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Friday, December 4, 2015

Vegetable Grilled Sandwich/ खलबत्ता Sandwich :)


So now everyone must be thinking what is this खलबत्ता Sandwich? Ok so the story goes like this. My Mother-in-law ate vegetable grilled sandwich in Hong Kong back in 1986-87. She loved it but didn’t have a grill to make a grilled sandwich. She is a very creative lady and comes up with innovative ideas. So she made sandwich and put it on a skillet with butter, put a plate on the sandwich and to give that pressed look and taste she put small kitchen Khalbatta (Brass Mortar-pastel ) on that plate. It turned out to be an awesome grilled sandwich (except the grill marks on it). So since then this sandwich got this name in our household. I know we are one crazy family.

Anyway so to make it healthier my mother-in-law added a secret ingredient to it. What is it? Let’s see.

Ingredients:

  1. Bread: 4-6 slices 
  2. Ajwain/ Ova or Carom seeds: 1½ Tbsp. 
  3. Ginger-garlic paste (optional): 1 Tsp. 
  4. Onion: 1Cup (finely chopped) 
  5. Green pepper: 1Cup (finely chopped) 
  6. Spinach: 1Cup (finely chopped) 
  7. Arugula (optional): ½ Cup (finely chopped)
  8. Carrots: 1Cup (finely chopped or grated) 
  9. Tomato: 1Cup (finely chopped) 
  10. Cheese (optional): 1cup (grated) 
  11. Unsalted Butter: ½ stick 
  12. Salt: To taste
Method:
  1. Take a kadhai and put ½ Tspn of butter to it. 
  2. Add ajwain and let it splutter nicely.
  3. Now add chopped onion to it. Sauté till little translucent. Add a little salt at this time which will reduce the cooking time for onion. 
  4. Add carrots and let it cook. 
  5. Once carrot is cooked, start adding other vegetables one by one. 
  6. Add salt as per your taste. You may add ginger-garlic paste at this time. 
  7. Make a nice mix vegetable and keep lid for couple of minutes. Take a bowl and keep this prepared stuffing in the bowl. 
  8. Take bread and butter it generously. This time I took Garlic Tuscany bread since wanted to give a Panini look and also wanted to finish the bread loaf. However, you may take any bread of your choice. 
  9. I used preheated Panini maker on 350F. 
  10. Make sandwiches now. Take one bread slice, put the above mentioned stuffing in it and put another slice over it. 
  11. You may add grated cheese at this time, to your sandwich.  
  12. Put a little unsalted butter on grill and put the sandwich on it. You may put a little butter on the top side of your sandwich to make it crispier. 
  13. Grill both sides properly. 
  14. Mine took around 8-9 minutes. 
  15. Put in on a plate. Cut it and serve it with your choice of sauce. 
This is the easiest and yummiest sandwich I have ever tasted in my life. The secret ingredient here is Ajwain or Carom seeds. Since bread tends to become gaseous for some people, ajwain is added to the recipe. Also ajwain has its nice taste on its own so we do not need to add any extra ingredients to make it more tasty.

Please leave your comments and suggestions about this recipe. We welcome your feedback.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Mango Mousse Layer Cake (Eggless)

This year we celebrated my mother-in-law’s 65th birthday on August 21st and apparently it is 1st birthday of our new home too, so double celebration.

She is a very pure, strong soul and has minimum expectations from life and obviously from us. So to surprise her I wanted to bake a cake. However with a 5 months old baby and a very inquisitive 4 year toddler around me, I had very little time on hand. So quick cake was on mind. A new idea popped up and that was icing and filling the two layers with my very popular Mango Mousse. I have made layer cake with one flavor before so decided to try with two different flavors this time. And that “quick cake” idea took a back seat. LOL.

Let’s see how I compiled this very beautiful and tasty layer cake.

The cake consists of two layers. One is chocolate and the other is sponge cake. You may find the Microwave chocolate cake recipe here. And you will find the recipe for a quick Mango Mousse here.

Once you make the Mango Mousse and the Chocolate cake, please put them in the refrigerator. We want all the ingredients really cold when we start to layer the cake. This mousse has tendency to melt really quickly so we have to be extra careful while layering it.

The sponge cake recipe is given below.  

