Monday, March 12, 2018

Neapolitan Sauce/Napoli Sauce

When life gives you tomatoes turn them into variety of sauces😆. I bring you yet another italian sauce with tomatoes. I  must say, that i m trying this neapolitan sauce, for the very first time. They are slightly different from the pizza sauce i made 2 days back. The tomatoes are blanched first, skin removed, and then cooked in their own juices along with little garlic and basil.
A simple sauce, i bet they would taste amazing with pasta. I tossed this sauce with rice noodles today, which was our dinner. Both the mint pesto and this sauce tossed with simple rice noodles vanished in minutes, the flavors were awesome. Do try this and let me know how you liked it.

Inspired from here
2 large tomatoes
1 fat clove of garlic, chopped fine
1/2 tsp dried basil or few fresh basil leaves, torn
1/2 tsp sugar
salt to taste
1-2 tsp olive oil
  • In large pot bring water to rolling boil, make small slits on top of the tomatoes and let them sit in the hot water for 10 minutes for their skin to blister.  After 10 minutes, carefully remove the tomtoes using tongs, and place them on a flat plate, take care they will be super hot.
  • Let it sit for 2 minutes, then carefully peel the skin , mash the tomatoes roughly. Heat a sauce pan with olive oil, add chopped garlic to the oil, let it cook for a minute.
  • Now add the roughly chopped tomatoes to the garlic and let it cook in simmer flame in its own juices.
  • The sauce would reduce to a thicker consistency, add salt, sugar and herbs to it. Let it sit for 5 minutes more. Take it off the stove.
  • The sauce can be blended smooth or can be left chunky.i used my potato masher and mashed the tomates roughly, i got a sauce that is neither too smooth nor chunky. 
  • Let the sauce cool completely, store it in an air-tight container in refrigerator. Use it with your favorite pizza/pasta/sphagetti. I used it today to flavor our rice noodles and we loved the flavor.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Mint pesto - Fresh mint and almonds Sauce/Chutney

I feel it is partiality if i don't do a pesto while celebrating the italian sauces as this Week's BM theme here in my kitchen. Classic italian pesto, is pounded in a marble mortar and wooden pestle made with basil/herbs, pine nuts, garlic, cheese and salt. I m not sure whether adding almonds or walnuts are modern way of making your pesto flavorsome or simply a cost cutting measure, i for sure do the latter. 
I recently made a coriander and mint pesto with walnuts, i love adding walnuts to pesto as i feel they give more creamy texture to it and in that process i add little less olive oil to my pesto. Today i bring you a fresh, flavorsome mint pesto, using almonds. The freshness of mint will just engulf you the moment you  taste a spoon of this green goodness. 
Pesto's are my favorite for another good reason, they are pretty easy to make, just dump and blend. I love such simple recipes, i sometimes cheat my friends and family by doing tons of such simple recipes when they come for lunch/dinner and they keep wondering whether i m a lady ravan(Hindu Mythology Ramayan Character) with 20 hands!!!😆
Ok, coming to the recipe, i made a small batch of this pesto and used it immediately to flavor  Rice noodles for dinner, it was finger-licking good, do try and let me know how you liked it.

Inspired from here
3 fistful of mint leaves
10-12 no’s almonds, blanched
2 fat cloves of garlic
2-3 tbsp of olive oil
1/2 tsp peppercorns
Salt to taste
  • Clean and wash the mint leaves. I have used 1 medium bunch of mint leaves, which when the stalks are removed will yield around 3 fists full of leaves. Sorry didn’t measure the exact amount, when I do  will update the post.
  • Take the mint leaves in a spice grinder or small jar of your food processor, add garlic, blanched and skinned almonds, pepper and salt.
  • Process until it turns to a coarse paste, do not add water while doing, add 1 tbsp of olive oil at a time and process the pesto.
  • Remove the coarsely ground pesto into a separate bowl. Toss it with your favorite pasta or add it your spaghetti and enjoy this flavorsome mint pesto.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Pizza Sauce - Oven roasted Tomato Sauce

