Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Frozen I Lemonade Popsicles with Kiwi and Strawberries



Even as I type this, my husband has just popped one of these into his mouth. I see him looking joyously at the fruit, telling me it really isn't as frozen as it pretends to be. He smacks his lips as the tang from the Popsicle drips onto his hands and then he tells me, I'm going to eat another one as soon as I wake up in the morning.

That's the effect of this Popsicle. Refreshing, instantly cooling and utterly delicious. Plus it takes barely anytime to put together - slice the fruits, make a glass of slightly concentrated lemonade and pour into the Popsicle mould. That's really it.



I have to be honest here, I've been inspired by a number of popsicle pictures I see on Pinterest. And while these aren't as transparent as I'd have liked them to be, I've figured out what to do. The thing is if you boil your water, let it cool and then make your concoction, it'll result in a more transparent Popsicle versus one that is straight made from cold water. I'm going to try that the next time. 

I don't know if you guys have ever eaten this ice lolly called Limchu while growing up - it was a green coloured lemon flavoured lolly - but it was my favourite thing ever. Available for five rupees, it was all I ever wanted when I walked back home from school in the heat.

That's the taste I wanted to recreate for my first ice lollies of the season. So lemon it was. I used 3 lemons but feel free to adjust according to your taste and Popsicle mould. And use whatever fruit you'd like, the more the merrier. 



Lemonade Popsicles with Kiwi and Strawberries
Makes 6 ice lollies

Ingredients
3 lemons 
8 tblsp sugar
250 ml water
1 Kiwi
3 Strawberries

Method
1. In a measuring cup, juice the lemons and mix it will the sugar. Let it sit till it dissolves. Add the water to it. It should be slightly concentrated. Adjust sweetness according to your taste.
2. Slice the kiwi and strawberries.
3. Drop the fruit gently into the mould and top with the lemonade. 
4. Freeze for 6 hours or overnight preferably. Enjoy.



Oh and  last few days to win a Tupperware steamer. Click here for more details. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Baking I Nutella Brownie Bites. With just four ingredients


When you love Nutella like the way I do, you have to figure out ways how not to eat a whole jar up in one sitting.

Which is really pretty hard to do if you are sitting at home with the jar staring at you, following you everywhere you go.

So you make up recipes as you go. You make a Nutella Cake or Matt Preston's two-ingredient Flourless Nutella Cake  both of which make the most delicious cakes.

But then there comes a day when you want something bite-sized, something easy and low effort, yet so delicious that the Nutella jar reminds you of endless possibilities.

This is one such recipe.



Simple, quick and so splendid that you'll wish you'd known this before. All you need to do is melt some chocolate stir in the Nutella and the eggs and then add a scant cup of flour, pour into muffin trays and let it bake for a bit. Nothing else is required. Nothing else matters.

And then if you can find some friends to share these brownie bites with, like I did later in the night, you know that in the battle of the Nutella jar Vs You, you've won.




Four Ingredient Nutella Brownie Bites
Serves 12

Ingredients
100 grams dark chocolate (Use Bournville if you can't find good quality chocolate)
1 jar Nutella (You should get abou 240 grams)
2 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
a pinch of salt

Method
1. In a nice microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate and keep aside.
2. Measure out the Nutella into the same bowl. Stir well.
3. Add eggs, one at a time. At this point it looks very gloopy, but carry on.
4. Sift in the flour and the salt. Stir until well combines.
5. Pour into a prepared muffin tin. Bake at 190 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.


Home Delivery Review I Happy Hakka



I don't know about you, but when I'm absolutely knackered I can't be bothered with cooking. Especially if it's just the husband and I, then either it's a Khichadi night, or a quick order in.

So here's another place which delivers some delicious food - Happy Hakka - inspired by Ramen bars and Dim sum joints - this Pan Asian home delivery joint has a little bit to please everybody.

When I ordered from Happy Hakka, the good people of HH decided to send me some more too. So as I unpacked, boxes after boxes unloaded onto my dining table.

I loved the packaging. Spill proof yet easy to oven and microwave-friendly. These checked all the boxes for me.



