Feast For the Eyes


Popular Recipes

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Malpua-Malai Cups

Malpua-Malai Cups

This year for the 'Cooking and Food creativity contest' at the Columbus Ganesh Utsav, one of the competition categories we had designed was 'Dessert Shots'. The participants had to make traditional desserts but present them in a modernized form in form of 'Shots'. There was a superb response, we got to see and taste rabdi-jalebi shots, tri colored kulfi shots etc. They were all lip smackingly delicious!!
For Dussera as I was thinking what dessert to make...I thought of giving the traditional Malpua-Rabdi, a new look. I made the Malpua in the form of cups in the appe pan.The 'malai' filling was made with ricotta cheese.The cups came out crispy and did hold their shape well and with the thick malai filling...tasted delectable!

For malpua cups in appe pan-
3 tbsp All purpose flour
1 tbsp whole wheat flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp ghee
3/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp cardamon powder

For Malai filling-
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4tsp nutmeg powder
1/4tsp cardamon powder
1/4 tsp saffron warmed in in 2 tbsp milk

Chopped almonds, pistachios for garnishing

1) Maplua Cups
Mix all the ingredients for the mapua cups. Make a thick batter.Heat the appe pan on medium heat
2) Add little ghee to all the wells. Turn the heat to low.Add 2 tsp of batter in the wells. Spread the batter to the sides of the well to cover the entire well and make the 'cup' shape. Add ghee from the sides. Let it cook till golden brown.Gently remove on a serving platter.

3) Malai filling:
In a non stick pan cook the ricotta cheese with milk  for 10-15 mins till it thickens up.It shouldn't be too runny as it will otherwise make the malpua cups soggy.Let it cook completely.
Fill the filling in pastry bags/ ziplock bag and fill the maplua cups.

4) Garnish with saffron milk and chopped nuts.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Dabeli Rolls

For my love of Dabeli...I could keep on trying out new looks and reinventing Dabeli with a newer fresher look!
Dabeli....in it's original form is lovely enough, but new fresh looks give it a interesting texture, taste and of course 'modernize' it!

Here is the original form:

Dabeli Wrap:

Dabeli Dosa:
All the fillings and fixings of Dabeli wrapped up in a crispy dosa

And now presenting the beautiful ...Dabeli rolls:

Fillings and fixings of Dabeli

1 Store bought Biscuit dough can (Buttermilk or plain)

1) Roll out the biscuit dough on little flour into oval shape with a rolling pin. Apply Tamarind-Jaggery/date Chutney and put the fillings in the center.
Cut the sides as shown at an angle.

2) Fold the alternate edges on to each other as shown to make the pattern.Press gently to seal edges.

3) Bake on baking sheet as directed on biscuit dough can till golden brown

Enjoy Dabeli in this new look hot look!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

"Vangyache Kaap" / Spicy Eggplant fritters

So, I am the only fan of eggplant at home. 'M' and the kids don't care for it much and so we rarely make anything eggplanty at home. When you don't get to eat something for days or months together...it automatically gains 'special' place and you crave it as if its the 'best' thing in the world ;p
So is the place of eggplant for me these days :)
I took the opportunity to cook this..a very maharashtrian appetizer made with eggplant when 'M' was away on business trip and was enjoying his moms handmade 'Puran Poli' :)

1 large purple eggplant or 4 medium eggplants sliced thinly and immersed in water
1/2 cup 'Thalipeeth bhajani' ( maharashtrian multigrain flour)
1 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
oil to fry

1) Mix the bhajani flour with salt,turmeric and red chili powder. Place in a flat plate.
2) Coat the wet slices of eggplant with the dry bhajani powder.
3) Shallow fry in nonstick pan till eggplant is cooked and turns brownish.
4) Serve hot!


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ukadiche Modak

One cannot think of  'Ganapati' without his favorite Modak. Luckily this year, the festival coincides with a long weekend in the USA..and that means I could make this delicacy for lunch today!! Making ukadiche modak can be intimidating and I admit that everytime I make them, I am not sure whether they are going to come together well.

