Pakashastra

Pakashastra

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Oatmeal and Chocolate Chip Cookies


Ingredients:

All Purpose Flour (Maida) - 1 1/2 cups
Soft Butter - 1 cup (2 sticks)
Instant Oats - 1 1/2 cups
Dark Brown Sugar - 3/4 cup
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Boiling Water - 1/4 cup
Semi-sweet Chocolate chips - 1 cup
Vanilla Essence - 2 tsps


Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 F. 
  2. Place a sheet of wax paper on each cookie/baking trays. You might need 3 cookie/baking trays.
  3. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. 
  4. Add app purpose flour and salt. Mix well until well combined.
  5. Dissolve baking soda in boiling water and add to mixture. Mix well.
  6. Stir in rolled oats and chocolate chips. Mix well to combine all the ingredients.
  7. Drop 1 tbsp full of prepared dough onto the cookie sheet. Keep a gap of 1/2 inch between around each cookie dough drops.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10-12 minutes. Don't over cook.
  9. Remove the trays out of the oven and let them stand on a metal rack. Let them cool down a bit.
  10. The cookie will be soft when hot but will eventually harden on cooling.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Beet and Baby Lima Beans Pulao


Ingredients:

Basmati Rice - 2 cups
Beetroots - 2 medium sized
Baby Lima Beans - 1 cup, soak in water overnight
Onions - 2
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 1/2 tsps
Cumin Seeds - 2 tsps
Fennel Seeds - 1 tsp
Bay Leaf - 1
Start Anise - 2
Red Chilli Flakes - 1 tsp
Pulao Masala - 3 tbsps
Vegetable Oil - 1/4 cup + 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Lemon Extract - 2 tbsps
Coriander Leaves - 6 stalks
Green Chillis - 3


Method:

  1. Wash and soak basmati rice in water for 30 minutes.
  2. Pressure cook lima beans. When cooked the beans should be soft but still hold shape; al dente.
  3. Cook basmati rice with enough water. Add little salt and 1 tsp oil while cooking. This will avoid the grains from sticking to one another after cooking. I usually pressure cook basmati rice with 3 cups of water.
  4. Once the rice is cooked, spread the cooked rice on a wide vessel or a plate, gently separating the grains. Allow the rice to cool down.
  5. Wash, peel and grate beetroots.
  6. Slice onion vertically.
  7. Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a large pan.
  8. Add bay leaf. Saute for a minute. 
  9. Add star anise, saute for half a minute.
  10. Now add cumin seeds and fennel seeds.
  11. When the cumin seeds start sizzling, add sliced onions. 
  12. Add ginger garlic paste. Saute well until onion slices turn translucent.
  13. Add grated beetroot. Saute for 3-4 minutes.
  14. Meanwhile, blend coriander leaves and green chillis into a coarse paste. Add a tsp of water to aid in blending. Keep aside.
  15. Strain out any water from cooked lima beans. Mix in the beans with sauteed beetroot.
  16. Add pulao masala, red chilli flakes and salt. Mix thoroughly until well combined.
  17. Set the flame to low. 
  18. Add rice. Gently mix the rice. Do not forcibly mix cooked rice as it will break the cooked rice grains. Mix until all the cooked rice grains turn into the rich and beautiful beetroot color.
  19. Turn off the heat.
  20. Add coriander leaves-green chilli paste and lemon extract. Mix gently to combine all the ingredients well.
  21. Serve with raitha of our choice.



Note:

  1. You can replace lima beans with fresh green peas.
  2. Since the beetroot gives a dark rich color to the rice grains, make sure the cooked rice cools down so that the grains do not turn mushy since it requires a lot of mixing to blend it well.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Broccoli in Eggless Mayonnaise


Ingredients:

Broccoli - 1 medium flower head
Red Chilli Flakes - 1/2 tsp
Eggless Mayonnaise - 1/4 cup
Salt to taste


Method:

  1. Cut the broccoli flower head into small bite sized pieces.
  2. Wash them thoroughly under running water and soak in warm water and salt for 30 minutes.
  3. Bring about a litre of water to boil.
  4. Add the broccoli pieces and let them cook until soft but crunchy; al dente. A fork or a skewer inserted into a piece should get into the piece easily without breaking the piece.
  5. Strain out the water from boiled broccoli pieces.
  6. Place the broccoli pieces in a strainer for about 20 minutes, until all the water drains out.
  7. Make sure there is no water trapped between the tiny segments of the broccoli pieces.
  8. Take these boiled broccoli pieces in a marge mixing bowl.
  9. Mix mayonnaise. Toss well; really well.
  10. Sprinkle salt and red chilli flakes. Toss until well combined.
  11. Serve immediately or refrigerate for about an hour and serve chilled.



