Friday, June 5, 2015

Vegetable Dum Biryani | Pressure Cooker Recipes

As I was going through my recent posts here,I couldn't help but notice the handful number of posts last year.It is not as if I deliberately kept away from blogging,actually I was missing it way too badly.The regular chore of cooking,photographing,editing and then composing a post,it's something I enjoyed doing immensely but somehow then I couldn't find energy to even cook our daily meals.So naturally blogging took a backseat.
Vegetable Dum Biryani 
I was craving spicy food by the end of my first trimester and during those times,one pot dishes like pulao,biryani came to the rescue.A Paneer curry and a pulao saw me battle my hunger cravings big time :)To all who say a good Biryani isn't made in a pressure cooker,I have to tell you-you don't know what you are missing :)

Vegetable Dum Biryani 
It is for the same reason I was drawn towards this recipe by Ramakrishnan which uses OPOS method-One Pot One Shot to make this delicious Dum Biryani.To read more about OPOS,click here.I had a slight apprehension though because this recipe does not use water,yes you heard me right.NO Water!But wonder of wonders,the Biryani comes out just perfect,with each grain of rice separate and the lovely smoky flavor as the onions form the base of the cooker.What's more,you can substitute the vegetables for chicken/seafood to create a Biryani which suits your taste palate!
Vegetable Dum Biryani *Follow the recipe exactly,OPOS is not about tweaking the base recipe/method.However you can use the masala powders of your choice or liquid of your choice.Read through the substitutions you can use.

Vegetable Dum Biryani 

Vegetable Dum Biryani 
Recipe source - Ramakrishnan / OPOS


Basmati Rice- 1 cup
Thick curds - 1 cup
Garam Masala - 2 tsp
Chilly powder - 2 tsp
Salt - 2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 2tsp
Mixed vegetables chopped - 2 1/4 cups (I used Cauliflower,Carrot,Capsicum,Baby corn,Green peas)
Mint leaves,Coriander leaves - 1/4 cup each
Ghee - 3 tsp
Bay leaf,Cardamom,Clove,Cinnamon - 2 each
Onion - 1 sliced


Vegetable Dum Biryani 
Soak rice for 2 hours,drain and keep aside.
Vegetable Dum Biryani 
Mix together curds,garam masala,chilly powder,ginger garlic paste and salt with the vegetables.(while the rice is soaking,marinate the vegetables)
Vegetable Dum Biryani 
In a 2ltr Stainless steel Pressure cooker,add ghee and bayleaf,cardamom,clove and cinnamon.Add the sliced onions.
Vegetable Dum Biryani 
Layer vegetables and rice in alternate layers.Cook at 600W in an induction cooker or on low heat on the gas stove for 15 minutes.
Vegetable Dum Biryani 
Open the cooker and mix the rice,serve hot.

Here's the recipe card for OPOS Vegetable Dum Biryani,read through for substitutions you can use.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Caramel Cake

It was a few years ago,when I noticed many bloggers posting the same recipe on a particular date of the month.One after the other,the recipes looked complicated to me,and that too baked recipes.For a beginner baker like me,all those looked like recipes which I could only gape at but never try.Later I came to know it was all a part of Daring Bakers,daring recipes they sure were!

I remember seeing a Caramel cake recipe challenge where the caramel syrup was made from scratch,so was the cake and the buttercream frosting plus caramel shards for garnish.I still remember,I saw it first on Deeba's blog PAB and thought to myself how one could even attempt something like that,I was too dumbstruck.

Years later,when me and a baker friend were having a conversation about adding caramel to cakes for the intense flavor it provides,I was immediately transported back to this particular recipe.Suddenly,it didn't seem so complicated at all.Making caramel from scratch is indeed a breeze,you've got to be cautious that's all,and the cake is a basic butter cake.I decided to skip the frosting,but let me tell you,the cake tastes awesome even when served plain.


Ever since,I've made this cake a number of times.This recipe even fights to take the first spot among my all time favorite cakes,a spot which currently belongs to this gem.The flavor of caramel intensifies after a day,so make sure you resist the urge to cut and serve it immediately.I had some chocolate sauce in the fridge,which I had to use up so I drizzled the sauce over the cake.


Caramel Cake

Recipe source - Baking Obsession


Unsalted butter – 150 gms, at room temperature
Granulated white sugar -  1 1/4 cups
Salt – 1 teaspoon
Caramel syrup – 1/3 cup
Eggs – 2, at room temperature
Pure vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
All-purpose flour – 2 cups
Ground cardamom – 1 teaspoon
Baking powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Milk – 1 cup, at room temperature

For caramel syrup
Granulated white sugar – 2 cups
Water - 1/2 cup
Water to stop crystallization - 1 cup  

