Thursday, 27 April 2017

Mutton Curry

  This curry is one of my favourites,I pretty often prepare it at home.I found this recipe in the book Rick Stein's India.This book is really worth a read, you easily get infected with his enthusiasm and passion for Indian food,or what he calls his 'search for the perfect curry'.The book has so many beautiful pictures, not just the usual ones found in books with perfect props and lighting.But very realistic ones too,which perfectly capture the vivid essence and atmosphere of India,the markets with their bountiful produce,the busy roads and people with their earthly,simple expressions.I'm a big fan of his cooking and as I recalled my favourite Chefs I was surprised to find that the list had a lot of men and hardly a few women.Ironically the word Chef in English doesn't even have a female version. I love the German language when it comes to these things,it has no ambiguities,Chefkoch-Chefköchin(Male Chef - Female Chef).I'm not trying to be a feminist ,that's probably one of the most clichéd and misunderstood topics these days :) But surprisingly the recent list of top 10 Chefs around the world,which even had our own Vikhas Khanna on the list doesn't have any women on it.I'd definitely agree that times have changed and men don't look at cooking anymore as only a women's job.It's nice to see most of them pitch in and cook a meal or two sometimes or help around the house.But still I guess in most homes,the major part of the cooking or most of it is still done by women ,irrespective of whether she's a home maker or a working women.I feel that it sometimes takes the joy out of cooking when it becomes a responsibility.I'd call it one of the most thankless jobs around,making sure that there's proper food on the table 3 times a day and everyone is well fed,is a huge responsibility ,but it's not very often recognised or appreciated.What's more funny is that women would still go on doing it contently and happily everyday ,cause that's the way we are wired :)Wonder how often Sanjeev Kapoor and Vikhas Khanna cook at home :P.So off to the recipe,I've slightly tweaked it to suit my quick everyday cooking style,the original recipe calls for overnight marination and about 3 hours of slow cooking  !!

Serves - 4 -6
You'll Need:
To Marinate:
Ginger and Garlic Grated - 1 tsp each.
Mutton - 400 g
Curd - 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
salt a little

Tomato - 1 big one or 2 med ones
Cashew nuts -  1 tbsp
Cardamom  - 2
Cloves - 3
Cinnamom - 1 big piece
Bayleaf - 1
Onions - 1 large( finely chopped)
Coriander powder - 3/4 tbsp
Chilli Powder - 1/2 tbsp
Garam Masala Powder - 1/2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste(coarse ) - 2 tsp
Coconut milk - 3 - 4 tbsp(optional)
Oil - 2 tbsp
salt as needed

-Marinate the Mutton with the yogurt,turmeric powder and ginger garlic for at least 1 hours,you can also marinate it overnight in the refrigerator.
-In a small vessel add the roughly chopped tomatoes and the cashew nuts and add half a cup of water or more.Let the mixture cook for 5 - 7 minutes.Let it cook and grind to a fine paste.
-To a pressure cooker on medium heat add the oil and when it heats up add the cardamom,cloves and cinnamon and saute it for a few seconds.
-Then add the onion and fry it on a low flame with a pinch of salt for 5 - 10 minutes until they are well browned.Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute,Add the powder and saute for a minute.
-Then add the mutton pieces and some salt and saute for 5 minutes until they are browned.You can add a little water if it gets too dry.
-Add the tomato and cashew puree and saute for a minute,add the bay leaves and add salt it needed.Add about 1/2 - 3/4th cup of water and mix well.
-Now close the pressure cooker and cook until it whistles once on medium flame and for 10 - 20 minutes on low flame(until it's well cooked and soft).The cooking time will be lesser if you have marinated it overnight.
-Take the pressure cooker off the stove and let it cool for a bit.Remove the lid and add the coconut milk and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Done !

Thanks for stopping by ! Happy Cooking !

