North Indian Thali

BM #116 : Week 1, Day 4
Theme : Regional Thali

Today marks the last day of the first week of mega marathon. So this is my last thali under regional thali theme. This is my second and last thali from my drafts folder. I have more thalis in my drafts, it would be of food clicked in a hurry and also without any particular theme. So now looking at those pictures now, it doesn’t feel right for this month. I will use them later on if needed.

The story here is the same as my Pongal meals, we had guests coming over and I was done with all the cooking. In the few minutes before they reached, I grabbed everything and took a picture. Thankfully I could capture the entire meal here. The thali here is a generic North Indian themed Thali.

Whenever we have guests, I usually make 2 or 3 curries and serve with roti and jeera rice or a Pulao. If it is a spicy Pulao or biryani, there would be one curry less and a raita in its place. I sometimes cook even more dishes if I have the time. Somehow I never make appetizers no matter what! At the most, I will serve chips and dips (I am a recent convert to this combo) as an appetizer.

The dessert is coffee pudding, but with less coffee than what the original recipe recommends. It’s not a dessert that matches the theme of the thali, but like I said it was just for our friends and I was looking at something easy to make. I would have gone for something else if this was a planned thali.

The recipe for Banarasi Dum Aloo is from Vaishali’s space. It’s a keeper recipe, I have already tried it couple of times. The only difference is I just go for pressure cooking the potatoes instead of shallow or deep frying. There is definitely a difference in the taste and texture of the potatoes (fried vs cooked, of course there will be a difference!). The curry is tasty even when it’s prepared this way, so I am okay with that.

The thali has

  1. Roti
  2. Instant Pot Jeera rice
  3. Chana masala
  4. Mango thokku
  5. Mango tofu
  6. Banarasi dum aloo
  7. Coffee pudding

Ingredients:

  • Oil for shallow or deep frying
  • 12 baby potatoes
  • salt as needed
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 6 (or per taste) Kashmiri red chilies
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped almonds/ walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ghee/oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon kasoori methi
  • 1 tablespoon honey/ sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh cream
  • Handful of chopped Coriander leaves
  • salt to taste

Method:

  1. Wash and pat dry the potatoes. Pierce with a fork all over and shallow fry or deep fry or even bake in the oven until it’s cooked through. You can also cook the potatoes in water or a pressure cooker. That’s what I did.
  2. For the gravy, add a little oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, Kashmiri red chilies. Add the tomatoes with ginger garlic paste and cook until the tomatoes are mushy and done. Turn off the heat and let it cool down. Grind into a smooth paste once it’s cooled.
  3. Add a tablespoon of ghee or oil in the same pan and add the ground paste and cardamom powder to it. Bring it to a simmer and cover and cook in low flame until the oil separates.
  4. Stir in the potatoes, kasoori methi and honey or sugar. Let it cook for a 5-10 more minutes for the flavors to mingle. Add some cream and coriander leaves on top. Mix and turn off the heat. Serve with rice or roti.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#116

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Eggless Mango cake

1mango_cake

Bakeathon 2016, Day 6

I am here with my go to mango cake recipe. I have made this cake multiple times now to know that it cannot get easier than this. The cake is as simple as whisking the dry ingredients together, adding the wet ingredients to it and baking it!

For the first couple of trials, I used whipped cream with a tinge of sugar for frosting the cake. Later I figured out that a bit of puree added to the whipped cream takes the taste of the cake up a notch. I am a big fan of sugar syrup in cakes and all my cakes are syrup sprinkled abundantly. The cakes are moist even without the syrup, but I like it better with the syrup.

I have a cake regimen, depending upon the work involved. For a birthday on Friday night, I finish baking by Wednesday. I would then take the cake out of the pan, cling wrap it and return the cakes back into their pans until its time to decorate. The cling wrap ensures that the cake stays moist. Day 2 is for making the frosting and then leveling & layering the cake. I try to finish off the frosting job completely by the second day, leaving me enough time to decorate patiently on the day of cake cutting. For a simple cake like this without fondant involved, I am done with almost all the work on Day 2 itself.Its difficult to do everything on the same day, so I like it when its spread over a couple of days with a lot of breathing room in between.

Read on for the recipe.

2mango_cake

Recipe source: Cook’s hideout 

Makes: two 8″ cakes

Ingredients:

Dry Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

Wet Ingredients:(and sugar)

  • 2 cups mango puree
  • 1 cup milk (or 1 cup mango puree)
  • 2/3 cup vegetable/ sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar

For mango glaze on top:

  • 1/2 cup mango puree
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons corn flour

For frosting the cake:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup mango puree (or left over mango glaze from above)

Simple sugar syrup:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Heat the sugar water  until the sugar melts into the water, mixing in between. Take off the heat and let it cool completely. Refrigerate until needed, this can be prepared ahead.

