Chủ Nhật, 23 tháng 9, 2012

Baked Pumpkin Donuts!


You probably guessed where I am coming from with this recipe. It is that time of the year again. Fall is here and stores are already filling up with Halloween costumes, candies and other goodies and you simply cannot celebrate fall without the humble pumpkin. Right from scary looking carved pumpkins to the amazing tasting pumpkin pies, the pumpkin is everywhere. Besides the obvious reason of having the pumpkin on US Masala, the other part of the story behind this recipe is that I found this cool donut baking tray at the mall a couple of days ago. I have been on the lookout for it for a while now and I just snatched it up when I saw it laying on the store shelf. I have been itching to use it ever since I laid my hands on it and a pumpkin based baked donuts seemed like just the right thing to make.
To be honest I was a little apprehensive on how the shape and texture would turn out, but I was pleasantly surprised when I pulled the tray out of the oven. The bright pumpkin color gets you first as soon as you look at them, then as you break one apart you feel the soft yet spongy texture and knowing that they were baked and not fried, you just can't resist biting into it. The soft texture with a burst of pumpkin and cinnamon just gets you in the mood for fall and Halloween.
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Thứ Tư, 19 tháng 9, 2012

Missi roti/ Spiced Chickpea flatbread


India makes several different kinds of flat-breads, roti, paratha, naan, chapati to name a few of the most common ones. Missi roti is another such flat bread but with an interesting twist. This roti is made primarily with Besan or Gram flour unlike its counterparts that almost entirely are made of grain flour (most commonly wheat). Missi roti has its origins in the western part of India but due to its exquisite flavor profile, texture and the fact that being made of gram flour it is loaded with good protein, it is now common in many households and restaurants across the country. Needless to say it is one of my favorites too.
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Thứ Sáu, 7 tháng 9, 2012

Homemade Tandoori Masala


You might have heard of the phrase 'the secret sauce'. For Indian cooking the equivalent phrase could very well be 'the secret masala blend'.
If I have to choose among my most favorite masala blends, it sure will be a close one between 'Tandoori masala' and 'Garam masala' - they are both absolute must-haves in my pantry! Whether you grew up eating tandoori chicken at your local restaurant or you just tasted a bite of it because someone took you along to an Indian restaurant and got completely bowled over, or anywhere in between, you would know tandoori is one of the most loved flavors in Indian dishes. And let me let you in on a secret, this is the spice blend (read: magic) behind all those lip smacking tandoori and tikka treats!
I love making homemade masalas (of course not always) but as they say homemade is definitely the BEST! Fresh, aromatic and so full of Indian-ness! Make it and use it and you’ll have a new flavor in life and in your food. Even if you regularly use the store-bought version, you will mark the noticeable difference in flavor with this fresh homemade masala. The best part is that it is so easy to make that you’ll wonder why you have not been doing it for all these years. Mom always used to grind fresh masalas on her sil-patti (stone-block). Over time, the stone block was replaced by the more convenient electric mixer/grinder, the masala and the lip-smacking taste remained unchanged.
Recently I have had quite a few requests from my readers for recipes of homemade masala blends. So here is one of my most favorite ones and stay tuned for more.
Here's a little tip- I always try to make small quantities as and when needed. Fresh-made, that's when the masala blends are the most fragrant. For grinding small quantities, I always use my coffee grinder.
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Thứ Hai, 3 tháng 9, 2012

Nutella Brownie Cheesecake Bites!


Now this recipe earned me some serious bragging rights. The best comment I got was from hubs when he tried it and after pillaging through five or six of them said "they are so good they ought to have a name by themselves" and "a perfect fusion of the Indian mithai and the brownie". I didn't care much for the names he went on to suggest (shhh..) but I was definitely flattered.
I tried them after and these little bites definitely have something to be said about them. While the first bite starts to tell your taste buds that you just bit into a moist and chocolaty brownie, the smooth texture of the cream cheese swirls quickly convinces them into believing it is indeed no ordinary brownie but a whole other dish unto itself.
If all the above makes you think this will be one tricky recipe, you are in for a surprise. This recipe is really easy to put together and a very forgiving one at that. And yes any baking with chocolate does deserve a dash of Nutella, goes without saying.
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