Pizza sauce, I don’t know why I took so long to post this recipe. We have pizza night every fortnight and I make my own pizza sauce every time. But I still haven’t posted the recipe here. When I chose Italian sauces as this month’s theme for Blogging Marathon, I knew the first recipe would be my pizza sauce. I love the sauce with roasted tomatoes, this can be done on the stove top too, but I love the oven, as I don’t have to stand near and stir. Dump everything in a pan and roast it until done and blend and season! Tada and you have the best sauce ever. This sauce is enough our pizza dinners, usually 4 or 5 homemade medium sized pizza. If at all there is some leftover sauce, it gets mopped by my kids for next day's breakfast.
5 no’s plump tomatoes
1 onion
2-3 fat cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp peppercorns 
1/2 tsp rock salt 
1-2 tsp of dried herbs (I used oregano and basil)

  • Roughly chop onions and tomatoes, take them in a baking tray. Add garlic and drizzle 2-3 tsp of olive oil on top and mix it roughly with your hands. Roast in the preheated oven at 200C for 35-40 minutes.
  • Once done, remove it from the oven, let it cool, add dried herbs, salt and pepper to it and process it in a food processor until smooth or if you like it a bit chunky make it little chunky.
  • Remove it to a glass container and refrigerate, it will stay good for a week. But mostly this is the amount I make for our pizza dinner and it’s gets over the same day any leftovers my kids mop it for the next day breakfast.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM

Monday, February 26, 2018

Eggless Blueberry-Raspberry jam cake/muffins with whipped cream frosting

I planned to make sweet samosas for today’s post, but got too engrossed in other work,and couldn’t find time to make them. Anyways we still have time and I have  all the ingredients in hand.
Today cake is from my drafts. Well not the post, but the pictures. Last month, while cleaning the pantry I saw a bottle of IKEA blueberry-raspberry jam in the corner of a shelf. This was my younger ones favorite jam for sometime. Kids favorites never last long! Okies now I was staring at the jam bottle, thinking what to do! It was weekend, I was planning to bake a cake, so I decided to use the jam in the cake.   Since it was the week my parents were visiting us, I thought it would be nice to show off my cake to them.
I couldn’t take a picture of the cut cake while i was clicking as I wanted to cut it with my parents, so I made some muffins the next day to show the texture of these pretty cake. The cake batter has a beautiful amber hue because of the jam, but as it bakes the color turned a bit dark. 
I have added some jam to the whipping cream to give it a pretty color. So this cake a fitting addition to your celebration table, with pretty pastel colors. Do try it this festive season and let me know how you liked it.
1.5 cups/225 grams of whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda
250 grams of blueberry raspberry jam
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp flax seed meal  mixed with1/4 cup of water (2 eggs)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup of water
  • Preheat the oven to 180c and line your muffin pan with liners. This batter makes spring 6-8 muffins depending upon the size and 2, 5 inch cakes or  1, 8 inch cake. If using cake pan, grease them With oil and line with a parchment
  • First let us make the flax eggs,mix 2 tbsp of flaxseed meal mixed with  1/4 cup of water. Let this sit until we prepare the other ingredients.
  • In a large bowl, take together flour, baking powder and baking soda and whisk it well. Now add brown sugar to this and whisk again to form a uniform mixture 
  • In another bowl, add jam and milk and mix it together to form a liquid. Now I strained my jam liquid as it has some seeds, from the raspberries, if you are ok with the seeds then do not strain, my kids are too fussy so I strained the liquid. To the strained jam-liquid, add flax eggs, oil and vanilla extract and whisk well.

  • Now slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and using a spatula l, slowly mix them together in one direction. See to that there is no trace of flour. While mixing take care not to mix vigorously, be gentle with the batter, so your cakes will be fluffy!!
  • Now pour the prepared into the muffin moulds or cake pans.
  • Bake them in the preheated  oven until done. The muffins need around 25 -30 minutes, whereas the cake takes around 40-50 minutes.
  • Once done remove them on to a Wire rack for cooling.
  • Cakes need to sit in their pans for 5 minutes, then use a blunt knife, run around the corners to loosen the cakes and slowly remove on the wire rack for it to cool. If serving as such I recommend serving while it is still warm.
  • Since I was frosting it, i cling-wrapped And let it sit in the refrigerator for a day and frosted in next day.
Frosting the cakes/muffins
200 ml of whipping cream
1 cup of icing sugar
3 tbsp of blueberry-raspberry jam.

