Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tandoori Gobhi with a Twist - Curried Oven Roasted Cauliflower

How to define Tandoori Gobhi, closest description perhaps is - "Perfectly succulent cauliflower marinated with perfect  tandoori spices & grilled to perfection". As yumm as it sounds, grilling the whole cauliflower can be an interesting & tricky experience. So today we will stick to basics of tandoori cooking & go a step further to add some flavors which I'm sure will surprise you. Lets go for it...

Ingredients: -
1 medium size cauliflower
1 Cup Yogurt
1 tsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Ginger garlic paste
Salt & Red chilli powder to taste
1/2 tsp Chaat masala
1/2 tsp Jeera (cumin) powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 Finely chopped Green chilli 
Few Cilantro leaves

For Curry paste:
Onion: 1
Tomatoes: 2 (can also use tomato puree)
Ginger: 2"
Parmesan cheese: to sprinkle generously
Spices to taste

Method: -
Cut the stem at the base, remove extra leaves & wash cauliflower with warm water.
Now take a biggish pan & heat some water. Add 1 tsp of salt to water and boil the water.
Soak the cauliflower in the water for 4-5 minutes (dont over cook at this stage else the florets will fall apart/disintegrate).
Take out the cauliflower on a paper towel & dry it well. 

For Marinade: -
Heat Olive oil in a pan , add ginger-garlic Paste & spices. Roast lightly for 3-4 minutes.
Add this mix to freshly whipped thick Yogurt in a bowl, gently mix to make a paste like consistency.
Add freshly chopped coriander leaves into the marinade paste.

Rub the cauliflower with marinade, make sure to cover the whole flower well, wrap in a plastic bag &
refrigerate in fridge for at least 4-5 hours.

& to make Curry paste:
Heat oil in a nonstick pan. Saute chopped onion, tomatoes and ginger and season to taste.
Let it cool down and grind to make a smooth puree.

Method to bake cauliflower:
Pre-warm oven to 350 degrees
Take a baking pan, spray some cooking oil & keep aside.
Place the marinated cauliflower in the baking pan & bake it for 30-35 minutes till it turns golden brown.
Now take the pan out and pour the curry paste over the top of cauliflower and generously sprinkle some parmesan cheese.
Bake it for another 20 minutes and wait for the magical gobhi to get ready (in the meantime set ur platter with pickles, salad and naan)....

I can smell it and yessss.. my guts are right ..............ITS A TIME TO ENJOY!!!!!

Cut and serve with piping hot paranthas / naan or any of ur fave breads.
And yes don't forget to squeeze a few drops of  lime  juice on the top to add a great zing.

We thoroughly enjoyed it in on this sunday brunch and hope you do it too.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

India in Pictures - A Visit to Delhi Haat

We were in India this January. One of my fave places to hang out when I am in Delhi is "Delhi Haat". Haat means marketplace and this place is literally a big marketplace for best craft you can find anywhere. It's an amazing experience talking and buying from craftsmen directly. Besides lovely work of art from all 30+ states in India, you get amazing variety of local food. Some great music makes the atmosphere festive, 24X7. Expectedly, we came out with bags loaded , tummy full & empty wallets.......!!!!!!!
It was a very satisfying experience (can't wait to go back again !) & here's a sneak peek into what we loved, bought & ate.

Welcome to Delhi Haat 
Shoe fetish ? - Join the gang :)

Sunshine's my Friend !

Lovely handmade Johla bags !

and beaded Hand bags, & yesss... I bought one !

Choodiyaan - The Bracelet Treasure !

Yours Truly - couldn't help trying this Tie & Dye Shawl - whatsayy ??
(Bought the Blue one eventually..)

Ladies + Candle = Lady Candle ?

Love these Musical Puppets from Rajashthan !

I used to own the elephant & it was big - I could ride it when I was a Kindergartener !!

Small Jewellery Boxes - So this is a Box-in a Box-in a Box

Yum Yum, Appam's & Stew - From Kerala !!!

and.. a rich Rajasthani Thali - Can you spot Dal-Bhaati-Choorma ?

Wrap up Time...

We had a great time at Delhi Haat, and as I said earlier, I cant wait to go back.
Hope you enjoyed what I shared, I have some more pics coming up... soon !

Cheers.. Sonia!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dark Temptations - Homemade Donuts dunked in a cranberry choco sauce

Just back home after a short yet comforting visit to my home country - India. The sweet memories of meeting family and friends is making me nostalgic and to be honest the elaborate menu laid on the table right in the morning...Gosh, anytime of the day and so much to nibble and munch to satiate your senses, still missing wonderful food made by all of them and just for us. But one thing is for sure, nothing can beat the aroma and freshness of home made food and sweets.... !!!! And the best part is that you can enjoy the different courses in plenty whiling sitting cozily and chatting in the warm sun. Thanks guys for all the efforts you took in making those rich delicacies and of course the lovely gonna a miss it all over here !!!

