Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Caramel Custard

When I was a little kid, my favoruite non Indian dessert was Caramel Custard. Back then, we weren't exposed to tiramisus and cheesecakes as much as we are now and getting to eat caramel custard was a welcome luxury. My aunt Malathi Mallya would make this delicious dessert whenever she invited us over for dinner and I would lap it up and would always want a third or fourth helping! I have made a few changes to my aunt's recipe and have stuck to this recipe for quite sometime now. So here's it :

Video :

Ingredients :
For the caramel
4 tbsp sugar
2 tsp water

For the custard
4 eggs
½ cup sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 cups (approx 500 ml) milk.

Method :
Caramel :
In a saucepan, pour sugar and water. Turn the heat to medium and let sugar melt. Stir using the handle or kitchen pincers and not a spoon as the spoon can get stuck to the caramel. Once sugar melts, turn heat to low and let it change colour to amber or golden brown colour.

Immediately pour this into a vessel that fits into your pressure cooker / steamer. Allow to cool and refrigerate for 10 mts.

Whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla essence. I prefer using a blender. Pour (room temperature or cold) milk little by little and whisk well till all ingredients blend well.

Through a sieve pour the custard mixture onto the caramel. [The caramel should be completely cool].

Steam in a pressure cooker or steamer for 30 minutes on medium or low or till the custard is done.

Once out, allow to cool and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours. Run a knife along the edge of the vessel and invert the caramel custard onto a plate.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Chicken Ghee Roast

I'm not too happy with this picture (took it from my cell phone camera) but I'm darn excited about how this dish turned out. This is the first time I made chicken gheeroast and I must say it tasted quite good. I had been to my friend's place for lunch and as she cooked her signature chicken biryani on one side of her kitchen, I hijacked the other side to make chicken gheeroast. It was a fun cook out (though we cooked in), while our kids enjoyed their playdate in the living room.  As we sunk into the aroma of the dishes, I managed to take some quick pictures with my cell phone. Hopefully one day I'll update these with better pictures.

Before I go to the recipe, just wanted to let you know that this is a spicy Mangalorean dish made of a particular type of dry red chilles called byadgi (or kumte mirsang). They look like kashmiri chillies.

They are not particularly too spicy but do give a nice deep red colour to the dish. If you are alarmed by the number of chillies used, you can reduce the number and later on if you think the dish needs to be spicier, you could add some red chilli powder (roast it a bit in hot ghee before adding).
Also, I love adding different kinds of spices to this dish, If they are not available you can add some basic spices and omit "optional" spices.

Also please note that in between all the talking and laughing, I may have eyeballed the ingredients so here's a rough estimate of what I had put in. Please don't hold it against me :D. If the dish turns out too spicy, squeeze some lemon juice. If it doesn't turn out spicy (and M'loreans like this spicy), you could add a tsp or more of red chilli powder in the end (like I mentioned, roast it a bit in hot ghee before adding). I did end up adding chilly powder even though I used so many chillies!

1 kg chicken
¼ cup yogurt / curd
1 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
30 long red chillies (byadgi chillies / kumte mirsang)
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
2 to 4 cloves
½ " cinammon
8 to 10 garlic cloves
½ tsp khus khus (optional)
½ tsp fennel seeds (optional)
5 to 8 peppercorns (optional)
1 lemon-sized tamarind or 1 tbsp tamarind paste
2 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
¾ cup ghee*

*This is called ghee roast for a reason.

Method :
Marinate chicken with curd, salt, red chilli powder and turmeric powder for atleast 2 hours.

Meanwhile make the red chilly paste. To do this, in a large pan, heat 1 tbsp ghee. Add coriander seeds, jeera, cinnamon, cloves, garlic  and the optional spices and roast lightly till you get a nice aroma. Transfer this to a blender jar.
In the same pan, heat 1 tbsp ghee. Roast the chillies. Slowly pour one cup water on the chillies and cook for a couple of minutes. Allow to cool. Remove and transfer the chillies along with the water to the blender jar with the roasted spices.
Grind with tamarind and sugar into a SMOOTH paste. Add more water if needed.

In a deep pan heat 2 tbsp ghee. Add chicken pieces. Cover and cook till chicken is 90% cooked.

In the meantime, in a large deep bottomed pan, heat the rest of the ghee. Add the smooth red chilli paste, 1/2 cup water and keep roasting this masala on medium or low heat for about 10 minutes. Add the almost cooked chicken, salt to taste. ( You can add more water if you want some gravy with it).

Cover and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes till the chicken is completely cooked and coated well with the masala.

Again, if you cannot digest spicy food, this dish may not be for you. But ofcourse, you can halve the chillies and try it out. This tastes good with bread or pav or naan or any kind of rice.


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