20 December 2014

Homemade Chocolates



Let us make homemade gifts for our guests. Easy homemade chocolates.Absolutely delicious and can be made with very little effort and time and just 4 ingredients. This is just perfect as a guest gift even for other functions. You can add in fillings of your choice.

HOMEMADE CHOCOLATES
Recipe : Rinku Naveen

You will need:

Dark Compound Chocolate bar - 500 g (* See notes 1)
Milk Compound Chocolate bar - 500 g
Mixture of nuts - cashew and almond finely chopped

Chocolate mould



METHOD
In a double boiler  (* See note 2) chop roughly both the chocolates till it melts fully. It has to be smooth and glossy. (* See note 3)
Whisk the chocolate well with a balloon whisk or spatula.
Wash and wipe the moulds. Make sure there is no water droplets on it.
Using a spoon or piping bag add little chocolate into each mould.
Add in the nuts leaving space to top with more chocolate. (* See note 4)
Now fill chocolate to the top. Wipe off any excess chocolate on the outside area of the mould.
Tap the mould slightly on the table top to remove any air trapped and to fill evenly.
Freeze for 12 minutes.(* See note 5)
Remove and invert the chocolates.
They are ready to be relished.





Notes:

1.I used Morde brand of chocolate. This is the quantity of chocolate I used. If you would like to make a smaller batch just use equal quantities of both the chocolates.Using just dark compound will make the chocolate taste bitter.
2.Double boiler is a method of boiling where a bowl is placed on top of a pan of simmering water. The bowl should not touch the water. The chocolate melts due to the heat created from the steam of boiling water beneath. The bowl has to sit well and create a seal so that the steam does not escape.In this way the chocolate can be melted without burning. Stir the chocolate at intervals and check if the right consistency has reached.

3.Make sure the chocolate has melted well and should have flowing consistency.
4. Filling can be of your choice. 
5. The freezing time varies from 5 minutes to 12 minutes depending on the size of your mould. If it is a small mould then check after 5 minutes. If you keep for a long time even after the chocolate has set it will become hard. 



Have you prepared any recipes from the blog? If you feel like sharing your experiences and thoughts with me and the readers of my blog, you can send me a photo and your comments about the recipe (or anything you changed / improved). I would be delighted to hear from you. Mail me to rinkuskitchentreats@gmail.com. 

All content and pictures on this blog are copyright protected.

Thank you!

13 December 2014

Easy One Bowl Chocolate Cake



The festive season is on and I am sure you have many visitors or last minute dinner guests coming in to visit. This is when you are in a fix as to what dessert can you serve them without much mess in the kitchen. Then this is the right recipe.
This super easy one bowl cake is the perfect dessert for a gathering. It just vanishes in seconds. My family loves it. Just put in all the ingredients in one bowl and you are ready to bake the cake while you are chatting away with friends or guests.
I added a bit of coffee powder and vanilla essence to heighten the flavour of the cake. My kids loves cakes. And this is going to be the cake I will bake when they crave for a cake. So go ahead and win all that accolades from your guests this season.

One Bowl Chocolate Cake
RECIPE
Adapted from here

Unsalted Butter - 150 g
Brown sugar - 220 g
Dark Chocolate - 100 g
Cocoa Powder - 50 g
Instant Coffee Powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Milk - 160 ml
Vanilla Essence - 1 tsp (optional)
Eggs - 3 (large)
Plain Flour - 170 g
Baking Powder - 1.5 tsp
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp ( skip this if using salted butter)





METHOD
Preheat oven to 170 degree C for 10 minutes.
In a double boiler add the butter, brown sugar, chocolate, cocoa powder and milk.
When the butter and chocolate has melted remove from fire. Add in the instant coffee powder and vanilla essence. Whisk well using a balloon whisk.
Allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes.
Add in the eggs and whisk well.
Now sift over the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently stir and mix.
Pour the batter into a baking tin 20-21 cm square tin lined with parchment. Tap the tin on the table top to remove air bubbles.
Bake for 45- 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Let the cake to cool in the tin for 5 minutes and then invert it to a wire rack or plate. Cut and serve.



Baking Tips:

Always preheat the oven before baking.
Make sure the ingredients are at fresh and at room temperature.

