BLACK FOREST WINE


1 kg.black plums

1 kg.sugar

30 gm.dry yeast

25 gm.wheat

1/2 tsp.meta-bi-sulphate

3 bottles water

Wash and wipe dry the plums.Crush them.Boil water and let it cool.Pour the water in a big jar.Put the crushed plums,sugar,yeast,wheat and meta-bi sulphate  into it.Stir till sugar is dissolved.Cover the jar and keep it aside for 3 days.Stir daily for 18 days,crushing the plums well.Let it stand for 1 night and then strain through a fine cloth.Repeat the process.Allow to settle for 10 days.Pour out clear and clean portions into bottles.Tighten with stoppers.

photo credits:www.flickr.com

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CHOCOLATE ‘N’ DATE CAKE


This recipe is a combination of dates,nuts and chocolate ,and can be served plain or with ganache or date icing.So now for the recipe..

1 cup chopped dates(dark preferable)

1 cup hot water

100 gm butter

250 gm.flour

125 gm sugar

3 eggs

2 tblsp.cocoa powder

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 tsp.baking powder

1/4 tsp.salt

Pour boiling water over dates and let it cool.Beat butter and sugar until light and creamy.Add eggs one at a time and beat well.Add vanilla and salt.

Sift flour,baking powder and cocoa well,then add to the the butter mix.Stir in walnuts.Add soaked dates. Mix well.Pour in a loaf pan and sprinkle few walnuts on top.

Bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees) for an hour, or until done.

Slice when cool.

VALATHANDU RAITA


This is a good accompaniment with pulaos,biriyani or any rice.As stated in my previous posts of prawn biriyani  this is a body cooling food

1 small piece of valalthandu (cubed into tiny pieces and boiled for 10 minutes)

1 onion cubed

1 green chilli

1 small carrot grated

a little chives

a pinch of sugar

salt to taste.

curd .

Mix all together.Add enough curd  to cover the vegetables.Add salt to taste.Add the water remaining after boiling the stem.

PRAWN BIRIYANI


Who doesn’t love prawns?Sea food lovers favourite! This a recipe i tried sucessfully for sunday lunch with valathandu (banana stem)raita.As prawn is known to be a body heating food, to mellow the heat i served with valathandu raita ,which is a body cooling food!

500 gm basmati  rice

250-300 gm prawns(do not remove the heads and tail in some of the prawns for added flavour.)

4-5 whole green chillies(slit)

2 -3 onions sliced

2 big tomatoes

2-3 tblsp. curd

a pinch of saffron.

a small bunch of mint leaves

coriander leaves

1 lime

ghee

salt to taste

For grinding

1 inch piece ginger

6-8 pips of garlic

4-5 red chillies

4 cloves

1 inch piece cinnamon

3 cardamons

1 tsp.sea moss

1 tblsp.dried fenugreek leaves

1 tsp.cummin seeds

1/4 tsp.saunf

Soak the rice for minimum 20 minutes

Grind all the ingredients listed for grinding and set aside.Put 3-4 tblsp ghee in a flat bottomed pan,or pressure pan,and fry the sliced onions till golden brown.Then add the green chillies,when the color of the chilli changes,add the chopped tomatoes,then the ground masalas with salt and prawns.Then add the mint leaves and fry further for 5-7 minutes.Add curd and lime juice.Then add the drained rice and fry for 2-3 minutes.Add water one inch above the rice level.Seal with a tight cover and cook on a very slow flame for 20 -25 mins.Remove after 10 minutes.Add a little ghee on top before serving(2-3 tblsp.)and garnish with coriander leaves.

BASIC STEAMED OR BAKED PUDDING WITH VARIATIONS


These type of steamed puddings is best served warm.You could substitute any type of fruits for the fruity version.Fruits like pineapple,apple,cherries,blueberries,orange,lemon,starfruit,mango,rhubarb can be layered at the bottom.Other versions can be made with grated carrot,dry fruits with nuts,pumpkin puree.One of my favorite combination is pineapple crushed and carrot combination.So try your innovations too and enjoy with any accompaniments you like.

You could mix your favorite jam with a little cornflour and water.Cook for a minute.once thickened lightly,remove from fire.

For the basic pudding 

8 oz.butter

16 oz.sugar

24 oz. flour

6 eggs

1/2 tsp baking powder

1+1/2 cups milk

1 tsp.vanilla essence

Cream the butter and sugar together,until light .Add eggs one at a time and beat,allowing each egg to blend well,before adding the other.Fold in the flour,and milk alternatively.Pour into a mould and steam for 20-30 mins or until done.

Orange pudding:Grated rind  and juice of  1 orange.One layer of sliced orange may be layered at the bottom.

Can be served with marmalade sauce,or chocolate sauce.

Spicy fruit and nut pudding:Substitute brown sugar for the white sugar.Add mixed spice powder,1/2 tsp cinnamon,12 oz.fruit.

Can be served with butterscotch sauce/ice cream

Lemon pudding:Grated rind and juice of 1 lime.

Can be served with caramel sauce/mint sauce

Chocolate Pudding:To the basic mix add 8 oz.chocolate chips/grated chocolate. and 1 tsp.vanilla essence.

Serve with vanilla/chocolate sauce.

Coconut pudding:Substitute coconut milk for the fresh milk,and add grated coconut,1/2 tsp.nutmeg and cardamon powder,1/4 tsp.rose essence

Chocolate sauce will be a good combination to serve.

The same ingredients for coconut cake substituting crushed pineapple for grated coconut is a Pinacolada pudding.

