Monday, February 14, 2011

Mushroom Pepper Fry

We have been eating Mushrooms lately at home...The more I eat the more I am becoming a fan of it...I didn't know it was this easy to make one...After a day of class and assignments, a curry of mushrooms along with few Chapatis will never give you even a tiny bit of regret...Trust me this is equally satisfying like a bowl full of chicken curry...

To clean the Mushrooms I washed it and then dried with a paper towel immediately.
Then take each mushroom and remove the stem, and peel of the outer skin.

A youtube video I referred is here.

After cleaning it, quarter the mushrooms and set aside.

Using whole pepper, will give an enhanced flavor... So just before adding, grind the black pepper in a spice grinder.

Recipe :

Recipe Source : Pazham Pappadam Payasam

  1. Button mushrooms  -  10 - 12 (cut into quarter)
  2. Onion                    -  1 diced finely
  3. Garlic pods             -  2-3, chopped finely
  4. Ginger                   -   1 tsp chopped finely.
  5. Corinader Powder    -   1 tsp
  6. Turmeric Powder     -   1/4 tsp
  7. Pepper Powder       -   2 tsp (or less depending on the taste preference.)
  8. Mustard Seeds       -   1/4 tsp
  9. Oil
  10. Salt.    

  1. Heat some oil in a pan at medium heat.
  2. Splutter mustard seeds.
  3. Add finely chopped ginger and garlic and saute for a minute.
  4. Add onions and sauté until it turns brown.
  5. Add coriander powder and turmeric powder. Cook for a minute or two. The raw smell should be gone by then.
  6. Add pepper powder and saute for a minute.
  7. Now add the quartered mushrooms, salt. Saute until everything is mixed well.
  8. Reduce the heat to a low flame. Cover the lid and let it cook for sometime (around 12-15 minutes). Mushroom has water water content and will ooze out water as it gets cooked. 
  9. Mushrooms will attain a darker shade and will reduce the size a bit after it is cooked.
  10. For a dry version, open the lid and cook till all the water evaporates.
  11. Serve hot and enjoy...:).
Thanks, Pazham Pappadam Payasam for introduing me to this dish.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Black Forest Cake ... is it really...? The one we make at home..

Usually Black Forest comes with several layers, with whipped cream, cherries and cherry sauce sandwiched in between each layer. But as you can see in the pictures I did not do any of that... just because I enjoy the cake much more than the all the cherry toppings and the cream layer. Even at home my mother makes it this way, just the way I like it. 

So why I still call it a Black Forest Cake and not anything else..., for me this cake represents Black Forest Cake. The one my mother makes. The one I used to enjoy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The one that reminds me of christmas and home ...

This was one of the things I made this christmas. After that successful attempt I made this again few days back.
This is a very light and soft cake. With the help of an electric beater this can be prepared really fast. 

(Sift all the dry ingredients together)

Recipe Source : My Mother

All ingredients must be at room temperature.
  1. Butter                  -  100gm/ 1 stick (cut into small squares)
  2. Sugar                  -  2 cups (powdered)
  3. Eggs                    -  2 large 
  4. All purpose Flour   -  2 cups
  5. Cocoa powder      -  1/2 cup  (Unsweetened)
  6. Baking Soda         -  1 1/2 tsp
  7. Yoghurt               -  1/2 cup (or curd that is not sour )
  8. Milk                     -  1/2 cup
  9. Vanilla Extract       -  2 tsp

Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Line a baking dish with  parchment paper and set aside. 

Sift  All purpose flour, Cocoa powder & Baking powder for 3- 4 times. This will mix all the dry ingredients together and leave it aerated and without lumps.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter to a soft and creamy consistency.
Add powdered sugar and beat again, until butter and sugar is mixed well. Scrape down the sides using spatula and mix well.

Add the eggs one at a time. Beating for about 1 min for each egg at med-high speed. Scrape down the sides using spatula in between.

