April 26, 2012

Spicy Prawn Pickle - Kerala style

Hmmm.. writing is becoming a herculean task for me as my toddler son keep me busy and occupied.Actually it is fun to see him growing up in front of my eyes.It is the best part of motherhood.I am loving it :) but sometimes he makes me go crazy too..

              I have made this prawn pickle few days before i almost emptied the jar by now, if I dont write the blog by now I would forget the taste of it.Since by husband is a vegetarian, if I want to eat any thing non vegetarian i have to cook for my son and myself..If their is a jar of pickle like this I can fulfill my cravings in no time.I got the idea of making this pickle when I went to the grocery store and saw tiny prawns.



1 Prawns - 1/2 kg(smallest size you find)
   Chilli powder - 2 tsp
   salt - 1 tsp
   Vinegar-1 tbsp
   Pepper powder - 1/4tsp

2. Gingelly oil - 2- 3 tsp
   Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
   Fenugreek powder- 1 pinch
  Asafoetida - 1 pinch
  Ginger sliced - A thumb sized piece of ginger sliced
  Garlic- 8-10 cloves
  Curry leaves - 2-3 springs
  Salt- to taste
  Vinegar- 1 tbsp (optional)
  Oil for frying


  1.  Devein and clean the prawns, if using the raw once.
  2.  Marinate  the prawns with the first set of marination ingredients.ie with chilli powder,turmeric, salt, vinegar and pepper
  3. After 30 minutes, fry the prawns in oil till it is cooked and seared, it takes only 2- 3 minutes.If fried for more time it will become rubbery.
  4. Once the entire set of prawns are fried, drain the oil with a paper towel and set aside.
  5. Now splatter the mustard seeds in gingelly oil, add curry leaves and saute garlic, ginger pieces and slit green chillies.
  6. Make a paste of  Turmeric, chilli powder and salt
  7. Once the raw smell of ginger and garlic is gone add the chilli paste.
  8. At this point you can adjust the consistency , by adding water if  more gravy is required.
  9. Add the fried prawns and bring it to a boil.
  10. Reduce flame and check for salt.
  11. Once reaches room temperature add fenugreek powder, asafoetida, vinegar.
  12. Then Store it in glass jar and pour few table spoons of gingelly oil so that the it forms a layer on the top and prevents bacterial action.
  13. I have seen my grand mother adding a small piece of oil soaked cloth on the top as well.
  14. Refrigerate  after 2 days.

April 18, 2012

Mango Mousse Cake

A tin of mango pulp which I purchased from Indian grocery store has been staying in my pantry for some time.Since it was winter I didn't make mango lassi as i used to do.Then I got to make a pudding or mousse.After much research I settled upon on one recipe.My plan is to make a jaconde sponge as base,mango mousse as filling and with a mango clear glaze as topping.

Jaconde  sponge cake: (source sprinkle bake :)

Confectioners sugar for sprinkling - 1/4 cup
Almond flour-1 cup
Confectioners sugar - 3/4 cup
All purpose flour -1/3 cup
Eggs - 3 nos
Egg yolk -1nos
Egg white -3nos
Granulated sugar -1/4 cup
Melted Butter - 2 Tbsp
Gel food colour - 9 drops

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare a parchment paper with 1/4 cup confectioners sugar. Grease jelly roll pan, line with parchment and grease paper.
  2. In a bowl , beat the almond flour, 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, flour and eggs until combined, stopping in between  to scrape down the sides of the bowl .
  3. Add the 1 egg yolk and food coloring, then mix again to combine.
  4. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until white forms are formed. Gradually add in the granulated sugar until a white, thick meringue forms.  
  5. Gently fold in the meringue into the almond flour mixture. 
  6. Carefully fold in the melted butter without deflating it.
  7.  Pour mixture into jelly roll pan and bake for 5-8 minutes.
  8.  Be very careful about the timing since this cake gets cooked very fast.
  9. Remove cake from oven in to the parchment paper dusted with confectioners sugar. 
  10. Using your pan as a guide, cut a circle of cake from the jaconde and press it into the bottom of the pan evenly.
  11. Trim edges and cut one long piece of jaconde big enough to fit around the inside of the 7" spring form pan.press down the edges into base so that both pieces will sit combined.  

