Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Gulab Jamun Cheesecake

Cheese cakes, name itself make many go weak on their knees.  And i m one of them in that list. While thinking on what new to make this Krishna Janmashtami, i got a flash of doing this exotic dessert with gulab jamuns, which was in my to-do list for a long time now. As a coincidence, i made some gulab jamuns too the previous day. So, it was very much easy to assemble this dessert with all the ingredients available in hand.
Normally, cheesecakes, especially no-bakes,  have their base as graham crackers or biscuit base. Now first of all,i didn't have biscuits in hand and secondly i didn't want the regular base.
So, i went back to my favorite millets as the base. I already have a millet-based tart done before, Poha-millet chocolate tart with strawberry filling. I followed the same recipe, but this time i used cashewnuts instead of almonds.  The result was a pure white base with white filling and surprise jamuns peeking from inside.
You can very well use biscuit/Oreo cookies as the base and continue with the same filling. The result will be as awesome as it looks here. Do try and let me know how you liked it.
Ingredients 
1 cup poha
1/2 cup Kodo Millet/Varagu arisi/Kodra/Arikelu
1/2cup cashew nuts
1/3 cup sugar/ jaggery/brown sugar
2-3 pods of cardamon
2 tsp ghee (optional)

Filling
8 no gulab jamuns
1/4 cup China grass/agar-agar
3/4 cup hung curd
1/2 crumbled paneer
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 generous pinches of saffron
1/3 sugar or 1/4 condensed milk
1/2 cup chopped pistachios for topping
Method
Preparing the base
  • Prepare a 4 inch removable Base tart pan by greasing it with little ghee and keep it ready.
  • Dry roast the base ingredients poha,  millet and cashewnuts separately. Let it cool completely.   
  • Take poha in a mixer and grind into a fine powder. Remove it to a flat plate. Now grind the millet to a fine powder.
  • Now take both the powders along with cashew nuts and cardamom in the same mixer and pulse grind until the mixture comes together.
  • Remove the ground mixture on to the tart pan and press it well to the bottom using a spoon or with your bare hands. I kept aside around 1/2 cup of the mixture and made shots with it. Refrigerate the base until we prepare the filling. 

Preparing the filling
  • Soak the china grass/ agar -agar gar on 1/4 cup of water for 15 minutes.
  • After the said time. Heat the soaked agar-agar along with the water in a simmer flame. Keep stirring. Let the strands dissolve well in the water.

  • Take hung curd, paneer, cream, sugar/condensed milk together in a mixer/blender. Blend smooth.  To this add saffron strands and strained agar-agar mixture. Whisk well.

Assembling the cheesecake

  • Now remove the Base from the refrigerator. Place the gulab jamuns on top of the Base. I place 6 jamuns around the edges and 1 in the center. Now pour the blended cheese mixture on top of the jamun laid Base.  Tap gently for the cheese to settle.
  • I had about 1/2 cup cheese leftover which poured into the cheesecake shots.Cling wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
  • Next day remove the cling warp, gently remove the cake from the tart pan. Sprinkle toasted pistachios on top. Cut and serve and enjoy the flavors.

Cooking Carnival - Mega Marathon, Month long Marathon

April and September month's are little special for me and a group of close-knitted blogger friends.  Yes, we do a mega marathon, posting food recipes, for the whole month on a particular theme. We love the tension, craziness that comes free with the mega marathon. Though our Boss +srivalli jetti gives us themes very early, people like me always decide and do the last moment. 
This September, we are blogging under Pick one ingredient or one category for a week or for the whole month. I chose 1 category per week. So, i will be posting recipes under 4 different categories for 4 weeks. This theme is aptly named as "Cooking Carnival 2016".
I was a little busy with a family function from may, so couldn't plan anything ahead for this BM. It is only last week, i made a list and started cooking for the mega BM. So, it is going to simple everyday dishes spread under 4 categories. I seriously didn't plan on matching the 'S'. 
Hope you would enjoy the series, as i enjoyed making them all. 


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Killu Milagai Rasam/Killu Milagai Thalicha Rasam - Almost 'No-Cook' Rasam

I m still lazing at my mom's house, in the name of vacation. Its been almost 2 months now, i go to the kitchen only to get my food. Though i cooked a little here and there, but that doesn't count even as half, if i take my eating-only days into account. 
Anyways, my kitchen is calling me and i will be there next week at my place, hopefully with full josh to cook, or else poor hubby has to put up with my vacation-lagg!!
If you are experiencing that vacation-lag and have no mood to cook, then this rasam is an excellent recipe, to make today. It is almost no-cook, doesn't need any masala, no grinding, just soak, and tadka, that's it. Serve it on top of hot steaming rice, lunch or dinner settled, people will go ga-ga over your cooking, even after that vacation-lagg!!

Ingredients
a small lemon sized tamarind, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes.
1 Large tomato, chopped fine
2 sprigs of curry leaves
3-4 nos dried red chili 
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds/jeera 
2 pinches of hing
2 pinches of turmeric
Method
  • Extract around 5 cups of water from the soaked tamarind. Keep aside. In a pan, add ghee/oil for tempering. 
  • Splutter mustard seeds, crackle cumin, add curry leaves , hing and turmeric. Now add broken red chilies, and tomatoes. 
  • Saute until the tomatoes turn soft and mushy. Now pour the tamarind extract and salt, Mix well. Let it sit for a minute on the stove. 
  • Take it off the stove. Serve warm over hot steaming rice, along with pappad and dry subzi.
  • We enjoyed this rasam along with beetroot curry, mint-coriander thogayal, and appalam.
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