It has been a long time since the last post. I have been baking, cooking and clicking but not been able to come up with a post. A detailed post can’t be made in a rush right. It will miss the beat otherwise 😉 Moving to grad school brought two new variables – limited cooking time and lesser range of ingredients in the pantry. I was craving to have some refreshing fruit based pancakes and found peaches on a local market haul in just the right time. The smooth skinned beauties were the first peaches I have ever had. They smelled heavenly, a fragrance I find intoxicating.
So what next? The foodie-chef inside me figured it all out 😛 The usual drill of finding the flour, fat, vanilla, baking powder. I was determined to not to get these ingredients common to baking and continental desserts and threw a challenge to address my cravings in the most simple way possible. That’s how this french toast came into the picture! 😉
After all, isn’t a french toast a makeshift version of a pan cake? What do you think?
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Simultaneously make the compote and french toast.
Two bread slices (white/brown)
2-3 tbsp Milk
½ tbsp Honey
1-2 pinches Cinnamon powder
½ tbsp – 1 tbsp ghee/butter
- Beat egg in a wide bowl.
- Whisk milk, honey and cinnamon powder to it.
- Soak bread slices one at a time in the batter. Rest them for at least half a second on each side.
- Lift them carefully onto a hot pan smeared with butter/ghee.
- Cook on each side for a minute or more. Flip and cook the other side. Roast them on medium flame to give a uniform golden color.
- Remove and quickly make the other one as well.
2 nos Peaches
½ tbsp Honey
3-4 tbsp water
¼ tsp Cinnamon powder
- Chop the peaches into desired shape – slices or cubes.
- Combine peaches, water, honey and cinnamon powder.
- Boil them together until the peaches break down and soften. This hardly takes 5 minutes since it is a small portion.
Enjoy the french toast with the peach compote!
Oh my, it has been more than a month since I have posted last recipe. Another break. With the festive hustle-bustle around brother’s wedding, time just flew. Colorful backdrops, kids dashing around with their antics, elders busy with the preparations, endless banters with bhai jaan, all near and dear – Wedding times are the best! Amidst all of this, couldn’t keep myself away from the kitchen at all. In fact, I have tried my hands in preparing food for a little over fifteen people. I am generally not good with seasoning when cooking for more than four or six members. So, it was a satisfying experience as the dishes turned so well.
Splashes of colours during wedding ❤
Guthi Vankaya Curry in the making
Sweet Limes are in season and I am a big fan of citrus fruits. The citrusy zing never fails to please my senses in an esoteric way.
Packed with Vitamin C, they are good to eat at any point of the day. Especially, if you are having a busy day at the office or too tired after shopping, pick a citrus fruit. It hydrates and reenergizes the body instantly. Oranges and lemons are so famous as fruit based acidic agents and natural flavour enhancers used in baking. I was curious if I could use sweet limes instead of lemons or oranges. It resulted in this tasty and beautiful cake. I have adapted Honey Cake recipe from Epicurious and worked my way experimenting with the ingredients. Used the Wonder Pot I have used to bake earlier as well as pressure cooker to bake the cake. It tasted perfect both ways.
1 ⅓ cup + 4 tbsp All Purpose Flour/ Maida
½ tbsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Baking Soda
¼ tsp Salt
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
¼ tsp Ground Cloves
¼ tsp Ground Cardamom
1 cup Oil + 3 tbsp White Butter (room temp)
½ cup Honey
¾ cup Granulated Sugar
¼ cup Brown Sugar
½ tsp Vanilla Essence
½ cup Coffee/ Tea Decoction
¼ cup Fresh Sweet Lime Juice
- Coat the mould with butter on the inside and dust it with all purpose flour. Hold it upside down and tap it gently to remove any excess flour.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together.
- Add in the wet ingredients into the same bowl and gently mix it using a strong wire whisk or an electric whisk on low speed.
- Pour the batter into the mould and bake it for about 25 minutes on the low flame.
- Check for doneness using a clean knife. Switch off the flame if it comes off clean. Otherwise, bake for some more time.
- I have used the pressure cooker and wonder pot with this batter. If you are using an oven for this recipe, try baking it at 180 degrees for 20 minutes and check for doneness and allow it to bake for more time if required.
Somehow I have never developed liking for frosting or glazes on cakes. Most of the times, I prefer to eat them as it as. You could try putting on some chocolate ganache or a jam based glaze to give it more oomph. Else, for a simple spruced up finish,top the batter with sliced almonds. Original recipe has some whiskey in the ingredients. I skipped it altogether and didn’t even add the equivalent amount of citrus juice as mentioned there. The cake turned out extremely delicious and airy with a nice crumb.
