Purin

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I am pretty sure that this name is gonna ring a bell from chemistry, an organic compound. Well, its actually Japanese name for pudding(creme-caramel to be precise). It is akin to a typical Mexican flan, but purin is more condensed. Some people prefer to use gelatin, like I did, so it will have a tad bit of jelly structure, which makes it actually better. Just like a normal creme caramel, its topped with caramel, which can be light or dark, a personal choice, I have used the dark one here, which has the bitter zing of burnt sugar, which is some i felt exquisite for a sweet tooth. Two ways of fashioning this dessert is either by baking or simply putting them straight away to fridge. I have chosen the second one, which turned out well. With only a few ingredients, check out how to carve this beauty!

Gather these:

For the caramel:

  • granulated sugar   – 175 grams
  • water        – 3 tablespoons

For the pudding:

  • non flavored gelatin   – 10 grams
  • water     – approx 1/4 cup
  • egg yolks   – 4 large
  • granulated sugar  – 1/4th cup + 2 tablespoons
  • full fat milk   – 400 ml/1 and 3/4 cups
  • whipping cream  – 1/2 a cup
  • vanilla   – 2 teaspoons

Start with:

  • Combine gelatin with water for it to bloom and leave it aside. Arrange your ramekins.
  • Begin with the caramel by melting the granulated sugar in a heavy bottomed vessel, over a medium to high flame. Watch it turn deep brown.
  • Once no granules are left on the pan, add 3 table spoons of water. Be careful about the mess the hot pan is about to make. Use a wooden spoon to mix them thoroughly.
  • Move them from the flame and fill 2/3rd of the ramekins with the caramel. Dip the bottom of ramekin in hot water so that it wont get hardened.  Now, moving up for the pudding.
  • In a clean dry bowl, using a wire whisk, cream egg yolks and sugar along with vanilla and set it aside.
  • In a sauce pan, heat up half of the milk (200 mils) until warm. Do not let it boil.
  • Add the milk in batches of four into the creamed egg mixture, whisking them thoroughly.
  • Now pour this mixture back to the pain and place them in a low flame, stirring continously until bubbles are formed at the edges. Add the gelatin and remove from heat. Now pour them through a sieve to get a smooth mixture into a bowl.
  • Place this bowl in an ice bath. Add the remaining milk and whipping cream and whisk them altogether.
  • Pour the thick mixture into individual ramekins(taken from the hot water). Fridge them up for 1 and half hour or until wobbly.
  • Once set, its time to turn them out to a plate. Take a bowl of hot water.
  • Run a knife through the ramekin edge to release the pudding. Now to release the caramel bottom, dip only the bottom part of the ramekin in the hotwater for approximately 7 seconds.
  • Now tilt the ramekin upside down to the serving plate and voila, its out! Indulge into the calories 😛

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CHOCOLATE GENOESE SPONGE WITH CHOCOLATE SAUCE

fb1The name itself is self-explanatory that this cake originated from Genoa, capital city of Liguria and one of the bulkiest cities in North western Italy. The noted difference between Genoese cake and regular sponge cake is the method in which eggs are beaten, wholly in the former and separately in the latter. This has become one of the basic lessons in French Patisserie, which can be served with fillings or covered in jam cream or any sorts of fruit puree, or even frosted which is personal choice, since it’s a bit dry and elastic compared to others. Ladyfingers made from these can also be used in tiramisu, classic italian dessert! One more important thing to be noted is that there is NO leavening agents used in this recipe, just whisks eggs and sugar in a bain marie or a double boiler to a ribbon consistency and then combine with flour and melted butter. This recipe is adapted from Larousse Gastronomique, my cooking bible! I am jotting down the recipe here for the chocolate version of this cake and for non flavored recipe, omit the cocoa, and proceed with the same steps.

