Thursday, 7 July 2016

Cherry Sauce and New Beginnings !!!

We must always change,renew,rejuvenate ourselves, otherwise we harden - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

For me, Bangalore has always meant home. It has been years since we made it home, and I thought home it will be forever.

Life had other plans, and here I am, miles away from home. Right from the weather, everything seems to be the other end of what I am used to.

Before this post morphs itself into a rant ( A rant is definitely on its way, Not today though), I will move on to the recipe.

I have been off this blog for a long while. I have no specific reasons that are of interest. So I shall skip the details and just say I hope not to disappear again. For all the friends and family who constantly asked,Thank you. Its your prodding that got me here.

Cherries have been a significant part of my growing up. I was the fussiest kid around when it came to eating. The fact that I have asked for something to eat itself was an event.So anytime my dad went out, I would run behind and ask him to get cherries for me on his way back. I was never once denied, though he often did forget to get them. I do not remember my mother stopping me too, given that the cherries available then were soaked in sugar syrup. That was the only kind available in India back then.

And then years later, when I actually met the real cherry, I must say I was disappointed. Cherries were supposed to be sweet. Right ? Not really.

It is only few days back that I tasted the sweet cherries. I was delighted. All those years of cherry love did not go futile.


Ingredients 


Cherries - 2 Cups - Washed and stalks removed.
Water - 1 Cup
Sugar - 1 Cup
Flour - 3-4 Tbsp ( As desired. Start with 3 and work your way up if needed.)
Cinnamon - powdered - 1 generous pinch ( Optional)
Juice of one lemon


How to make the sauce :

1. Cut the two fleshy sides of the cherry. Cut only a small slice. Your sliced cherry should look like this. Keep this aside. We use this only at the very last of the recipe.


2. De-pit the cherry or cut around it. Once you are done with all the cherries, chop them up further. 
3. Put this in a blender and make a paste. 

4. Heat a saucepan. Add water and sugar. Bring it to a boil. The sugar should be completely dissolved in the water.   

5. Add the chopped up cherries ( Not the sliced sides of the cherry), lime juice and stir.

6. Slowly stir in the flour little by little and mix thoroughly. Ensure that the flour does not form lumps. 

7. The sauce will thicken after a while. Add the powdered cinnamon at this point. Mix well.

8. Remove from flame and allow it to cool. 

9. Once the sauce is warm and not hot, add the sliced cherry that has been kept aside. 

10. Mix well and serve.



Note :


1. The sliced cherries are optional. Reduce the quantity of sliced cherries or If you do not like your sauce with the cherry slices, just blend everything into a sauce. 

2. Add the flour and mix thoroughly. If it gets too lumpy, allow it to cool and run in a blender again to make a smooth paste. Put it back on the flame, and cook till the sauce thickens. 

3. This sauce pairs well with Ice creams. The original post recommends serving it with a variety of dishes like chicken, pork and as a stuffing in baked goods. 

Recipe from here

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Mexican Lime Chicken

Food is our common ground, a universal experience. - James Beard



Ingredients :


Chicken Breasts - 2 ( approx 450 gms) - pummel with a rolling pin for uniform thickness

Coriander Seeds - 1 tsp - Crushed
Grated Lime Zest - 1 /2 tsp
Paprika - 1/2 tsp
Raw Sugar ( Brown or Dark brown Sugar ) - 1/2 tsp
Lime - 1
Garlic Cloves - Unpeeled - 6
Salt to taste

Red Chillies - 2 - dry
Olive Oil - 2 Tbsp
  Soak the red chillies in 2 Tbsp Olive oil for a day. 

Method :


1. Mix the crushed coriander seeds, lime zest, paprika and sugar together with the red chillies in Olive oil.
2. Put the chicken breasts in a baking dish, spoon the marinade over and then squeeze a little lime juice.(about 1/2 Tbsp)
3. Cover and marinate for 45 mins.
4. Tuck the unpeeled cloves on garlic under the chicken along with 2 slices of lime.
5. Season the chicken as needed.
6. Roast the chicken breasts in a baking dish, uncovered for 30 minutes in a preheated oven (190C). To check if the chicken is done, prod with your finger. If it is still soft, give it a little longer.
7. Serve hot with salad or salsa. I served it with Fried bean sauce.


Note :

1. The original recipe called for Muscovado Sugar. I replaced it with Raw sugar. You can use unrefined sugar with a distinct molasses flavour.
2. The baking time differs from oven to oven and the size of the chicken. Mine was done in exactly 30 minutes.
3. The recipe also asked for Mexican red chillies, I used dry red chillies soaked in olive oil.

Recipe adapted from here.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Black and White Wednesday # 158 - Wooden Spice Box


The above picture is my entry for this week's Black and White Wednesday, hosted by Shri of Tiffin Carrier Anticques.

This old world wooden spice box comes in different shapes and is eye catching just for the wood work. Top it up with spices and it is a winner. The beautifully carved lid ( Seen partly in the pic) just adds to the charm. 

BWW is a bi-weekly culinary event started by Susan and is currently handled by Cinzia.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Heart Shaped Shortbread Cookies

                                   I dreamed of a wedding of elaborate elegance,
                                   A church filled with family and friends.
                                   I asked him what kind of a wedding he wished for,
                                   He said one that would make me his wife.

                                                                                    ~Author Unknown

 I read the above quote years ago and found it to be the sweetest quote I have ever read about love.
The month of February has always been dear to me, what with the color red and little hearts every where you go. 

For someone who has narrated DDLJ and KKHH countless times to friends who didn't follow Hindi, Valentine's day was something I always waited for. And each year, around this time, I would get to hear about someone's love story. I laughed with them and cried with them. Involuntarily, I would slip into their stories and I still remember each of the stories I have ever heard. That's when I fell in love with Love, and have been in Love ever since. 

I survived the first 25 years of my life with just my heart. Then, along comes this guy who thinks DDLJ and KKHH are the worst  movies ever made. That's when I realized, I had to dust out my brain and start using it.
After 9 years of marriage, I still cannot sit with him and watch mushy romances. I choose to watch such movies when he is working.That way, I can cry my heart out without being laughed at.
I have changed quiet a lot, but this is one area where the girl in me keeps creeping out ever so often.

There is one consolation though, he doesn't laugh at me when I declare " Casablanca "
is my favorite romantic movie. It is definitely not his favorite, but I am happy he does not dislike it. I had wanted to bake these cookies on Valentine's Day. I know, the post is delayed, but like Love - better late than never.

Food color is something that is never allowed inside my house. I would rather eat a plain looking cake than dress it up with colors. I am making an exception this time for my kids, and what better time for exceptions than the month of Love.
 


Ingredients :


All purpose flour - 1Cup
Unsalted Butter - 1/2 Cup
Powdered Sugar - 1/2 Cup
Salt - a pinch
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
Food Color - 1/4 tsp ( Optional)

Method :


1. Sieve the flour and salt together and keep aside. Add food color to this, if using and sieve again. Keep aside.
2.  Cream together the butter and sugar till the sugar is fully dissolved and the mixture is light and fluffy.
3. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
4. Fold in the flour and make a soft dough. Cling wrap the dough and refrigerate for an hour.
5. Roll out the dough and cut into desired shape.
6. Line the baking tray with parchment paper or just butter the tray and place the cut cookies an inch apart. 
7. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 10 minutes or till the sides turn slightly brown.




Note : Do not go by the color of the cookies in the picture. When baked without food color, they turn out in a nice cream color. I added just a pinch of Orange color, to convince my daughter. So the deep color that you see in the picture. You can omit it altogether.

Recipe from here.