We'd ordered the Spinach and Corn dumpling and the Cheese and peppers pizza dumpling. Both were fantastic. I loved the how transparent the spinach dumpling was. It made you feel you were actually eating vegetables and not a pound of flour. The Cheese and peppers pizza dumpling were my most favourite part of this meal. Crispy and flaky, the cheese just oozed out, making it a great fusion dish. HH guys sent me some Crunchy Munchy Rolls which were also pretty good. They had a strong lemon grass flavour, which I loved.



The glass noodle salad, was a bit flat. It needed something more. I felt that the dressing was far too little and too spicy and it lacked texture. I think some peanuts or spring onions would have done justice to this salad.

The Korean chicken fried rice was very nice as well. The accompaniments it came with complemented it well. We ate this with some Kung Pao Chicken, which was certainly not like any Kung Pao I'd tasted before. I felt that the sauce was too heavy and it needed a bit of sweetness to balance the flavours out.



Up next was the Khao Suey. I loved loved loved the Khao Suey. I liked the fact it was all packed separately which meant that the noodles did not swell up by the time they reached home. The balance of spices was perfect in this dish. If I had one complaint, it would be that I felt they should have sent in some more of the accompaniments - you know the fried onions, peanuts all that.



The panfried noodles in peking sauce was nice, although I felt that the noodles needed to have been fried some more. Even then it was really yummy, We'd also ordered the Stir Fried Asian Greens and didn't realise it came with it's own rice, which was an added bonus.

I love that Happy Hakka is so generous with its portions. A little bit of tweaking, and I can see myself ordering in pretty often.




Monday, April 20, 2015

Masterclass I Kebabs at The Great Kebab Factory with Chef Meraj Ul Haque


I love love love masterclasses. The tips, the tricks and the experience you get from watching a super chef in action just makes it worth my while.

So just imagine when an iconic restaurant like The Great Kebab Factory decided to let out some of their secrets in a fab masterclass conducted by Chef Meraj Ul Haque, how many would have possibly jumped at that opportunity. I obvious did.

The first of its kind ever, this masterclass taught us a few of the signature kebabs from the restaurant -  Bhatti ka murgh, Kasoondi tawa macchi, Hyderabadi Shammi Kebab, Dahi ke Kebab, Kathal ki tikkey and Sev and ananas ke chaat.



The ever-so-patient Chef Meraj explained everything very splendidly, even though he was often pelted with questions. His tips were fantastic. He explained why certain things worked and why some didn't. And he was so generous sharing recipes, because even though it wasn't on the agenda, the moment people asked him to make a biryani, he did.



The masterclass was followed by lunch - the kebabs remained the same with the addition of the galouti and one or two. I loved the dahi ke kebab and the sev and ananas chaat and I think I'm definitely going to be making both at home.



This was followed by a spectacular dessert display. The crispiest of jalebis, the thickest of kulfis. But my day was made when I saw the paan. Now that's what we call a masterclass

But I leave you with a recipe straight out of the repertoire of Chef Meraj - this Pineapple and Apple Kebab will hit the spot and how. Refreshing, light and so delicious, it's something everyone must have in their recipe books.




Sev and Ananas ki Chaat
Serves 4

Ingredients: 
Apple                         500 gm
Pineapple                     2 no
Hung Curd                  200 gm
Tomato ketchup          100 ml
Roasted Jeera              1 tbs
Black crushed pepper  1 tbs
Amchoor powder       1 tbs
Black salt                   ½ tbs
Kasoori methi            a pinch
Garam masala            a pinch
 Honey                       2 tbs
 Oil                             50 ml

Method 

1. Wash and peel pineapple and cut into desired shapes. Cut Apple also in similar shape.
2. Bring hung curd into mixing bowl, add powder spices make the marination of it.
3. Add Apple & pineapple into it. Combine well & rest for an hour.
4. Cook on a Flat Pan, char grill or tandoor. Serve hot.


Oh and there's another Masterclass on April 25. If you want to go you know where to hit them up.



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Baking I Lemon & Blueberry Cupcake with Lemon Curd Whipped Cream Frosting




I don't normally post cupcake recipes because I've really never found a cupcake recipe that checks all my boxes. I know for most people it's the frosting that matters. But for me, the cake has to be as much a winner as the frosting.

