Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Chili/Garlic/Lemon Pickle

                                              (click on the Pictures for a large Image)

Today was one of those lazy days where it was only raining and making the mood go grey. I planned to go for a ride but then the constant drizzling was so  irritating I thought ahh stay back home and cook something to brighten up the mood : )
My Sis had lately made a spicy Chili pickle and I had been drooling seeing the chilies all the time so I thought okay; now or never.
 A Super excellent recipe by an extra ordinary person my  dearest Sis Ruhina Hashmi :)
She loves experimenting and making new recipes. Many may know her as ElZaA, she runs her Website and a successful group in face book.
Thank you my dearest for this lovely recipe, a “keep forever” recipe for sure!
Here’s the link to her Website: http://www.elzaa.com/
I followed the recipe exactly, just did a small change, I added garlic pods, used a lemon as had no lime at home but I had the organic one as it is important to see that the skin is also being used  and the normal lemons are often sprayed  with so much pesticide that eating their peel can be harmful.
 I   added some of my organic red chilies from my  plant I have in my balcony and added the red chili flakes in the spices as I cannot pass by them : )
 I will write down her exact recipe, just in my words. The names are also given in English.
Best is to prepare all things before you start off, this makes the work easier later.
So this is what you need:
2 tbs fenugreek seeds ( methi dana )
1tbs nigella/black seeds ( kalonji)
1 tbs mustard seeds ( rai)
1 tsp tumeric powder ( haldi)
1 ½  tsp salt
2 small limes
1 cup chopped green chilies
2 cups mustard oil
2 tbs good quality vinegar
I added:
7 garlic pods
1 big organic lemon in small slices
1 tsp red chili flakes

-wash and chop the chilies in 2-3 pieces
-peel the garlic and cut in 3 pieces
-wash the lemon and make small slices


-now mix in the turmeric, salt and vinegar in this and keep aside
-roast the rest spices, fenugreek, and mustard and nigella seeds till you get a nice fried aroma
-let them cool down a bit and then crush them in a mortar

-I wanted to have it done so I processed them twice and left them a bit coarse
-now add this to the chili bowl
-heat 2 cups of oil till it is hot, don’t let burn just as you see the smoke arising that’s perfect
now pour this onto the chili mixture and mix all well
-fill up your glass jar with it so that the oil is above all the chili

-You can enjoy it either immediately as I did or let it stay 2 days in a sunny place and then use it.
 *Just a note, I took a plastic bowl and mixed all in it but as I poured the hot oil, I changed the bowl and took a metal one as the hot oil would have made holes in it so be careful :)
Make and enjoy the spicy pickle
I enjoyed  my favorite Cabbage cooked with Mince meat and this yummilicous pickle :)



Monday, 23 September 2013

Plum Cake fresh from the Baking Sheet

We have a season of plums here and no matter where you go you see lovely baskets full of plums, as soon as you enter any cafe, you get the sweet aroma of the plum cakes all over.

The plums are of different shapes and colors; I like the oval ones as they are soft yet firm in shape and good for baking as you can open them up easily, just one cut and you can take out the stone easily without breaking the whole plum : )

       (Google Image)

I had bought a whole lot of them and had invited my friends for tea so thought to bake this sheet cake. I have used my fruit cake recipe here, it’s a very nice one and especially because it is so soft exactly the way we love to have it.

(Click on the Pictures for a larger Image) 

Usually the plum cakes are made of the yeast dough but I don’t really like that as that makes the cake too heavy and gives a stuffy feeling.
 I made the sponge mixture, I also spread the crumble on the top which was not a good idea as the crumbles all sunk in the batter but in the end I think it was super as the butter and flour gave the cake a more creamy and spongy touch that was wonderful!