If you are using salted butter omit adding salt.
Don't over mix once dry ingredients are added to wet ingredients. Mix on low till just combined.

Fill the pan not more than 1/2 to 2/3 full to allow even rising.
Place the cake on the middle rack.
Do not be tempted to open the oven before 20 minutes into baking.
Watch the cake through the oven window when the aroma of the cake starts coming. If it looks fully baked test it. Do not over bake. Just pull out the rack a bit ,insert a toothpick or skewer in the middle and if it comes out clean the cake is done. It is better not to remove the cake fully from the oven to do the skewer test. Remove only if it is fully baked.
Do not leave the cake in the oven once baked. It will make it hard.

Do not cut the cake before it has cooled.

28 November 2014

Kannur Special Erachi Puttu / Chicken Puttu



Hi everyone! I am back just in time before Christmas and New Year. I don't know if anyone missed me. But I really missed blogging and reading all the reviews and comments. So here I am with a new recipe. It had to be a specialty of my place to start with ( A fresh start) ☺

Puttu is a specialty of Kerala and an authentic breakfast item. They are steamed cylinders of rice flour layered with coconut.There are many varieties of puttu. Now there is even chocolate puttu. You can have it for dinner or as evening snack when you are really hungry. When you are bored with rotis try this chicken puttu for a change for dinner. It is filling and very healthy too.

KANNUR SPECIAL ERACHI PUTTU / STEAMED RICE CHICKEN PUTTU

INGREDIENTS
( To make 2 puttu)
You will need:

A Puttu maker

Puttu Powder - 1 cup
Water - 1 cup *( refer notes)
Salt - as required
Scraped coconut -8 tbsp approx for layering

For the masala:

Minced Chicken - 1 cup
Onion - 1 cup finely chopped
Green Chilly - 3 finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 4 tsp
Chilly powder - 2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Chicken Masala - 1 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - as required
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Coriander leaves - 1/4 cup
Water - 1/2 cup
Oil - 1 tbsp



METHOD
In a bowl tip in the measured puttu powder.
Add salt to 1 cup of water. 
Sprinkle salted water in small quantities to the rice flour and mix till you reach breadcrumbs consistency. It should not be too dry. The right consistency is reached when you press little flour in your fist and it forms a shape and does not crumble off. Keep aside.
In a wok heat oil. Add the ginger garlic paste and saute.
Then add in the onions and green chilly. When the onions are well sauteed add the masala powders (coriander powder, chilly powder, turmeric, chicken masala and pepper) one by one stirring well in between.
Add the minced chicken and salt. Saute for 3 minutes on medium flame. 
Add in the water, check salt and let cook on slow flame till water is evaporated and the chicken cooked. 
Now add in the coriander leaves and curry leaves.
Keep approximately 2 cups water to boil in the puttu maker. By the time the water boils fill the puttu candles. 
Now check the mixed puttu powder. If it has dried up sprinkle little more water and mix well with hands.
First add 1 tbsp of grated coconut, then add 2 tbsp of the chicken masala. 
Add a layer of puttu powder.Make alternating layers of coconut, masala and rice flour till you fill it up. End with the masala.
When steam starts coming out of the puttu vessel/ pani place the puttu candle on the steamer and steam it (appox 5minutes) on high flame. The steam will start coming out from the top of the puttu candle. When the steam starts coming out well, place the cap and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes on low flame.
Switch off the flame, remove the puttu candle and set aside for 2 minutes before you  use a skewer and push out the steaming puttu to a plate lined with banana leaf. 





Tips:
The number of puttu that can be made will differ depending on the size of puttu maker.
The amount of water required will differ slightly depending on the quality of puttu powder used.
Do not add the water to the puttu powder all at once. Add little by little. I used 3/4 cup water.
For making soft puttu keep aside the mixture for 30 minutes. Then before making puttu sprinkle more water to the mix if it has become too dry.
You can use shredded chicken from left over chicken curry. In this case add less salt.
The amount of coconut required depends on the size of the puttu maker and how many layers you want. The first layer has to be coconut. 
It is recommended that you wait for sometime before transferring the puttu on to a plate as it will crumble. 
The above picture shows a 4 cylinder puttu maker that I have. Makes it easy to make 4 puttu at one time.



