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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Rajitha’s Eggless Black Forest Cake Using Idli Cooker

One afternoon the kiddos were at Rajitha’s place for playdate. Regular readers of this blog are familiar with Rajitha…but for the new ones visiting this post…let me direct you to the earlier post from Rajitha to know more about her and her cooking. Coming back to the recipe and story behind making of this innovative recipe is as follows….
As I said kiddos were playing at Rajitha’s place….I went to check what Lil’M was doing? To my surprise….I saw girls were sitting on a mat and without a word…..painting neatly in their books….I was really surprised or rather say shocked to see the girls sitting neatly and doing their work. When I asked Rajitha what’s the magical spell she has done on them….??? She with a sweet smile said….yaar nothing….I promised them to make a cake…that too an icy one….for their silence.
Eggless Black Forest Cake Using Idli Cooker
I liked the idea and said…how you are going to make the cake as your oven is under repair…??? She said I make cake in idli cooker or sometimes in thick base pressure cooker too. It too me by surprise and said…ok let me capture making this cake in my camera for my wonderful readers….as I get lots and lots request to post a cake which can be made without oven.  I could not do complete justice to the final cake pics as the kids became very restless to gulp the cake once the cake has been assembled. I promise you all…that I will upload some pics once I make this again in my kitchen…till then enjoy reading and making this wonderful cake…..Surprise your loved ones making this cake without oven…..
Eggless Black Forest Cake Using Idli Cooker
  • 2 cups Maida/all purpose flour + 2 tbsp. for dusting
  • ½ tbsp. Baking powder
  • ¼ tbsp. Baking soda
  • ½ cup Milk
  • ½ cup melted Butter + ½ tbsp. for greasing
  • 4 tbsp. unsweetened Cocoa powder
  • ¾ tbsp. Vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tin Condensed Milk
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 cups Whipped cream, check NOTES
  • 2 tbsp. Icing sugar
  • ½ tbsp. Vanilla essence
  • ½ cup fresh Cherries
  • 3-4 tbsp. Dark  chocolate shavings
  • ¼ cup Water
  • 2 tbsp. Sugar
  • ¼ tbsp. Vanilla essence
  • 4-5 cups Sea salt/fine sand

  • Add sea salt/fine sand to ¼ th level of idli/pressure cooker. (If you are using pressure cooker, don’t keep whistle). Keep a rack on top and cover it with lid. Leave the cooker on low flame for 10 minutes.
  • In the meantime sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder all together for 2-3 times. This process is just to incorporate everything together.
Eggless Black Forest Cake Using Idli Cooker
  • Combine butter, milk, vanilla extract and condensed milk. Now slowly fold in the sifted flour. Mix everything gently to avoid lumps.
Eggless Black Forest Cake Using Idli Cooker
  • Take a bowl (aluminium or steel) which fits exactly in the center of your Idli cooker/pressure cooker and grease it with butter and then dust it with all purpose flour.
  • Now pour the batter into the greased and dusted bowl. Tap around to make sure the batter is scattered evenly. Make sure to pour the batter up to 2/3rd capacity of the bowl.
  • Carefully place this bowl in the pre-heated cooker and cover with lid. Bake on low flame for 20-25 minutes.
Eggless Black Forest Cake Using Idli Cooker
  • Start to check whether the cake is done by inserting a wooden skewer or toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean then our cake is ready.
  • Turn off the flame and leave the cake in the cooker for another 3-4 minutes.
  • Now slowly but carefully take out the cake from the cooker and leave it cool, to come down to room temperature by placing the cake on the wire.
Eggless Black Forest Cake Using Idli Cooker
  • In small bowl mix water, sugar and vanilla essence till sugar is completely dissolved.
  • De-seed cherries and if you are using canned ones drain the water and set aside the cherries.
  • Place your mixing bowl and wire whisk (blades of electric whisker) in fridge for one hour. 
Eggless Black Forest Cake Using Idli Cooker
  • Whisk vanilla essence and sugar with whipped cream until soft peaks. Set in fridge until use.
Eggless Black Forest Cake Using Idli Cooker
  • Cut the cake into 2 or 3 layers horizontally depending on size of the cake.
  • Now brush sugar syrup on top of each layer. Gently spread ¼ inch thick icing on top of first layer and gently place chopped cherries on it.
Eggless Black Forest Cake Using Idli Cooker
  • On top of this place another cake layer, brush with sugar syrup and spread ¼ inch thick icing. Gently place chopped cherries and place another cake layer.
Eggless Black Forest Cake Using Idli Cooker
  • Brush it with sugar syrup and apply then ½ inch thick icing. Gently using pastry knife spread across the icing around the cake covering the cake completely.
  • If you are good at piping, pour icing into a piping bag and make swirls on the cake.
  • Garnish with chopped cherries and shaved dark chocolate.
  • Leave the cake to sit in fridge for 30-40 minutes. Serve cool.
  • Add love to make this cake taste ‘Yummy’.
Eggless Black Forest Cake Using Idli Cooker
  • She used Instant Whipped Cream powder in making this trifle. I used 50 gms. pack of BlueBird Brand of whipped cream which is easily available in many supermarkets or you can order online @ BlueBird
  • Check label on the packet to know how to whip it up or you can even check BlueBird India site to know more on the product.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Gosht ka Mahekhaliya – Hyderabad Style