Monday, 3 April 2017

Frozen Elsa Birthday Cake - Chocolate Walnut Cake

If you were to ask me what I loved about the movie 'Frozen',there would be a real long list,but these three things would definitely top the list.The movie taught little girls that they don't have to wait for their knight in shining armour to save them and true love doesn't always have to be something to do with 'the special one'.I really pity all those helpless fairy tales Princesses who were trapped in towers,cursed or slept for a hundred years until their Prince came along.And honesty I pity the Princes too, who had to fight fire spitting dragons and wicked witches to save the Princess and marry them,only to end up being nagged :)Reminds me when my daughter asked me why all the fairy tales end with 'And they lived happily ever after',guess it should rather be 'And they happily bickered ever after' :P.The second thing I love about the movie is how it brought the colour 'Blue' in the otherwise Pink dominated girl's world.I really wonder who ever came up with these gender based colour notions.Thanks to frozen, it's nice to see so many blue clothes for girls in shops.And the usual pink-Princess filled kids carnival has quite a bit of blue now.My daughter's kindergarten had so many Elsa's during the carnival,there was even a sweet little boy who was dressed up as Elsa.If there's one other thing I love about the movie it's the song 'Let it go'.I'm not talking about the wonderful music or the voice,but the lyrics.Be it 'it's funny how some distance can make everything seem small' or 'to test the limits and break through' or 'the perfect girl is gone',the song is probably one of the most powerful songs I've heard in recent times.I love the other songs in the movie as well,but this one's simply the best.
Thankfully,we are now officially out of the 'Frozen' craze phase ,no more Frozen caps,clips,dresses or shoes :)I wonder what will come along next.I baked this cake for my daughter's 5th Birthday,when she was all into Frozen.I'm very bad when it comes to cake decorating and I respect all those cake decorators who so patiently create those edible wonders.This was my attempt at decorating with fondant.Though I'm not a big fan of Fondant,I must agree that it helps you create beautiful cakes.The cake was a Chocolate Walnut Cake,frosted and filled with Chocolate Ganache and covered with Fondant.The cake is rich and delicious,a perfect Party cake.Believe me, if you like me,are a beginner at cake decorating,this one's easy to make and simply yummy !

You'll Need:
A small barbie doll,whose legs are detached.
Blue Fondant - 750 gm -  1 Kg
White Fondant - a little
For the Cake :
You will need approximately twice the batter
(Adapted from Rose's Heavenly Cakes )
All-Purpose Flour - 2 cups- 230 gm
Sugar - 1 and 1/4 cup - 250 gm
Butter - 225 g ( at room temperature)
Eggs - 3 large (at room temperature)
Sour Cream - 1 cups - 250 gm
Baking Powder- 1 and 1/4 tsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Cocoa powder - 3/4 cup - 56 gm
Walnuts - 2/3 cup - 66 gm
Vanilla essence - 2 tsp
Ganache for Filling:
Heavy Cream - 200 g
Dark Baking chocolate - 200 g(broken into small pieces)
Ganache for Frosting:
Heavy Cream - 300 g
Dark Baking chocolate - 600 g(broken into small pieces)

For the cake.
-I baked them in 3 layers and in one small dome shaped bowl for the dress shape.
-It is better to bake the cake and let it cool overnight,covered by a clean linen cloth.
-Pre-heat the oven to 350°F/175 ° C and spread  the walnuts on a baking tray and bake for 5 -7 minutes.Take it out the oven and cool and grind to a coarse powder.Make sure to grind in pulses else they suddenly turn into a paste.
-In a small bowl whisk the sour cream,eggs,cocoa and essence slightly.
-In a big bowl beat the flour,walnuts ,sugar,baking powder,baking soda and salt for 30 sec on low speed.
-Add half of the whisked cocoa liquid mixture and the butter and beat on low speed until everything is moistened.Increase the speed to medium and beat for another minute or two.Scrape the sides of the bowl and beat for another 30 secs.
-Add the remaining cocoa liquid mixture in two parts,beating for 30 seconds after each addition
-Fill the pans until 3/4th full and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F/175 ° C for 30 - 40 minutes.The baking time varies depending upon the pan type,size and the oven.It can take anywhere between 30 - 50 minutes.A small skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean.Make sure you line the pans with baking paper and apply some butter and toss some four on the sides.
-After the cake is cooled in the pan for 5 minutes,loosen the sides and take the cake out.
-In a double boiler,start boiling some water.Now place a bowl with the cream and the broken chocolate on the double boiler such that the bottom of the vessel doesn't touch the water.On low heat as the water simmers let the chocolate melt,mix it gently once or twice with a fork.Once the chocolate is almost melted,remove it from the stove and mix well with the fork so that there are no lumps.Now let it cool overnight until it reaches room temperature.
-Make the Ganache for frosting and filling separately and let them cool overnight,covered with a plastic foil.
-Roll the blue fondant to a big round .

-Bake three round layers (I baked 15 cm x 4 cm )of the cake.And another small pan or bowl with the cake batter,to get the dome shape.Insert a skewer in the base of the Doll so that it can be placed on the cake.

-Place the cake layers ,one on top of each other filling the layers with the 'Filling Ganache'.Finally place the dome shape.Now carve the cake in the front side of the doll to make a slightly vertical surface,this is the area where the dress (Fondant) falls straight,it has a hump at the back,the dome  takes care of the hump.
-Now frost the cake smoothly with the 'Frosting Ganache'.Gently lift the fondant and place it over the cake and arrange it to look like the dress.Cut some more pieces of rolled white and blue fondant to make the dress for the upper body.
-The rolling and lifting the fondant can be a bit tricky.

-The sour cream can be replaced with thick yogurt,this is one more substitute that I found online:
Homemade sour cream: Mix 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream with 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice in a bowl. Whisk until it starts to thicken. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 1 hour or until thicker (leaving it overnight gives best results)

This is yet another version of the Chocolate Walnut Cake :

Thanks for Stopping by ! Happy Baking !
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...