Have you prepared any recipes from the blog? If you feel like sharing your experiences and thoughts with me and the readers of my blog, you can send me a photo and your comments about the recipe (anything you changed / improved). I would be delighted to hear from you. Mail me to rinkuskitchentreats@gmail.com. 

All content and pictures on this blog are copyright protected.

Thank you!

10 April 2014

Mango Lassi - Indian Summer Drink



For Indians, summer is synonymous with mango season. And India boasts of more than 100 varieties of mangoes. No wonder its called the 'King of all fruits' and is the National fruit of India. Mango Lassi is again one of the most popular summer drink in India and has become popular around the world.

The humidity at my place in Kerala, India is so high. There is only one antidote for this - Fresh Mango Lassi. It is a soothing cold drink to beat the heat. Mango Lassi is made with sweet mango, yogurt, honey, cardamom, milk and ice cubes.It is smooth, creamy and tastes heavenly. You can have it anytime of the day. It is an instant energy booster. And above all it is so easy to make! So go ahead and beat that heat...

01 April 2014

Banana Bundt Cake



Peace at last for all the kids and moms in India - its vacation time after all that exam fever. Yeah, this calls for a celebration. So I decided to try out another cake which will now add up to my list of favorite cakes because it is an ultra moist, and melt in the mouth kind of cake by Dorie Greenspan. You can make this cake in a cinch with readily available ingredients especially if you are a home baker like me who is always on the look out for easy recipes.


18 March 2014

Dragon Chicken - Indo Chinese Starter


Today I would like to share this easy Indo-Chinese starter - Dragon Chicken. We used to order it at our favourite Chinese restaurant as my son likes it. When I saw this recipe in a magazine (Grihalaxmi) I thought why not try it. And voila! I served it and it was over in a few seconds. This is a new addition to our weekly menu of Indo Chinese preparations. My other favorites are the Chicken Fried Rice, Chilly Mushroom and Chilly Chicken.

13 March 2014

Basil Seeds Lime Cooler


If you are a fan of Falooda, you must be familiar with basil seeds. In India, basil seeds are commonly used in faloodas. They are also known by the names Tukmaria / Falooda Seeds / Sabja Seeds. Never did I know, that it had so many health benefits. If you are living in the America / Australia then I am sure you must be familiar with Chia Seeds. Chia Seeds and Basil Seeds are not the same but they are very similar when it comes to benefits. You can call them "cousins". Chia seeds are difficult to find in Asia / South East Asia / Middle East. Basil seeds are more common in these places.You can find these seeds in supermarkets / grocery shops.

04 March 2014

Neypathiri / Malabar Special Rice Pancakes


A traditional treat of North Malabar- the Neypathiri / Neypathal. It is a deep fried rice roti which is a common breakfast, evening snack or dinner item at houses in North Kerala. There are different varieties of pathiris like the Ari Pathiri ( for all the health conscious people), Prawn Pathiri, Irachi Pathiri, Chatti/atti pathiri, Tyre Pathiri.. 

22 February 2014

Naranga Achar / Kerala Style Lime Pickle



No Indian meal is complete without pickles. There is an amazing variety of pickles made in every part of our country with each region having its own special pickles and methods of preparation. In the non vegetarian type of pickles, the most famous in the North Malabar is the Mussels Pickle. Vegetarian pickles the most famous are the mango pickle, carrot beetroot & dates pickle and lime pickle. Some pickles which all are not aware of are the ones like Chena (yam) Achar.

31 January 2014

Kaippakka Curry / Not So Bitter - Bitter Gourd Curry for Kids


Bitter Gourd is one vegetable that even adults try to avoid eating. But that's not the case with me. I have enjoyed having bitter gourd, thanks to my Mom. May be it's the way in which she prepared that made it easy for us to have it. Bitter Gourd is an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, B3, C, magnesium, folic acid, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, dietary fiber and iron. It has double the quantity of beta carotine, calcium and potassium than in broccoli, spinach and banana respectively. I am sure with this recipe kids will never say no to bitter gourd. And there is no squeezing out (the essential nutrients) of bitter gourd to get rid of the bitterness.