So it’s up to you if you want the crumble, but don’t be surprised to see them sinking immediately :D
I made a half sheet of this and believe me just had one piece left in the end, I wish I had made a larger one …lol
So let’s get set to bake it, these ingredients are for the half of your oven’s baking tray and this is what you need:
½ kg plums
75g soft butter (not melted!)
100 gram sugar
1 tsp vanilla custard powder
½ tsp lemon zest
Dash of salt
2 eggs
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Milk as needed
*wash the plums, take out the stone and cut in halves, keep aside
*sieve the flour and baking powder in a bowl, add 1 tsp of custard powder and mix all three
*beat the butter and sugar, add the eggs and beat all till fluffy
*add the salt and lemon zest, mix all
*now add the flour mix and keep mixing*if the consistency is thick add drops of milk as needed until you have a nice creamy batter
*grease your baking sheet, and spread this batter evenly
*now place the plums in a row, or if you like more you can cover the whole top
*I spread the plums so there is just 1-2 pieces of it in each piece of cake.
*make the crumble and just sprinkle unevenly all over the top
For the crumble:
100g soft butter
70g sugar
100g flour
*mix all three well till you have chunky crumbles
Bake this cake in a preheated oven of 170°C around 40 minutes
The top will start to turn light golden, insert a stick to check if cooked
As you take it out from the oven let it rest at least 15 minutes before you cut it
Reason: because the cake will come out very very soft and juicy as butter  spreads all over so give it the time to set and then you can cut it.
It is honestly the best moist and soft cake, my friends were like, you have to make it again this week  and this time a full sheet of it :)
Enjoy with your tea and loved ones : )


Sunday, 22 September 2013

Whole-Spelt flour Breakfast Buns

                                            (Click on the Pictures for a larger Image)

Sundays are special days as all at home are allowed to be lazy and start slowly in the day. Though all are up still we keep chilling on one or the other couch waiting for someone to start with the Brunch : )
I keep changing things, at times it is just simple bread, at times the Paratha less Roti and at times I bake myself.
We all are fixed on whole meal breads so I bought the Whole-Spelt Flour (Dinkelvollkornmehl )  this time added pumpkin and sunflower seeds in it.
A very healthy and full with nutrition bread indeed. I already had a bread loaf so planned to make buns out of this. Made the tasty scrambled eggs instead of the omelet this time and fried the chicken salami.
Frying the Salami was new to me, as I was visiting my Brother for some years back and we all sat for Breakfast, he said just a minute this has to be fresh, and I saw him placing slices of Salami in the frying pan, the aroma was so heavenly like something being roasted. It was the Turkish Suzuk Salami. He fried a whole pack and we ate the whole of it….lol
It tasted so different and so extreme delicious and since after that I also fry the salami, though the fat which remains in the pan afterwards is …Hmm lets not think about that :) All is allowed once in 2 weeks…
 So if you plan a brunch next time do try this bread with the salami, you’ll surely love it.
Try to buy the organic flour as it is pure and has no iodine salt in it! I use the rock salt without any chemicals in it, we don’t need the extra intake of this refined salt where there are only 2 elements of  the mineral nutrients left in it, out of  the 82 after going thru the process of “being pure and refined”
This is what you need:
500g Whole-Spelt flour
340 ml luke warm water
1 ¼ tsp salt
1 tbs honey
3 tsp dry yeast that’s 7grams,and if fresh then 20 grams of fresh yeast
2-3 tbl oil
50 gram dry and half crushed seeds of sun flower and pumpkin
Make a yeast sponge for light airy dough later
Pour the water in a big bowl, add the yeast, honey and oil and let it froth.
After around 15 minutes, add the flour and salt and mix the dough with gentle hands
If you feel the dough is dry you can add more drops of water to make sticky yet even dough
Sprinkle some water on the top and cover it with a nylon bag and cloth and keep it at a warm place
The dough will rise in around 30 minutes
Now dust your hands with flour and gather the whole dough in a ball shape, knead it twice thrice.
Put I back in the bowl, sprinkle some water once again and cover and keep again to rise another 20 minutes
Now you can start to prepare to bake it, if you want to make a loaf, then put it in a rectangular form and smoothen with wet hands
If you like buns, make 8-9 buns and place in the baking tray and sprinkle water slightly on them
Bake in a preheat oven on 170°C for around 20 mi minutes
As you take them out of the oven sprinkle some water again and cover them with a thick cloth
You may ask why so much water sprinkling  : ) This keeps the bread soft and although the top is hard and crispy whne you cut open the bread is soft and spongy.
I use a water spray bottle, its very handy and sprays the exact amount you need.
This is how it looks when it comes out : )
I hope you can feel the soft structure of it, the crushed nuts in it are so yummy . )
The scrambled eggs are ahhh so soft and delish, many find it difficult to make it but this is the easiest egg you can make, just make it with love and patience.
You need:
50 ml milk
3 eggs
Black pepper from the mill
Salt to taste
Mix the salt and pepper in the milk and then whisk in the eggs
Heat the butter or oil in the pan and pour all the mixture
Now let it cook slightly first then take a spatula and gather all the mixture from sides in the middle,
Do at at each corner after every few seconds, till you see the egg in big chunks
Don’t over cook as it should be soft and juicy!
There you have your Scrambled egg ready .
Have it with a nice hot cup of tea  and enjoy your Sunday brunch : )

