Sunday 23 December 2018
May this Christmas fill your hearts with warmth, peace and joy! Have a Holy and Blessed Christmas!
Hope all of you are ready for Christmas celebrations with family and friends. Here we are also set for Christmas.
Banana wine is one of the most requested recipes. When I made it first time, a long time ago and with a completely different recipe, we didn’t like it at all. After that I never tried it but after all your requests I thought of trying it again with a new recipe and this time the wine came out really nice. I used the small palayan kodan bananas which we get in Kerala for this recipe and that is the best one to make banana wine. But if you don’t know this kind of banana or this variety is not available in your place, you can use any kind of bananas.
Banana Wine / Pazham Wine
Palayan kodan Pazham (small variety ripe banana) - 800 gm
Sugar - 600gms + 250 gm*
Water - 2 ½ litre
Strong black tea made with 7 table spoons of tea leaves and 500 ml water
Yeast – ¾ tsp
Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
· Boil 2 ½ litres of water and keep it aside to lukewarm.
· Make strong tea with 500 ml water and almost 7 table spoons of tea leaves. Strain the tea and keep it aside to cool.
· Mash the bananas and 600 gm sugar in a food processor. Mix it with lukewarm water.
· In to this add the strained strong black tea, lemon juice and yeast. Mix everything well and transfer the mixture to a sterilized glass bottle / bharani, cover it and leave for 21 days stirring daily.
· After 21 days, strain the mixture through a cheese / muslin cloth in to a clean dry bottle.
· Do a taste test and if you feel like sugar is less you can add the rest of the 250 gm sugar and mix well.
· Keep this again for 21 days untouched. After 21 days strain the wine again, pour it in to clean dry bottles and use.
I only added 600gms of sugar in the beginning. But after fermentation I felt the sugar is very less and added another 250 gm of sugar after straining. So if you like sweet wine you can add the total 850 gm of sugar in the beginning itself.
Saturday 17 November 2018
I think these cookies are adult favourites as children mostly prefer chocolate chip cookies or cream biscuits. Here we both like these cookies but our son doesn’t like it at all. If you like coconut flavour I am sure you will love these coconut loaded chewy and delicious cookies. I really love the combination of coconut and cardamom flavour. So I sometimes add cardamom powder and it tastes heavenly!
Chewy Coconut Cookies
All-purpose flour - 1 1/4 cups
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Butter - 1/2 cup
Brown sugar - 1/2 cup, packed
White sugar - 1/2 cup
Egg - 1
Vanilla essence - 1/2 tsp
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Flaked coconut - 1 1/3 cups
- Preheat oven to 175˚ C / 350˚ F.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cardamom powder (if using); set aside.
- In a medium bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth.
- Beat in the egg and vanilla until light and fluffy.
- Gradually blend in the flour mixture, then mix in the coconut.
- Drop dough by teaspoonful’s onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly toasted.
- Cool on wire racks.
Monday 15 October 2018
Orzo, is a type of short-cut pasta, shaped like a large grain of rice. You can make some delicious salads and soups with orzo. One of our recent favourites is this Creamy Chicken Orzo Soup. It comes together pretty quickly and is very filling too. I only made half the amount of the recipe and it was perfect for all three of us. You can even add mushrooms or celery to this. If orzo is not available you can use mini macaroni or any other type of short cut pasta.
Creamy Chicken Orzo Soup Recipe
Olive oil -2 tbsp
Boneless Chicken breast - 450 gm
Garlic - 1 clove minced
Onion - 1/2 cup, diced
Carrots - 1/2 cup, diced
Dried Sage - 1/4 tsp
Dried Parsley - 1 tsp
Dried Oregano - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp or to taste
Chicken broth – 4 cups
Water - 2 cups
Orzo - 1 cup
Heavy cream – 1 cup
Green onions - 1/4 cup, diced
- In a large pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken breast and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until no longer pink in the middle, about 6-8 minutes per side. Remove from heat and shred.
- In the same pan, add garlic, onions, and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes until aromatic.
- Add in sage, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper and cook until onions are translucent, another 3-5 minutes.
- Pour in chicken broth and water and bring to a boil.
- Add in orzo and cook on a low boil for about 10 -15 minutes or until orzo is tender.
- Lower heat and add chicken back in, and heavy cream. Let simmer 5 minutes until bubbly and thickened.
- Top with green onions and serve warm.
Wednesday 3 October 2018
As always an intention of a short break somehow gets extended to several months!! After a great eight weeks of summer vacation we came back last month. By the time I settled down, my son’s mid-term exam had started! Anyway to compensate for the five month long gap, today, I have come up with a lengthy dessert post for you all :) :)
An entremet or entremets is in modern French cuisine a small dish served between courses or simply a dessert. It is a multi-layered mousse-based cake with various complementary flavours and varying textural contrasts. Entremets are the perfect dessert for someone who likes a little bit of everything. This dessert consists of a brownie base, two types of mousses and a mirror glaze. The recipe is long, but with a little patience and planning ahead of time, it is quiet easy to make. As you all know I am a huge fan of making individual desserts and hence I set this in small dessert rings but you can just as easily set it in an 8 inch cake ring or loose bottom cake tin. This was an experimental trial for our wedding anniversary last month. Both the mousse recipes are from previous posts of mine. This is the first time I am trying my hands on chocolate mirror glaze. We really loved the different textures and flavours in this dessert. Do try this on your special day and let me know the outcome....
