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Showing posts from February, 2011

Channar Payesh Pannacotta

My old friend from school, Fanny celebrated her birthday yesterday and when I posted my greetings (along with the multitude of others who are fortunate to know her) on her FB page, pat came her reply, so where's my dessert? Now its hard to refuse a birthday wish for anyone, & especially not for such a bubbly, sunny & cheerful character like her, so this was created keeping in mind the roman catholic traditions that she was born into and by marriage, the culture of West Bengal, she has so wonderfully assimilated.
Pannacotta is the Italian name for cooked cream, or so says wikipedia! I've never ever tried making this before & it was such a relief to find that it was ridiculously easy to concoct! I must confess, it tried some extra things along the way that were not really worth it... (I'll post those when i decide to blog about my culinary bloopers).
 Chenna or channa refers to the milk solids obtained by curdling milk. Bengal holds the distinction …

ChefinYou, this one's for you! -Cranberry Rasam

Cranberry Rasam:
    Quick post.. ( If only I could get motivated so easily all the time). D from the blog Chefinyou had posted a query about what was to be done when you had excessive cranberries stuck in the freezer, Pat came my over enthu response: Cranberry Rasam.. ( I'd just whipped up some 2 days ago & the broth is a favorite of my 20 month old, so its become a staple)...since I had regurgitated the recipe w/o much effort, second thought s crept in & I decided to validate it since I had 1/2 a bag of frozen cranberries sitting in  the freezer:

For this you need:

1/3rd cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
1 tbsp grated orange or tangerine rind
2 tsp Rasam powder
A pinch each of turmeric & asafetida
Salt to taste
3 cups water
4-5 curry leaves torn,
1 green chilli partially slit vertically
Cilantro for garnishing

Tempering:
1 tsp ghee
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds

 In a microwave safe bowl combine cranberries and 1/2 a cup of water and cook for 2 minutes. Mash the b…

Pierogi potstickers

Q. Where does a Pierogi figure in Traditional Indian cuisine??
A. Nowhere really..

  My first taste of Pierogi (actually, make that the first time I'd heard the term) was from one of those freezer offerings. the prepackaged versions apparently were a staple for my husband while in grad school. Just remove from package, microwave in a bowl of water, drain liquid & scarf down...
  Pierogi (the term is plural) are basically boiled dough pockets filled with potatoes, although there are variations to be found all over Poland, eastern Europe & Central Asia where they originate. Although not as common as the ubiquitous pizza, frozen pierogis are a staple in any megamart freezer section. and yes for the most part, ovovegetarian.
  It wasn't straightforward coming up with an Indian version of this. It was on a completely unrelated recipe testing session that gave rise to this dish.
   I was trying out a recipe from the latest book in my collection, 'cooking @…

Book Review: Cooking at home with Pedatha by Jigyasa Giri & Pratibha Jain

Image courtesy: http://pritya.com/  One of the quirkiest & memorable awards I've ever recieved was ' the resilient taste buds award' at the Medical Residence annual, while working towards my Biomedical Engineering degree at the University of Cape Town... & the single factor that made me the clear winner for this title, my ever present sidekick at the dinner table, a bottle of home made Andhra style red chilli chutney sent to me regularly from Johannesburg by my mother's friend Mrs. Satya Somaiyajulu. Needless to say, it was so essential to keeping my taste buds happy when faced with daily doses of dorm food!  So when I came across this book while browsing through Amazon.com, it brought back such vivid memories of the best academic experience I've been through.
 The first thing that strikes you about the book is the sepia toned photograph of a graceful lady, Mrs Subhadra Parigi, against a pastel green & olive background. She could be anyone&…

Cupcake Lasagna

Disclaimer: I will not claim credit for thinking of this particular recipe even though I've experimented with cuppy versions of other stuff like Nachos.. The underlying punchline applies though... Just as the Nacho's were not made with corn chips (but with Corn Tortilla's instead), This version of the  classic Italian Pasta dish does not contain *Drumroll* any Pasta!!
I came across an article for cupcake Lasagna  being the latest fad in the cupcake series that is sweeping across the US. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703960804576120453548957890.html
As luck would have it, I had nothing but a jar of Pasta Sauce, shredded pizza cheese, a zucchini & a pack of wonton wrappers. and yes an aluminum muffin tray, one of those disposable ones from the dollar store.
"@ this point, I leave you to imagine a cacophony of clanging & clattering sounds in your head"
40 minutes and one disposable muffin tin later, what turned out from the oven w…

Punjabi Dal Crostata

At some point of time in everyone's life there comes a day when 4 different members of the family want five different things for a meal & taking into account Murphy's law, its usually on days when a.) the weather outside is frightful
and
b.) the kitchen pantry is running with a bright orange neon equivalent of a 'low fuel' light,

On one such occasion I was stuck in the middle of making (or rather making do with ) Masoor dal when my 5 year old declares that he wanted Pizza. The good news was that I did have a pack of frozen Pizza dough, but the bad news.. just enough cheese & Pasta Sauce for one 6 inch roti sized pizza.  Once thawed, it only makes practical sense to use it up ASAP & out of this necessity came this culinary invention.

Crostatas are basically just  rustic free form tarts. One of the best descriptions i read about the dish were from this blog http://joycooks.blogspot.com/2009/06/crostata-di-marmellata.html
The take home message: …