Last Sunday me, my husband along with Lil’M went to nearby restaurant for dinner…as it was last moment plan we settled eating at a small but cosy restaurant….we rarely go there and that too on weekends this place is crowed with people and Lil’M and her papa don’t like crowd. If it is a regular restaurant which we go….then most of the time, we won’t look at the menu and go with the routine dishes which we order every time….that means we rarely experiment with food when we go out….
Gosht ka Mahekhaliya – Hyderabad Style
Same is the case when I am cooking lamb meat. I rarely experiment with lamb meat as whenever lamb meat is at home, I always get special request to make kofta or shamiya or biryani and the experimenting part sets back….Today morning when I was talking to mom at home, she was remembering her mom, my granny and her cooking. My granny was a versatile cook and I have always seen her enjoying cooking.
Gosht ka Mahekhaliya – Hyderabad Style
And in the middle of the conversation, this recipe….Mahekhaliya sprung up…..and the name was so interesting that I asked my mom about the recipe. The recipe was so tempting that I could not resist making it in the afternoon. Let me tell you the aroma that filled my kitchen while making this recipe wass so wonderful that my husband asked me to serve the food soon….Mahekhaliya…..lamb meat with bones is marinated with choicest Indian spices and then cooked to tender in tamarind juice. The recipe is much in common with Hyderabadi Bagare Baingan. The same recipe can be used to cook fish pieces too. So what are you waiting up…scroll down, read the recipe and try it out today…..
Gosht ka Mahekhaliya – Hyderabad Style
  • ½ kg. Lamb meat with bones
  • 2 Onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. Red chili powder
  • 3 Green chilies, small slit in middle
  • ½ tbsp. Turmeric powder
  • 3 tbsp. thick Tamarind paste
  • 3 cloves Garlic, peeled
  • 10 Curry leaves
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • 2 sprigs Coriander leaves, for garnish
Gosht ka Mahekhaliya – Hyderabad Style
  • 1 tbsp. white Sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp. Peanuts
  • 2 tbsp. thin Dry coconut slices
  • ¼ tbsp. Nigella seeds/Kalongi
  • ½ tbsp. Coriander seeds
  • 2 Cloves
  • 1 1’inch stick Cinnamon
Gosht ka Mahekhaliya – Hyderabad Style
  • Clean and wash lamb meat with bones thoroughly under running water for 3-4 times. Add red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt to lamb meat pieces and set aside by covering with lid for 30 minutes.
  • In the meantime, on low flame dry roast sesame seeds, peanuts, nigella seeds and dry coconut slices separately. Once peanuts are cool enough to handle, remove the skin of peanuts by rubbing them in between your palms.
  • Add oil to heavy bottom cooking vessel and fry sliced onions until nice golden. In the same oil fry green chilies until they just start to change color. Set aside.
  • Cook marinated lamb meat with bone pieces by adding enough water in pressure cooker for 4-5 whistles or until meat is cooked till done.
  • By the time pressure settles down the cooker, grind the dry roasted sesame seeds, de-skinned peanuts along with dry coconut pieces and nigella seeds. Make smooth paste by adding fried onions, garlic cloves, cinnamon stick and cloves. Add 1-2 tbsp. water if needed.
  • In a heavy bottom cooking vessel, add oil and to this add above ground masala. Fry for 1-2 minutes or until oil starts to leave the sides of the vessel. Now add pressure cooked lamb meat pieces.
  • Stir until the masala coats up the pieces. Add tamarind paste and green chilies along with 1½ cups of water.
  • Add curry leaves and cook for 15-20 minutes on low flame or until the meat pieces are tender and gravy thickens.
  • Check for salt and turn of the flame by adding fresh chopped coriander leaves.
  • Add love to make this authentic recipe taste ‘Yummy’.
Gosht ka Mahekhaliya – Hyderabad Style