  • Chill the cream well before whipping. It is recommended to chill the vessels and the bowl used to whip the cream. But since the climate was cold here, I skipped that step.
  • Take the chilled cream in a deep bowl, add icing sugar to it, and whip it using a electric beater until stiff peaks form.
  • Now add the jam to it and mix roughly to get a marbled whipping cream. Refrigerate the cream until use.  I normally make the cream, when i m about to frost the cake.

Chocolate Hearts
  • Melt 100 grams of dark chocolate in the microwave. I usually keep my chocolate outside before melting, so it just needs 2 times 30 seconds heating in the microwave, and voila i get a smooth silky melted chocolate.
  • Spoon the melted chocolate on to a parchment paper in the shape of hearts and refrigerate it until you serve the cake.

Frosting the cakes

  • Remove the cakes from the refrigerator. Scrap the top of the cakes.
  • Put a blob of frosting on a cake board or a plate. This helps to hold the cake in its place while you frost. 
  • Place a cake layer on top. Brush the top with simple sugar syrup. Fill the top of the cake with whipped cream frosting. Place the second layer bottom side up. Brush the top again with simple sugar syrup.
  • Crumb coat the cake with frosting. This seals the crumbs well and gives a neat finish to the final decoration. Refrigerate the cake for atleast 10 minutes before decorating it further.
  • I added another layer of frosting and  and garnished with some big chocolate hearts. Let the cake rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  • For frosting the muffins,i used a round nozzle and piped some cream on top.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Sesame Mawa Ladoo/Til Mawa ladoo

Sesame and mawa ke ladoo, a combination of earthy sesame and sweet mawa, beautifully flavored with a pinch of saffron and punchy cardamom. A sweet, perfect to celebrate any special occassion. I chose Festival theme for this BM, with Holi in mind, i m making some quick treats to share with your friends and enjoy this joyous colorful festival. 
If you read my Sesame and nuts ladoo, you must have known my love for ladoos, i  have around 25 ladoo recipes in my kitchen. This one too, joins that band of quickie recipes. Today's recipe took just 15 minutes to make and i took more time to click them and was resisting myself from nibbling everytime i re-arranged it for a better click.
Unsweetened mawa renders that rich and royal taste and texture this cute ball needs to be called as a festive treat. A wonderful gift for your friends and family. For those who are particular about hand-made edible gifts and are not ready to sweat in the kitchen, this recipe is a perfect choice. Go on, try it and let me know how you liked it.
125 grams white sesame seeds
125 grams mawa/unsweetened khoa/Milk solids
a generous pinch of saffron
4 pods of cardamom
1/3 cup of sugar
20 grams of cashewnuts, roasted and chopped roughly
3 tbsp of silvered pisatchios, roated
2-3 tsp ghee

  • In a wide pan, take the sesame seeds and dry roast in a medium flame. The seeds must get nice and toasty. Keep the flame simmer while roasting. Take care not to burn them. Remove the roasted seasame seeds into a flat plate.
  • Take the roasted sesame seeds in a mixer, add cardamom pods and sugar to ti and pulse it to powder.
  • Heat  a wide pan,heat a tsp of ghee and roast the cashewnuts until golden brown, once done, remove it from the pan and set aside until use. In the same pan, roast the silvered pistachios for 30 seconds and remove it along with cashewnuts.
  • Now in the same pan,add another tsp of ghee, add crumbled mawa and saffron to it and saute until it turns golden. Keep the flame simmer and keep stirring or else the mawa would stick to the pan and burn. This will take around 5-8 minutes. 
  • Once the mawa turns golden brown, take it off the stove, add the sesame-sugar mix to this. Add the chopped cashewnuts and pistachios too and mix it well with your hands. Mawa would be still hot, so take care while mixing with hands.
  • While the mixture is still warm, coat your hands with little ghee and start making small balls out of the mixture. Enjoy your til mawa ladoo garama garam. 
  • The ladoos are done, store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Since it contains milk, i prefer to store it in the fridge. 

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