Method: 

IMG_6435

In a big bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients : 3 cups flour, 3 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon ground cardamom. Whisk to combine everything well.

IMG_6437IMG_6438

In a medium bowl, whisk the rest of the ingredients: 2 cups mango puree, 1 cup milk (or another cup of mango puree itself), 1 1/3 cups sugar, 2/3 cups oil and 1 teaspoon vanilla essence. Combine well. Now, add the wet ingredients to the flour mix.

You can add the sugar to the dry ingredients as well instead of with the wet ingredients.

IMG_6440 IMG_6444

Whisk everything together carefully so that no lumps remain. Pout into two 8″ pans and bake on a preheated oven at 350F/ 180C for about 35-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out free of crumbs.

For the glaze, add the mango puree, sugar and corn flour into a pan. Mix well to make sure there aren’t any lumps. Now cook this mixture over medium heat stirring all the time until it thickens and coats the back of the spoon. The color also changes and the puree turns a little “glassy” in appearance.

For frosting the cake, whip 2 cups of heavy cream with 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar. Add a little mango puree or some of the glaze. I have used the glaze here. Mix it in carefully with a spatula making sure not to over beat the cream. Cut each cake into two layers and sprinkle the base layer with some sugar syrup (1 cup water + 1/2 cup sugar, heated until the sugar melts completely. Use only after its completely cooled down)

Fill with the prepared fresh cream and lay another layer of cake on top. Repeat the sugar syrup, whipped cream and cake layers. Once you are done with your layers, frost the cake completely. Add the mango glaze on top. Decorate as you wish. Refrigerate until the time of serving.

3mango-cake


This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2016

Mango Mastani

mango mastani2

Its winter here. How can I use cold mango puree? Out it came from the fridge and sat on counter top waiting patiently to come to room temperature.

It’s very cold here. How can I use ice-cold milk? The milk joined the mango puree on the counter.

Now, lets blend it all together. Blend, blend, blend.

Get chopping with the nuts. Chop. chop, chop.

Pour in a tall glass, one for me and one for you.

Its freezing here. How can I top the milkshake with ice cream?

Lets bring out the sweater and wear it and eat it, for I am not going to say No to ice cream!

Scoop, scoop,scoop.

Slurp, slurp, slurp

Oh…YUMM!

Now that I have come back from heaven, let me tell you a bit about mastani. Mastani is a thick milkshake topped with ice cream and decorated with dried fruits and nuts. Apparently its popular in Pune and any kind of fruit can be used to make one. Mango mastani seems to be a popular choice going by the internet.

mango mastani3

Recipe source: Flavors of Mumbai

BM Theme: Regional (Maharashtra)

For one portion:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup mango puree*
  • 1/4 cup milk*
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or per taste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped nuts (pistachios, cashew nuts)
  • 1 teaspoon tutti frutti
  • spoon ful of chopped mango pieces (I didn’t have any)
  • Cherries for decoration
  • 1 scoop vanilla ice cream

*These are not strict measures. Adjust according your preference.

Method:

  1. Blend mango puree, milk and sugar. Taste and adjust sugar per taste.
  2. Pour into a tall glass and top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  3. Sprinkle the nuts and tutti frutti. Decorate with mango pieces and chopped cherries, if using.
  4. Enjoy!

mango mastani4

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#60 

Amrakhand

All nice things have to come to an end and so does another edition of BM. At least for me.

I wont be participating in the coming week and life is going to be very hectic for sometime now. A bed and homemade food has never looked more attractive for me. I have no idea what I am going to pack for the new apartment, but I have already packed the rice and the rice cooker along with my MIL’s trusted pickle.

See ya all in the next edition! Meanwhile, enjoy this cool treat – so perfect to beat the heat outside.

Ingredients:

  • Mango puree                 :               1 cup
  • Thick yogurt                 :               1 cup
  • Sugar                                :                1/3 cup, or more depending on the sweetness of mangoes
  • Cardamom powder    :                to sprinkle on top

Method:

  1. I leave the yogurt in the South Indian coffee filter overnight, to drain off the excess water,you can do this by hanging the yogurt in a muslin cloth for 2-3 hours.
  2. Mix the yogurt with mango puree and add the required amount of sugar. You need to adjust the quantity of sugar depending on the sweetness of mangoes and your personal preference.
  3. Chill for at least two hours before serving.
  4. Serve with puris, chapatis or have them as such. You can make chapati rolls with shrikhand/amrakhand filling.  

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