What's a good cupcake, you'd ask me. For starters it has to be moist and flavourful. A light crumb that melts in the mouth and most definitely tasting au naturel. Basically, all in all, uber delicious.

Most of the times, you buy a cupcake because it looks so pretty. The swirl of the frosting, the pairings of the flavours, the bite-sizedness of the cake, it just somehow switches on a light in the head. But 8 times out of 10 you're eating a sub-par cupcake. Dry, tasteless and way too artificially flavoured that you'd much rather some sawdust than such mediocrity. Oh and the frosting, don't even get me started on it. Too buttery, too sweet, too well, disgusting.



But in the last couple of months, two friends gifted me two books that were all about cupcakes. Amrita gave me Lola's Forever, recipes from London's very fashionable Lola's Cupcake while Ruchica gave me the Hummingbird Bakery Home Sweet Home, the cookbook straight off Portobello Road's The Hummingbird Bakery.

Both the books had beautiful cupcakes. The photographs were delectable and every couple of weeks, I'd catch myself browsing through these books, wanting to make something anything from it.

As it happened, I had a batch of lemon curd leftover from the last time I'd made some lemon squares and about half a cup of frozen blueberries that were begging to be eaten.And just by chance I found my 6-piece muffin mould.



I knew what I had to do. I found the lemon cupcake recipes from both the books and decided to do a quick search about the pros and cons. I saw that a lot of people had done the comparison between Lola's and Hummingbird (and ofcourse Magnolia) but what tipped me in favor of trying the Hummingbird Cupcake was the fact that nearly everyone who had tried it had called it extremely moist. Plus it really used very little butter which was a win-win.

I halved the recipe, made a few additions to it and then ultimately ended up with a cupcake that had given a beautiful even rise, gorgeously light crumb and so very flavourful. It needed to be paired with something light, so I just whipped a bit of cream and folded in a bit of lemon curd into it to make a light and easy frosting.

The end result was a delicious cupcake and a recipe that's most definitely a keeper. No scratch that, the only one I'm going to need.



Lemon & Blueberry Cupcake with Lemon Curd Whipped Cream Frosting
Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Home Sweet Home
Makes 8 cupcakes

Ingredients

For the cupcake
120g plain flour
130g caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
4 tblsp lemon juice
40g unsalted butter, room temp
120ml milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1/3 cup frozen blueberries
A pinch of salt

For the frosting
100 ml whipping cream
1/4 cup lemon curd. I used this recipe.
Blueberries to top

Method.

1. Line your cupcake tray with liners. Preheat the oven to to 170C (325F).
2. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, salt and butter in a large bowl and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.
3. In a separate bowl add the milk, egg, vanilla extract, lemon extract and lemon juice together.
4. Add the wet mix to the dry mix, in two lots and mix till smooth about one minute. DO NOT OVERMIX.
5. Fill the cupcake till about 2/3 full. Divide the blueberries into the tray. This is so that the blue berries don't leave too much colour and you get an even amount of blueberries per cupcake.
6. Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes.
7. Meanwhile whip the cream until you get soft peaks and fold in the lemon curd. And let it sit in the refrigerator until you  Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
8. Frost. Top with remaining blueberries and then serve topped with additional lemon zest.



Oh and don't forget, here's a chance to win a Tupperware steamer. Click here to participate.

Restaurant Review I Diva Spiced



So Chez Nini shut down a few months ago and in its place Ritu Dalmia's Diva Spiced opened shop recently. 
Like most of the Diva restaurants, there are beautiful flavours, strong pairings and plenty of hits and misses. And on the particular evening we went in, we found the number divided straight in the middle.

For starters, everything we asked for was either already "over" or wasn't "available". And mind you, we weren't asking for the sun and the moon but something as simple as the pumpkin and maybe a little more harder to get, the zucchini flower.

Oh well. Our meal began with the Bomra's Tomato Salad. With a dressing of tamarind, jaggery and sesame, it was really quite delicious. I am anyways a sucker for something sweet and tangy, so this was absolutely the way to go for me.

Since we'd asked for tasting portions, we got a one by 2 portion of a gigantic Vietnamese Summer Roll that had been filled with glass noodles and artichoke. It sort of lacked an oomph. Yes the artichokes were crunchy, yes there was a bit of sweetness but it was still rather bland and the textures really did not shine. I felt that the roll was overloaded with the glass noodles killing all the other flavours.