Gather these:

  • unsalted butter   – 65 grams/2 tablespoons
  • caster sugar         -75 grams/6 tablespoons
  • unsweetened cocoa powder- 75 grams/6 tablespoons
  • eggs                       – 4
  • all purpose flour – 125 grams/1 cup

For the chocolate sauce:

  • roughly chopped chocolate – 250 grams
  • milk  – 75 ml
  • unsalted butter -20 grams
  • caster sugar  – 60 grams
  • double cream  – 1.5 tablespoon

 

Start with:

  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees/350 F.
  • Melt the butter in a bain marie or a double boiler and use a little bit of it to butter your cake mould.
  • In a heatproof bowl, mix sugar and cocoa powder and 4 eggs. Place them in a bain marie or double boiler and whisk the mixture until they are thick and increased in volume and remove it only when a ribbon like consistency is attained.
  • Now, fold in the flour and melted butter into the cocoa mixture. When beautifully incorporated, transfer then into your cake mould.
  • Bake them for around 25 to 30 minutes.
  • If you find your cake to be too dry, brush some caramel sauce over it, like I did.

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  • For the chocolate sauce, melt the chopped chocolate in a double boiler with milk and butter.
  • When it turns to a smooth consistency, add caster sugar and double cream.
  • When smooth, remove them from heat.
  • Keep it aside for about 15 minutes and them pour them over the cake. Decorate them using walnuts, cherries and some chocolate chips. Voila! Emerge into the world of chocolate!

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TOFU,PEANUT BUTTER AND NOODLE STIR-FRY

1-b1-002I found this exotic combination of peanut butter and soy sauce in a book penned by Jane Price, comprising of a wide assortment of pure vegan and vegetarian dishes, both quick fixes and for complicated dinner. This creamy and sweet and salty peanut butter is way to go with soy sauce and yes it gives a contrasting and a vivid taste for the noodles. This tofu can be replaced with cottage cheese or any protein of your choice. Though actual recipe uses kecap manis/indonesian sweet soy sauce,it can be replaced with normal dark soy sauce sweetened with some soft brown sugar . I have used chunks of veggies rather than small vertical chops, because, it gives quite an alluring appearance to the bowl. Pick your own range of favorite greens like baby corn and pamper yourself with this beautiful make 😉

Gather these:

  • red capsicum   – 1 medium sized
  • firm tofu           – 200 grams
  • cauliflower/broccoli – 125 grams
  • button mushrooms   – 125 grams
  • scallion greens        – 1/4 cup
  • garlic cloves,crushed  – 5
  • grated ginger   – 1.5 teaspoons
  • kecap manis    – 1/3rd a cup/80 mils
  • creamy peanut butter – 90 grams/ 1/3rd a cup
  • vegetable oil  – 2 tablespoons
  • chinese noodles – 500 grams

Start with:

  • Clean the mushrooms and cut them into chunks, along with other vegetables.
  • In a pot of water, cook the cauliflower florets to 70 percent, along with some salt.
  • In the mean while, cut tofu into cubes and and combine them with garlic, ginger and half the kecap manis in a bowl,leave it aside.
  • Mix peanut butter, half a cup water and rest of kecap manis in another bowl.
  • Cook the noodles al dente with salt as per the packet instructions. Run them through cold water and add some oil to thwart sticking.
  • Now take a wok, add some oil and swirl to coat the base and side. Drain the tofu from the marinade and cook them in this hot oil until they are deep brown. Keep it aside.
  • In the same pan, add the vegetables, order goes like mushroom, capsicum,cauliflower and any others if you are adding. Add extra oil if necessary and stir fry until they are tender.
  • Add the tofu, noodles, the marinade and the peanut butter mixture, one after the other, toss them well with the noodles. Test the salt and take them off the heat. Add the scallion greens and serve them hot.

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QUICK CHICKEN AND SOY FUSILLI

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This is something I did out of frustration, irritation and feeling stupid for preparing nothing for the next day’s exam. I know that’s ridiculous, but it turned out to be good. This has mostly null extra work to do,there is no need to make some pasta sauce of your own,puree some tomatoes, basically nothing high profile 😛 . Just some tearing the protein, some chopping the onions and some peppers and then you’re done. Vegetarians can replace chicken with either cottage cheese or tofu!  This recipe is devoted to all the lazy asses, including me!