For the rice flour covering to come out perfectly, you need - good fresh rice flour (if you are lucky the indian store will carry the fresh one), a good recipe and technique and well...a lots of patience :)

Makes 10-12 modak
(I used standard measuring cups and spoons for the measurements)
1 Cup water
1 cup (heaped) Rice Flour
¼ tsp Salt
1tsp ghee

1.5 cup fresh grated/ frozen coconut
3/4 the cup sugar(use less for less sweet filling)
1/4 cup jaggery1tsp poppy seeds 1/2tsp Cardamom powder1/4tsp Nutmeg powder

1) Mix together coconut, sugar,jaggery, cardamom, nutmeg, poppy seeds and cook on low flame till cooked and the filling is translucent and dry.Let it cool.

       Ukadiche Modak Covering
Bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add 1 tsp ghee and salt; add the rice flour and mix. Turn OFF the heat immediately. Keep a cover and let it stand for 10-15 mins to cool
Knead the dough with slightly oiled hand into smooth dough.
Keep it covered in moist cloth.
Keep a large vessel with some water to steam the modak
Take a sieve/ strainer/ shallow vessel and line it with a thin cloth. The modaks will be steamed in this vessel.
Make small rounds with the dough. Press with fingers to make flat rounds. This should be thin and without any cracks
Place 2 tsp Coconut filling in the modak. Mold the dough into ‘modak’ shape. First form as many pleats as possible. Then bring them together by gently pressing and rotating at the same time.

Place these modak into the cloth lined vessel and steam (without any pressure/whistle) for 15-20 mins.

Serve hot along with Ghee!

And look who helped me with her lil' hands!!

Amba Burfi

Living in the USA, has taught me a lot of things....one of them is 'making your own Indian traditional sweets'..which, if I was living in India, I am sure,I would have never ever attempted to make. Pedhas, Burfis, Mawa modaks....you just get those from the Mithai walas....hardly anyone makes those at home. But as you live away from 'Home'...you have to learn to do things..that makes us 'feel at home' in the unfamiliar places. Food is one such thing...it can instantly take you wherever you want to go in just one bite!

So, for Ganesh chaturthi, I made this Amba Burfi with the mango pulp I had on hand.I wouldn't say it is the easiest thing, like the microwave version of making pedhas, but it wasn't too hard and totally worth the efforts!

4.5 to 5 cups milk powder
1 Cup Mango pulp (I used canned mango pulp from the Indian store)
3/4 cup plus 4 tsp sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
12 oz evaporated milk
1/2 tsp cardamon powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
Ghee for greasing the a pan
Chopped nuts for garnishing
Silver 'varkha' for garnishing

A good non stick pan to make the mixture
A flat cookie sheet/ cake pan coated with ghee

1) Mix together the butter, 4 cups milk powder, evaporated milk and cook in a non stick pan on low flame for 15 mins with constant stirring.
2) Add the mango pulp, sugar, cardamon and nutmeg powder mix and keep cooking till the mixture gets thick. another 10-15 mins
3) Add 1/2 to 1 cup milk powder and cook till the mixture really thickens up. Take off the heat and let it cool for 5 mins. Add the 4tsp sugar and mix well.

4) Pour the mixture in the ghee coated pan.Flatten with spatula.Decorate with chopped nuts.Cut into squares.

Let it cool. Keep in the refrigerator for cooling for 1-2 hours.
Take out the burfi gently with a knife.
Cut and store in the refrigerator.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Easy Homemade Blueberry Icecream

Summer means berries!! And lots of lots of them!! Super markets are full of them and plus you go on 'U pick' trips and bring home more than you can eat!!
Apart from freezing them to save them..here is a quick and easy homemade blueberry ice cream recipe.
The ice cream gets a perfect 'blueberry blue' color and is smooth and rich from the whipped cream and condensed milk.