The Panko Crusted Aracine with the corn and chilli jam was a big hit. I loved how the arancine was not gloopy and had a wonderful bite to it while the chilli jam paired very well with it. But on the flipside the corn and tofu cake was a bit of a damper. It tasted of nothing. Ofcourse the mango chutney that came with it was delicious, the cake in itself was a disappointment.



We also tried the home-style Malabar Parantha with beef teriyaki. As strange as it sounded, it worked rather well, the sweetness of the teriyaki sauce worked very well against the flakiness of the paratha and I liked how the whole thing came together.

For our mains we tried the Young Papaya Curry with Kokum and Lychees. This was one of the most spectacular dishes I tasted that night. So light with a beautiful fragrant broth that you couldn't stop sipping on, just won the evening for me. I'd paired this with a wasabi mash, and I have to say, it was just as delicious as the curry.

We also tried the chili caramel filet of sole with orange peanut nanjim. I found it exremely fishy while my companion loved this dish. I did really enjoy the greens that came with it. We'd also tried the Chicken Satay which were under spiced and too meaty. 



Finally, it was time for the duck burger. A Diva speciality, it lived up to the name.The meat was tender, a big surprise considering it was from the duck and flavoured very nice. But it was the fries that came with it that won the dish for me. I haven't had such good fries anywhere in Delhi and for the fries and the fries alone, I will come back here to eat. 



Making our way to the dessert, we settled on the Nutella banana crepe and the salted caramel tart with the maple ice cream. The crepe was delicious. Transparent and light while the salted caramel tart was a bit meh. I wish I'd tried the eton mess instead because the tart was just very ordinary. The bottom was soggy the custard did not taste of caramel and that hint of salt, well, it really wasn't there.The ice cream that came with it was however delicious. 

Diva Spiced lived up to its Diva reputation. What you liked you really really liked. What you didn't well, you had no mixed feelings about it. But this restaurant has done some out of the box things that are definitely worth a try.

Oh and don't forget, here's your chance to win a Tupperware Steamer. Click here to participate.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Baking I Chocolate & Coffee Cake with Coupons from Couponzguru



Ordering online has just made our lives so much easier.  You don’t have to travel all over the city to ebb that craving when hunger strikes. Sites such as Foodpanda, Justeat and Dominos are there to do just that.

The thing about Delhi is that the city has a lot to offer when it comes to e-commerce sites. Take for example Singapore-based Foodpanda. Established in March 2012, they saw so much success that by the end of the year they had expanded to 16 countries. And by the end of 2013, they’d added another 50 countries.

What worked for them was allowing the customers to place hassle free orders and thereby improve their buying experience.  Plus with a range of payment options including cash on delivery ensures that the buyers didn’t felt let down. And the real time delivery option just made it a win-win. Which is why Couponzguru is offering a deal with 50 percent discount for selected restaurants.



Another example is that of TastyKhana that came into being in 2007. One of India’s first food delivery portal it had partnered with around 9,000 restaurants across India until Foodpanda acquired it last year.

But it was Justeat is another food delivery portal that revolutionized the online food delivery in India.  Between the standard food delivery portal features such as different payment options,  order tracking system and guest login, it has a great customer support process as well.  What was widely appreciated though was the option to place orders in bulk and in advance. Plus is the restaurant hadn’t started processing the order, this could be easily cancelled. For Justeat, there is a voucher available on Couponzguru that'll give you a 25 percent discount on all orders.




Personally I am a big fan of ordering online since it saves me a lot of trouble, but when it comes to baking, I'd much rather do it myself.

This chocolate and coffee cake is something that got made only because I had a whole lots of coffee leftover and didn't have the heart to throw it since it was from quite an expensive bean, but I believe that just made for a fab cake.

The cake is pretty straightforward. As is the ganache. It's the wait that is nearly impossible. And if you have left over cake, make a milkshake with a bit of vanilla ice cream and ice cold milk and a nice chunky slice of this cake. You'll thank me. You'll really thank me.