Ingredients:

  1. All-purpose Flour/ Maida: 2 Cups
  2. Sugar: 1 ½ Cup
  3. Vegetable Oil: ½ Cup
  4. Warm Milk: ½ Cup
  5. Hot Water: 1-1 ¼ Cup
  6. Vanilla Essence: 1 Tsp. 
  7. Baking Powder: 1 Tsp. 
  8. Baking Soda: ½ Tsp. 
  9. Lemon Juice: ½ Tsp

For Mango Icing: 


  1. Mango Pulp: ¼ Cup
  2. Agar-agar: 2 Tbsp. dissolved in ¼ Cup of hot water. (Optional)
Tools:
  1. Microwave safe container: 9 inch (round)
  2. 13 inch. Angled Icing spatula: 1
  3. Disposable Decorating bag: 1
  4. Pastry tube/ Nozzle (star): 1
  5. Butter paper or parchment paper: 4 (cut in 5-6 inch wide)
  6. Sieve: 1 Big
  7. Toothpicks
  8. Cooling rack: 1
  9. Whisk: 1 

Method:

  1. Take a big bowl. 
  2. Sieve all the dry ingredients in it. 
  3. Now add warm milk and stir well. 
  4. Add one cup of boiling hot water to the mixture and stir well breaking the lumps. You may require ¼ cup of boiling hot water to make thick paste. 
  5. Now add vanilla essence. Stir well. 
  6. Finally add lemon juice and stir well one last time. 
  7. Take a 9inch greased, round baking pan and pour the batter in it. 
  8. Tap the baking pan to air vacuum the bubbles. This step will make the cake very light. 
  9. Pre-heat the oven on 350F. 
  10. Bake the cake on 350 F for 35 minutes. 
  11. Take out the cake with the help of oven mitten. Check it with tooth pick insert and if it’s clean, consider your cake is done. If it is not clean then bake it for couple of more minutes. 
  12. Put the cake on a cooling rack for about 15-20 minutes.
  13. Now dissolve ¼ Cup sugar in 1 Cup hot water in a bowl. 
  14. Let this syrup cool a little. 
  15. Put the cake in a plate and put the sugar syrup on both the cakes (on chocolate and on sponge cake) with the help of a small spoon. Do not pour all the syrup at once. Once you think the cakes are moist stop pouring the syrup. 
  16. Put the cakes in the refrigerator for ½ an hour.

How to layer the cake?


  1. Before you start the icing process, slide down 4 pieces of parchment papers under the cake forming a square. We will take these papers out once we are done with the icing. It will keep the cake surface clean.
  2. Carefully take out the sponge cake from the refrigerator and put it on the turn table.
  3. Take out ½ the amount of mango mousse from the refrigerator and with the help of a spatula (preferably with an icing spatula) spread it on the cake. 
  4. Put the cake back in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. 
  5. Now carefully take it out along with the chocolate cake which we made in the microwave (and kept in the refrigerator). 
  6. Put the chocolate cake on the base layer and top it with remaining mango mousse. (Keep about ½ a cup of mango mousse aside for the final decoration)
  7. Layer it nicely with the help of spatula. 
  8. Now pour the mango pulp and agar-agar mixture on the cake. Putting agar-agar in the pulp is optional. If you don't have agar-agar then pour super chilled mango pulp on the cake. 
  9. Put it back in the refrigerator for another 15-20 minutes. 
  10. Take it out. Take a decorating icing bag and put a star nozzle in it. Fill the decorating bag with the remaining mango mousse and start piping it down as per your liking and imagination. However, you have to be extra quick. 
  11. Now pull the parchment paper out carefully. 
  12. I decorated it with few blue berries and wrote the birthday message on a sugar-free crème wafer. 
  13. Put it back in the refrigerator and take it out just before you want to cut it. 


I won’t call it a quick recipe however I’m sure everyone will like it and appreciate all your efforts.

If you like it give a thumps up and please share it with others. Don’t forget to enjoy this yummy and innovative “layer cake”. Happy Cooking!!!!
Please leave your comments and suggestions about this recipe. We welcome your feedback.

These are the few pictures of the things which I used while making this cake.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Ukadiche Modak /उकडीचे मोदक/ Steamed sweet Rice flour dumplings

 

Growing up in Maharashtra I have always indulged in different varieties of Maharastrian delicacies. And obviously one of them is Ukadiche Modak or rice flour dumplings with sweet coconut filling in it. These are usually made during the holly festival of Ganapati. It is presented to Ganapati Bappa as his Prasad. It is said that he loves Modak the most.  During the Ganesh worship ceremony, known in India as Ganesha Chaturthi the puja always concludes with an offering of twenty-one modaks to the deity and as prasad

This particular variety of modak is steamed and eaten with Tup or Desi Ghee which makes it healthier.

I could go on and on talking about this awesome sweet, instead you may find more details about it here.

Let’s make these Modaks for our Ganapati Bappa.


