Pakashastra

Pakashastra

Friday, May 8, 2015

Baba Ganoush

Serves: 4



Ingredients:

Eggplant - 2 small or 1 medium
Garlic, minced - 2 cloves
Peppercorns, freshly ground - 1 teaspoon
Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon +  1 teaspoon for drizzling
Lemon Juice - 2 teaspoons
Tahini - 3 tablespoons
Salt - to taste

For Garnishing:

Paprika - 1 teaspoon
Parsley, chopped - 2 tablespoons (use Cilantro instead)


Method:

  1. Place the eggplant on open flame on a as stove and roast it until the skin is completely charred on all sides. You need to keep turning the eggplant to get it uniformly charred on all the sides. If you do not have a gas flame, follow step 2 or 3.
  2. Place the eggplant on red hot charcoal until the skin on all sides is uniformly charred. If you do not have charcoal too, follow step 3.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450F(~232C). Line a baking tray with aluminium foil. Place the eggplant on the baking tray and roast them until it is soft with shrunken skin. You should be able to easily insert a skewer into the eggplant. I prefer this step to avoid mess of juice oozing out on the gas stove.
  4. Place the roasted eggpalnt on a plate and carefully remove the charred skin. Clean up the eggplant to get clean pulp without any charred skin remaining.
  5. Using a fork mash the eggplant pulp. Or pulse it a couple of times in a blender.
  6. Blend the mashed pulp, minced garlic, freshly ground peppercorns, olive oil, lemon juice, tahini and salt together until it forms a coarse paste. 
  7. Transfer into a serving bowl, drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil, sprinkle paprika and garnish with chopped parsley.
  8. Serve as a dip with pita bread, tortilla chips or baguette or store in an air tight container for upto a week and serve when required.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Vanilla Stars

Yields: 25 cookies (approx) 


Ingredients:

All-Purpose Flour (Maida) - 3 cups
Baking Powder - 1 1/2 teaspoons
Butter - 300gms
White Sugar, fine granules - 1 1/2 cups
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Vanilla Extract - 2 teaspoons


Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
  2. Sift together all-purpose flour and baking powder twice together.
  3. Cut the butter through the sifted flour until it forms a crumbly mixture.
  4. Add sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Knead well until it forms a soft dough.
  5. Divide the dough into 4 dough balls of equal size.
  6. Roll each ball into 1cm thick disc.
  7. Using a cookie star shaped cookie cutter, stamp out the stars.
  8. Place the dough stars on the baking tray.
  9. Bake for about 10 -12 minutes until the base starts browning. 
  10. Remove the trays from the oven and place them on cooling rack for about 10 minutes. The cookies which are slightly soft on top will harden as they cool down.
  11. Serve and preserve the rest in an air tight container.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Refrigerated Strawberry Cake

Serves: 8 to 10




Ingredients:

For Layer 1:

Vanilla Sponge Cake (bake well in advance, click here for recipe)

For Layer 2:

Strawberries, hulled - 10 to 12
White Sugar - 1/2 cup

For Layer 3:

Milk - 2 cups + 1/2 cup
Custard Powder - 4 tablespoon
Sugar - 1/3 cup
Heavy Cream - 1/2 cup

For Topping:

Strawberries, sliced - 4 to 5
Tutti Frutti - 1/2 cup
Walnuts/Pecans/Almonds, chopped - 1/2 cup

To Serve

Stemmed Glass/Straight Glass - 8 to 10


Method:

  1. Bake the cake in a rectangle 12" x 8" baking tray. Allow it to cool down completely. It is best to bake 24 hours before you want to serve the cake.
  2. For layer 2, take strawberries in a blender. Pulse it a few times until they are reduced to small chunks.
  3. In a sauce pan, take blended strawberry and 1/2 cup sugar. Cook for about 5-6 minutes, until it thickens slightly. Let it cool down to room temperature. Strawberry Compote is now ready.
  4. Meanwhile, for layer 3, in a small bowl mix custard powder with 1/2 cup milk. Keep aside.
  5. In another saucepan, bring 2 cups of milk to boil, add sugar. When the sugar melts, turn off the flame.
  6. Now add custard powder + milk mixture.  Mix thoroughly.
  7. Place the sauce pan back on flame (low flame). Cook for a minute, stirring continuously. Due to thick consistency, it might get burnt very quickly at the base, so take care to stir continuously on low flame. Turn off the flame and let it cool down to room temperature. 
  8. Add heavy cream to the prepared custard. Whisk thoroughly until it is smooth and creamy.
Assembling the cake:
  1. Using the mouth of the stemmed/straight glass used for serving, stamp out the cake into 8 to 10 cylinders.
  2. Place each cake cylinder in each serving glass. Prick the top of the cake using a fork.
  3. Pour 3-4 tablespoons of strawberry compote on the cake in each glass. Spread it evenly.
  4. Layer it with 3-4 tablespoons of custard + cream mixture.
  5. Top it Strawberry slices, chopped walnuts/pecans/almonds and tutti frutti.
  6. Refrigerate the assembled cake for 5-6 hours before serving.