged into my Blogger dashboard. I have completely lost in touch with blogging and blogger's world. I see a lot has changed in the past 2-3 years. Many bloggers have gone quite like I did, some have stopped and many new bloggers have come up as well. Missed blogging much, and my fellow bloggers too. Thanks to all readers and bloggers who have been motivating me to come back.


For the past couple of years I got really busy with several events happening one after the other. And the priority changed. I have been constantly asked and requested about getting back to blogging. It would motivate me, but, having to prioritize things that I did, blogging just came down the list. As it requires quite a lot of effort and time, I couldn't get my head around blogging even if I wanted to. Now, as things are just getting in order slowly, I may be able to put that extra little time into blogging; may be, and empty those recipes and photographs that have been lying in my drafts for a quite long time now. I don’t think I am yet ready to shoot new pictures as of now asit will be a struggle trying to shoot around my toddler.


Anyways, Let me share an easy recipe with you today. It's very simple chocolate fudge dotted with pistachio nuts. You may use any nuts of your choice. Personally, I roast the nuts slightly to bring out their earthy flavour and crunchiness. You may leave them in raw if you wish. But I strongly recommend roasting them. You might have come across the picture on my Facebook page; I have made it few times as there are quite a few takers of this simple and amazingly easy fudge. I just had to go and make it when I saw Nigella making it on TV. And you know how Nigella can get you into cooking.

Chocolate and Pistachio Fudge
Preparation time - 10-15 minutes

Ingredients:
1 x 397g Condensed milk
350g dark chocolate chips (I use 50% - 70% cocoa solids)
30g butter
Pinch of salt
150g Nuts of your choice (Pistachio, cashew, hazelnut, cashews or a mixture of any; roasted or un-roasted)

Preparation:

1. Heat Condensed milk, chocolates, butter and salt in a heavy based pan and stir to melt on a very low heat.

2. Put the nuts in a freezer bag and bash it with a rolling pin to break them into small and big pieces or chop them into different sized pieces.

3. As soon as the chocolate has been melted, pop the nuts in and mix well.

4. Pour this mixture into a 8 inch square pan that is buttered and lined with a baking paper or foil and smoothen the top.

5. When it is cooled down completely, pop it in the fridge for a couple of hours to set.

6. Cut them into 2" sizes. You can store them in the freezer and have it straightaway without having to thaw!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

A little 'news' with a simple recipe..


Hi,
Hope everyone out there is doing well. I am doing great here.  I have been getting several messages for the past many months asking about my erratic posts and sometimes total disappearance. I have also been getting several messages over Facebook asking if I was expecting a newcomer. Yes,  I am about 36 weeks now and due on December 25, X’mas Day!! 

Unlike my first pregnancy, this one was like a roller coaster ride. During the first trimester of this pregnancy, I was almost always on bed, so tired, couldn’t even get up for food. Most of the food made me nauseate, had terrible back ache and to make it worse, had heights of mood swings and was always irritant and on the verge of explosion. Often the poor husband and child became the scapegoat of my outburst. Cooked very rarely, and by the time I am done I would be so exhausted I ended up on bed for rest of the day. So, that has been my first trimester, after which I went to India. I dint face any of these in my first pregnancy, so it was a total new experience! 


I know I wouldn’t be able to do much to keep my blog alive and running. I have got several recipes and pictures in my drafts which I am not sure when I would be posting. Otherwise, I don’t do any shooting and styling. Well, I dont even cook on regular basis. So I packed away all my props. I realized that the junk I collected over the years have dominated a major chunk of space in our house, which is now free for placing something useful. I chucked them all in the garage, knowing that I won’t be able to make use them for a very long while now. I am not happy with that, but I know I won’t be able to do styling and photo shooting as it makes hell lot of mess and lot of tidying up which can be very tedious now. And my mind is always occupied with the baby stuff and organizing things before the little one arrives. 



Now, here is a recipe that I typed long ago, I guess it was for Onam, but it slipped off my mind. My boys here, loves beets in any form and beetroot pachadi is something that I cook when I get some, apart from the thoran. It is very simple to make and goes as a side dish with plain boiled rice.