Ingredients:

You will be able to make around 14-16 modaks with this measurement. 
  1. Khovalela Naral/ Grated coconut: 2 Cups (fresh or frozen) 
  2. Gul/ Jaggery: 1-1½ Cup (depends on jaggery’s sweetness and your family’s taste buds) 
  3. Tandul Pithi/ Rice Flour: 2 Cups (very very smooth) 
  4. Pani/ Water: 2-2½ Cups 
  5. Ghee/ Clarified butter: 1 Tbsp. / 2 Tbsp. 
  6. Mith/ Salt: A pinch 
  7. Velachi Pud/ Cardamom Powder: 1Tsp.

Method:

For Filling:
  1. Take one coconut. 
  2. Grate the coconut and use 2 Cups from it.
  3. Alternatively take 2 cups of frozen grated coconut in a microwave safe bowl. (Thaw the coconut before measuring it.) 
  4. Add 1 Cup of jaggery to the coconut. Stir it. 
  5. Put it in microwave for 30 Sec. 
  6. Take it out, give it a good mix and put it back in microwave for about 2min. 
  7. Take it out after a minute, add cardamom powder and stir it. At this point you may add chopped nuts of your choice to this mixture. 
  8. Take it out with the help of oven mitten. Usually at this time the stuffing is ready. If you feel the jaggery is not melted completely then just put it back just for 10-12 sec. If you keep it longer then the stuffing will be hard. (I have done that and had to rescue it. I have added the tips to rescue the filling at the end) 

For Outer Cover:

  1. Take 2 cups of water in a pan and put it on the stove on medium-high heat.
  2. Once you see the water bubbles, add a pinch of salt and a tbsp. of ghee in it. 
  3. Measure the rice flour properly in a bowl. The rice flour has be very soft and smooth on touch. If it is little thick then please sieve it. 
  4. Once the water is boiling put the heat to low and put entire bowl of flour in the water. 
  5. Start stirring it immediately and vigorously with the help of a nice firm spatula. 
  6. Please make sure it’s not lumpy anymore. 
  7. Put a tight lead. 
  8. The steam trapped inside the pan will do the magic now. Take is off the gas after 2 minutes. 
  9. Switch off the gas. 
Modak Making:
  1. Take out the warm dough on a plain surface. 
  2. Start kneading the dough once it is bearable to hands. But it should not be cold otherwise we will not be able to shape them. 
  3. Put a little oil or ghee on your palms and start kneading. 
  4. Cover the dough with warm damp cloth.  
  5. Make medium sized ball and start making modaks. 
  6. Take the rice flour ball and roll a small puri of it (about 2-3inches). 
  7. Take the coconut filling and put 1 Tbsp of it in the middle of this puri. 
  8. Take this puri in one hand and start pinching it with another hand. It will look like a bulb of a lotus flower. 
  9. Now start taking all the pinched petals together and stick them together making a peak out of it. 
  10. It will look like a small onion. 
  11. I have a Modak mold bought from Tulashi Baug, Pune so I used mold to make these modaks (grease the mold before filling it with little ghee). It is very special for me since it has been gifted to me by a dear friend. 
  12. Take a rice cooker (with steamer) or idali steamer to steam these modaks or dumplings. 
  13. I have a rice cooker-steamer in which I put one damp handkerchief and put 7 modaks at a time on the steam mode for about 7-8 minutes. If you are using idali cooker or pressure cooker for steaming the modak, then please keep it for 12-14min or as per instructions on your cooker. 
  14. Once done, take them out and pour desi ghee on it and relish them as a nice, healthy sweet.
    गणपती बाप्पा मोरया !!!
Tip:

  1. If for any reason your filling or सारण becomes hard, put it in a pan and add little ghee to it. keep stirring till it is soft again. It may change it's color to little brownish but that is completely alright. 
  2. The rice flour should be really smooth. If it's too coarse then the outer cover will break while molding the modaks. 
  3. Do not let the dough cool down for the same above mentioned reason. 

Please try this super easy recipe of Ukadiche Modak and please your Bappa (We call Lord Ganesha- Bappa). If you like this recipe, give a thumps up and please share it with others. Happy Cooking!!!!

Please leave your comments and suggestions about this recipe. We welcome your feedback.

बोला गणपती बाप्पा मोरया, मंगल मूर्ती मोरया !!!!!!!

