Saturday, 21 June 2014

Gulab Jamoon

The smooth, sweet jamoons soaked in sugar syrup. That invariably mouth-watering dessert in most Indian Buffets. Well I cannot think of anyone who would dislike this lovely dessert, except for calorific reasons ofcourse. But a celebration calls for some highly calorific dishes on the menu and we are sure to have practice sessions a couple of times atleast before the occasion to get the dish right. I am sure most of us have tried the packaged instant mix for gulab jamoon. The ingredients are anyone's guess.

Khova/dry evaporated milk - grated, 1 1/2 cups 
Maida/Corn Flour - 1/2 cup 
Water - just to blend

Sugar syrup
water - 1 1/2 cup
sugar - 1 1/2 cup
Cardamom - 2, crushed and powdered with the pestle
Rose essence - 3-4 drops
Lemon juice - a few drops

Use your fingertips lightly  and mix the khova and maida to make a crumbly mix. Add just enough water to make a smooth dough very lightly with your fingers. Do not knead or the jamuns will turn out hard.

With this quantity of ingredients  you can make 40 medium sized jamuns. 

Place the balls of dough on a plate. 

Prepare the sugar syrup in the meanwhile. Heat the water and add the sugar, stirring slowly. Keep stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved for about 10 minutes. Do no overheat or the sugar will caramelize. 

Add the lemon juice to the syrup, to avoid the sugar from crystallizing after it cools down. Take the sugar syrup off the flame when it is of the right consistency (pourable but thick) and add the cardamom and rose essence. 

While the sugar syrup is still hot, start frying the jamun balls in oil. Keep tossing them around in medium flame, so all sides cook evenly and the jamuns do not crack. 

Drop the hot jamun balls directly into the sugar syrup.

Allow the jamuns to soak. The syrup will cool down in a couple of hours. You could serve the jamus warm or cold with a few spoons of syrup.

Something incredibly satisfying about making something from scratch. This is one of those satisfying endeavours, to all senses including your palette ;)

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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Home-made Pizza

A simple home made pizza can be very satisfying especially on a Friday or Saturday night in the company of a movie. Kids would down it in no time and the movie in that case would be some Disney or Pixar animation movie.

Ingredients for 4 6-inch pizza base
1 1/2 cups of lukewarm water
2 1/4 tsp dry instant yeast
3 1/2 cups of bread flour (I usually mix 2 1/2 cups of maida (APF) and 1 cup of wheat flour)

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

I add the instant yeast directly to the dry ingredients and sift well. I then add the warm water mixed with olive oil and make the dough. 

If your yeast requires proofing, add it to the warm water and allow it to proof, and then add the rest of the ingredients in the following order - oil, sugar, salt and finally flour. 

Use the hand mixer for 10 mins and knead into a soft, smooth and elastic dough.

Place the ball in a bowl coated with olive oil and turn it over, so all sides of the ball are coated with oil. 

Cover with a plastic wrap and let it rise until double. 

Preheat the oven to 220 Degrees C.

Remove the plastic wrap and punch it down gently. Divide the dough into four balls and cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 10 mins.

Ingredients for the topping (covers 4 6-inch pizza bases)

Tomato -2 ,sliced
Onions - 1, sliced
Olives - 10 -12, pitted and sliced.

Tomato sauce - 1 cup
Grated mozzarella cheesse or pizza cheese - 1 1/2 cup

Simple topping choices always available on hand are tomatoe, onion and cucumber. You can optionally add olives, mushrooms and corn. 

I have added onions, olives and tomatoes.

Working with one ball, starting at the centre and working outwards, use your fingertips to make a 1/2 inch thick circle of diameter roughly 7 inches. Slightly raise the edges of the pizza base, so as to hold the topping. I have not done this and I found the cheese slipping down the slides during baking.

Brush the top with olive oil and let it rest for another 5 mins.

Place the pizza base in the pan and add a little sauce, cheese and toppings.

Bake each pizza base for 10-15 mins until the crust is browned and the cheese is golden. 

Cut into wedges and serve. 

Small effort but big rewards. The kids just love it and since you know exactly what goes in, it is a far healthier option. 
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Monday, 16 June 2014

Mix Vegetable Gravy in Garlic Sauce - Chinese style

The simple vegetable gravy I promised with the Chinese Fried rice post. This is with garlic sauce base. I also make white sauce and add cooked chicken. More on that later.

Following Vegetables - 2 cups in total
Cleaned cauliflower flowerrettes - small
Capsicum - diced
Carrots - broad, thin slices
Green peas

Corn flour - 1 tbsp
Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Pepper - to taste
Tomato Sauce - 1/2 tbsp
Soy sauce -  few drops
Salt - if necessary.
Water - as required.

Oil for frying

Heat some oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the vegetables and stir fry until almost soft. Add the garlic paste and mix well. Add a little salt and keep frying. 

Make a paste of cornflour with as much water as necessary and add it to the cooked vegetables. 

Add the sauces and keep stirring. Add pepper if necessary. Now let the corn flour paste cook and reach the desired consistency. 

Garnish with chopped spring onions and serve with fried rice. 

Simple quick and easy side dish to fried rice.

priya's signature image at photobucket