Chocolate & Coffee Cake with Espresso Ganache
Adapted from My Baking Addiction
Serves 8

Ingredients
For the cakemail
1 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup + 2 tblsp  cocoa powder  
1teaspoon baking soda
½  teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vinegar
3/4 cup strong black coffee
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the ganache
100 ml cream
50 ml coffee
100 dark chocolate 

Method
1. In a small bowl measure out all the dry ingredients - flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
2. In a large bowl measure out the milk and vinegar, let it sit for five minutes before proceeding.
3. Once the milk has curdled add the egg, coffee, vegetable oil, vanilla to it. Mix well.
4. Add all the dry ingredients to it and stir until combined.
5.Pour into a greased 8 inch tin and bake for 40 minutes at 190 degree centigrade.
6. Cool and cut into half. 
7. Meanwhile make the ganache by heating the cream and the coffee together and pouring over the chocolate. Stir well and let it cool until frosting consistency.
8. Once the cake is cool and the ganache thickened, frost the cake as you'd like.
9. Let it sit for an hour in the refrigerator before serving.



Saturday, April 11, 2015

Restaurant Review I Desi Roots




I've been talking about three meals that governed a major part of last month - one mediocre, one pretty good and one really delicious. This review is that of the one that was really delicious.

Let me put it out there - Desi Roots is a poor man's Indian Accent. The presentation is inspired. The menu is inspired and certainly the experience is inspired. But that suits me just fine. Because at the fraction price, you are still getting a meal that's fantastic and will have you talking about it for weeks.

Quirky interiors that have been divided into three distinct sections ensured that we could sit wherever we pleased and we opted to sit in the center where we could listen to the music from the bar yet look at who was coming and going.



The amuse bouche was a lovely little dal vada which came in a nice little mason jar for effect. My companion for that evening, was a friend, who preferred old fashioned Indian food over everything else. So, more than anything, it was she who was completely impressed.

Next up we'd ordered a portion of the Bhatti da paneer, desi khurchan pulled kathal taco, a deconstructed samosa chaat and the kulle chaat.



Each one of these dishes was delicious but the deconstructed samosa chaat was the best. Crisp pastry, tangy potato filling with a side of yogurt spiced with some tangy sweet tamarind chutney, this was a delicious dish and we wiped our plates completely clean. The Kulle Chaat was an eye opener for my friend. She'd never known something like this existed. Pieces of watermelon scooped out and filled with tiny flecks of popped chickpeas and a spice mixture that is sweet sour and spicy at the same time. Oh so divine.

The Pulled kathal taco, a straight lift from Indian Accent, lacked the oomph that the one at Indian Accent has, but was still wonderful while the bhatti da paneer had a lovely smokey flavour to it.

For our maiins we ordered the Khichadi ke chaar yaar, daal baati choorma and the Pepper chicken ghee roast with churi chur naan.



The Khichadi ke chaar yaar - were four different khichadis made with four differnt grains - jowar, bajra, riceand quinoa. Served with a bit of pickle, some paapad and a side of cool yogurt, it was one my favourite dishes on the table. I loved the jowar ki khichadi the most because of the texture and wish I could have gotten another helping.



The daal baati choorma came in its own platter, with mason jars, tiny bottles of ghee and ofcourse a side of sweet choorma. The bati was smashed by our server from the back of a kullad. I loved the crispness of the baati, the daal was very nice not overly spiced and the lashings of ghee just brought it all together.

The pepper chicken ghee roast with the chur churi naan was up next. Robust and balanced this was a nice pepper chicken. I wouldn't call it authentic south Indian style but it was very nice nonetheless. The churchur naan was very flaky and could have been eaten just plain since it was so yummy.



For dessert we'd ordered the Jamaluddin Kheer and the Badam Halwa Baklava with Shrikhand. The kheer was very nice but too podgy. I like my kheer to be a little on the runny side, the podginess didn't allow me to enjoy it that much.

The Badam Halwa Baklava with the Shrikhand was a bit of a disaster. As in the combination did not work at all. They did taste much better one their own. While Baklavas are sweet, this baklava took it to another level of sweetness which I, the person with a sweet tooth, could not eat at all.

All that apart, the meal was fantastic. Inspired or not, this is a place that's worth a visit.