Other recipe you can try during the festival:
Paan Ladoo
Paan Shots
Narali Bhat  

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Pana-Cota

I feel sometimes it is ok to go with “semi-homemade” way of cooking. What does that mean? Buy the ingredients from the store and convert them according to your ideas. So yes I did the same thing for this recipe called Pana-Cota. I had seen it on Pinterest and found it interesting and wanted to try it for a long long time. I did not copy any recipe but just took the idea from it. Here is the recipe for the same. 

Ingredients:

For Jelly:

  1. Sugar-free Strawberry gelatin dessert (Jell-O): 0.3 Oz (8.5g)
    Please ignore the picture for the flavor (this is orange and I used strawberry). I forgot to click a picture of strawberry flavored packet.  
  2. Boiling hot water: 1 Cup
  3. Cold water: 1Cup

For Custard:

  1. Custard Powder: 2½ Tbsp. 
  2. Milk: 500 ml
  3. Sugar: 4-5 Tbsp. (as per your taste buds) or you may use sugar free powder as per your taste buds.

Method:

For Jelly:
  1. I took store bought “sugar free” strawberry gelatin dessert packet and followed the instructions on the packet. You will find it where they keep all kinds of jelly products. I took sugar free since we have a diabetic family member.
  2. Add one cup of boiling hot water to the contents of the packet.
  3. Stir until dissolved well.
  4. Now add one cup cold water and stir well again.
  5. Take a small glass and feel it half with this mixture. 
  6. Take another small bowl and keep this glass tilted in it. Or you may put the glasses in a muffin tray, just make sure they are tilted.

  7. Chill it in refrigerator until set well. This may take up to 3 hours. 

For Custard: 

  1. Take 2½ Tbsp. of custard powder in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add 125ml milk from our 500ml milk and mix it well, till the powder is dissolved completely. 
  3. Boil the remaining 375ml with 5 Tbsp. of sugar. Mix well and remove from the flame. 
  4. Now add the custard mixture to this boiling milk & cook for another 3-4 minutes. 
  5. Keep stirring otherwise the mixture will burn. 
  6. Eventually the mixture thickens a bit. 
  7. Let it cool down completely.

After about 3hours, take the jelly glasses out from the refrigerator and fill them with room temperature custard. Keep it in the refrigerator again and let it set completely together.

Tip:
  1. Never put warm custard in the chilled jelly, otherwise the jelly will melt and will not give the nice effect of the pana-cota. 
    This is what happens if you put hot custard to cold jelly.
  2. You may use any flavored jelly for this procedure. I took strawberry flavored jelly for the beautiful color combination.  

Please try this super easy recipe of Strawberry Pana-Cota for your next party and surprise your guests with it. If you like this recipe, give a thumps up and please share it with others. Happy Cooking!!!! 

Please leave your comments and suggestions about this recipe. We welcome your feedback.

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Monday, August 17, 2015

Quinoa Dosa


Today I soaked Quinoa and moong dal to make dhokalas for the evening snack. When it was time to make dhokalas, I realized that the recipe had called for ½ a cup of sour yogurt. I had completely forgotten to make a new batch of homemade yogurt, so obviously I didn’t have the yogurt. Now what? So when you don’t want to waste your ingredients or don’t want to keep it in the fridge thinking that we can make it tomorrow, your brain throws new ideas to you. So instead of my evening snack I decided to make dosas for dinner. Again the ingredients were enough for dhokala but not for dosas. Then I soaked ½ cup Udid dal in super-hot water for couple of hours to make this yummy dinner. By the way my 4yrs old son and my 64 yrs old mother-in-law both loved it so now I can say that this recipe is good for the entire family and highly nutritious.

Here you go with the detailed recipe of the same.

Ingredients:

  1. Quinoa: ¾ cup
  2. Moong Dal: ½ cup
  3. Udad/ Udid Dal: ½ cup
  4. Ginger: ¾ to 1 inch (diced) 
  5. Green chilies: 2-3 (paste: according to your family’s taste buds) 
  6. Water: To make dosa batter
  7. Salt: To taste 
  8. Sour Yogurt: 1 Tbsp. (optional) 

Method:

  1. Clean quinoa and all the dals till you see clear water.
  2. Soak quinoa and moong dal together in around 12-13 small cups of water, at least for 2 hours. I usually soak it in the morning if I have to make it in the evening.  
  3. Soak udid dal in a separate bowl in warm water. (If soaking it just for couple of hours then soak it in very hot water.)
  4. Now drain all the ingredients (do not throw the drained water) and grind it with 2-3 green chilies, ginger and salt. Use the same drained water to make it in dosa batter consistency. 
  5. You may add any spices or vegetables according to your family’s taste buds to this batter.
  6. Keep it aside for half an hour. 
  7. If making just after grinding, then add a tablespoon of Fruit Salt (plain Eno fruit salt)
  8. Now take a non-stick tava and put a ladle full of this batter and start making the dosas. Do not lift the ladle while making the dosa. Also just put the batter in one direction. 
  9. Put oil around the dosa of needed. 
  10. Serve the dosas hot with coconut chutney and sambhar. 
Please try this super easy recipe of Quinoa Dosa for your next meal and surprise your family with it. If you like this recipe, give a thumps up and please share it with others. Happy Cooking!!!! 