Beetroot Pachadi (Beetroot in tempered yogurt sauce)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves ~ 4





Ingredients:
1 large beetroot, 220g; grated – 1 ¾ cups
2 cloves of garlic
a small piece of ginger, 7 g
1/3 cups, 50g freshly grated coconut or frozen
2/3 cup lightly whisked yogurt
water -  as required
salt -  as required

For tempering:
2 tbsp coconut oil
½ tsp black mustard seeds
1 twig curry leaves
2 dried red chillies, broken up into two halves

Preparations:
1.Place beetroot in a small pan and cook it along with 2 tbsp of water on medium flame until cooked through.

2. Grind coconut, ginger and garlic adding about 1/3 cups of water to smooth paste.

3. Lightly whisk the yogurt and add to the ground coconut mixture. Once the beets have cooled down, add this coconut-yogurt mix to the beetroot and mix well.

4. put the pan back on heat and gently until steam comes though, but not boil as boiling can curdle the mixture.

To temper:

Heat oil in a small pan, and add mustard seeds. Once they splutter, throw in the curry leaves and the dried chillies. Let it splutter too for few seconds and then add this tempered oil to the cooked beetroot. Cover. Just stir before serving.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Kai Pathiri : Rice Pancakes with Coconut, Fennel and Onion


Hi all, This post was supposed to be posted long back, even before I left for India. I was so pressed for time, I just couldn't squeeze in any time to post it on my blog before I left. So here is the post unedited, just as I did it before I left home. This post was specially done for Lubna's blog for her lovely yearly event - Joy from fasting to feasting.

 
Ramadan Mubarak to all. The holy month is finally here and this time I am going to be in India with my parents and siblings during Ramadan and a few weeks after that. I wish the clock ticks slowly as good times pass even before the blink of an eye. This is the month that brings in me so much of peace and tranquillity. More time is focussed on religious affairs and duties. Here, in the UK, Ramadan is just like any other month probably it is not celebrated as in the Middle East, no special prayers, and not even Azhan is called which is really sad. To feel the spirituality or the feeling of Ramadan I think one needs to be somewhere in the Middle East. India is not bad either.

Lubna’s blog is one of the blogs that celebrates Ramadan well and I have been contributing my recipes to her events for the past few years. When she asked me if I could share a recipe, I told yes immediately. But now I have way crossed the dead-line inspite of her asking me several months ago.



I love how she compiles each post and the Ramadan recipes are always a keeper to try it during Ramadan. At my home, it’s usually traditional menu during the Ramadan days. We usually prepare traditional dishes and try out different varieties keeping its traditional root intact. No fancy shmancy cooking, baking or desserts. There are sweet things, but usually snacks, fruits, hot drinks and as such. Cooking is almost always elaborate especially when it is at home. I just cant wait to be home, to be pampered, to be loved, to have my mom’s food, the most delicious food ever.

Here is an authentic recipe for a variety of rice pancake or rotis, could be called as kin of neypathal, but more on the healthier side. The recipe is same as neypathal, but instead of deep frying, this is cooked on the non stick tawa or a cast iron pan until you see few brown spots and it puffs up slightly. The dough is rolled into balls using greased hands and patted to make thick rotis using your fingers on a greased banana leaf or any greased plastic sheet/ shopper bag. Once all rotis are cooked, you can dip them in warm coconut milk and place them in hot pot or casserole to keep them warm until they are ready to be served. It goes well with any traditional  non vegetarian curry, like Malabar fish curry, Malabar chicken curry or mutton curry, chemmeen varattiyathu, Beef varattiyathu etc.

KaiPathiri: Rice Pancakes with Coconut, Fennel and Onion
serves 4-6
Ref: Neypathal

Ingredients:
2 cups parboiled rice
11/2- 2 cups grated coconut
1 small onion, about 160 g
1 ½ tsp aniseed
salt as required.


Preparation:

1.Soak rice in hot water for 3-4 hours. drain water off.

2. Grind it coarsely using Indian wet grinder adding few spoons of water to make a coarse dough. Add fennel onion and coconut and just blend for few seconds to crush all the ingredients, without over-grinding them. The whole dough will be coarse to touch.

3. Scoop out the dough in a bowl, add salt and mix well.

4. Smear the hands well with oil, take a medium apple sized dough and flatten it on a banana leaf making thick rounds, as thick and as big as a neypathal.

5. Cook both sides on a non stick tawa till both sides puff up.

Notes:
1. I usually end up adding water while grinding rice as my machine doesn’t work with less water. If you get a thick batter instead of dough, do not worry. You can add unroasted rice powder to the batter and mix until you get a soft dough that can be flattened into discs.
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