Chocolate and Coffee Mousse Entremets’ with Chocolate Mirror Glaze Recipe
White sugar - 1 cup
Butter - ½ cup
Cocoa powder - ¼ cup
Vanilla essence - ½ tsp
Eggs - 2
All-purpose flour - ¾ cup
Baking powder - ¼ tsp
Salt - ¼ tsp
Walnut halves - ¼ cup
- Melt the butter or margarine and mix all ingredients in the order given.
- Bake at 350˚F (175˚C) for 20 to 25 minutes in a 9 x 13 inch greased pan.
- Once the brownie has completely cooled cut out 6 rounds with small dessert rings (I used 2.5” rings).
- Stir egg yolk with sugar until creamy and pale yellow coloured. Stir in corn starch. Gradually whisk in the warm milk until completely combined.
- Place the yolks mixture into a small saucepan and cook over low heat while stirring until boils and thickens.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla essence and instant coffee. Let it cool.
- Dissolve gelatine in 1tbsp cold water and let it swell for about 5 to 10 minutes. Place over low heat just until the gelatine dissolves and then pour it over coffee mixture. (You can also add 1tbsp of rum or coffee liqueur to the mix if you prefer)
- Whip the cold whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Gradually incorporate into coffee mixture.
- Pour this mixture evenly on top of the brownie layer in the cake rings and refrigerate until set while you are making chocolate mousse.
Eggless Chocolate Mousse
Milk - 1 cup
Cocoa powder - 1 tbsp
Cornflour - ½ tbsp
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Gelatine -1 ½ tsp
Cooking chocolate - 40gm, grated
Coffee powder - ½ tsp
Vanilla essence - ¼ tsp
Cream - ½ cup, whipped till fluffy
- Mix cocoa powder and cornflour in ¼ cup milk in a small bowl to a paste.
- Boil the rest of the milk with sugar in a heavy bottomed pan.
- Add cocoa and cornflour paste to the boiling milk, stirring continuously.
- Add grated chocolate. Cook on low heat for 3-4 minutes till chocolate dissolves. Add coffee and remove from fire.
- Put 3 tbsp water in a small pan. Add gelatine. Dissolve on low heat. (For china grass mix it with 1 cup water and heat till it dissolves).
- Mix gelatine solution with the chocolate custard. Chill in the freezer for about 20 minutes till a little thick but not set. Beat the thickened chocolate custard.
- Beat cream and essence till slightly thick and fluffy. Add whipped cream to chocolate mixture. Mix gently.
- Pour this mixture evenly on top of the coffee mousse layer in the cake rings.
- Freeze these rings really well while you are preparing the mirror glaze.
Chocolate Mirror Glaze:
Sugar - 210gm
Water – 1/3 cup / 75g
Cocoa Powder - 70g
Thick Cream - ½ cup + 4 tsp / 145g
Gelatine - 3 tsp
Cold Water - 3 tbsp
- In a medium bowl, bloom gelatine in cold water and keep it aside.
- In a saucepan, combine 1/3 cup water, sugar, thick cream and cocoa powder. Combine everything with a balloon whisk and cook on medium heat and slowly bring it to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes stirring continuously until mixture slightly thickens.
- Remove chocolate mixture from the heat and whisk in bloomed gelatine until thoroughly combined.
- Pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, and allow mixture to cool to lukewarm before using. Stir the glaze occasionally as they cool, so they don’t form a skin on top.
- Remove mousse from freezer and carefully slide the mousse from the dessert rings. Place it on a parchment lined cookie sheet, elevated off the sheet using small jars or cooling racks.
- Pour glaze generously over mousses, taking care to ensure there are no bare spots left. Allow the excess glaze to drip off for 5 or 10 minutes, then gently scrape the edges to remove any remaining drops.
- Carefully transfer cakes using a small offset spatula to cardboard cake rounds or small pieces of parchment paper for easy movement.
- Transfer the glazed mousse to the fridge to set for a few hours before serving.Any leftover glaze can be scraped up and refrigerated in an airtight container for later use. When you are ready to use it, warm the chocolate glaze to lukewarm. Strain it through a fine mesh strainer before using, otherwise tiny air bubbles will show on the glaze.