Friday, 20 September 2013

Chicken Nuggets & Onion Rings the Crispiest way...!

                                        (click on the pictures for a larger Image)

The best part of  making such snacks at home is that you know what you put in them, it is without any taste enhancer,glutamate,spices whose names you have never heard and  above all they are handmade, I love it when they all are not in one shape and size, they are small, thin,thick,round and square.
I must say I so enjoyed making them and the first bite of it was like WOW what a crisp!.
Of course not to forget my special crumbs I use, have a great part in it, if you remember I told you I use my Rusk crumbs for my coating, as this is light and gives an incredible crisp to fries.
The batter i use here is known as the “Beer batter” but without Beer, made with Soda water: D
The Soda water gives it a light airy structure it is not heavy and this gives the meat a nice crispy layer.
We had a cooking competition show here in the Tv where the cook made this batter to fry the prawns. He used the real beer in it, but mentioned that the soda water has the same effect.
Since then I use this batter for many things, I made my onion rings in the rest of the batter after I had fried all nuggets. The nuggets stayed crispy quite long at least 3 hours after frying , the onion rings get softer after an hour, so don’t think that they  will stay crispy for a life time …lol….
I have taken pictures of all steps, though it’s easy but I thought to make it more easier for many of you to make these :D
200g Chicken breast fillet,washed and cut in pieces you like, square or round or triangle
1 Cup plain flour
1tsp corn flour

1 tsp black and white pepper
1/2 tsp Paprika powder
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp garlic salt
(if not at hand, grate 1 fresh pod of garlic)
1 Cup of Soda water to mix into a creamy batter
This is how it bubbles and exactly this is what makes the batter light and gooey
The batter will give you this look, smooth and creamy
Dip the chicken cubes in this batter and cover them with the help of a spoon
I made the coating Crumbs before hand sp this si what you do:
6-8 Rusks
Grind them into a fine powder
and this is how it Looks:
so now toss and twist the chicken pieces in the crumbs so all sides are well covered
Now heat the oil well but not too hot as they will burn and turn dark Brown, just around the mark 3 and they turn lovely golden in Color
Fry around 2-3 minutes and they are ready, take them out on a kitchne paper so the extra oil is absorbed and there you have your Ultra yummy Nuggets ready :)
I made the sweet sour sauce with it and i must say it is far far much better than the one you get  at any Mcdonald’s or Burger King. It is just a matter of experimenting around.
I was reading the ingriedeints behind the bottle of this sauce and thought , well if I exclude all the “not important” ingredients I can try it at home, it is simple no special chemistry in it :)

So this is what I did and it is Super!!! Do try, I made it in a very less quantity to test and now I can make it more when needed.

I set the onion rings on a stick like bangles but had no stand to hang them :) so i let the stick stay in the middle so they stay crispy, incase you wonder what's the stick doing in the rings ..lol...