Gather these:

  • Fusilli or any other pasta  -250 grams
  • water – lots of it
  • red chilli flakes – 2 tablespoons
  • boneless chicken cut into bite sized pieces – 200 grams
  • green pepper/capsicum –
  • garlic – 7 cloves
  • ginger  – 1 inch, grated
  • chilli vinegar – 1 and half teaspoons
  • dark soy sauce   – 1 tablespoon
  • light soy sauce   -1/2 tablespoon
  • cilantro – to garnish
  • onion – 1 small, chopped

 

Start with:

  • In a large heavy bottomed vessel, boil lots of water, along with good amount of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil. Throw the pasta in and cook till al dente. Drain them and run them through cold water.
  • In a pan, heat around 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add chopped garlic and ginger to it. Before it turns brown, add the chicken to it,along with red chilli flakes and sear for around 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Now, sprinkle some salt over the chicken and add the chopped onions. Once they turn pink, add the capsicum to it, saute them well.
  • Add the pasta and incorporate them well with the chilli flakes and capsicum. Now, add the vinegar, light and dark soy sauce to it, mix it well. Do not over heat and burn the mixture. Test the salt and heat. If required add chilli flakes and if u want some flavor, add powdered chicken cubes to it.
  • Turn the heat off, mix some fresh cilantro and eat it hot.

Enjoy!

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Chicken braised in spices and yoghurt with Nasi Lemak

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Nasi Lemak or Malaysian coconut rice, which is the national food of Malaysia, peeps  usually consume this fragrant dish as breakfast. A regular platter will have this rice accompanied with a sambhal make with anchovies, some peanuts, boiled egg, and some crisp vegetables. But this recipe was taken all over Asia, mostly Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, India and Riau Islands, so the sides are different and depends on food culture of each plate and even the taste differs. Since I am an Indian blood, I tend to enjoy this beautiful make along with a spicy chicken dish, braised in yoghurt, or call it ‘korma’. This Mughal dish follows the typical braising technique, slow cooking using yoghurt, cream, coconut milk and some nut pastes if necessary. I found this statuesque procreation done in Masterchef and hence tried it; the result is really intense, beautiful and of-course piquant. So peeps who are in for spicy food, I recommend you try this 😉

CHICKEN BRAISED IN SPICES AND YOGHURT

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gather these:

  • Chicken cleaned well and fat removed  – 500 grams
  • Salt    – 1.5 teaspoon
  • Oil     -3/4th a cup
  • Green cardamoms – 8
  • Black cumin – 1 tablespoon
  • Cinnamon  – 2 inch stick
  • Cloves          – 5
  • Bay Leaf  – 1
  • Ginger paste and Garlic paste – 100 grams each (use fresh ginger and garlic)
  • Turmeric powder   – 2 teaspoons
  • Red Chilli powder  – 4 teaspoons
  • Coriander powder   – 2 tablespoons
  • Whisked fresh yoghurt – 1 cup
  • Brown onion paste    – 150 grams (slice 350 g onions, deep fry till golden brown, paste them in a blender)
  • Brown cashew nut paste – 75 grams (same as above, use cashews)
  • Rose water (optional) – 2 teaspoons
  • Mace powder   – 1 teaspoon
  • green cardamom powder – 1 teaspoon (optional)

Start with:

  • Rub the chicken with some salt and leave them for around 10-15 minutes.
  • In a heavy bottomed pan, throw some oil and heat it up. Now add the cardamom, cumin, cinnamon,cloves and bayleaf. Once they start to sizzle, add the ginger and garlic paste, mix it well.
  • Mix each of the powders separately in some water to make a paste and add one by one. Salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder. Cook it until the oil separates from the paste.
  • Add in the whisked yoghurt, stir it continuously with raised flame, until it starts to boil. Now simmer and wait until the oil rises to the surface,
  • Add the chicken, cook with a little water, until half done.
  • Now add the brown onion paste and incorporate it well. Now add 3 cups of water and cook the chicken completely and until the gravy start to thicken. This takes some time, do have patience.
  • Now, separate the chicken and gravy using a slotted spoon. Now let’s do a bit something on the gravy.
  • Add the cashew nut paste, rose water, mace powder and cardamom powder to the gravy. Wait for around a minute. I know, the aroma is making a sea in your mouth..
  • Return the chicken pieces back and simmer for around a minute. Enjoy..

NASI LEMAK

1-IMG_4552gather these:

  • basmati rice  – 1 cup
  • coconut milk – 2 cups
  • screwpine leaves(tied to a knot) – 3
  • salt – 1 teaspoon

start with

  • Wash the rice well.
  • Cook the rice as per instructions using coconut milk instead of water. Add salt and screw pine leaves to it.
  • Serve hot.

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