Sunday, January 26, 2014

Kadai Mushroom

Mushrooms are a family favourite. Every trip to grocery store is in complete without buying lovely mushrooms. Back in India we used to use the thunder mushrooms that grow only during the monsoon season. Here I used the white cultivated mushroom that is easily available. I usually make traditional konkani style spicy mushroom song or bhutti or North Indian style subzi out of it. Some times I add it in Biryani's or pulaos too. I love to replace paneer with mushrooms in many of the paneer based dishes as I am not very fond of paneer pieces in my gravy. I like grated paneer curries or if making palak paneer or matar Paneer I like small pieces of paneer.
In the process of cutting down fat I regularly replace the paneer out of Kadai Paneer with mushroom. I usually make this dish dry but this time I made it a little with gravy so that Little A can eat his Phulka dabbed with home made ghee in it. He prefers gravy based dishes more than dry sabzi's.
Long back when Nupur announced "spice and something nice" event I had participated and got fragrant homemade kadai masala with other goodies from a very lovely girl Divya. This masala was so fragrant that every time I used it my curries I got rave reviews. The recipe that Divya shared with me is sightly different. Will share it here next time. Here is how I made a quick version of it.

2 cups cleaned and chopped Mushrooms
1 green pepper Chopped to bite sized cubes(Coloured ones taste yummy too)
2 medium Onions chopped
2 tomatoes
1 tsp fresh ginger garlic paste
1tsp Tomato ketchup
2 tsp Kadai masala or (dry roast 2tsp coriander seeds, 2-3 red chillies and powder coarsely. Use this fresh powder and little bit of garam masala to taste)
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Chilli powder
3 tbsp Oil
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
a generous pinch of kasuri methi
salt to taste
chopped coriander leaves to garnish

1) Blanch tomatoes in hot water and puree them.
2) Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan and saute green peppers until crunchy but done. Keep aside.
3) Heat the remaining oil in the same pan and add cumin seeds with bay leaf in to it. When cumin seeds start spluttering and change their colour add the chopped onions and ginger garlic paste. Fry well until done.
4) Add the tomato puree and cook further for 3-4 mins. Add in the masala powders and tomato ketchup and saute for 2 mins or until oil seperates.
5) Throw in the chopped mushrooms and cook uncovered on a medium to high flame until done. First the mushroom starts leaving water and when you continue to cook the water evaporates. Add salt and sugar to taste.
6) Finally add the sauteed peppers, Kasuri methi and cook for a minute or two and garnish with chopped coriander leaves and switch off
Serve with hot Phulka's or with mild pulao's.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy New Year and Hershey's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wish you all a very very Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Hope everyone had a good start for the year 2014. We welcomed the New year in company of  very good friends and great food. I am really thankful for the wonderful year that passed by with lots and lots of good memories. My in-laws visited us and stayed with us for 4 months. The days when they were here passed in a jiffy with lots of travelling, visiting relatives ,friends and lots of fun. The little boy started his first school, the heart break of seeing him cry and hug me so that he does not have to go to school, our first beach visit in US, making sand castles and mud pies... Overall a wonderful year. Hope the year 2014 too brings in lot of happiness, prosperity and peace.

2013 saw me baking a lot. I utilized the huge oven to its fullest by baking for most of the occasions. I signed up for my son's class parties so that I could get a chance to try out different recipes that I had bookmarked. I love baking and the aroma that fills the entire house.  The house reminds me of the bakeries that I used to visit regularly during childhood.
I made this Chocolate chip cookie for my son's Christmas party and it was well received. This recipe was printed on the cover of Hershey's Chocolate Chips. I made a trail version before the actual party and my friends loved it. I followed the same recipe again and it was a hit - With crisp edges and soft and chewy center. I used milk chocolate as kids love the cookie sweet. Feel free to substitute with semi sweet chocolate chips or throw in few nuts and it will be a hit.

Here is what's needed:
1 cup or 2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup Light brown sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Eggs
2-1/4 cups All purpose flour
1 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Salt
2 cups Milk Chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1) Heat oven to 375 deg F.
2) Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until creamy. Add eggs, beat well.
3) Stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating well until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts in using.
4) Drop using an ice cream scoop or teaspoon onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8-10 mins until lightly browned. cool slightly and transfer onto a cooling rack.

Tastes delicious when warm and served with cold milk. Enjoy