Please leave your comments and suggestions about this recipe. We welcome your feedback.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Mango Mousse- Eggless



Who says boys can’t cook or can’t innovate the new recipes? Our friend suggested a very nice and simple recipe of Mango Mousse and trust me I have never had something as yummy as this particular mousse recipe before. So let’s not spend more time on the introduction of this recipe and go to the recipe.

Ingredients:

  1. Cool Whip: 16 Oz (2 containers of 8Oz each) 
  2. Sweetened Condensed Milk: 14 Oz 
  3. Sour Cream (Heavy or Light): 14 Oz (sometimes comes in 15 Oz can & that’s perfectly fine) 
  4. Mango Pulp: 1 tin (30 Oz)

Method:

  1. Take a glass bowl. 
  2. Mix cool whip and sour cream together with the help of a spatula. Please do not use hand blender as it may make cool whip little runny. 
  3. Now start pouring sweetened condensed milk and keep folding it in the above mixture. 
  4. Once it’s whipped altogether nicely, start pouring the mango pulp. Here I have used Kesar Mango pulp but you can use any other pulp available to you. 
  5. Mix everything together well with the help of a whisk. I usually use plastic wire whisk. 
  6. Now storing it is all upto you. Either you can pour it in individual transparent cups and top it with one or two drops of mango pulp for decoration. Or you may keep it in one big glass container and serve it as you go. 
  7. Serve it chilled. i always make it ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator either for over night or an hour or two before serving. however that doesn't mean you can't make it on the spot. This mousse tastes yummilicious even served immediately after making it. 
  8. I prefer individual cups which are easy to serve and it looks really awesome. If I am making it ahead of time then I usually individually wrap it with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. 
  9. Decorate the mango pulp dots with the help of a tooth pick and serve chilled. 
Please try this super easy recipe of Mango Mousse for your next party and surprise your guests with it. If you like this recipe, give a thumps up and please share it with others. Happy Cooking!!!!

Please leave your comments and suggestions about this recipe. We welcome your feedback.

Try Mango Mousse Layer cake recipe.
http://www.kirtiskitchenkatta.com/2015/09/mango-mousse-layer-cake-eggless.html

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Khasta Kachori

I have a friend who always talks about nice Rajasthani or Marawadi cousins and I have hardly made any of those but at the same time every now and then I have craving for these delicious dishes. I have grown up in Maharashtra and there we usually get samosas, kachori or dhokala only in those typical marwadi sweet shops. As a kid I have always indulged on them. On the last day of any exam we used to get 2 to 5 rupees to do “aaish” (have fun) with friends and having these kachoris with sweet n tangy imali (tamarind) chutney was part of this “aaish” 

Now coming back to my cravings, finally decided to make these kachoris at home since I found the recipe quite interesting and easy to make. Came across a very nice recipe by Sandhya of www.mycookingjourney.com. I made few changes rather additions to the original recipe and voila it was a great success. I made them with almost exact proportion as mentioned in the original recipe and found that they have done their homework really well, just awesome judgment of the ingredients. I made few changes to the masala proportion as per my family’s taste but kept the basic ingredients like Moong dal and all purpose flour etc. as per the original recipe. So here we go!!!

Ingredients:

For the outer cover of the kachoris (the dough):
  1. All purpose flour/ Maida: 2 cups
  2. Salt: A big pinch
  3. Hot oil/ Mohan: 3 Tbsp.
  4. Yogurt: 2 Tbsp.
  5. Carom seeds/ Ajwain: 2 Tsp
  6. Water: To knead a tight dough

For the filling of the kachoris:

  1. Moong dal/ split green gram lentil: 1/2 Cup (soaked for 2 hours)
  2. Jeera/ Cumin seeds: 1 Tbsp.
  3. Saunf/ Funnel Seeds: 1 Tbsp.  
  4. Hing/ Asafetida: ¼ Tsp 
  5. Tikhat/ Red chili powder: 1 Tbsp. 
  6. Haladi/ Turmeric powder: ½ Tsp. 
  7. Garam masala: 1 Tbsp. 
  8. Dhana-jeera powder/ cumin-coriander powder: 1 Tbsp. 
  9. Chat masala: 1 Tbsp. 
  10. Salt: To taste
  11. Oil: 2 Tbsp. (For tempering) and more oil for deep frying (I use vegetable oil for deep frying, you may use your choice of oil) 

