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Kay's House of Treats: May 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

Eggplant Burani (Eggplant with Yoghurt)

Continuing with my interest in savory food, this is one of my favorite vegetarian dishes, which not only tastes delicious but is also great for the summers since it can be served cold or at room temperature.

It's basically fried eggplant, mixed with masala, and then layered with yoghurt garnished with onions and coriander/dhaniya. After a few minutes, the oil comes on top adding a bit more color to the dish.

For Spice Mixture
1/2 kg eggplants (preferably big round egg plants with less seeds)
2 medium onions (chopped)
1 tsp ginger and garlic paste each ..
2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
Oil - 2-3 tbsp
For Yogurt Mixture
1 cup yogurt
1 tsp red pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tsp coriander powder
2 garlic cloves (sliced and minced)
Sliced Onions (for garnish)
Coriander/Dhaniya (For garnish)

Heat oil. Fry onion till golden brown and then make onion paste by mixing with water and grinding it in food processor. In the same oil, add all dry spices and then saute with the paste till it is slightly brown and the spices have been cooked properly. Set this mixture aside.
Slice egg plants thinly and put in salt water. Dry the eggplants on a paper towel and fry on both sides till golden brown. Mix the fried eggplants with the spice mixture made earlier.
In order to make the yogurt mixture, take yogurt, add spices and mix it all together. Taste yogurt and add more spices depending on your taste.
To assemble the Burani
Layer the eggplants in the bottom of the dish, then add the spice mixture on top of the eggplants and make sure that the eggplants are coated properly. Then add the yogurt mixture on top. Garnish with sliced onions and coriander leaves. Leave for a few minutes so that the oil in the spice mixture can come on top and also add a bit more color to the dish. This can be served both cold as well as on room temperature. However, it cannot be warmed because it contains fresh yogurt.

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Chicken Makhni

Today I'm going to post something savory instead of my usual desserts. I'm a big fan of cream based curries/salan's like Chicken Handi/Makhni & etc. I had tried a few recipes earlier, but it didn't have that silky creamy consistency that the restaurant style Makhni has. My sister-in-law has made really amazing makhni and she recommended that I try out this recipe which was not only delicious but really simple too. If only it didn't have so much cream in it, it could easily be a regular dinner meal.So here goes the recipe. It's been translated and adapted from Chef Zakir's cookbook.

Chicken Makhni/Butter Chicken
Chicken (300 g) - Boneless
Butter - 2 tbsp
Ginger Garlic Paste - 2 tbsp (1 tbsp garlic or 1 tbsp ginger)
Tomato Paste - 1/2 cup
Cream - 1 cup
Red Pepper - 1 tbsp
Zeera/Dhaniya Powder - 1 tbsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tbsp
Salt - To Taste (I added 1 tbsp)
Oil - As needed (I added like 3-4 tbsp)
Garnish - Sliced Ginger & Coriander/Dhaniya

Heat Oil. Add ginger garlic paste and saute for 2 minutes till the smell of raw garlic disappears. Add chicken and saute till tender (about 20 minutes). Add masala's and tomato paste and butter and saute for a few minutes. Check if chicken is tender enough. Then add cream and saute for a 1-2 minutes just to mix it through and make sure the dish is warmed through.Garnish with sliced ginger and coriander/dhaniya in the end.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Angel Food Cake

The idea of an angel food cake has always fascinated me though I have never attempted it due to the large number of egg whites required. It's very easy to finish left-over egg whites, but the amount of cholesterol in egg yolks makes it highly unlikely that I will be making scrambled eggs for breakfast with them.

But the coconut custard cake that I made in the last post required 12 egg yolks leaving me with enough egg whites to experiment. The recipe that I tried was Cook's Illustrated (since it had exactly 12 egg whites) and the cake turned out beautiful. It rose up just right, and while the idea of putting the cake to cool on a bottle sounded absurd, it ensured that the cake did not sink once it was out of the oven. The crumb and texture of the cake was really light, however, the taste itself could be improved since it was bland. The next time I make the cake, I would either add more sugar, or pour sugar syrup or a simple glaze over the cake to add some much needed sweetness.

The Best Angel Food Cake
Recipe taken from: 

The New Best Recipe: All-New Edition by Cook's Illustrated Magazine, John Burgoyne, Carl Tremblay and Daniel J. Van Ackere (Oct 15, 2004)

1 1/2 cups egg whites (about 12 egg whites), at room temperature
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar, divided in 3/4 cup and 3/4 cup
1 cup sifted cake flour (3/4 cup all purpose flour + 2 tbsp cornflour)
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp almond essence (or any other flavouring)
zest of 1 small lemon
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice 

Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to325 degrees. Have ready an ungreased large tube pan (9-inch diameter and 16-cup capacity), preferably with a removable bottom. If pan bottom is not removable, you must line it with parchment or waxed paper, but make sure you don't grease or the batter won't be able to climb the sides of the pan and you will have a very flat angel food cake.

Whisk together the flour and half the sugar in a small bowl. Place the remaining sugar in another small bowl near the mixer.

Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer at medium-low speed until just broken up and beginning to froth. Add cream of tartar and salt and beat at medium speed until whites form very soft, billowy mounds, 2 to 3 minutes.

With the mixer still at medium speed, beat in half the sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, until all the sugar is added and the whites are shiny and form soft peaks, another 2 to 3 minutes.

Add vanilla extract, lemon juice and almond extract and beat for about 30 seconds at highest speed.

Resift the flour/sugar mixture and spoon it over the egg whites, about 3 tablespoons at a time, folding in gently with a large spatula.

Gently scrape batter into pan, smooth top with spatula, and give the pan a couple of gentle raps on the counter to release any large air bubbles in the batter.

Bake on lower-middle rack at 325 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes, until cake is golden brown and top springs back when pressed firmly.

If cake pan has feet, invert pan onto them. If not, invert tube of pan over neck of bottle (or two stacked wire cookie cooling racks) so air can circulate all around it. Allow cake to cool completely for 2 to 3 hours.

To unmold, run a thin serrated knife around the edges, being careful to dislodge as little of the crust as possible. Pull cake out of pan and use the same technique on the bottom, or peel off parchment or waxed paper if using. Place cake, bottom side up, on a platter. Cut slices by sawing gently with a serrated knife. Serves 10 to 12.

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Coconut Custard Cake

Again, I know, it's been a while but sporadic posting seems to be a habit of mine which is mostly dependant if I actually had time to take pictures of the food I made; and not just random pictures, but like good pictures.

As is obvious from the message on the cake, I made this for a close friend to celebrate her wedding; Again following my trend of wanting to do something yet not chocolate, this is what I decided to make. The cake has sugar, egg yolks (a total of 12 egg yolks), milk and coconut all mixed up together and poured into a glass dish and baked in a water bath.The coconut in this cake "magically" becomes this really delicious bottom crust, providing a wonderful contrast to the custard on top.

Next time I bake this, I will make it in individual ramekins to be served with whipped cream on the side. An additional side benefit to the cake is that it left me with a total of 12 egg whites, which is the exact number needed to make an Angel Food Cake, which I will be sharing in the next post.