Pakashastra

Pakashastra

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Kadala Curry / Black Chickpeas (Kala Channa) Curry

Kadala Curry is from traditional Kerala cuisine. Boiled black chickpeas or kala channa are cooked in a spicy, roasted coconut based gravy. It is easy to prepare and goes well with appam, puttu, dosas or rice.



Ingredients:

Black Chickpeas/Kala Channa - 1 cup
Coconut Oil - 2 teaspoons
Green Chilli - 2, slit vertically
Ginger, minced - 1 teaspoon
Garlic, minced - 1 teaspoon
Onion - 1 large, thinly slices
Tomato - 1 large, chopped
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Red Chilli Powder  - 1 teaspoon
Cumin Powder - 3/4 teaspoon
Coriander Powder - 1  teaspoon
Garam Masala Powder - 1 1/2 teaspoons
Salt to taste

For Masala:

Coconut Oil - 2 teaspoons
Cinnamon - 1 inch long piece
Cloves - 6
Cardamom - 4
Fennel - 3/4 teaspoon
Green Chilies - 3
Shallots - 8, peeled (or use 1 medium onion, chopped)
Red Chilli Powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Fresh Grated Coconut - 1 heaped cup

For Seasoning:

Coconut Oil - 2 teaspoons
Mustard Seeds -  1 teaspoon
Curry Leaves - 8 to 10
Dry Red Chillies - 2 to 3
Onion - 1 medium, chopped


Method:
  1. Wash chickpeas and soak in enough water for 7-8 hours or overnight. 
  2. Pressure cook the chickpeas for about 3-4 whistles, until they are soft but still firm and hold shape. If have forgotten to soak or have no enough time in hand, you could pressure cook the chickpeas with enough water for at least 7-8 whistles, depending on the size of your pressure cooked.
  3. Heat 2 teaspoons coconut oil in a pan. 
  4. Add slit green chillies, saute until they turn slightly whitish in color.
  5. Now add minced ginger and garlic. Saute until the raw smell disappears.
  6. Next add slices onion and saute until they turn translucent in color.
  7. Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and salt. Cook on medium flame until the tomatoes soften and the spice powders are well cooked.
  8. Mix the cooked chickpeas along with the water used for cooking. Simmer on low flame.
  9. Meanwhile, to prepare the masala, in another pan, heat 2 teaspoons oil.
  10. Add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and fennel seeds. Saute for 5-6 seconds.
  11. Next add slit green chillies and saute until they turn whitish in color.
  12. Add shallots and saute until they turn soft. 
  13. Now add red chilli powder, turmeric powder and grated coconut. Roast on medium flame until the coconut turn slightly brown.
  14. Using little water blend all the sauteed masala ingredients into a smooth paste. Add this paste to the cooking chickpeas. Mix well and continue to simmer on low flame for about 10 minutes more. Check salt and water, adjust accordingly. The gravy should neither be too thick nor too thin.
  15. Meanwhile to prepare seasoning, in a small pan, heat 2 teaspoons coconut oil.
  16. Add mustard seeds, dry red chillies and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds stops spluttering, add chopped onion and saute until they are slightly brown. Season this on the cooking gravy and turn off the heat.
  17. Serve hot.

Note:
  1. Using coconut oil gives the authentic taste. If you do not have a liking for the oil, you can use any other cooking oil that has a neutral flavor.
  2.  It is very important to cook the chickpeas right. They must be soft and al dente. If they are over-cooked, they will turn mushy and not give the desired taste and consistency.
  3. Using fresh coconut or frozen coconut is advisable as dessicated coconut will not give the desired taste.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Apricot & Blueberry Cobbler

Serves: 4 to 6

Cobbler is a sweet, usually with fresh fruits or savory filling layered in a baking dish and covered with a crunchy, crumbled or dumpling like topping and then baked.

This Apricot & Blueberry Cobbler is a dessert that is served warm and can be accompanied with a choice of your ice cream; a sweet tooth satiating medley.


Ingredients:

Fresh Apricots - 6
Fresh Blueberries - 1 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Cornstarch - 1 tablespoon
Cinnamon Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Nutmeg Powder - 1/8 teaspoon
Butter, softened - 1 tablespoon

For Topping:

All Purpose Flour, unbleached - 1 cup
Baking Powder - 1 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Cold Butter - 3 tablespoons
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Whole Milk - 1/2 cup



Method:

