Thursday, October 30, 2014

Chocolate Fudge Brownies

"Chocolate Fudge Brownie"
Chocolate Fudge Brownies is one of the easiest brownie recipe that I have tried. This Fudge Brownie is moist and dense and has an intense chocolate flavor as it contains more chocolate than the regular brownies, hence the are more darker and have a little bitter chocolate taste and the walnuts adds crunch to it. 


The best part about these is that I have not used flour for this recipe... post Diwali I was left with loads of Chocolate Cookies at home which a dear friend of mine had got. I just wanted to use them up quickly as we are not much fond of these . So I decided to replace flour with powdered cookies, the first batch which I tried turned out really nice and got over in minutes. I did have to do a few amendments before I made the second batch and they turned out Great!!


Truly Sinful!!! its not very sweet as I have used dark semi sweet chocolate...and the best part is that its really easy....my lil one had a great time breaking the cookies and mixing the batter too.
Here is the simple n easy recipe.

Ingredients


For Browine

Chocolate chips -  1 cup +1/4th cup (Dark Chocolate, Semi sweet)
Chocolate cookies - 15 pcs
Sugar- 1/4th cup
Butter,unsalted - 1/4th cup
Eggs - 2
Vanilla Essence - 1 teaspoon
Salt - 1/4th teaspoon
Walnuts, chopped -1/2 cup

For the Topping

Chocolate chips - 1/4th cup
Walnuts, chopped - 1/4th cup 

Method

Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Pulse the chocolate chip cookies in a grinder for 30 seconds, keep aside for later use.






Take a 8X8 inches glass baking dish and line it with Aluminium foil, grease it with butter or nonstick cooking spray and keep aside.

Melt chocolate chips and butter in a microwave for 30 seconds, remove, stir and re-heat for another
30 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir well. Even if there are some chips don't worry as they will melt while you stir.



Add sugar and mix well.


Add the eggs and mix


Add the powdered cookies along with salt and mix.


Add vanilla extract and fold in chopped walnut and remaining chocolate chips.



Pour the brownie mixture in the baking dish. mix the topping ingredients and sprinkle over the brownie batter. Bake in preheated oven at 350°F or 180°C for 25 -30 minutes or until a tester or toothpick comes out clean, with moist crumbs still attached to it. Do not overbake.




Remove from oven and let it cool for 10 - 15 minutes. 


Cut into 2X2 inches squares and serve.



Notes:

I have mentioned salt in the list of ingredients but have not used in the recipe as the cookies which I have used were salty, please taste the cookies which you would be using and add salt only if required.
I have made these brownies using ready cookies which had sugar in them so I have just added 1/4th cup of sugar, but if you want to make these with Regular all purpose flour then increase the quantity of sugar from 1/4th cup to 3/4th cup.








Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tomato and Onion Chutney


Tomato and Onion chutney is a quick and easy chutney which can be served along with Idli or Dosa or Cheelas. Its flavored with Jeera, has a mildly sweet and tangy taste of plum tomatoes.

Ingredients

For Chutney

Tomato, ripe - 2 medium
Onion - 1 medium
Chana Dal - 1 tablespoon
Urad Dal - 1 teaspoon
Whole Jeera - 1/2 teaspoon
Whole Red Chilli - 2
Tamarind, seedless - 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
Salt to taste.

For tempering

Oil - 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1/2  teaspoon
Urad Dal - 1/4th teaspoon
Whole red chilli - 2 
Curry leaves - 5-7

Method

Roughly chop tomatoes and onion, cook chopped onion and tomatoes in a pan  on medium flame along with some salt.  Note, don't add oil or water, the onion and tomato will release enough water, and will be cooked in there own juices. 



Once the onion has turned translucent and the tomatoes are mushy, remove from heat and let it cool.

In the mean time dry roast the chana dal and urad dal separately until they start releasing a nutty aroma. While roasting the urad dal add the whole jeera and slightly roast it. Let all the roasted dals cool.