Oh and don't forget to take part in the Tupperware giveaway. Click here for more details.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Baking I Baked Apple Cinnamon & Jaggery Crisp with with #ISayOrganic



I got a goodie basket the other day.  A beautiful basket with goodies that were too good to be true. There was some Coffee, some hazelnuts, walnuts, fragrant honey, cinnamon, jaggery granules (that are nearly impossible to find), hand ground whole wheat, fresh apples and a gigantic zucchini.

I suppose most people can't understand why I'd make such a fuss about a basket. But the truth is, this was all Organic. From this wonderful Delhi-based company called ISayOrganic.



Ok so I know a lot of people are slightly sceptical about going "organic", but the only reason I call it wonderful is because I know that they make a lot of effort to make sure that the products are a 100 percent organic.

How do I know? For starters, when I met the owner Ashmeet Kapoor a few years ago, he really knew his stuff. He talked about sustainable development, he talked about the farmers, he talked about making it produce accessible to people like you and me.

I loved that about him. Over the last two years, I've ordered/bought from these guys whenever I get a chance. Yes, they are slightly more expensive than your regular subziwala. Yes, everything is not available all the time. But, this is a good thing. You know then, that they stock only seasonal produce. And one bite into any fruit you buy, you know it's worth every single paise you spent.



So, yes, I was super excited about receiving this basket from the peeps of ISayOrganic.

I wanted to make something, that allowed the true tastes of the organic goodies to shine, this apple crumble does that. The only non-organic thing I used was some butter, but this was from my local dairy, so I think I was kind of okay.

Unlike other crumbles where you peel and dice the apple and then let it cook down, here you scoop out the apples and add from fruit it and cook it on the stove. Then you fill the apples with the cooked fruit and top with the crisp and bake till golden. Serving with Ice cream or cream is optional, because, mark my words, you can't stop at just one.



Baked Apple Cinnamon & Jaggery Crisp
Serves 4

Ingredients
4 apples
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp butter
4 tblsp jaggery granules
1/2 lemon


For the crisp
1/4 cup jaggery granules
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup butter

Method

1. Cut two apples in half. Remove the move and as much fruit as you'd like to make it a bowl.  Rub the insides with lemon.Keep aside.
2. Peel and chop the other two apples. In a saucepan, add jaggery, butter and cinnamon and the chopped apple. The remaining fruit that had been scooped out can also be added to this. Cook until the mixture is soft. About 6 to 8 minutes.
3. Meanwhile make the crumble/crisp. Add the jaggery and cinnamon and flour together. Mix in butter and with your hands try and mix it together so that it looks like coarse bread crumbs. Keep aside.
4. Once the filling is ready, fill into the apple bowls, top with the crisp mixture and bake for 20 minutes until the top is golden.
5. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.


Oh and don't forget to take part in the Tupperware Giveaway that on till April 19. Click here to participate.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Steaming I Savoury Pea Cake with Sweet & Sour Tempering And a Giveaway



There's something to be said about steaming. You can make your meal as low cal as you'd like with as little oil in the mix and yet make a dish so tasty that it's totally worth the extra effort that it demands on the way of an accompaniment.

The Tupperware Steamer is a very handy gadget to have. Firstly, it occupies very little space and secondly it required nothing but a large saucepan or a wok or a kadhai and some water to make it work. Made from a special kind of plastic, it has ridges that prevents food from getting stuck and the grooved water drainage channel ensures that the food does not get "wet" and steams properly. Plus to top it all it has a lifetime guarantee.



When the steamer first arrived at home, I used it to make the most obvious thing - momos. They turned out great. After that I tried steaming some cabbage rolls, a piece of fish and finally some broccoli. But I felt I needed to do something more. Something delectable, something that was more, well, me.

A few weeks ago I had been browsing through Anjum Anand's book I Love Curry. This Savoury Pea Cake had caught my attention. I'd made it in my idli cooker, the last time over and so I thought this might we perfect for the Steamer as well.

I tweaked the recipe a little, because I wanted it more flavourful and the end result was a glorious, green, spongy savoury cake that made for a great gluten-free meal.