Method:


For the outer cover of the kachoris (the dough):

  1. Take a bowl and add all the dry ingredients of the dough in it.
  2. Now add the yogurt and mix it well.
  3. If required add water to make a soft dough. Knead the dough for few minutes.
  4. The dough should be soft to touch and not very runny or thick. 
  5. Cover it with a kitchen towel and keep it aside. The dough should not become dry or crumbly.
For the filling of the kachoris:
  1. Wash Moong dal thoroughly or till all the white water is gone and you can see the clear water at the end of washing it. 
  2. Soak it for 2-3 hours. Now drain it and keep it aside for few minutes in a colander so most of the water is drained out from the dal. This step will ensure that we do not have very moist dal at the time of making the filling for these kachoris.
  3. Grind the Moong dal coarsely. Don’t make a soft paste of it.
  4. Now take oil in a kadhai or wok and add cumin seeds, funnel seeds, Hing to it. Let it splutter nicely.
  5. Once the tempering has spluttered nicely, add Moong dal paste. Mix it well.
  6. Now add all other spices like turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala, dhana-jeera powder, chat masala and salt to taste. Mix it well. 
  7. Keep stirring the mixture till all the water is evaporated and the mixture looks dry and crumbly. This will take up to 7-8 minutes of stirring the mixture. If you don’t stir it in between there is a very high possibility that the dal will stick to the bottom of the kadhai. So please keep an eye on it.
  8. Once done take it out on a plate and let it cool down.
To make the Kachoris: 
  1. Heat the oil in a kadhai for deep frying the kachoris.
  2. Now make around 18-20 balls of the dough. 
  3. Make each dough ball flat on your palm. (I didn’t roll them with rolling pin as advised in the original recipe)
  4. Now fill it with about a Tbsp. of Moong dal filling and cover it by stretching the dough. You may want to follow the same method as you would do to make the modaks or momos. 
  5. Once the filling dumpling is ready, press it with heel of your palm on a floured surface. Do not roll it with rolling pin. I tried rolling them at this point and the kachoris didn’t puff up at all. 
  6. Now start stretching it from the edges just before you want to fry them. This puri should be well stretched from the edges of it and should be quite thin from the edges. This step will ensure that the kachoris are well puffed when in the oil. (I did not stretch the initial couple of kachoris and they didn’t puff up at all. So invented this method of stretching it just before frying them and it worked.)
  7. Now check the oil which should not be very hot. We don’t want to burn the kachoris. If the oil is very hot then the kachoris won’t cook nicely from inside.
  8. Once the oil is at the desired temperature, start putting two kachoris at a time. Start putting oil on each of the kachori with the help of the strainer. This step will help the kachoris to cook from both the sides and also puff them up nicely. I didn’t put more than two kachoris at a time since my kadhai isn’t very big. 
  9. Fry them well from both the sides till you get a nice golden brown color.
  10. Drain them on a paper towel. Voila!!! the kachoris are ready!!!!
  11. Serve them hot with Tamarind-date chutney or with any ketchup. 
  12. You may also want to make kachori chat with these kachoris. 
  13. Keep them in an air tight container.
Please try this super easy recipe of Khasta Kachori for your next party and surprise your guests with it. If you like this recipe, give a thumps up and please share it with others. Happy Cooking!!!! 

Please leave your comments and suggestions about this recipe. We welcome your feedback.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Eggless Banana- Chocolate Bread/ Cake


I don’t like bananas. What a bad start of a blog, rite? Yah but the fact is I do not like bananas. But have to incorporate in the diet since it has a lot of health benefits. Also lot of people asked me to bake banana bread so tried it for the first time and guess what, I nailed it. Yah I nailed it and it was delicious. We all eat eggs but somehow I have ended up baking egg-less cakes in the recent past with great results. So here is one more egg-less cake.

My toddler loves banana as well as chocolates (I mean who doesn't like chocolates?) however I was told that if he eats bananas in this cold weather, he might fall sick. He has tendency of cold and cough so had to come up with something different yet yummy snack. So here we go!!! Let’s bake nice egg-less banana bread aka banana cake.

