All posts tagged: Basic

No Knead Artisanal Bread

There was a certain phase in our married lives that the co-resident was bent upon buying a Bread Machine. His very macho Columbian Boss had nonchalantly stated that he bakes his own bread every day in his nifty bread machine. The co-resident was immensely impressed (or was trying hard to impress his boss) and insisted that we get one as well. Considering our staple diet at home is rice, I successfully steered his mind away from such frivolities using endless arguments hard logic. After a couple of years though, I wish I hadn’t thwarted his grand plans. Advertisements

Quick Fried Rice – A Lifesaver, literally!

Chinese Cooking is an art (At least for me). So attempts of Chinese cuisine at home are few and far between. We do visit the fancy Chinese restaurant for a nice meal, but nothing beats ordering greasy Chinese food from the neighborhood restaurant and settling blissfully on the couch to watch reruns of ‘How I met your Mother’ (Or CSI Miami, if that’s your scene :P). At the end of the meal however there’s always a faint feeling of regret. And regret tastes like a swollen tongue because of the amount of MSG/ Ajinomoto that the local guys use, to kick up the taste of the food. Not nice… not nice at all! When such derailing urges strike these days, thankfully I don’t need to call the Ajinomoto joint anymore. (No, I don’t have a Chinese chef at home.) But I recently found this brand called Blue Dragon, which makes some amazing stir fry sauces. All I need to do is cut up some chicken and veggies and stir fry them quickly and toss the …

PanchPhoran Dal (Five Spice Lentils) – Comfort food at it’s Best!

I know I’ve said many times that making regular dal and rice bores me. That dosen’t mean I don’t make it. No week is complete without Dal being made atleast twice. It’s what we grew up on and it’s what I crave when I come back from a long trip to unfamiliar places. Eating dal and rice with a veggie on the side and a smattering of pickle is nothing short of a homecoming! The fact that it’s such a commoner on the dinner table and gets made so often, I’ve actually never written down a recipe for dal. So this was my first attempt at documenting the precise quantities. I kept a little sheet of paper next to me and kept jotting down what I threw into the pan. Now I finally have a dal recipe that I can pass to the co-resident and ask him to attempt it when am too bored to move a muscle J We use mustard seeds and curry leaves to temper the dal. However, this one uses a …

Marble Cake and An Ode to Casa Piccola

This might be very Bangalore centric but I’m sure anyone who’s seen one of their favorite/old eateries shut down, can connect to what I’m saying. Casa Piccola has be serving Bangalore fun and affordable European cuisine from 1979 and the Devtha Plaza location was definitely all the school and office goers favorite. If there was one place I remember frequenting as a kid for burgers and pizza’s and spaghetti – it was Casa’s. Many a date has been arranged here, with the friends sitting at the next table and sniggering away, while the poor boy was left wondering whether he did something wrong! If there is one restaurant that I’ve actually eaten every dish on the menu – it was at Casa’s. We even knew the waiters by name and some of them have worked in the establishment forever and a day. My favorite dish was Pasta Fungi – Pasta and mushrooms in a white sauce. (As a child with limited French vocabulary I was afraid to order it because I assumed Fungi = plural …

Easy Vanilla Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting

Once you get the basics right then everything else is a breeze. My first cupcake was a vanilla cupcake. Somehow adding the chocolate as an additional step made it feel like advanced baking! Now here’s the best part. I made my first cupcake (in my whole life) in March last year! After which I’ve been stuck with the cupcake bug and been driven to try all kinds of mini joys. So now you know that I wasn’t born with a ladle in my hand nor did I have supreme baking talent. The key to success is the 3P’s – Practice, Practice, Practice! (Like the joke – Rumor is that a pedestrian on Fifty-seventh Street, Manhattan, stopped Jascha Heifetz (the greatest violinist of our time) and inquired, “Could you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?” “Yes,” said Heifetz. “Practice, Practice, Practice!” So there you go … if I can bake, so can you. And starting you off is this Basic Vanilla Cupcake Recipe. And just to add some pizzazz, we have a nice and …

Savoury Cheese Souffle

Featured in Zomato’s monthly newsletter CRUNCH – 23rd Nov 2011. http://www.zomato.com/crunch/cheese-souffle/ Souffle means breath or to take ones breath away. I was definitely holding my breath when I waited for it to rise in the oven. After which I was so proud of my fluffly soufflé that I moved around it in circles to figure out the right angle for the shot. That’s when I realized that a soufflé is called so because it takes one big breath and then releases it. Once out of the oven I saw the steam escaping from my soufflé and I lost some steam as well. (But I read that a soufflé holds its shape for only 3-4 mins… so that’s some balm for my wounded ego). Before making the effort, you need to ask yourself the question… “Will you appreciate a subtle dish?, Can you dive into the meal at break neck speed? Will you be happy with a really small portion? (The French I tell you!)”. If the answer to all these questions is a resounding YES… …

Dreamy Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

 Oh yes we like this one! Happy, fluffy and creamy… and if I might add, at the cost of sounding cheesy … quite dreamy!  Cupcakes bring back memories of schooldays and lazy summers, of the guilty pleasures of licking the cream off the cake and then off your fingers, of having something special just for you. Oh yes we like this!  If something can make people forget that age is pulling them in the wrong direction, then this is it. Why, I feel like a little girl of five when biting into this buttery heaven! Enjoy… Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting Prep time: 15 minsCooking time: 20 minsServes: Makes 12 cupcakes What you need:1 ½ cup all purpose Flour½ tsp baking powder¼ tsp fine Sea Salt½ cup unsalted Butter, softened¾ cup granulated Sugar2 eggs, room temperature2 tsp Vanilla extract2/3 cup whole MilkFor the Frosting: (enough for 24 cupcakes)100 gms Butter3 cups Icing Sugar3-5 Tbsps Milk1 tsp Vanilla extractFood Colouring (if tinting frosting) What to do:Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature. Preheat oven to …

Too good to be true Pesto

 What would you say, if I told you that I had the best Pesto recipe ever??!! Impossible right, cause I’m not even Italian, nor can I trace any of my roots to that hallowed land of food. (Ya, sometimes I dream I was Italian, eating their food everyday … bliss, bliss.) But I DO have the best pesto recipe. The result of trial, error, trial, error, consultation of many books and amalgamation of the best tips from the net – I give to you – Too Good to be True Pesto. I can’t even tell you it kicks store bought pesto’s ass because that would be like comparing a diamond to a piece of coal! I’m not claiming its authentic, I’m not even claiming that its by the book, but what it is, is heavenly green awesomeness that I could wrap my tongue around and ride off into the sunset with! Am I getting carried away? No, No, No… when you’ve found the holy grail of pesto’s wouldn’t you be shouting it out from the …