  1. Wash the apricots and halve them. Cut each half in two pieces and discard the seed.
  2. Take the apricot pieces, blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder and butter in a mixing bowl. Using a spatula, mix gently until well combined.
  3. Transfer the mixture into a pie or baking dish.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  5. To prepare the topping, in another mixing bowl, take all purpose flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix until well combined. 
  6. Now add butter and cut it in the flour mixture, using your fingertips or pastry blender, until the mixture becomes coarse and crumbly.
  7. Pour milk and gently mix the dough until well combined. Do not over mix.
  8. Scoop out 3-4 tablespoons of the prepared dough and mound it over the laid out fruit filling in the pie dish. Repeat it until all the dough is used up leaving space between each mound so that there is space for the topping to expand on baking.
  9. Place the pie dish in the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 30 minutes until the cobbler for about 30mins until the fruit softens slightly and the topping turns golden brown.
  10. Cool slightly and serve warm. You can serve it topped with ice cream of your choice.
Note:
  1. You can add any other fruits like apple, peach etc., instead of apricot.
  2. The more juicier the fruits, the more watery the cobbler filling will be after baking. So if you prefer not-so-watery cobbler, take firmer fruits.
  3. Instead of placing the topping like dumplings, you can spread it on top of the fruit filling like crumbs before baking.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Eggless Mango Cake with Mango Coulis

Serves: 10 to 12

Some ingredients make a heavenly combination, like the mango and cardamom. Isn't it? Before the season for fresh mangoes runs out, rush to prepare this cardamom flavored, eggless mango cake with a buttercream layer and a luscious layer of mango, cardamom and pistachios; serve with mango coulis.


Ingredients

For Cake:

All Purpose Flour (Maida) - 1 1/2 cup
Baking Powder - 1 teaspoon
Baking Soda - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Cardamom Powder - 1 teaspoon
Warm Milk - 1/4 cup
Fine Granule White Sugar - 2/3 cup
Fresh/Frozen Mango Pulp - 3/4 cup
Oil - 1/4 cup
Lemon Juice - 1 1/2 teaspoons

For Simple Syrup:

White Sugar - 1/2 cup
Water - 1 cup



For Mango Layer:

Mango, chopped - 1 cup
Sugar - 2 to 3 tablespoons
Cardamom Powder - 1 teaspoon
Pistachios, coarsely pounded - 1/4 cup


For Mango Coulis:

Mango Pulp - 1/2 cup
Sugar, powdered - 2 tablespoon
Lemon Juice - 1 teaspoon


For Buttercream Layer:

Soft Butter - 3 tablespoon
Powdered Sugar - 1 cup
Vanilla Essence - 1 teaspoon


Method:

Preparing Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Grease and dust a 9" round cake pan.
  3. In a bowl, take all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cardamom powder. Using a whisk mix thoroughly. Keep it aside.
  4. In another mixing bowl, take warm milk and sugar. Whisk until the sugar melts.
  5. Add the mango pulp and lemon juice. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Pour oil, mix well.
  7. Fold in the dry ingredients, mix gently using a spatula until all the ingredients are well combined. Do not over-mix.
  8. Pour the batter into a greased tin.
  9. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  10. Place the cake pan on a wired rack and allow it to cool down.
Preparing Simple Syrup:
  1. Take sugar and water in a saucepan and heat it until the sugar melts completely
  2. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool down completely,
  3. Refrigerate until use.

Preparing Mango Layer:
  1. Take chopped mango and sugar in a pan.Cook on medium flame until the sugar melts and there is no trace of liquid. Ensure that the mixture does not turn mushy. If the mango is too ripe or has lot of water content, do not chop the mango, instead cut into bigger pieces so that they do not turn mushy when cooked. Turn off the heat.
  2. Add cardamom powder and pounded pistachios. Mix well and allow it cool down to room temperature.
Preparing Mango Coulis:
  1. Take mango pulp, powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl and mix thoroughly until it is smooth.
  2. Adjust the sweetness depending on the sweetness of mango pulp.

Preparing Buttercream:
  1. In a bowl take soft butter, powdered sugar and vanilla essence. 
  2. Using an electric mixer, on medium speed, beat it until the mixture is soft and fluffy. The mixture should form soft peaks.


Assembling the cake:
  1. Unmould the cake and place it on a flat kitchen surface.
  2. Horizontally, halve the cake.
  3. Pour about1/4 cup of prepared simple syrup on each half. Ensure that you pour just enough syrup to wet the cake.
  4. Place one half on a cake on a cake board, apply half the prepared buttercream on the surface.
  5. Spread the prepared mango filling evenly on top of the buttercream layer.
  6. Take the other half of the cake and spread the remaining buttercream on the halved side.
  7. Now the the side of the cake with buttercream on top of the mango filling layer. Press the top half of the cake gently down to stick well, discard any buttercream and mango filling layer that may pop out.
  8. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  9. Cut the cake into wedges.
  10. Pour mango coulis on top and serve.