Thursday, June 23, 2016

Butter Chicken Recipe and a Cook Along

I have been away for a very long time. Blame it on the school holidays, the many trips and my new hobby turned small business venture of jewelry making. There has been a lot happening. The new hobby of jewelry making started with attending a few classes with a friend. She was the one who floated the idea and I am totally hooked to it now. I have been experimenting with a lot of material, ordering beads and supplies and totally loving the experience. Here is a peek into some of my creations. The support and encouragement from family and friends has seen the hobby turn into a small business venture and me doing quite a few orders in the past 2 months. Here is my facebook page Jewelry by Vandana Rajesh which has my entire collection so far listed.


With the vacations over and back to work, my sister and I decided to start a cook along and try out recipes from the blogging world. Learning new recipes or perfecting the old ones is always a wonderful experience. And so we decided to start with the all time favourite, the very popular butter chicken or Murg Makhani. She suggested the recipe on Soma's ecurry for Murg Makhni.



We followed the recipe as it is, the pictures were so tempting that we were looking forward to the yummy curry. Of course made a few cuts to make it a leaner version of the popular chicken dish. I know it seems silly to say that I made butter chicken without butter and that's the complaint that my teen always has. You always cut out the butter then how can it taste like the authentic version of the dish is her argument. However, I feel when we eat out we end up having all the additions that are tasty but not healthy, so at home why not do the healthier version so that one can enjoy their favourite dishes without the guilt associated with it. So we made cuts in the butter just adding in half tsp and cut the cream too (added milk in the end to the gravy/sauce). What we had was beautiful murg makahni that tasted great and had a perfect consistency that would go perfectly with rice/rotis and make any meal finger licking good.


Thanks Soma for such a lovely recipe. Just went across to ecurry to link to the recipe and read Soma's post. Wishing your husband a speedy recovery and wishing you all the very best. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Sausage Roll Recipe



Blogging Marathon Day 3 Week 1
Sausage Roll is one my daughter loves and while we were abroad it was one of her regular picks from the local bakery. However, with my red meat allergy could not try it and so this chicken sausage version for both of us. The sausage rolls on the Nasilemaklover blog looked so good that I decided to give it a try for the third day of the Blogging Marathon with the theme Shaped Yeasted Breads.



Source :Nasilemaklover
Ingredients for the Sausage Roll Dough:
200 gms maida/all purpose flour
130 gm Milk
3gm active dry yeast(1/2 tsp+1/4 tsp)
25 gms Butter
35 gms sugar
1 pinch salt
Sausages -  I cut the regular sausages into two(you can use the mini sausages instead)

Method for making the Sausage Rolls
1-Mix all the ingredients except butter to form a dough. Now add in the butter and knead to form a soft pliable dough. Divide into small balls.
2- Take one ball and roll out into a circular disk, now fold in two opposite ends and roll out lengthwise to form a broader top and let it taper down to a narrower end. Now keep the sausage at the broader end and start rolling towards the other end. Roll completely. Repeat with the other balls.
3- Give the sausage rolls an egg wash and place on a pre-greased baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes at 180 deg C and for another 2-3 minutes at 220 deg C. Serve hot.
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Check out the http://spicingyourlife.blogspot.com/p/blogging-marathon.html" target="_blank">Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#62

Jam Roll for your Breakfast Menu



Blogging Marathon Day 2 Week1
I loved the Braided Bread with the mushroom and corn stuffing that I made yesterday for Day 1 of the Blogging Marathon. With some dough left over I wanted to try another baked goodie with the dough and the jam roll was the simplest with the viral not having let me make my dishes in advance and putting me on a back foot. So jam roll it was and came out beautifully. Only thing in my enthusiasm I added in a little more of jam. It just smearing half a tsp of jam that is required. Do not add blobs of jam as the filling , it will ooze out while baking. 



Ingredients for the Dough 
Source : Yummytummyaarthi

All Purpose Flour or Maida - 2 1/2 cups
Active Dry Yeast - 1.5 tsp
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Salt - 1.5 tsp
Olive Oil  - 2 tbsp + 1 for greasing in the vessel where you would rest the dough)
Warm Milk - 3/4 cup 
Warm water - 1/4 cup

Method for making the jam rolls:
For the Dough:
For the Bread:
1- Take 1/4 cup warm water in a cup and add 2 tbsp sugar to it. Add the yeast and keep aside for 5-7 minutes for the yeast to rise. 
2- Take a bowl, add the all purpose flour/maida, salt, 2 tbsp of oil and the fermented yeast. Add warm milk little by little and bring together into a dough (like that for chapati). Grease a vessel with oil. Keep the dough in it, cover and keep aside for 1 to 1.5 hrs to rise. The dough will more than double in size. After an hr, punch the dough down to remove all the excess air. Keep aside. 
3- Make small balls of the dough. Take one ball and roll out into a circular disk. Smear jam on it. Fold both ends towards the centre. Now pull the other 2 ends to elongate it and roll it up into a circular ball shape like you see in the picture. You can also decide to give it any other shape like a knot as you desire. 
4- Brush the rolls with milk. Place in a pre-greased baking dish. Bake for 12 minutes at 180 deg C and then at 220 deg c for 6-7 minutes. Serve warm. You may decide to brush it with some butter before serving for that added taste and a glaze.
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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Braided Bread with Mushroom and Corn Stuffing Recipe



Blogging Marathon#64 Day 1
The braided bread has been on my to-do list for a while now. Shaped yeasted breads is my theme for the Blogging Marathon and for the next 3 days I will have a bread recipe that I have been waiting to try. Sometimes working in a group(though virtual) helps you to shed those inhibitions and get to work. I am being part of the BM after long and really enjoyed Day 1 itself of being pushed out of my comfort zone.

