Less is more

One of these days I will stare at a potato for a couple of minutes hoping for an amazing dish to happen ! My love for fewer ingredients in a recipe is growing by leaps and bounds. Here is a new favorite.
 

Lemon Chilly Prawns

Prawns - Tail on and cleaned or cleaned and unpeeled - 1 lb

Kashmiri chilly powder - 2 tbsp

Sugar - 1 tbsp

Lemon - 1

Coconut oil - ¼ cup

Salt - to taste

Keep the prawns in a bowl, sprinkle the chilly powder and salt, squeeze half of the lemon on top, toss well to combine. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Heat oil in a wok, add the sugar and stir well till the sugar is deep golden brown. Add the marinated prawns,stir fry at high heat for 3 minutes. Now turn the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, gently tossing every two minutes or so, do not cover the wok. Squeeze the remaining half of the lemon over the prawns and stir fry at high heat for 2 minutes until the prawns are dry and coated with the spices. Turn off the heat, keep in the wok covered for 5 more minutes before serving
 
 

HAPPY VISHU !

"മനസ്സിലുണ്ടാവട്ടെ ഗ്രാമത്തിൻ വെളിച്ചവും
മണവും മമതയും, ഇത്തിരി  കൊന്നപ്പൂവും"
 
എല്ലാവർക്കും  സ്നേഹം നിറഞ്ഞ വിഷു ആശംസകൾ !
 
 
Golden chain tree (Laburnum Alpinum) in bloom close to where I work
 

Sunny side up

We did not use a single egg for making this sweet tart, I promise. Even if we wanted to, there was no choice other than hopping off to the grocer’s to grab some eggs. We ran out of eggs you see, painting them away on Easter day ! So we give you this Peach Mascarpone tart, a recipe inspired purely by what was left over.
 

Mascarpone peach tart

Recipe

Ready to use frozen puff pastry sheet (10”x15”)  - 1
Jam - 4 tbsp
Yellow or white cake crumbs - 2 1/2 cups
Mascarpone cheese/or cream cheese - 1 cup
Confectioners sugar - ¼ cup
Rum flavoring - 1 tsp
Corn starch - 2 tbsp
Milk - 2 cup
granulated sugar -1/2 cup
Gelatin - 1 ½ tbsp
Canned peaches or apricots in syrup - 8-10 halves

Thaw puff pastry, leaving a half an inch border on all sides prick or score with a knife.The unscored part will serve as an edge for the tart  when the pastry is fully baked. Heat oven to 400C. Bake the puff pastry on a baking sheet for 12-15 minutes or until the pastry turns golden. Cool. Microwave jam for 1 minute. Spread it evenly over the puff pastry, refrigerate for 15 minutes. While the pastry base is getting cooled, whisk  the cheese with confectioners sugar and rum flavoring, till the mixture is smooth. After the cheese mixture is ready, add the cake crumbs in 4 batches, gently mixing with a fork. Spread this mixture over the cooled puff pastry base evenly and smoothen out the top with an offset spatula. Drain the peach slices, and tap it try on paper towels. Arrange the peach halves on the pastry base with some space in between. Refrigerate 10 minutes.

Warm the milk with granulated sugar, add ½ tbsp gelatin, whisk to combine. Make a paste of cornstarch and ¼ cup water, add it to the warm milk with constant whisking, keep whisking till the mixtures thickens. The mixture needs to be of pourable consistency. Transfer the mixture into a mixing bowl with a beak to help with pouring. Keep whisking for 3 more minutes. Pour this over the prepared tart in such a way that it spreads around the peach halves.

Mix 1 tbsp gelatin with 4 tbsp water. Melt the gelatin completely by microwaving for a minute. Mix very well to make sure there are no lumps and the mixture is clear. Using a pastry brush, gently apply the gelatin mixture over the peach slices.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving
 

 
 

Happy Easter !


Sending you all much love and rolling these watercolor painted eggs your way. We had great fun working on this very cool Easter egg project, all you need is a set of watercolors and some blown eggs.


Lupines ? May be !


Ranunculus or rose, do we really care ?


Pink and purple flowers of some kind


And now perched neatly on top of Sarah's well used egg cup is the egg that she painted.

Have a fantastic day !

Currying a fruit !

We loved our mangoes so much

that we stoned them off the trees !

When we saw that they aren't rightly sweet

we stewed them in haste !I!



Around this time of the year in Kerala, when the ripe mangoes are plenty at the local markets and cluster in abundance on the mango trees left to be, we curry the fruit in many ways. The most popular is “Mampazha pulissery”- mangoes in yogurt sauce. There are also other ways of tackling the fruit curry wise ,here is one, ripe mangos in a roasted coconut sauce - “Thenga varutharacha pazhamanga curry”.