This recipe tastes best when served next day or if served after 10 hours of making it. The lamb meat pieces will absorb the tamarind juice and will taste the best.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Muharram ka Sherbet

First let me tell you about Muharram. Muharram is considered as one of the four sacred months of Islamic calendar. Muharram is first month on the Hijri (Islamic) calendar. The word "Muharram" means "Forbidden" and is derived from the word harām, meaning "sinful". It is held to be the most sacred of all the months, excluding Ramadan. Some Muslims fast during these days. The tenth day of Muharram is the Day of Ashura, which to Shia Muslims is part of the Mourning of Muharram. Sunni Muslims also fast during Muharram for the first ten days of Muharram, or just the tenth day, or on both the ninth and tenth days; the exact term depends on the individual. You can read more on this here.
Muharram ka Sherbet
In many houses during Muharram a special drink named Doodh ka Sherbet or Muharram ka Sherbet is made and served. I remember once when we happened to be at my (paternal) grand mom’s place for Muharram, she made this sherbet and kept it in a big and beautiful glass jar (which my mom still has) with a delicate glass tumbler inverted on it. I don’t remember clearly now…but she has added basil leaves also to it. The sherbet tasted simply yum.
Muharram ka Sherbet
Rediscovering and recreating the magic of that fading childhood memory, I asked my mom to make this for me and you all. So here is a detailed recipe with step-wise pictorial for better understanding. I don’t know how this sherbet came into fashion, but I am sure that still in some houses this sherbet is made during Muharram.
Muharram ka Sherbet
The smoky aroma of oudh imparts magical flavour to the regular almond milk. Just a sip of this sherbet will take you on a ride to gastronomical heaven. Try this out and I am pretty sure that this will be a great attraction in the menu when you are having party or get-together’s….
Muharram ka Sherbet
  • ½ lit. Milk
  • 50 gms. Almonds
  • 25 gms. Pistachio
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • ¼ tbsp. Cardamom powder
  • 1 tbsp. Almond flakes
Muharram ka Sherbet
  • pinch of Oudh/Oudd/Oodh/Agarwood powder *
  • 1 Coal piece
  • Soak almonds in water for 1 hour. Peel the skin of almonds and grind to coarse paste by adding pistachio.
Almonds and Pistachio
  • Take milk in heavy bottom cooking vessel and bring it to boil.
Muharram ka Sherbet - In making
  • When the milk starts to boil, lower the flame and add coarsely ground almond and pistachio paste.
  • Stir gently and add cardamom powder. Let this cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Now add sugar and cook for another 5-6 minutes on low flame or till sugar is completely dissolved and the sherbet gets slightly thick.
  • Turn off the flame and set aside. Once the sherbet has come to room temperature, leave it in fridge to chill.
  • Keep a large empty steel bowl with lid, enough size to hold the above made sherbet ready.
Burning Coal
  • Heat coal by placing it on the stove top. 
  • Carefully using twigs place burning coal onto a small steel/iron plate/bowl (I used brass motar (-pestle), as you can see in the picture).
  • Grab the empty bowl in one hand and sprinkle pinch of oudh onto the burning coal and invert the bowl on it. By doing so the aromatic smoke coming from the oudh will be collected in the bowl.
  • After 30 seconds slowly but carefully flip the bowl and cover it with lid. Now slowly without removing the lid completely, pour in the above made sherbet.
Muharram ka Sherbet - In Making
  • Cover it and leave for 10-15 minutes. Garnish with almond flakes and serve chilled.
  • Add love to make this sherbet taste 'Yummy'.
Muharram ka Sherbet
  • Read more on Agarwood powder in wiki here.
  • This recipe has got many variations. My maternal grand mom use to make this using pure almond milk and she adds fennel seed powder also to the sherbet.
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