Filling -Mango Mousse (my own recipe)

Sweetened Mango pulp - 4 cup
Pureed pulp of 1 pound Mangoes
Heavy whipping cream - 1 1/2 cup
Unflavored gelatin - 3 1/2 tsp
Ripe mango - 1 nos

  1. Pour about a cup of the purée into a small saucepan, warm it gently, then add the gelatin, stirring it until it dissolves.
  2. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and add the rest of the purée.
  3. Allow it to cool, stirring it occasionally. When the purée reaches the room temperature, whip the cream to soft peaks.
  4. Immerse the bowl of purée in an ice bath.Mix in till the mixture starts to thicken.
  5. Remove the bowl from the bath and whip the cream the rest of the way to stiff peaks
  6. Fold in the whipped cream into the mango puree mixture.

Topping - Mango Glaze (my own recipe)

Mango puree - 1 cup
water - 2 tbsp
sugar - 2 tbsp
Unflavored gelatin - 2 1/2 tsp
Lime juice - 1 tbsp


  1.  Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
  2. Now reduce flame and cook for 3- 4 minutes and remove from fire and bring it to room temperature.

 Assembly of Cake

  1. Pour half of the mousse into the sponge lines cake tin.
  2. Arrange mango cubes (cut into small bite size pieces) into a layer, I added this layer just to add an extra kick, I love would to get a piece of mango while having a piece of cake.
  3. Now add the remaining mousse mixture and give a tab the cake tin.
  4. Atlast pour in the mango glaze and freeze in atleast for 6-8 hours before serving.
Tried and tasted by...

I made this cake to take to our uncles house...hope they all liked it.This cake was not a very sweet cake but very light cake,very easy to make, loved it :) hope every one who had it will agree.

April 12, 2012

Spinach & cottage cheese stuffed Manicotti

We love to experiment on pasta recipes, most of the times they come out good.My little one and hubby love pasta. Since regular pasta is not exactly a healthy choice, we have recently moved to whole wheat pastas.About three weeks back when we went to the grocery store while searching one of the aisles my husband enquired if I knew how prepare a particular pasta as on the carton "Manicotti ". Manicotti is a type of Cannelloni."Cannelloni" meaning large reeds in Italian.They are a cylindrical type of pasta generally served baked with a filling and covered by a sauce. Some types of cannelloni need to be boiled beforehand, for others it is enough to use runnier sauces/filling. The traditional stuffing may include ricotta cheese, spinach and various kinds of meat. The sauces typically used are tomato or béchamel sauce."Manicotti" in Italian means sleeves.
I made the sauce instead of buying one from the store and the details of its recipe are given below



Manicotti or cannelloni - 7 tubes

For  the sauce

Onion   -   1/2 nos
Garlic   -   5 pods
Extra virgin olive oil    -   3 tbsp
Asparagus   -   4 nos
Carrot   -   1 nos
Beans   -   5-6 nos
Chilli flakes   -   1-2 tsp ( as per your heat level)
basil leaves   -   4-5 leaves
Salt   -   to taste
Heavy cream   -  1/2 cup
Parmersan cheese -1 cup


Onion   -   1/2 nos
Garlic    -    3 pods 
spinach   -   0ne bunch
Cottage Cheese /Paneer(grated)   -   200 gm
Olive oil   -   1 tbsp