- Depending upon the size of pan used and mode of cooking method followed, cooking time might vary.
Fresh seasonal produce always excite me and I think staying away from metro life has brought them closer and easily available than ever. In between simmering summer temperatures and onset of monsoons, unripe cashew fruits make their way into local farmers market. In Andhra region, from where I come, tender cashew nuts are relished with drumsticks and onions curry. Andhra curry recipes always have this subtle sweetish spicy taste, which make me consume more rice. Well, I think delicious food always comes with an invisible tag warning, ‘eat more at your own risk’.
Unripe Cashew Fruits
Had the cashew fruits bought were ripe; I would have had the chance to know what they taste like. Curiosity doesn’t kill the cat, sometimes at least. Do you know this – what we commonly call as cashew fruit isn’t the actual fruit. As you can see, there are two parts –the kidney shaped part which has seed or nut and the juicy part. Scientifically speaking, the fleshy part is the modified stalk of the flower. The true fruit is the kidney shaped half which has the nut. I learned about it in the eleventh grade botany class. It was one the many fascinating things I learnt while learning botany. Do you know that there are plants which eat insects? Yes, it’s true. Okay, I will talk about the recipe now.
The traditional Andhra ‘Pachi Jeedipappu Kodi curry’ uses the fresh cashew in whole. But, I wanted to have it along with roti, so reserved only handful of them for the crunch and pureed the remaining. Mom already marinated the chicken by the time I woke up. She just used some chilli powder, salt, turmeric and curd. I left it that way without any further add-ons and let the chicken soak it all for about 4 hours. As most of you might have known, the more time you marinate the chicken, the better it would taste. Just remember to refrigerate if your margination time is beyond 6 hours or right way if you are living in hot climate. I didn’t follow any particular recipe (lazy to research actually) so, the measurements are not to the T. Adjust spice and salt levels according to your taste.
- Chicken – ½ kg (boneless preferred)
- Fresh cashew nuts – 1 cup
- Roughly Chopped Onions – ½ cup
- Large sized tomatoes – 1
- Green Chillies – 4
- Drum sticks – 1 nos ( 6 – 8 nos 2 inch pieces)
- Shahjeera – 1/2 tsp
- Green cardamom – 1 nos
- Dried bay leaf – 1-2 nos
- Red Chilli Powder – as required (add half into marinade and half into curry)
- Garam Masala – 1tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1tsp (add half into marinade and half into curry)
- Ghee – 1tbsp + Oil – 2tbsp
- Salt – as required
Step –by- step:
½ tsp – turmeric powder
1 tbsp – chilli powder
½ tbsp – ginger garlic paste
2 tbsp – Curd
½ tsp – Salt
Clean the chicken pieces with water and take them into a bowl. Add the above ingredients into it and mix well, such that all the pieces are uniformly coated with the marinade.
- Place the cooking pot/pan on heat. Add the ghee and oil and wait till it gets hot and put in the bay leaves, cardamom and shahjeera.
- After a minute or half, toss in the slit green chillies, handful of fresh cashew nuts and chopped onions. Sautee the onions for a minute and add the drumsticks. Add the remaining amount of turmeric powder, mix well and put on a lid.
- As the onions turn translucent, add the marinated chicken into the pot. Mix well, replace the lid and check the pot after ten minutes. The heat level can be from medium to high now.
- Meanwhile, pulse the fresh cashews and tomato in blender.
- The juices from the chicken ooze out. This provides enough water for the chicken to cook. Add the red chilli powder, salt and tomato- cashew paste and mix. Let the lid on for another ten minutes.
- Now, add the garam masala and place the lid for another 2 minutes. Check for the spice and salt level. Adjust accordingly.
- By this time, the gravy comes together. Let the curry stay on heat for some more time, if you want thicker gravy. Serve it with rotis/rice/biryani.
I stored the left-over curry in the fridge and interestingly, the taste of the curry improved ten times the next day. I never experienced this before with chicken curries. Some post-cooking marination magic!
- Removing the cashew seed is a tedious process. Wear gloves while working with them. If not careful, the resin from the unripe fruit gives a burning sensation to the skin.
- Garam masala used in the recipe is mom’s recipe. It is a fresh blend of poppy seeds; garlic cloves, cumin, cloves and coriander seeds.
- Never add spices when the oil is at room temperature. Warm oil allows the spices release their aromatic compounds.
- This recipe works well with dry cashews too. Just soak them in water overnight or warm water for about half an hour.