Monday 16 April 2018
Are you surprised or intrigued to read today’s recipe name? Even I was amazed when I got a request from one of my readers, for germinated green gram wine. It was the first time I was hearing about green gram wine and never in my wildest thoughts had I ever imagined of making wine with green gram / cherupayar. But he assured me that someone in Kerala makes the wine from germinated green gram and whoever had the wine said it is one of the tastiest. He requested me to ferret out the recipe from some source. The idea circled in my head for several days and I searched all my recipe collection and over the internet too without any luck. This forced me to put on my thinking cap to develop my own recipe and experiment. So I made a small quantity of wine without germinating the green gram / cherupayar and guess what, it was a huge hit!!! This wine is one of my best experiments and whoever has tasted it so far have told me it is one of the best and tastiest wine! I will definitely try with germinated green gram next to see the difference in taste.... If you love homemade wine do try this recipe and let me know the result; I am sure you will love it :) :)
Cherupayar Wine / Green Gram Wine / Mung Bean Wine
Cherupayar /Green gram / Whole Mung Bean – 250 gms (1 cup)
Sugar- 625 gms
Lime juice and zest of 1 lime
Yeast- ¼ tsp
Raisins- 50 gm, chopped
Water- 1 ½ liters
- Wash green gram and keep it in a strainer to drain it completely for at least 1 hour.
- Boil water and sugar and keep it aside. Add chopped raisins, lemon zest and lemon juice to the hot water and mix well.
- When the mixture becomes lukewarm, add washed and well drained green gram / cherupayar and stir well, sprinkle yeast; mix well and transfer to a sterilized bharani / bottle.
- Tie the bottle with a clean cloth or close with lid little loose.
- Stir this mixture every day for 20 days.
- After 20 days, strain the mixture through a cheese/ muslin cloth in to a clean dry bottle.
- Keep this again for 7 days untouched. After 7 days strain the wine again, pour it in to clean dry bottles and use.
Friday 30 March 2018
May the spirit of the Lord fill your home this Easter and all the rest of your days.
Have a Blessed and Happy Easter!
Hope all are ready for Easter celebrations.... Here is a really delicious and creamy, low fat panna cotta recipe for you to impress your loved ones….
Vanilla Bean Condensed Milk Panna Cotta
Low fat whipping cream – 500 ml
Low fat Condensed milk – 200 gm tube (half a tin)
Skimmed Milk – 200 ml
Vanilla Bean Paste – 1 tsp
Gelatine – 3 tsp
- Place low fat cream, milk, condensed milk and vanilla in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat & whisk in gelatine until smooth and gelatine has dissolved.
- Pour into six 1/3 cup glasses, cover and chill for 4 hours or overnight.
- Spoon strawberry topping on top of the panna cotta, serve decorated with fresh strawberries and mint leaves.
Fresh or frozen strawberries – 250gms
Sugar – 1/2 cup
Cornflour - 1 1/2 tbsp
Cornflour - 1 1/2 tbsp
Pinch of salt
Almond extract - 1/8 tsp
Almond extract - 1/8 tsp
Juice of ½ lime
- In a large saucepan toss together the strawberries, sugar, cornflour, lime juice and salt. Allow it to sit for about 30 minutes to allow the sugar to draw out the juice.
- Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and boiling. Simmer 1 minute. The mixture should just barely drop from a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in almond essence. Cool and spoon over cold panna cotta.
Monday 12 February 2018
Valentine ’s Day is just around the corner, so here is a quick recipe for you to try out! Tiramisu truffles are a wonderful blend of Italian biscuits, coffee and chocolate all in one delicious bite. These truffles taste best when served the next day after making it, which allows the Savoiardi (ladyfinger biscuits) to absorb all the flavours and really bring out the true taste of tiramisu.
No-Bake Tiramisu Truffles
(Adapted from here)
24 Savoiardi / Ladyfinger Biscuits (12 oz or 1 packet)
2 tbsp Sugar
2/3 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 tbsp instant coffee powder
2-3 tbsp Rum / coffee liquor
2 cups (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate
1 tsp instant coffee powder (optional)
- In a food processor, blend Savoiardi (ladyfinger biscuits) until you have fine crumbs. Set aside 2 tablespoons to sprinkle on the truffles later.
- Add the sugar and 1 tbsp coffee powder and whisk until combined.
- In to this add the mascarpone cheese and mix until fully incorporated.
- Add the rum or coffee liquor one tablespoon at a time. You need to get a the dough similar to a soft cookie dough. Transfer the mixture to a container and place in the fridge for 45 minutes to an hour.
- Line a baking sheet with wax paper or parchment paper. Remove the mixture from the fridge (it should be firmer now). Start to shape the mixture into 36 (1-inch) balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Freeze for 10 minutes.
- Melt the chocolate over a double boiler and stir in the coffee powder (The chocolate should be completely smooth and velvety).
- Dip a cold tiramisu truffle into the melted chocolate and transfer it back to the baking sheet.
- Sprinkle the truffle with the crushed lady fingers you set aside earlier. Repeat for the remaining truffles.
- Place the baking sheet in the fridge for a 5 to 10 minutes for the chocolate to harden. Store tiramisu truffles in an airtight container in the fridge.
- You can bring them to room temperature before serving if preferred.