Before we start just want to share few tips which will help us to bake a nice moist bread. Do not change the measurements of the given recipe. We need over ripe bananas. You would need to keep the bananas for 3-4 days for this bread. If at all you do not have over ripe bananas then either microwave them for 2-3 minutes or keep it in oven for 3 to 4 minutes till the banana skin is black in color (this is the indication of overly ripe bananas). 

Ingredients:

  1. Over ripe bananas: 3 (medium size) 
  2. All Purpose flour: 1 ½ Cup 
  3. Unsweetened chocolate chips: ½ Cup
  4. Melted unsalted butter: 6 Tbsp. 
  5. Milk: 7 Tbsp. 
  6. Vanilla Extract: 1 Tsp. 
  7. Baking Soda: 1 Tsp. 
  8. Sugar: 6 Tbsp. 
  9. Salt: A big pinch
  10. Walnuts or assorted nut: ¼ Cup (optional)

Method:

  1. Take a large bowl and mash the bananas with the help of a steel fork. They should be very mushy and well mashed before we start adding other ingredients to it.
    I know doesn't look appealing :)
  2. Now in another bowl sift all purpose flour, baking soda and salt together. 
  3. Mix milk, butter, vanilla extract and sugar in the banana bowl. Stir it well with a light hand either by whisk or by a baking spatula. Do not mix it vigorously. The bread will be crumbly and will not be moist. 
  4. Now mix the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and stir it gently. This mixture should be of dropping consistency. It shouldn't be very thin or thick. If you take exact measurements from the list you will get the desired consistency. However, for any reason the batter is too thick, you may want to add milk literally drop by drop to adjust the consistency.  
  5. Add half the quantity of chocolate chips to the above mixture and mix it gently one last time. At this time you may add chopped walnuts or assorted nuts to the batter. 
  6. Preheat the oven on 350F/ 180C.
  7. Take 9x5 inch loaf pan and grease it well with butter and little flour.
  8. Pour the banana mixture in it. Tap the pan on your counter top. This step will make sure that there are no air bubbles in the dough which will help to make a nice moist cake.
  9. Spread the remaining chocolate chips on the entire bread evenly. 
  10. Bake the bread for 55-60 minutes.
  11. Check it with a tooth pick insert after 45th minute and once after 50th minute. Adjust the bake timing according to it. Each oven is different so you may need more or less time according to your oven. My bread was ready in 55 minutes.
  12. When the toothpick comes out clean, your banana bread is ready.
  13. Using the oven mitts take the loaf pan out of the oven and keep it on a cooling rack for about 8-10min.
  14. After 10min take the bread out of from the pan and let it cool again on the cooling rack.
  15. Cut the bread in ½ an inch slices. 
  16. Serve it with hot tea, coffee or simply with nice cold vanilla ice cream. You may want to pour warm chocolate syrup before serving it. And obviously you can just dig in just like that without anything since it tastes really yummy just on its own.

Please try this super easy recipe of banana bread for your next party and surprise your guests with it. If you like this recipe, give a thumps up and please share it with others. Happy Cooking!!!! 

Please leave your comments and suggestions about this recipe. We welcome your feedback.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Meetha Paan Shots/ Betel Leaf Shots


So today had to go for a potluck brunch but wasn't sure till the end if I will be able to make it for the brunch or no. So hadn't planned anything ahead of time. Also my very enthusiastic friends who all are by the way great cooks too, had already declared what they were going to get. And my desert plan flopped because there were already 2-3 deserts. All of a sudden struck a nice “after the meal” idea, Meetha Paan (Betel leaf mouth freshener) but again didn’t want to go to the traditional way. So decided to make nice little paan shots. I didn’t have fresh betel leaves or paan at home but had nice crushed ready-made Kolkata meetha paan so used it instead of fresh one but didn’t notice any difference in the taste at all (sometimes semi-homemade cooking is good and easy). Obviously since it was for brunch couldn’t add any alcohol to these “shots” but still they were as tasty as they would taste with alcohol. So here we go!!!