  1. Boil the water, add salt, oil and manicotti tubes.
  2. Cook the pasta for 7 minutes and drain the water and arrange the pasta on a cookie tray and let it dry.
  3. Preserve 2 cups of  water in which the pasta was cooked.(for the sauce)
  4. Now for the filling, saute the onions in extra virgin olive oil, add minced garlic.Once the onions turns transparent add shredded  spinach and salt to taste.Once the spinach is cooked and dry, remove from heat source and mix in grated paneer or cottage cheese.Once the tubes are dried, fill in a ziploc bag with the filling and snip of the end.Then pipe the filling into the manicotti tubes and arrange in the baking tray
  5. For the Sauce, saute the onions and garlic in olive oil, one the onions turn transparent add the veggies cut in to cubes.
  6. Add in the chilli flakes,salt , heavy cream and 1 cup of water in which the pasta was cooked.
  7. Once the sauce boils, simmer it until slightly thickened
  8. Check for seasonings.
  9. Mix in the basil leaves and pour the sauce over the manicotti's in the baking tray.
  10. Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top. 
  11. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 F.
  12. Remove the foil after 20 minutes and bake again for 5 minutes.
  13. After that remove and enjoy the dish.

Manicotti shells after stuffing

April 1, 2012

Dutch Crunch Or Tiger Bread

This is my first daring bakers challenge .I think the end product came out well.I had a nice learning experience.This months challenge was to make dutch crunch soft bread.

Dutch crunch or Tiger bread

Soft White Roll

Servings: Six sandwich rolls
This recipe approximates the quintessential white sandwich roll found throughout the SF Bay Area. The recipe is simple, quick, and addictive.


Active dry yeast   -1 Tbsp
Warm water         -60ml(1/4 cup)
Warm milk           -1Cup
Sugar                   -1 1/2 tbsp
Vegetable oil        -2 tbsp(30 ml)
Salt                     -1 1/2 tsp
All purpose flour  -Upto4 Cups

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer or large mixing bowl, combine yeast, water, milk and sugar. Stir to dissolve and let sit for about 5 minutes (The mixture should start to bubble or foam a bit and smell yeasty).
  2. Add in vegetable oil, salt and 2 cups of flour. Using the dough hook attachment or a wooden spoon, mix at medium speed until the dough comes together.
  3. Add remaining flour a quarter cup at time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  4.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 4 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
  5.  Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled (or more) in size.
  6. Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 6 equal portions (if you’d like to make rolls) or 2 equal portions (if you’d like to make a loaf) (using a sharp knife).Shape each into a ball or loaf and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet (try not to handle the dough too much at this point).
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 15 minutes while you prepare the topping.
  8. Coat the top of each roll or loaf with the topping.While the original recipe recommends letting them stand for 20 minutes after applying the topping.
  9.  Once you’ve applied the topping, bake in a preheated moderately hot 380ºF/190°C for 25-30 minutes or until well browned. Let cool completely on a wire rack before eating.

Dutch Crunch Topping

Servings: This recipe should make sufficient topping for two 9x5 loaves (23cmx13cm) or 12 rolls. If you make only 6 rolls in the first soft white roll recipe, you can cut the topping recipe in half.


Active dry yeast- 2 tbsp
Warm water - 1 cup(240ml)
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Vegetable oil- 2 Tbsp
Salt- 1/2 tsp
Plain rice flour-1 1/2 cup (Since i used roasted rice flour i had to reduce the quantity to 1/2 rice flour and 1 1/2 cup of warm water)

  1.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat with a whisk; beat hard to combine. The consistency should be like stiff royal icing – spreadable, but not too runny. If you pull some up with your whisk, it should drip off slowly. Add more water or rice flour as necessary. Let stand 15 minutes.
  2.  Coat the top of each loaf or roll with a thick layer of topping. We tried coating it with a brush but it worked better just to use fingers or a spoon and kind of spread it around. You should err on the side of applying too much topping – a thin layer will not crack properly.
  3.  Let stand, uncovered, for any additional time your recipe recommends. With the Soft White Roll, you can place the rolls directly into the oven after applying the topping.
  4. When baking, place pans on a rack in the center of the oven and bake your bread as you ordinarily would. The Dutch Crunch topping should crack and turn a nice golden-brown color.