   

Once the tomato, onion mixture and the roasted dals have cooled down, transfer them into a chutney grinder, add the broken dry red chillies. Grind it into a smooth paste or coarse, as per your preference. You don't need to add water while grinding the chutney, as there is enough juice from the plum tomato, however if  you find it difficult to grinding then jut add a tablespoon of water. 



Transfer the chutney into a serving bowl.

For the tempering

Heat oil in a small pan, add the urad dal, followed by the mustard seeds and broken dry red chillies. Once the mustard seeds start cracking and the spices and dal starts to release the aroma turn off the heat and add the curry leaves. Let it fry in hot oil for 30 seconds and immediately pour the hot tempering over the chutney. 


Enjoy it with your favorite Idli, Dosa, Vada or Cheela :)

Notes

Please use really plum red n ripe tomatoes for the chutney, as the tomatoes not only add flavor but also colour. 
The tomatoes which I used were nice red ones and were quite tangy too, so I did not add tamarind... if you want your chutney to be more tangy then just add half a teaspoon of seedless tamarind while grinding the chutney.
As we have added salt while cooking the onion and tomatoes, do check the seasoning once you grind the chutney and adjust accordingly.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Moong Sprouts

How to make Moong Sprouts at home....

"Moong Sprouts"


Sprouts are basically germinated grains, seeds or legumes and its fun growing them too. Its the transitional stage between seed and plant or we could just call them baby plants. 
Moong Sprouts are very nutritious and has a crunchy texture and has a nutty taste, low in calories rich in fiber, vitamins, protein, minerals and enzymes....hence a super food. 

Here is a simple method to make moong sprouts at home. 

Ingredients

Whole Moong Dal - 1 cup
Water

Method

Pick,clean and wash Moong dal 3-4 times in running water.

Soak dal for 6-8 hours or over night, the Moong dal will swell up, discard any excess water and place it in a container cover with lid or a muslin cloth and leave it for 2 days.



If you check after a day you will notice that the sprouts have started appearing.


By day 2 the sprouts would be more developed and are ready to be consumed.  


Sprouts are ready to be used, 
Please wash them very well after you remove from the container and use it for your favorite recipe. 

Note:

I have made the sprouts in a glass jar and covered it with muslin cloth but you could alternatively prepare them by placing the soaked moong dal in a damp cloth or kitchen napkin, tie it properly and leave it for 2 days. The Moong dal will sprout. If you use the cloth method then ensure that the cloth is damp at all times as this will help in sprouting.





Monday, October 20, 2014

Gulab Jamun

"GULAB JAMUN"
Gulab jamuns are melt in mouth, sweet dumplings made with Khoya and Paneer soaked in sugar syrup. A Traditional dessert and an all time favorite at any occasion


This Diwali, why not make these at home, so here is a simple recipe to make these gorgeous looking gulab jamun, n trust me its not the difficult too. Oh! yes, please don't forget to read the notes as they are very important and will help in making perfect Gulab Jamuns.  

Ingredients

Khoya / Mawa - 1 cup
Chenna / homemade paneer - 1/4th cup
Maida - 1 tablespoon
Baking powder - 1/8th teaspoon
Cardamom powder - 1/4th teaspoon
Sugar - 1 1/4th cup
Water - 1 1/4th cup
Pistachios -10-12
Oil or ghee for frying the Gulab Jamuns

Method

Grate Khoya / Mawa in a large mixing bowl or parath, add crumbled chenna, maida and baking powder. Mix well and kneed with your palm to ensure that there are no lumps and the mixture should reach a smooth dough like consistency.
Cover the dough and let it rest for 20-25 minutes.




Take a small portion of the dough and roll into a ball almost 2 cm in diameter. The above quantity would make around 16 - 18 balls. Cover and keep aside for around 5-7 minutes.



Mix sugar, cardamom powder  and water in a pot, boil until all the sugar has melted,  but don't let it thicken to a one string consistency. Turn off the heat and keep aside.




Heat oil in a kadhai or frying pan,once moderately hot reduce the flame to low, wait for a minute or so and add gently add the gulab jamuns to the oil. Keep rotating them in the oil so that they are evenly golden browned on all sides, Remove the fried gulab jamuns with a slotted spoon and let them cool for 4-5 minutes before adding to the sugar syrup.




