Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Red Velvet Crinkle Top Cookies--No Butter Added

Let me be honest with you. This is messiest cookie recipe I have ever handled. I almost thought of binning it at one point as I was getting quite irritated with the mess. However, the cookies are undoubtedly the best Crinkle Top Red Velvet Cookies you would have ever made. What attracted me to this recipe when there were so many available on the net and quite fuss free too? Well, this recipe uses just 3 tbsp oil and this means you can enjoy them more guilt free than the regular buttered ones and without any compromise on taste too. So if you do not mind a little messy kitchen counter and sticky hands for a while then you have come to the right place and you are guaranteed to enjoy your effort at the end of it all. 
60 gms chocolate melted (the original recipe used white chocolate but I used regular dark baking chocolate)
1 1/4 cup flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder 
1 tsp baking powder 
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs 
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp vanila extract
2 tsp red food coloring (preferably use gel colour, either strawberry red or cherry red)
3/4 cup granulated sugar 
Confectioners sugar/icing sugar for rolling 

Take the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and melt it in the microwave at a 30 second interval until melted and shiny. 
In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, cocoa, and salt and keep aside. 
In the same bowl where you melted the chocolate, add the eggs and whip till smooth. Now add the oil, Vanila, and food coloring and whip again. Add the sugar and mix. Now add the flour mixture and mix well with a spoon till everything is well combined. The mixture will seem quite liquidy for a cookie dough but just go ahead. 

Now cover the bowl with a cling wrap with the plastic touching down on the top of the dough. I had transferred the dough entirely into the plastic wrap and that turned out quite messy while making balls out of the dough. So keep the dough in the bowl and just put the cling wrap tightly touching down on the dough. Put in the refrigerator and chill for a minimum of 2 hrs and upto overnight.
Now grease and line a baking tray and pre-heat the oven at 180 degree celcius. 
Take the icing sugar in a plate and with a tablespoon/ice cream scoop, scoop out small balls and drop on the icing sugar. Roll it on the sugar with your hands and then flatten slightly and roll again in the sugar and place on the prepared tray. Sorry no pictures to share here as my hands were all doughy. Put the cookies 2" apart as they spread out a little while cooking and so keep some space to avoid sticking to each other. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes or till the edges slightly firm up while the top is still a little soft to touch. 
Cool in the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack for cooling completely. Store in air tight containers. 

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Easy Chicken Kabab

Starters are an important part of any meal and they get even more important when you host a dinner/lunch event at your place. Having said that, when you have no helping hand in the kitchen it becomes imperative that you present something quick and easy yet beautifully presented and delicious to eat. These Kababs are just that. Extremely easy to prepare, you can keep these ready one day in advance in the refrigerator and shallow fry just before serving. Serve it with some green chutney and be ready to amaze your guests!!
500 gms minced chicken 
1 medium onion chopped finely 
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste 
2 tbsp fresh coriander finely chopped 
2 tbsp besan
1 tsp red chilli powder 
1 tsp garam masala powder 
2 tsp coriander powder 
Finely chopped green chillies (optional)
Salt to taste
Oil as required 

Wash and drain the chicken mince. Ensure that there is no excess water. Now mix in all the other ingredients except the oil. Make a smooth mixture ensuring that everything is mixed well. You can now either go ahead and make patties out of this mixture or keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. 
When ready to fry, heat oil in a frying pan or grill pan and make small patties out of the mixture and fry till golden on both sides in a medium heat. I covered the pan on a medium heat for the first five minutes to ensure that the chicken is cooked through. After 5 minutes, remove the cover and fry on a medium high heat till golden on both the sides. Drain the excess oil on a kitchen towel. Sprinkle some chaat masala if you like and serve hot with your favourite chutney. 

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Kheer Patishepta

An absolute Bong dessert, the patishepta has many variants when it comes to the stuffing. Most people use a mix of jaggery and grated coconut, some use cottage cheese, and some even use leftover sweets like Sandesh, kaju barfi and similar. However, the yummiest of all is this kheer patishepta made with khowa/mawa mixed with milk and condensed milk. My guests who had never had this before were floored with the yumminess and once again, I was a happy host!
For the crepes
1 cup plain flour/maida
1/2 cup sooji/rawa
1/3 cup fine sugar
1/3-1/2 cup water
Few tbsp of oil for greasing the pan
For the stuffing
300 ml milk
100 ml condensed milk (you can adjust as per your desired sweetness)
1/2 cup crumbled mawa (you can increase this quantity to make it thicker and quicker)

Pour the milk in a wide mouthed pan and add the condensed milk. Bring it to a boil and then lower the flame. Keep stirring to avoid sticking at the bottom. Once it reduces a bit, add the crumbled khowa/mawa and continue stirring till it is completely dissolved and incorporated. The mixture will now be thicker than before. Continue stirring on a low flame till you reach a rabadi/custard consistency. Remove from flame and let it cool completely. You can prepare this kheer one day in advance and keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to prepare the patisheptas. Just take care to cover it well when kept in the refrigerator. 
In a bowl, mix the flour, sooji, and sugar. Add water very slowly and little at a time till you reach the consistency similar to dosa batter/crepe batter. Basically, it should be of pouring consistency. Let it rest for 15-20 minutes. The flour may absorb some water at this time and so adjust accordingly. 
Heat a little oil in a pan and wipe off the excess oil with the help of a kitchen towel or the head of a brinjal or onion. Lower the flame and pour 2-3 tbsp in the center and spread it out with the back of the spoon into a circle. Increase the flame a little and let the batter cook on top. Now put a spoonful of the kheer towards one end of the crepe and with the help of a spatula, roll it up. Flip the top and let it cook on both sides of the roll. Remove from heat and place it in a plate. Repeat for the rest of the batter. If the pan gets too hot, sprinkle some water and grease again and continue with the process. Enjoy your rich and gooey Bong delicacy!


Friday, 10 July 2015

Wholewheat Eggless Butterless One Bowl Chocolate Cake

It has been the most terrible week for me so far as parenting is concerned. Baby down with a terrible toddler illness and while she was just recovering, I caught the flu and now can hardly eat and drink. Two days I spent pitying myself. Today morning I pulled myself up, put in all my will power at work and started telling myself "I feel better so much better now!" I decided to let go that sickly feeling and instead do something constructive. Asked my baby if she is craving for some chocolate cake and she jumped with joy. Doing the dishes is a pain now and so came up with this amazing one bowl Wholewheat Eggless Butterless Chocolate cake I saw on pinterest yesterday with some changes of my own. The cake is soft, moist and spongy and super delicious!! Best part is you can eat it guilt-free.... I hope I can enjoy eating it soon (have a very very very painful throat)!!!!

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour 
3 tbsp cocoa powder (I used extra dark)
1 tsp baking soda 
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar (can be substituted with white sugar)
5 tbsp oil (I used rice bran oil but you can use extra light olive oil or any other unflavoured oil)
1 tsp Vanila extract 
1 cup water (I used room temperature but you can use lukewarm too)
1 tsp white vinegar 

Pre-heat the oven at 180 degree celcius and grease a 8" square tin. 
In a bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Mix well and then add the oil followed by the Vanila extract and water. Use a balloon whisk for easy and proper mixing. You can add a handful of chocolate chips if you like for a more chocolatey flavor.  Lastly, add the vinegar and simply fold it in without much mixing. Pour the batter into the greased pan and bake in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy this guilt free delight. For the frosting, I melted some ferrero rocher chocolates (about 8) and added some warm cream (about 2-3 tbsp) till desired consistency. Frost the cake when completely cooled. The cake will keep good at room temperature in air tight container for 2-3 days.