Here again chocolate sauce will be a good accompaniment to serve.

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE


16 oz butter

16 oz sugar

24 oz self raising flour/plain flour

6 eggs.

1/4 cup milk.

1/2 tsp.vanilla essence/pineapple essence

For the pineapple base(to be turned up )

Pineapple slices(tinned or fresh core removed)

8 oz brown sugar/demerera sugar

8 oz.butter melted

Sprinkle the flat baking pan with the sugar and pour over melted margarine.

Arrange the pineapple slices on top of the sugar.

For the cake

Cream the margarine and sugar until light and pale.Add the eggs one at a time.Fold in the flour add milk .Pour the batter over the pineapple (1 inch high).Bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees)for 35- 40 minutes.Turn out on a flat plate.

Serve warm with custard or cream or any sauce of your choice.I think it goes well with chocolate sauce /custard.

DARK CHOCOLATE ‘N’ WALNUT CUPCAKE


150 gm butter

1+1/4 cups sugar

1 cup boiling water

1 tsp.instant coffee

1/4 cup dark chocolate  chips(optional)

3 eggs

2 tsp.vanilla essence

2 cups flour

2 tsp.baking powder

1 tsp.baking soda

1/4 cup cocoa powder

Melt the butter and the chocolate chips in a double boiler.Pour boiling water on the coffee and cocoa powder.Beat the eggs and the sugar together untill light color.Add the chocolate butter mixture,and the coffee cocoa decoction alternatively and mix well.Fold in the flour(sieved with baking powder and baking soda)with the walnuts and blend well without any lumps.Scoop into paper cases and bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees )for thirty minutes.

Decorate with fresh cream and chocolate drizzle or chocolate ganache

Chocolate ganache

175 gm chocolate

1/2 cup cream

1 tbsp butter

Melt all together in a double boiler and use.

Top with praline(sugar coated nuts)

NAAN/TANDOORI ROTI


This bread/roti is oil free,and  if your choice is to add butter or ghee ,it can  only be done by applying on the roti,not in the process of making it. This naan can be made into various flavours.

Methi naan-(dough made with  dried fenugreek leaves(kasuri methi).

Garlic naan-Chopped garlic can be pressed on each naan while making.

Butter /ghee naan-just apply on the roti after removing from fire.

For the ingredients

500 gm  white flour

1 egg

2-3 tblsp.curd

1/2 cup milk mix in 1 tsp.sugar

1/2 tsp.baking soda

1/2 tsp.baking powder

salt

Mix all ingredients together and bind to a soft dough.(you can add water if needed).Set aside at least for half an hour.Now the process of making it is very important.Aluminium pan is needed with a lid.Water to stick the roti to the pan.Roll out into shapes you like on a floured board.The authentic one is a tear shape.Apply a teaspoon of water on the top of the roti,and stick the watered side onto the pan.Prick the roti with your fingers.Cover with lid and cook for two minutes.Then remove the lid,and turn the pan upside down . Hold the side with the roti,on the flame(two inches above).The roti will just come out when done.

Apply butter or ghee and serve with any curries of your choice.

CHOCOLATE BROWNIE TARTS


For the tart pastry(makes 16-18 tarts)

3 oz butter

2 oz sugar

6oz flour

yolk of 1 egg

a little water

Blend the butter and sugar together.Add the yolk ,mix in flour and make into a dough.Even if the dough looks crumbly,don’t mind it.Wrap in polythene or foil.Chill for a few minutes or untill you make the filling.Roll out thinly between two sheets of oil paper.Grease the tart cups.Line the cups with the pastry.Prick the base with a fork and bake for 10 minutes(half baked).Scoop filling in and put back in the oven for 30 minutes.(Use the ice cream scoop to put the filling )

For the filling

100 gm butter

100 gm sugar

100 gm flour

2 tblsp.cocoa powder

1/8 cup chocolate chips(optional)

1 tsp.vanilla essence

1 tsp.yoghurt

2 eggs

a few almonds/walnuts ground coarsely

1 tsp.baking powder.

a pinch of salt

Melt the butter on a slow flame(do not allow to boil).Quickly add the cocoa powder mix well for  minute and remove from fire.(Its best if you could do this in a double boiler).Beat eggs and sugar together untill light in color.gradually add the chocolate mix and beat the egg mix well for a few seconds.Mix in yoghurt.Sieve the flour with the baking powder and the salt.Fold in the flour to the egg mixture with the essence and the nuts.Scoop into the half baked tart shells and bake for 30 minutes(180 degrees)

CHOCOLATE CAKE


Here i bring you an authentic recipe  for all time favourite chocolate cake !

Ingredients

6 oz.flour

1 oz cocoa powder

1 oz.cornflour

2+1/2 tsp.baking powder

8 oz.butter

8 oz.sugar

4 eggs

1/4 cup milk

Cream the butter sugar and vanilla together.Add eggs and beat well.Sift the flour,baking powder,cocoa and flour together.Fold in flour alternatively with milk.Bake at 175 degrees for 30-35 minutes.Cool and ice with chocolate butter icing.

CHOCOLATE BUTTER ICING

8 oz butter

24 oz icing sugar

2 heaped tblsp. cocoa powder

1 tblsp.milk

brandy or rum

vanilla essence 1 tsp.

Beat all the ingredients together.Keep in the fridge for some time and ice the cake.

Note:The amount of cocoa powder can be increased according to one’s own desire .Take care not to make it bitter,so try adding little by little.