1.5 Cups fresh blueberries
1 tub Cool Whip
14 oz Sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tsp sugar
1 pinch salt

1) In a pan add 1.5 cups fresh blueberries, 2 tsp sugar and 1 pinch salt. Boil for 5-7 mins till the berries start to break down. Let it cool.Crush roughly with spoon. 
2) Mix it with 1 tub Cool whip,whole milk and 14oz can of sweet condensed milk. Mix well. Pour in molds or freezer safe container and freeze! Done! 
3)Freeze atleast for 6-8 hours

Monday, July 21, 2014

Chicken and Potatoes in Spicy Coconut milk curry

I had marinated some chicken tenders and frozen away half of them, to use later. I was wondering what to do with those.I sometimes feel the 'roasting-grinding' part of the masala for the curries is too tedious.Wanted a semi thick spicy and delicious curry,but without the hard work :) This one turned out perfect!! Spicy coconutty curry with tender pieces of chicken and potato cubes. Made a delicious weekend meal!

1.5 cups Chicken tender cut into large cubes
1 large potato cut into large cubes
1 can coconut milk
1/2 onion chopped
4 tsp Yogurt
2 tsp Chicken curry masala powder (store bought)
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1-2 tsp red chili powder
2-3 Dried red chilies
few curry leaves

1) Marinate the chicken pieces in in yogurt, red chili powder,salt and chicken curry masala for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
2) Heat some oil, add the chopped onion fry till translucent. Add the ginger garlic paste, dried red chilies and curry leaves. Add the potato cubes and saute. Cover for few mins till potatoes brown a little.Add the chicken and saute for few more mins.
3) Add the coconut milk, salt, black pepper and mix. Cook on medium flame till the chicken and potatoes are tender.
4) Serve hot along with Rotis/ Chapatis or Rice

Thursday, July 17, 2014

'Chocolate-Walnut-Cherry' Bread

I hadn't baked in a really long time.The new loaf pan that I bought like a month ago...still had it's label
unmoved. I thought a 'quick' bread would be a good idea and will solve the 'what to give for snack' for the next few days atleast :)
This bread is not a 'bread' in real sense.But is something in between a 'cake' and  'bread'.It has a dense texture and a crusty top. Made with 'dried cherries'...it gives it a tangy surprise in between bites.

1.5 cups All Purpose flour
3/4 cup Sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter
2 Eggs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (plus few whole for topping)
1/2 cup Dried cherries
1/2 hot water
1/4 cup Dark cocoa powder
1/4 cup Chocolate chips
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

1) Pre heat the oven to 350 F. Grease/coat a loaf pan with cooking spray and flour. Soak the dried cherries in hot water for 15 mins.
2) Beat the butter till fluffy.Add eggs and salt and beat till light.Add the sugar and beat for couple more mins.
3) Sieve together flour,baking powder and baking soda.Add few tbsp at a time to the butter-eggs mixture.Mix together.
4) Add the soaked cherries along with the warm water it was soaked in, chopped walnuts,chocolate chips,vanilla and mix completely
5) Pour into the loaf pan, garnish with walnuts and bake at 350 F for about 40 mins. Check with toothpick to see if the center is baked.
6) Remove from the pan and cut when cooled completely.
Serve as snack or dessert along with vanilla ice cream!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Masala 'Braids'

A quick evening snack on my mind as I was driving back from work. I have to admit how-much-ever I complain about my hour long commute, it fruitful at times. It is when I listen to my favorite songs.It is when I get to 'think' peacefully and 'too much' ;p (as I like to do). It is also, when I get these 'creative' ideas about 'blog' food!

So, I had this can of buttermilk biscuit dough sitting in the refrigerator. Molding it into 'braids' was fun and they looked so beautiful and made a yummy tea time snack!

1 Can of Jumbo Buttermilk biscuit dough (makes 8)
2 tsp Sesame seeds
1 tsp chopped cilantro and mint leaves
1 tsp Olive oil
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp finely minced garlic
1/4 tsp black ground pepper
1/4 tsp salt

1) Preheat oven to 375F
2) Roll out one biscuit dough circle. Cut into 3 parts.Roll into tube like.

3) Press together the 3 tubes at one end and weave into braids. Press the ends together firmly to stick.Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

4) Brush with Olive oil.Sprinkle with Sesame seeds, salt, chili powder,garlic, cilantro and mint.
5) Bake in the pre heated oven for 8-10 mins, till golden brown

6) Serve immediately with your favorite sauce