Yesterday was our wedding anniversary and hubby dear got us a amazing Chocolate Silk Cake. I was more than happy, but the cake left me in a dilemma and an urge to make'n'bake something special for him too. Inspired by my Moms (after eating loads of home made sweets !),  I wanted to try my version of sweet - simple and a healthy dessert. Thinking hard about his Likes, I thought of making mini donuts, his latest admiration. And here I go to share my recipe... !

APF: 1/2 cup
Sugar: 2-3 tsp (I like mild sugar, can add more to taste)
Oats: 2 tsp
Salt: a generous pinch
Baking Powder:1/2tsp
Baking Soda: 1/2tsp
Milk: 1/4 to 1/2 cup (warm, add to make a thick paste)
Butter/Oil: 2tsp
Egg: 1

For Coating Donuts:
Cranberry Jam: 2tsp
Chocolate Spread: 1/4 cup (made by melting a chocolate bar + adding little milk in a microwave ).

In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients first - APF, salt, baking powder, baking soda, oats and sugar.
Mix well. Add warm and melted butter or oil, egg and stir again. 
To make a nice yet thick batter, slowly add some warm milk to get the desired consistency.
Generously grease the donut pan with oil spray.  
Fill the moulds with 3/4th of the batter and bake for 6-7 minutes. 
Wait for another 5 minutes before opening the moulds and let it cool down before drizzling chocolate.

Dark, Devilish & Delicious Sauce ready to go on the top of these beauties !!!
I love the supple texture added by perhaps adding milk to the batter and make it more photogenic by garnishing with your favorite topping.

To add sparkle to my festive mood, I threw handful of silver balls on the top.

Real yummm, soft and warm donuts are ready to be nibbled with evening tea and chocolate cake.

Enjoy these tiny donuts till I unpack my bags and share my shopping and gifts with you..........!!!!!!!!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sizzling Mini Uttapams with myriad dressings

How about adding flavors and colors to your breakfast platter?

Nothing compares, even comes close to my love of South India food. It is light, nutritious, uncomplicated, diverse, easy to customize & simply Yummm !!!!

As you would have been noting, my cooking boundaries are being pushed these days by the latest chef in the house (as if two were not enuff to start with) my 5 yr old boy. The latest subject of his creativity was Uttappams. These are light savory pan cakes often topped with healthy veggies. These are a quick answer to my husband's & mine South Indian Breakfast needs. But our Son added a spin to the tale when he suggested that I should marry these with his new colorful cereals. Hence the Idea !!!

Ingredients Rice Uttapam:
*Rice: 3 cups (I used white rice but brown can also be used)
*Urad Dal: 1 cup
Fenugreek Seeds: 1 tsp
Rice Flakes: 2 tsp
Salt: 1 tsp or to taste
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Dry Coriander flakes: 1/2 tsp

Ingredients for Rava Uttapam:
Semolina: 1 cup
Rice flour: 1 tsp (optional)
Yogurt: 1/2 cup
Water: 1/2 cup approx (add as required)
Salt: 1 tsp or to taste
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Dry Curry leaves: 1/2 tsp (gently crushed)

For toppings: 
Onions: 1 (round rings or chopped)
Tomatoes: 1 (round rings)
Sweet Peas : 1/4 cup (if frozen, soaked in warm water)
Sweet Corn : 1/4 cup (if frozen, soaked in warm water)
Potato sev: 2 tsp (spicy snack mix)
Cereals: 2 tsp
Enjoy with Tomato Ketchup/Coconut Chutney

*PS:  To make batter in small quantity take a small measuring cup/ladle and vice-versa.

For Rice Uttapam:
Wash and soak rice, dal, rice flakes and fenugreek seeds overnight.
Drain the excess water and grind to make a smooth but thick paste.
Keep this batter for few hours to ferment. Season the batter with salt to taste. I also like to add little Cumin and dry coriander flakes to the batter.

For Rava Uttapam:
Mix semolina and rice flour in a bowl. Add some yogurt and water and whip the batter to make a smooth paste. The instant uttapam mix is ready to be made into pancakes.
Heat griddle and spray cooking oil. Take a small spoon full of batter and pour it in circular motion to make a mini uttapam.

and Toppings:
Top it up with your favorite dressing -sweet peas, sweet corn, onion, tomato, cereals for kids, potato sev or even nutella, choice is all yours and choices infinite :)
Cover the pancake with a lid for 3-4 minutes and then flip to other side until done.
Sizzling hot and cute mini pancakes are ready to be enjoyed straight from the griddle either with ketchup or traditional coconut chutney and sambhar.

We had a great time feasting on our variety of uttappams (you can see a proud Kindergartener holding his creation).

Hope you'd give this recipe a try & like it. And yess...don't forget to tell me how you did  :)

Hugs... Sonia

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wordless Wednesdays - 8th Feb' 2012

India Gate - Amar Jawan Jyoti ("The flame of the immortal soldier")

Taken: New Delhi, India
Camera : iPhone 4G S

Date & Walnut Birthday Cake!!!

Parenting is indeed a learning journey! Each day is a new day, learning and exploring the wonders of our little bundle of joy! This anecdote...