Ripe mangoes in a roasted coconut sauce

Thenga varutharacha pazhamanga curry

Recipe

Semi ripe Mangoes - 2

Grated coconut - 1 cup

Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp.

Chopped green chilies - 1/2 tsp.

Turmeric - ½ tsp. + ½ tsp.

Curry leaves - 10

Coconut oil - 1 tbsp.

Dried red chili flakes - ½ tsp.

Salt - ½ tsp.

Cut mangoes into 10-12 pieces without peeling. In a pan dry roast the coconut at medium heat with constant stirring till the color turns pale golden. Add coriander seeds, 3 curry leaves and ½ tsp. turmeric. Roast at low heat till the mixture turns golden brown, Turn of the heat, immediately transfer the mixture to another bowl and cool down. Grind the roasted coconut adding just enough water to a fine paste, keep aside. In a saucepan, toss together the mango pieces, ½ tsp. turmeric, green chilies and salt. Add 1 ½ cup water and ½ tsp. salt. Cook in medium heat till the water begins to boil. Cover with the pan with a lid, turn the heat to low and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove the lid, add the coconut paste, mix well and cook for 5 more minutes at medium heat . Turn off the heat. Heat oil in a pan. When the oil is hot add mustard seeds, wait till it finish spluttering. Turn the heat to low, add the curry leaves and fry for 30 sec. Turn off the heat, add the chilly flakes. Quickly pour this seasoning over the mango curry, mix gently with a spoon. Keep the curry covered for at least 20 minutes before serving with rice.


Palm Sunday treats

We went on a spring break trip to the Olympic Peninsula last week, got floored by the wonders of nature, and got back just in time yesterday to make “Kozhukattas”, the rice flour dumplings filled with jaggery sweetened coconut for celebrating Palm Sunday today.
 
Sweet Kozhukatta ( Coconut rice dumplings)
Recipe

Rice flour – 2 ½ cups

Grated jiggery – 1 1/3cup
Coconut – 2 cups

Ground cumin – ¼ tsp

Ground dried ginger – ½ tsp

Cardamom powder – ¼ tsp
 

Salt – ¼ tsp

Hot water – 3 cups +

Oil -1 tbsp.


Mix grated coconut and jaggery in a pan, cook with constant stirring at medium heat, till the jiggery is melted and mixed thoroughly well with the coconut. Cook for 5 more minutes till the mixture is dry, at this point add cardamom, dried ginger and cumin powders. Mix well, turn of the heat.

Mix rice flour and salt in a large bowl, add the hot water while mixing with the handle of a wooden spoon to make very soft but lumpy dough. Allow the dough to cool enough for you to knead with your hands, a stand mixer with the dough hook attached works just as well. Knead till the dough is soft and pliable.

To make the dumplings. Make key lime sized portion of the dough. Make a deep thump print on the dough ball at the middle and work around it with your hands to make it bigger. Fill with 1 tbsp. of the coconut filling, and completely cover the filling by working the dough around it. You can smoothen the dumpling further by gently rolling it in your hands.

 

Simple strawberry verrine

Here is an easy dessert that you can serve to friends no matter how awesome they are !



Fruit Verrine

Cake

Recipe here. Cut the cake into rounds fitting the dessert cups you have. You need two cake rounds per /serving. I usually slice the 9X13 sheet cake into two layers before punching the circles out

Thin custard

1 ½ cups milk
1 cup water
1 egg yolk
½ tbsp. corn starch
 ¼ cup sugar
 ¼ tsp vanilla essence

Blend all ingradients together and cook at low heat with constant stirring till the mixture bubbles plus one minute. Cool down, do not refrigerate. Add 1 tbsp. rum if you will

Thin fruit syrup

1 cup strawberry jam
2 cup water
1/2 tsp gelatin
2 tbsp rum ( optional)
Mix all ingredients together in a blender and warm in a sauce pan till the mixture looks clear. Cool down, do not refrigerate.

Fruits

Finely chopped banana and strawberry – 3 cups

Whipped cream

Whip 2 cups of cream with ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar till soft peaks form


Putting it all together:

Take two cake circles. Keep the first one in the dessert cup and add the thin fruit syrup till the cake is soaked. Arrange the fruit pieces on top and keep another cake circle on top, gently press down. Spoon some thin custard over to soak the cake. The custard will take some time to seep in , wait 10-20 minutes before proceeding to the next step. Top with whipped cream and level with a spatula. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hrs. Decorate with thin strawberry slices

I have made 12-36 individual servings out of the measurements given here, depending on the size of the serving glass used


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