Add the gulab jamuns, along with chopped pistachios to the warm sugar syrup, if the sugar syrup has cooled down then don't forget to warm it before adding the gulab jamuns. Let the Gulab Jamuns soak in the sugar syrup for at least 1-2 hours before serving.



Enjoy garma garam home made Gulab Jamuns this festive season.


"WISHING YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES A VERY HAPPY DIWALI, STAY BLESSED!!!!"

Notes:

I have used home made Khoya / Mawa to make the Gulab Jamuns,recipe for the same is on the blog and here is the link to the same.
Link to Khoya  / Mawa - http://www.spicynotes.net/2014/10/homemade-khoya-or-mawa.html

While mashing the grated khoya and paneer ensure that there are no lumps as this will effect the texture of the gulab jamuns, Bits and pieces of mawa or paneer will give a granular texture, which is not very plesent, as we would like our gulab jamun to be smooth and just melt in the mouth.

When making the gulab jamun balls if the mixture seems crumbly, just add a few spoons of milk to bring the dough together, cover and keep aside for 5-7 minutes and then roll into smooth balls.

Donot overcrowd  the kadhai while frying the Gulab Jamuns ad they tend to expand while frying.

If there are any impurities in the sugar syrup, just add a tablespoon of milk, this will help form a scum on top which can be easily be removed with a spoon.

Let the Gulab jamuns cool before you add them to the warm sugar syrup, if the gulab jamuns are hot then the syrup will not penetrate well, loose there shape, as a result it will have a hard center and a chewy texture.



  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Lauki Ka Halwa

"Lauki Ka Halwa"
Lauki Ka Halwa also known as Doodhi Halwa is a Traditional and very popular Indian Sweet dish.

Lauki / Doodhi or Bottle gourd is a very popular vegetable and is widely used In Indian Cuisines. Its is rich in fiber, and low in calories, zero cholesterol, rich in vitamins and calcium. It has a very high content of water and is very light on stomach hence aids in better digestion.


As the name suggests it made with Lauki or Bottle Gourd, grated bottle gourd along is cooked with milk, flavored with Cardamom and  gets its rich creamy texture form Khoya / Mawa.


Here's a simple recipe for Lauki Ka Halwa.

Ingredients

Lauki / Bottle gourd, pealed and grated - 4 cups
Milk, hot - 2cups
Khoya / Mawa - 1 cup
Desi Ghee (Clarified butter) - 3 tablespoon
Cardamom, powder - 1/4 th teaspoon
Sugar - 3/4th cup
Cashew - 8-10

Method

Wash, peal and grate lauki. Squeeze out the extra water by pressing the grated lauki between your palms. (Lauki has very high water content, I prefer to squeeze out extra water as it reduces the cooking time)



Heat Desi ghee in a pan, add the Cashew and roast until it gets a nice golden colour, Drain and keep aside on absorbent paper.


Add the grated lauki to the remaining ghee and fry for 3-4  minutes, add hot milk and a powdered cardamom, let it come to a boil, then reduce flame to medium and let it cook.




Stir at regular intervals to avoid the halwa from sticking to the bottom of the pan. It would take around 10 - 12 minutes until most of the milk has evaporated.


Add the grated Khoya / Mawa along with sugar, mix well and continue cooking for 4-5 minutes, (Keep stirring because at this stage the halwa tends to stick to the bottom of the pan)  add cashew and mix well let it cook for another 2 minutes. Turn off the flame and remove pan from the gas top.




Serve hot or at room temperature.


Some of the other Lauki recipes which I have posted earlier are  Lauki chane ke dal, Bharwan laukiLauke ke kofte

Notes:

I have used 3/4th cup of sugar, n the halwa was moderately sweet, but you could adjust the quantity of sugar as per personal taste.
Also I have used homemade Khoya / Mawa for this recipe and the link is as below.
http://www.spicynotes.net/2014/10/homemade-khoya-or-mawa.html