P_20150416_125641.jpg Method

For making the caramel syrup

Caramel cake1
Add sugar and 1/2 cup water in a heavy bottomed sauce pan and put it on high flame until the sugar dissolves. Keep stirring with a wooden spatula. It will start boiling and bubbling and colour starting to change. Stir once in a while but not constantly.Let the colour change. Now switch off stove and remove the sauce pan to the kitchen counter. Take all precaution, step back and stretch your hands to just pour a bit of the water and keep away while it splatters. Now again pour some more of the water and let it splatter some more. Now you can pour all of the remaining 1 cup. Mix well and bring it back on to fire on high flame and keep on high flame for 2 to 3 minutes until it reduces a bit and thickens. Do not leave it for long, then it would really thicken making it difficult to pour once it cools down. 
Caramel Syrup 
You got to have a fairly thin syrup while switching off the stove, which when cooled down is honey consistency.
For making the cake
Pre-heat oven to 160 degree C. 
Caramel Cake 
Butter and flour an eight inch round pan. 
Sift together flour,
 Caramel Cake
Caramel Cake
Caramel Cake 
baking powder. Keep aside.
Caramel Cake 
Add butter into your bowl and whip it with beater until fluffy and then 
Caramel Cake 
add sugar and whip on medium high speed for 5 minutes until the mixture has become really creamy and paler. 
Caramel Cake
This process needs all that time, because here is when air is incorporated into the batter which gives the cake its real texture.
Caramel Cake 
Add the eggs one by one and beat well for a minute after each addition. 
Caramel Cake 
Now add vanilla extract and beat again until incorporated well.
Caramel Cake 
Now add caramel syrup and beat well again until incorporated.
Caramel Cake 
Add flour mixture and milk alternating both and beating just until incorporated after each addition. 
Caramel Cake 
(Start with 1/3rd of flour mixture, followed by 1/2 of the milk mixture, then again 1/3rd of the flour mixture, remaining milk and then the final part of flour. You got to beat just until they get incorporated into the batter). 
Caramel Cake 
You should NOT over beat at this stage, else you might end up having a tough and dense cake.
Caramel Cake 
Pour the batter filling half of the pan and tap the pan on your counter to release air bubbles if any.Bake in pre-heated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top of the cake is well risen, and a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. 
Caramel Cake 
Cool on wire rack.The cake keeps well at room temperature for 3-4 days and upto a week,refrigerated.

Caramel Cake

At the cost of sounding repetitive(I seem to be saying this in every post of mine!)let me thank all my readers from the bottom of my heart for being so supportive of me,it gives me a huge confidence boost and that's what brings me back here even when all my time is taken by a piece of my heart,my 8 month old Arjun.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Baby Corn Paneer Masala ~ Easy Side dish Recipes

Baby Corn Masala
How often do you think about making dinner and decide on making chapathi and a second later keep scratching your head for side dish ideas?Well,that's the scene at our house most of the days as both me and Ajay love having hot phulkas for dinner provided we have a scrumptious curry to dip it with.I love making north Indian curries but refrain from making it thinking of the calories.

But there are many curries which taste delicious without adding copious amount of butter or ghee.I chose this as I had to finish up a packet of peeled Baby corn and half a block of paneer.I made this one a while back and have made it a few times ever since.You can add veggies of your choice,substitute Mushrooms in place of paneer or mixed veggies in place of baby corn,it's totally up to your palate.

Baby Corn Masala 
Baby Corn Paneer Masala
Recipe idea - Rak's Kitchen


Baby corn - 10-12,peeled and chopped
Paneer - 100 gms,cubed
Oil - 2 tbsp,divided
Onion - 1 medium,chopped
Tomato - 1 medium,roughly chopped
Green chilly - 1
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Bay leaf - 1
Cinnamon - 1' piece
Cloves,Cardamom- 2 each
Red chilly powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Haldi powder - 1/4 tsp
Cashewnuts - 5-7,ground till smooth with 2 tbsp milk
Kasoori methi - 1 tsp,crushed


Baby Corn Masala 
Pressure cook the baby corn for 2-3 whistles.
Baby Corn Masala 
In a kadai,add 1 tbsp oil and saute the chopped onions.
Baby Corn Masala 
Grind the onions along with tomato,green chilly and ginger garlic paste.
Baby Corn Masala 
In the same kadai add the remaining 1 tbsp oil and saute the whole garam masala - bay leaf,cinnamon,cloves and cardamom.
Baby Corn Masala 
Mix in the masala paste and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Baby Corn Masala 
Add red chilly powder,garam masala and turmeric/haldi powder.Let the paste simmer for 6-8 minutes or till oil starts floating on top,stir occasionally.
Baby Corn Masala 
Mix in the cashewnut paste and stir well.
Baby Corn Masala 
Add in the cooked baby corn,salt to taste and add water/milk little by little till you get a smooth,thick gravy.
Just before switching it off,
Baby Corn Masala 
add chopped paneer and 
Baby Corn Masala 
kasoori methi and let the curry come to a soft boil.
Baby Corn Masala 
Remove the bay leaf before serving.
Baby Corn Masala 
This curry goes well with phulka,naan and pulao.

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