Add yoghurt and milk and beat for a minute or two.

Now using a  silicon/ wooden spatula or a beater at its lowest speed, add the dry ingredients little by little and mix. Do not over beat it, but make sure dry ingredients are wet and incorporated well.

Pour this into the prepared dish. 
Bake at 400F for 5min in the middle rack. Then bring down the temperature to 350 F and bake for 45 - 55min till a skewer put in comes out clean.

* Do not open the oven door during first half hour, this could fluctuate the temperature inside and may not make the cake rise.

* If the batter is poured into a more wider baking pan, or more than one, the baking time will be lesser, like  about 30-40min.

For those who likes the cake to be little bitter sweet, reduce the sugar to about 1 1/2 cups.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lemon rice

Growing up I never really cared about lemon rice... In fact I was never a fan of rice... I always preferred eating breakfast and packing breakfast for lunch...I can't even recall more than 5 days in my entire school and college days where I took rice for lunch....

So this year when we decided to pack lunch everyday....I wanted something that is really quick and hassle free to make everyday...Lemon Rice was something  that came to my mind....

For the past two weeks I have been steadily making this rice dish for lunch .... 
Now I know  why so many of  my friends used to bring this for lunch...and why it suddenly popped in my head for a quick-y lunch

It is a very straightforward preparation... With a dollop of yoghurt it makes the meal complete. I sometimes throw in some grated carrots and peas to increase its goodness....

Ah ! there is one more reason why I love this....It is none other than the lemony flavor it imparts to the rice...I am very passionate about lemon and lemon juice in general....If life gives me lemons I will happily make lemonade and do a happy dance ...

As I mentioned earlier this is a very effortless dish (which is why I like it even more...:p)...For first  timers (like myself two weeks back ), the yellow color of the rice is from the added Turmeric...Another spice which I meticulously add in every curry no matter what....!!!   

Recipe :
Serves : 2

  1. Basmati Rice - 1 cup,  
  2. Turmeric  - 1/4 tsp
  3. Water
  4. Oil
  5. Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
  6. Cumin seeds   - 1/4 tsp
  7. Dried red chili - 2
  8. Ginger   -  1/ 2 tbsp minced.
  9. Green chili - 2 slit lengthwise
  10. Onion - 1/2 diced   
  11. Lemon juice - 1 big lemon
  1. Wash and rinse rice with water several times till water runs clear.
  2. In a sauce add the drained rice with 2 cups of water, little salt and turmeric.
  3. Bring to boil on high heat. Reduce the heat and close the lid and let the rice slowly cook.
  4. Once the rice is cooked drain the remaining water if any... Let the rice cool down... 
  5. Meanwhile in another heavy bottomed pan on med-high heat, add some oil splutter some mustard seeds...
  6. Add in the cumin seeds when it sizzles add the dried red chilies (break them if you like it spicier).
  7. Saute the chilies for few seconds 
  8. Add the minced ginger saute again for few seconds 
  9. Add the diced onions and slit green chilies and saute till the onions attain a darker shade.
  10. Now squeeze the lemon and add the juice ... Let everything absorb the lemon flavor.
  11. But don't let all the lemon juice to dry up.... Add the cooked and fluffy rice. 
  12. Increase the heat to high.
  13. Quickly mix everything together 
  14. Decrease the heat to medium and close the lid for a minute or two.
  15. Check for salt and lemon flavor. Add more if required.
  16. Switch off the heat.
Extras :
 - To increase the flavor, add some cashew nuts, chana dal etc along with red dry chili at step 6 and fry them in the oil.
 - Add some peas and grated carrots before step 10 and let it cook.
 - Lemon rice is a great way to use the remaining cooked rice. Instead of cooking rice with salt and turmeric, add salt and turmeric into the cooked onions and then after the lemon juice is poured add the cooked rice 

Once cooled down, pack for lunch...along with a small container of yoghurt....:)...