Ingredients:

  1. Readymade Paan Mukhwas (crushed): ½ Cup 
  2. Vanilla Ice-cream: 1Cup
  3. Chilled Milk: ½ to 1 Cup (for grinding) 
  4. Saunf/ Aniseed: 2-3 Tbsp. 
  5. Green food color: 4-5 Drops (optional) 
  6. Crushed Ice: ½ Cup (optional) 
  7. Shot glasses: 20


Method:

  1. Take out vanilla ice-cream from the freezer and keep it out for around half an hour. 
  2. Now put ice-cream, crushed paan mukhwas, milk, 1½ Tbsp saunf (keep rest for garnishing) and crushed ice (optional) in a mixie bowl. 
  3. Grind it till everything is well incorporated. 
  4. Now put green food color and grind again. This is an optional step altogether. 
  5. Take shot glasses and fill them ¾. Garnish each cup with little saunf. 
  6. If you are going to use them immediately you may keep them open in the refrigerator.
  7. Since I wanted to use them the next afternoon, I cling wrapped each shot glass and put it in the tray which I was going to carry it along with me to the venue.
  8. I refrigerated it overnight and in the morning took the tray outside and filled the tray with ice cubes, so they were served chilled. Also they didn’t move much in the transit. I cling wrapped the entire tray for more safety.
The shots were a big hit and everyone wanted more than one. Since I had expected it, I had already carried extra cups for the party.


Note:  

  1. Since I had to take it for the brunch I didn’t add any kind of alcohol in it. However, if you plan to serve it post dinner and you have guests who drink alcohol beverages, you may add around 90ml vodka while grinding other ingredients.
  2. I have heard even white rum tastes good in these shots, never tried though.
  3. Today after having these shots, one friend suggested we may add mint ice-cream instead of vanilla ice-cream and I loved that idea too. Haven't tried it yet but maybe next time I will try it.
  4. If you have all the ingredients for making any kind of meetha paan, please use them instead of readymade mukhwas.
  5. I got these shot glasses from Dollar store. 24 for $1.00, isn't it a great deal?
Please try these super easy shots for your next party and surprise your guests with it. 
My MIL tried it and sent the picture to me :)

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Also check my Paan Laddos recipe too. 

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Instant Shahi Tukada


Today I’m writing my 20th recipe and feeling really happy about it. This mark was achieved in less than 2 months. I’m thankful to each and every person who motivated, helped and encouraged me to start this blog. So to celebrate this day wanted to make something which is really close to heart and couldn't think of anything else but this Royal Sweet Dish called Shahi Tukada, only with my version of it is called as instant shahi tukada.

As a kid I always loved an awesome delicacy called Shahi Tukada which my mother used to make once in a while. Feast for sure. She used to make it with rabadi which used to take like forever to make. Sometimes she used to make it with left over rabadi or basundi. Yummy in our tummy!!!! When I started instant 2 min rabadi here in the US she was really curious about the outcome but loved it in the end. Win-win situation. Now the next step to instant rabadi obviously was shahi tukada with rabadi. However, I don’t know why but I was little skeptical of the outcome. Tried it the other day and wow the outcome indeed was the same as traditional shahi tukada. As always my two guinea pigs (hubby and a 3.5yr old toddler) were ready for a taste test and I passed. So thought of sharing it with you all. Hope you love it too. Here you go!!!!

Ingredients:

  1. Bread slices: 4-6
  2. Milk: 1 ½ Cup
  3. Sugar: ½ Cup
  4. Green cardamom powder: 1 Tsp
  5. Clarified butter/ Ghee: 8-10 Tbsp. 
  6. Almonds: 8-10 (blanched, peeled and sliced) 
  7. Pistachios: 8-10 (blanched, peeled and sliced) 
  8. Rose water: 1-2 Tbsp. (optional) 
  9. Warm Rabadi: 2 Cups
Method:
  1. Take bread slices and with the help of any cookie cutter or mold (heart shape, circle, triangular etc.) cut shapes out of them. Traditionally it is cut in triangular shapes.
  2. Chop the nuts and keep them aside.
  3. Take milk in a non-stick pan and add sugar to it. Now add cardamom powder. Warm the milk on medium-law flame, keep stirring it continuously. Scrape the sides too and now let the milk boil. At this time if you like rose flavor, put rose water in the milk and stir it (this step is completely optional)
  4. Now take another non-stick pan and put ghee in it. Put bread slices in the ghee and shallow fry it till nice golden-brown color. Drain all the ghee and put it in the milk. Traditionally it is deep fried but I wanted to keep it little healthy and with less calories so I shallow fried the bread, choice is yours if you want to deep fry it.
  5. Take the bread slices out of the milk and put them aside.
  6. Now take serving plate and put prepared rabadi as a base. I have a very easy recipe for instant rabadi. You may want to click on the link for this rabadi. Put bread slices which were dipped in milk, top it with more rabadi and nuts. 
  7. Serve it chilled or warm, choice is yours.
  8. Presenting to you a very healthy yet quick recipe of our favorite and royal sweet dish.
If you like this recipe, give a thumps up and please share it with others. Happy Cooking!!!! 

Please leave your comments and suggestions about this recipe. We welcome your feedback.

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