Eggless Garlic Mayonnaise


Ingredients:

Olive Oil - 1/4 cup
White Vinegar - 2 tbsps
Lemon Extract - 2 tbsps
Garlic Cloves - 2 small
Red Chilli Flakes - 1/4 tsp
Peppercorns, freshly ground - 1/8 tsp
Mustard Sauce - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

Method:

  1. Mince garlic cloves.
  2. Take all the ingredients, except olive oil, in a large bowl. Whisk thoroughly.
  3. Slowly pour olive oil, little by little, whisking rapidly at high speed until it turns creamy. I used an electric hand mixer. If you do not have one, you could try blending all the ingredients together in a blender.
  4. Serve or add in your salad.
Note: For plain eggless mayonnaise, add only olive oil, white vinegar, lemon extract, salt and freshly ground peppercorns.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Mocha Cake with Mocha Frosting


Ingredients:

For Cake:

All Purpose Flour - 2 cups
Unsweetened Cocoa powder - 2/3 cup
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Flaxmeal - 3 tbsps
Vegetable Oil - 1/2 cup
Sugar- 1 1/2 cups
Curd/Yogurt - 1 cup
Baking Soda - 2 tsps
Hot water - 3/4 cup
Instant Coffee Powder - 1 tbsp


For Frosting:

Soft Butter - 1 cup
Vanilla Essence -
Confectioner's Sugar (powdered) - 4 cups
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - 3/4 cup
Milk - 4 tbsps
Water - 3/4 cup
Instant Coffee Powder - 1 tbsp



For Topping:

Sprinkles - any variant that you desire


Method:

Preparing Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350F.
  2. Grease and dust two 8.5"" square cake tins.
  3. Whisk flaxmeal in 1/2 cup of warm water. Set it aside for 5 minutes.
  4. In a bowl mix together all purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Mix thoroughly. Keep aside.
  5. In a small bowl, mix yogurt and baking powder. Whisk well. Set it aside for 5 minutes. The curd will foam and become frothy.
  6. Dilute instant coffee powder in 3.4 cup of hot water. Set aside.
  7. In a mixing bowl, take whisked flaxmeal, oil and sugar. Beat until well combined. 
  8. Pour diluted coffee and frothy curd. Mix to combine.
  9. Carefully fold in the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Do not over mix. 
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tins. The batter will have thinner consistency  when compared to other cake batter.
  11. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the cork skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  12. Remove the tins from the oven and place them on a wire rack to cool down completely.
  13. Unmould the cakes from the tin.


Preparing the Frosting:
  1. Dilute instant coffee powder in water. Keep aside.
  2. Beat butter and vanilla essence until it is smooth forms small peaks.
  3. Add half the 2 cups of confectioner's sugar and 2 tbsps milk. Beat well.
  4. Now add the remaining 2 cups of sugar and 2 tbsps of milk. Blend until well combined.
  5. Now fold in half the portion of the cocoa powder and half the quantity of diluted instant coffee. Blend well. Do not over mix.
  6. Now add the remaining cocoa powder and add the remaining diluted instant coffee, 1 tbsp at a time, until it reaches the consistency that you need. Blend until well combined without over mixing.

Assembling the cake.
  1. Place a cake on a cake board. If required, trim the edges and the a thin top layer out, to make the cake even.
  2. Carefully insert strips of wax paper under 4 sides of the cake. This avoids the mess while frosting.
  3. Spread a generous layer of frosting on top of the cake, evenly.
  4. Now place the other cake on top of the frosting. (Trim out the edges and a thin top layer, if required, before assembling).
  5. Now spread the frosting evenly on top of the cake and through all the edges.
  6. Top with sprinkles.
  7. Cut into desired shape and serve.

This recipe is adapted from Nigella Feasts.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Pan Fried Tofu with Sweet Corn


Ingredients:

Firm Tofu - 1 slab
Sweet Corn - 1 cup
Purple Cabbage, shredded - 1/4 cup
Pear, peeled and diced - 1/2 cup
Cucumber, peeled and diced - 1/2 cup
Cherry Tomatoes - 3
Lettuce Leaf - 1 large (optional)
Soft Butter - 1 tsp
Red Chilli Flakes - 1/2 tsp
Lemon Extract - 2 tsps
Peppercorns, freshly ground - 1/4 tsp
Oregano Powder - 1/8 tsp
Garlic Powder - 1/8 tsp
Salt - to taste


For Marinade:

Yogurt/Curd - 1/2 cup
Olive Oil - 1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/8 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/4 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Sugar - 1/4 tsp

For Serving:
Lettuce Leaf - 1 large (optional)
Serving plate -1


Method:

  1. In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients for marinade. Whisk thoroughly until well combined.
  2. Using a fork or a skewer prick fine holes on the tofu slab.
  3. Soak the tofu slab in the prepared marinade for atleast 1 hour.
  4. Wash the 2 lettuce leaves with cold water. Tear one of them roughly. 
  5. Wash and half the cherry tomatoes.
  6. Meanwhile, in a bowl, take diced cucumber, lettuce leaf pieces and pear fruit. Sprinkle salt, garlic powder, oregano powder. Toss well. Keep aside.
  7. Heat a non-stick flat-bottomed pan. Set the flame to low.
  8. Carefully pick the tofu slab from the marinade and place it on the griddle. Let it roast for some time until it browns well and turns a bit crunchy. Using the oil and sugar in the marinade helps give it a nice brown color and makes it crunchier.
  9. Flip the side of the tofu slab and continue to roast.
  10. Once both the larger sides of the slab are roasted enough, you might have to use a pair of tongs to hold the tofu slab to roast the other sides of it.
  11. Meanwhile, steam cook sweet corn. I sprinkled little water and microwaved on HIGH for 2-3 minutes.
  12. Discard all the water, if any, from the cooked sweet corn.
  13. Mix well with butter, salt and lemon extract. 
  14. Sprinkle red chilli flakes. Toss well. Keep aside.

Assembling to Serve (you can assemble as you desire; this is how it did it):
  1. Place the tossed cucumber, pear and lettuce leaf in one corner of serving plate.
  2. Place shredded purple cabbage beside it.
  3. On another side place the halved tomatoes.
  4. Sprinkle peppercorns on the arranged fruits and veggies.
  5. Now place the lettuce leaf in another corner of the plate.
  6. Spoon out the prepared sweet corn on the lettuce leaf.
  7. Now place the roasted tofu.
  8. Serve immediately.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Hot Milk Cake


Ingredients:

All Purpose Flour (Maida) - 2 1 4/ cups + for dusting
Baking Powder - 2 1/4 tsps
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Ener G Egg Replacer - 6 tsps diluted in 1/2 cup lukewarm water
Sugar - 1 3/4 cups
Vanilla Extract - 2 tsps
Vegetable Oil - 2/3 cup
Milk - 1 1/4 cups

Icing Sugar for dusting - 2 tbsps (optional)


Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/ 350F.
  2. Grease the cake tin and dust with some flour. I used one 8" and one 5.5" round cake tins. You can use one 13"x9" tin instead.
  3. Sift together all purpose flour, baking powder and salt thrice.
  4. In a mixing bowl, take diluted egg replacer. Whisk thoroughly.
  5. Add sugar and beat well.
  6. Pour vanilla extract and beat to combine all the ingredients well.
  7. Now fold in the sifted flour to the wet ingredients and beat gently until combined. Do not over mix.
  8. In a small bowl, mix oil and milk and heat warm. You can microwave this liquid mixture on HIGH for a minute.
  9. Pour this into the cake batter and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
  10. Pour the cake batter into the prepared tins.
  11. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  12. Remove the tin from the oven and place on wire rack for cooling.
  13. Unmould.
  14. Using a strainer sprinkle the icing sugar on top of the cake.
  15. Cut and serve.


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Orange and Lettuce Salad


Ingredients:

Romaine Lettuce - 1 large
Valencia Oranges - 2
Croutons - 1 cup
Peppercorns, freshly ground - 1/4 tsp (optional)

For Dressing:

Vinegar - 1 1/2 tbsps
Salad Oil - 1 tbsp
Hot Sauce - 2 tsps
Honey - 2 tsps
Garlic Powder - 1/2 tsp
Oregano  Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste


Method:

  1. Wash lettuce and soak in cold water for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. Keep aside.
  3. Peel the oranges and clean each segment by discarding all the fibers. Cut them into pieces. Keep aside.
  4. Strain out all the water from lettuce.
  5. Tear the lettuce leaves roughly. 
  6. In a large mixing bowl, mix lettuce, chopped oranges and croutons.
  7. Pour the prepared salad dressing. Toss well until well combined.
  8. Serve immediately.
Note:
  1. Valencia oranges are sweet oranges. If this is not available, you can use Sweet Lime/Mosambi or any other locally available oranges.
  2. You can skip Hot Sauce if it is not available or you do not like the salad a bit spicy. Or you can replace it with 1 tsp Red Chilli Sauce.