Yeast is no new ingredient for a Keralite actually with the appam being a regular on the breakfast/dinner menu. However, every time I use yeast, it is fingers crossed and praying hard that all the right conditions come together for the yeast to come into action. It is a wonderful experience seeing it rise to that nice fluffy texture that is a thumbs up for you saying you have got the first and most important step right. The second will be to incorporate this with the remaining ingredients mix and getting the perfect dough. The aroma of freshly baked bread is simply heavenly and is the real reward of all the baking. My teen came in asking what I was baking and all the pictures here are courtesy her.

I went by yummytummyaarthi's vegetable stuffed braided bread recipe. She has a lovely collection of baked goodies and other recipes. A must check out blog. Her bread looked perfect. I first thought of doing a chilli paneer stuffing recipe but a sweet corn mushroom filling too was on the mind and the love for mushroom and corn did take over. The end product looks a little complicated however, it is a simple technique of braiding that brings out this hard to resist bread. A wonderful addition to your evening tea, breakfast menu or even dinner, this is an anytime instant smile recipe. Do try it.

Ingredients:
For the bread:
All Purpose Flour or Maida - 2 1/2 cups
Active Dry Yeast - 1.5 tsp
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Salt - 1.5 tsp
Olive Oil  - 2 tbsp + 1 for greasing in the vessel where you would rest the dough)
Warm Milk - 3/4 cup 
Warm water - 1/4 cup

For the filling/stuffing:
Mushrooms -200 gms (washed , cleaned and chopped lengthwise)
Sweet corn - 1 cup(I used the frozen one and microwaved it for 2 minutes)
White pepper - 1 tsp (you may use black pepper too, adjust quantity as per spice levels)
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Mozzaraella - 1/4 cup (I sprinkled some over the filling before finally braiding it)
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Onion - 1 small(finely chopped)
Ajwain/Caraway seeds - 1/4 tsp or any other herbs of your choice







Method 
For the Bread:
1- Take 1/4 cup warm water in a cup and add 2 tbsp sugar to it. Add the yeast and keep aside for 5-7 minutes for the yeast to rise. 
2- Take a bowl, add the all purpose flour/maida, salt, 2 tbsp of oil and the fermented yeast. Add warm milk little by little and bring together into a dough (like that for chapati). Grease a vessel with oil. Keep the dough in it, cover and keep aside for 1 to 1.5 hrs to rise. The dough will more than double in size. After an hr, punch the dough down to remove all the excess air. Keep aside. 
For the filling:
1- Take a pan and add 1 tbsp olive oil in it. Add in the chopped onions and mushrooms. Saute for 3-4 mins. Add the sweet corn. Sprinkle salt, white pepper and ajwain or caraway seeds. Saute for another 2 mins till all the moisture from the mixture has almost dried up. Keep aside. Now we come to the assembly. 
Method for Assembling it



1- Make 4-5 balls of the bread dough. Roll out one portion into a broad rectangle. Make equal horizontal slits on both sides. Now put the mixture along the centre of the rectangle, sprinkle some grated mozaraella cheese and criss cross the slits towards the centre to get the braided look(as shown in the picture. YummyTummy also has a video on it. 
2- Put in a pre-greased flat baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes at 180 deg C and then for 6 to 8 minutes at 220 deg C. The baking time may vary slightly from oven to oven. Remove. Cut. Serve hot. 
*You may decided to do a mixed vegetable/chicken, minced meat, paneer or any other filling of your choice. You can even do a sweet version of it. 


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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Paper Boat - Drinks and Memories - a Review


Stepping into a supermarket, the paper boat drinks have always caught my attention. Love the bright colours, the design that holds something special - a memory, a thought, there's something special that immediately connects. 



The brand has brought into the supermarkets and stores drinks that takes one back to the childhood days. So when I got this email from the marketing team asking if I could review it on my blog, I said an immediate "Yes". On Saturday I received this package with the Paperboat Panakam Drink which I understand is a limited edition launch here in South India on the occasion of Ram Navami. Panakam is a drink prepared as prasadam for Rama Navami and is a wonderful way to beat that summer heat.



On opening the package , the aroma of the Paper Boat Panakam drink  really had something in it that transported me back to my Granny's kitchen. I really am finding the feeling difficult to articulate but there was something in it that unlocked childhood memories that were locked away in some part of my brain. It was a nice happy feeling.

I refrigerated one pack and it was really refreshing with the pleasant jaggery base, lemon and I could taste the ginger and cardamom that lend its flavour but still stayed subtle in their expression. A beautiful blend of traditional taste brought together in this drink. For me, this drink is a winner and I sure am tempted to try some more flavours from Paper Boat.

The drinks are packaged in 250 ml packages and the brand states that it uses no preservatives and no added colours. This drink is priced at Rs 30 and has a packaging that is very convenient to carry even while travelling. Just, shake, open and drink.

For more on the other drinks and the Paper boat brand Click Here