Savoury Pea Cake with Sweet & Sour Tempering
Adapted from Anjum Anand's I Love Curry. Available in India, US and UK

Ingredients

For the pea paste
200 grams peas (frozen or fresh)
20 grams ginger
salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tbslp vegetable oil
3 whole green chillies
Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 cup water

For the cake
150 grams gram flour /besan
2/3 tsp baking powder
2/3 tsp baking soda

For the sweet & sour juice
Juice of one lemon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar

For the tempering
4 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
handful of curry leaves
2 tsp sesame seeds
2 dry red chillies

Method

1. Grease a six inch baking tin with oil. Get your steamer started.
2. First make the pea paste by blending all the ingredients together. Add the baking soda and baking powder to it and leave it to bubble for about 40 seconds.
3. In a small bowl measure out the gram flour/besan.  Add the pea paste to it, and adjust for water and seasoning.
4. Move the whole mix to the steamer and cover and steam on moderate heat for about 18 minutes.
5. Meanwhile make the sweet and sour juice by mixing the lemon juice salt and sugar and keep aside.
6. Once the cake is ready, pour this juice over it and keep aside as you begin to prepare the tempering.
7. Heat oil add the mustard seeds to it. Let it splutter and then add the curry leaves, dried red chillies and sesame seeds. Pour over the cake.
8. Cut and serve either plain or with some chutney.



Oh and here's the best part. I'm also doing a giveaway for this steamer on my blog.

 This is all you have to do

1. Like my Facebook page The Great Cookaroo & Check out Tupperware Facebook Page
2. Leave a comment at the end of this post.

The winner will be announced after the giveaway closes on April 30. Alternately you can order yours from this wishlist.

Till then happy cooking.


Restaurant Review I Schengen Deli




A couple of weeks ago, I ate out three consecutive days. And strangely I had three distinctly different experiences. Even though I wasn't comparing the kind of cuisine I was eating, the experiences were also completely unique. From a sub par meal to a meal that was pretty good to a fantastic meal, it was quite an unusual experience for me. 

This review is that of a meal that was pretty good. At Schengen Deli, some things were a revelation while others needed a bit of tweaking. We started our meal with some Iced Tea. A tall refreshing glass of ultra tangy iced tea needed loads of sugar to balance it out. As we ordered our appetizers, we took in our surroundings and nibbled on some marinated olives and some beautiful tomato brioche. 

Spread over three floors, the interiors of the deli are pretty simple. Some wall plates, some paintings of Paris and lots of white walls making it very easy on the eye. Quirky retro fans and telephones make for excellent conversation starters while the upholstery is really what made the place for me. Library prints in black and white just made me want to take the sofas home. 



Our Rocket, Apple and Walnut salad made for a great beginning. The caramelized walnut brittle worked well with the sharp rocket while the apple was nice and crunchy. I did think they could have been more generous with the feta.

Cajun spiced chicken skewers with some peri peri mayo were up next, which was also served with some hummus and pita both of which were quite delicious. I liked the size of the chicken skewers and that the spices did not overwhelm the meat. The hummus was very smooth and creamy and I thoroughly enjoyed the dish.

As we looked around, we realised that it was the burgers and pizzas that people had been ordering, so we opted to do a portion of both. The Six cheese pizza and the Sweet Potato and Haloumi burger. As you can see we really weren't afraid of cheese. 



I loved loved loved the Sweet potato burger. A nice hefty sweet patty which worked so well with the tangy halloumi. Served with Mc Cain fries, which was a bit of a disappointment because thick cut fries would have really done so much justice to the dish. Of course this was a gigantic burger, so I had to remove the bun and nibble on the patty.



The six cheese pizza was also delicious. The crust could have been a little more crisp but otherwise you could taste the gorgonzola as much as you could taste the feta and the fresh mozarella. The drizzle of the pesto oil really elevated this pizza. We also tried the pan fried prawns with citrus salsa, but it was way to fishy for me. I did enjoy the mashed potato that came with it but I did mention the fishiness to the chef. 



For dessert we opted to have a red velvet cupcake from the deli downstairs which turned out to be awesome. Unbaked and filled with color that you could taste, this was plain bad news. The double chocolate mousse however was quite delicious and that's what inspired the Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake that I made the other day. Balanced with some nice bits of hokey pokey, it was a sweet finish to a good meal.



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