Monday, September 17, 2012

Mixed Vegetable Subzi

In my mind, this dish is like the North Indian equivalent of Aviyal, because I get to utilize leftover bits of veggies in the fridge to make a scrumptious curry. This makes for a great combination with rotis and some dhal. I keep varying the veggies based on availability and preference and this is yet to disappoint me... so feel free to substitute with some of your favorite veggies. I typically don't add tomatoes, but  you could try that for a variation.


MIXED VEGETABLE SUBJI

Ingredients:
Onions - 1 medium, chopped or sliced
Ginger - 1 inch, peeled and chopped
Potatoes - 1 big or 2 small, preferably boiled and cubed

Carrot - 2, peeled and sliced
Peas - half cup (I used frozen)
Spinach - half cup (I used frozen) - optional
Broccoli / Cauliflower - about 2 cups, florets
Chilli powder - half tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp

Turmeric powder - half tsp
Sambar powder/ Curry Masala powder / Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves / Dried Kasuri Methi - for garnish
Cumin seeds - half tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp

Method:

1) Heat the oil in a wide, shallow pan and add some cumin seeds, once they sizzle add the ginger and onion and saute till translucent.

2) Next add all the veggies and toss them continously for a few minutes before adding some salt & turmeric.

3) Add all the masala powders (chilli powder, coriander, cumin, turmeric, garam masala) and once it coats the veggies evenly, sprinkle some water, cover and allow to cool on medium-low for 5 to 7 minutes. Toss once in between to ensure there is no burning, sprinkle more water if it's sticking to the bottom of the pan.

4) Continue to cook covered until veggies are crisp tender then allow to cook a few minutes uncovered until fully done. Finally, add kasuri methi or coriander leaves and switch off the stove. Serve with rotis and dhal or roll up in a chapathi for tasty veggie wraps.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pineapple Cream Cake

I'm finally here with the recipe for the Layered Pineapple and Cream cake that I made for my brother's birthday..... this is like the one we get at the bakeries in India - a light, sponge cake (made with no butter or oil that gets it's fluffiness from beaten eggs) that has been layered with pineapple pieces and luscious, velvety whipped cream. It was moist and light and I used this awesome recipe from the Ecurry blog.  I was skeptical about the texture of the cake but it came out great and surprised me with it's sturdiness... it was quite easy to cut it into 3 layers.

The birthday boy and the rest of the family loved it and soon after the cake cutting was done and the birthday boy was fed bites of the cake by all of us, I sliced the cake and put them on plates. Both, my husband and brother quickly took their plates to the table on the patio and started clicking pictures of the slice (for the blog) before digging in and that made me laugh :)

Before I go to the recipe, I usually use measuring cups when it comes to baking, but this time I measured the ingredients by weight instead.... Getting a small kitchen scale is rather inexpensive (I bought mine for $5 at Walmart a few years ago)... Also, it's best to make this cake the previous days so the layers soak the flavours well and it is moist.

Here's the recipe with some of the tweaks I made...

LAYERED PINEAPPLE CREAM CAKE


Ingredients for the Cake:All purpose flour (Maida) - 150 gms
Sugar - 150 gms + 2 tbsp (separated)
Corn Flour/Corn Starch - 2 tbsp
Eggs - 4 (at room temperature)
Baking powder - 1 tsp

Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp

Method for Cake:
1) Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Grease a round 9 inch cake pan with some oil (both bottom and sides)

2) Sift together, the all purpose flour, corn flour and baking powder twice

3) Separate the 4 eggs and keep egg whites and egg yolks in different bowls. 
 
4) First beat egg whites until fluffy, then slowly add in the sugar and continue to beat until it is thick and stiff peaks form. Will take about 5 mins to reach this stage.

5) In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks till frothy and fluffy. Add 2 tbsp of sugar and beat until thick. Add vanilla extract and beat until it doubles in volume.

6) Stir in the sifted flour mixture into the bowl with the beaten egg yolks just until combined.

7) Now gently fold in the egg whites mixture into this with a spatula without disturbing the volume of the egg whites until it's just combined.

8) Gently transfer to prepared pan and bake in the pre-heated oven for  30 to 35 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes before cooling completely on a wire rack.


Ingredients for Pineapple Syrup & Whipped cream

P
ineapple Juice - 1 cup (drained from one big can of Pineapple chunks)
Sugar - 2 to 3 tbsp (to make the soaking syrup)

Pineapple - I used canned pineapple chunks in 100% pineapple juice
Heavy Whipping Cream - 400 ml
Sugar - 4 to 5 tbsp (for whipped cream)

Method:

1) Chill bowl and beaters in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes before making whipped cream.
2) Pour heavy whipping cream and start beating until slightly stiff. Add in the sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Ensure you don't over beat and stop as soon as stiff peaks form. Refrigerate.
3) Cut cake horizontally to make 3 layers... this cake is very sturdy and is easy to cut with a long, serrated knife.



4) Drain the can of pineapple chunks and reserve the pineapple juice in a bowl. Add 2 to 3 tbsp of sugar and mix well until it dissolves.  Chop the pineapple chunks into small pieces, saving a few for garnish.

5) To assemble to cake, put the bottom layer on serving plate, and add 1/3 of the pineapple syrup to moisten the entire cake.

6) Add a layer of the whipped cream and place half of the finely chopped pineapple pieces all over the cream.

7) Place the next layer, moisten it with the syrup, top with whipped cream and remaining chopped pineapple pieces

8) Finally place the top layer and moisten with the pineapple syrup. Then, cover the cake with whipped cream, both top and sides. Decorate the top with pineapple pieces and halved cherries (I used the ones we get in India).

9) Referigerate for atleast 6 to 8 hrs before serving.