Monday, May 25, 2009

Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte ---Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake is one of the best cakes I have ever had......
It was an unbelievably cold and rainy July afternoon and we were waiting for our train at the Freiburg station. And the cold had numbed my nose and my exposed fingers. So i decided to go for a stroll and then I saw the yummiest Black Forest Cake in the station bakery. i bought two pieces and while on our way back home we savored the cake with full gusto!

And so this Monday with a holiday I decided to give it a try(very skeptically) and it turned out quite ok.
I browsed through many recipes and settled on one basic easy one.C had been peeking in and out and perhaps wondering...." What is she up to?!"(I decided to surprise him... you see)
I had all the things handy..... but decided to make a few alterations:

I did not use cherry liquor
I did not use chocolate shavings
I did not use heavy whipped cream

OOoooooooh! I am a health freak.....:)

For the cake:

flour-1 and 1/2 cup
cocoa-1/2 cup
baking powder-2 tsp
sugar-1 and 1/2 cup
eggs-2 large
low fat butter/margarine -5 heaped tbsp
milk-1 cup

For Frosting:
light low fat whipped cream(Cool whip): 1 can
fresh cherries:de seeded and halved
chocolate chips:a handful

First sift the flour ,baking powder and cocoa powder together.Mix evenly.
Next beat the eggs and add the sugar. Beat until the mixture is light and frothy. Do use a beater.
Soften the butter over low heat and cool.
Then add the butter to the egg-sugar mix and beat again.
Next add the flour mix and gently fold the mixture.
Beat for 10 -15 minutes.
Line a baking pan with greased baking sheet and preheat oven at 350F.Pour the cake mix.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. This may vary. insert a toothpick/knife to check if the cake is done.
Take the cake out and cool for 1 hour.

After the cake has cooled properly cut horizontally with a broad knife. You can cut 2-3 layers according to the height of your cake.
Spread the layers on a flat plate.
Now generously cream the layers with the whipped cream.
Spread evenly with a knife.
Sprinkle the chopped cherries and the chocolate chips.
Repeat with all the layers.
Carefully re arrange the layers on top of each other .
Now cream frost the outer layers.
Spread evenly with knife.
Decorate with cherries and chocolate chips.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Serve cold with hot black coffee...... and enjoy a good book! :) ( I did that!)

Friday, May 22, 2009

And finally!!! IIish

And so finally is here.... the fish of all fishes.... the greatest.... the tastiest....Ilish....the fish which inspired this blog.....(oh my!! how great is that?!):)

So we finally discovered this Bangladeshi shop and we drove all the way and we came back loaded with fish and mutton(goat meat).
We are "river fish " people and however tasty the sea fish is... the bengali 'macher jhol' just cannot beat anything..... and so C was quick to pick up the ilish/hilsa and Bata(a very bony but very tasty small sweet water fish).

And last evening it was hilsa time! I will try out the more elaborate recipes later... but for now we were happy with the 'ilish mach bhaja'(crispy fried hilsa) and I must say it was too good.... the kitchen was filled up with the overwhelmingly fishy smell and we hogged on the fried fish with plain rice and boiled masoor dal!!

Just wash the fish in cold water and rub salt and turmeric on the fish pieces.
Keep them aside for 10-15 minutes.
Heat mustard oil in a deep frying pan/karhai/wok.
Fry the fishes till they are brown and crisp.
Enjoy with white rice and dal or best... khichudi!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Lip smacking Alu paratha!

Weekends are the best.. and the run up to the weekends... even better!
And so of course ... it is time for leisurely talks ,a particularly engrossing game of Scrabble and late dinners!
And this Friday.. what a dinner it was..!And the smile on C's face made my day...
All my previous attempts at making Alu paratha have not been very successful... maybe the dough was too soft, maybe the filling was was not right and of course while rolling out the parathas ... the fillings were everywhere but inside the paratha...
This time however I was very careful... and VOILA!.... it was perfect...

You need:(for 5 parathas)

flour and atta:2 and 1/2 cups (mixed equally)
flour for dusting
ajwain: 1 tsp
salt:a pinch
oil :1 tsp

For filling:
potatoes-2 large peeled
green chillies bits(optional)
pearl onions:2-4 chopped finely

Add the ajwain ,salt and oil to the flour. Mix well and take care that the oil does not form lumps.
Next add water and amke a soft dough form the flour/atta mix.
Keep aside for 1/2 an hour.
Meanwhile boil, cool and mash the potatoes.
Add salt,onion and green chilli bits.
Mix well.
Now pinch a medium sized ball from the dough and roll it into the size of a roti all the while dusting with flour.(about 6" diamater)
Carefully spoon in 2-3 tbsp filling in to one half of the paratha and fold the other half over it.
Tightly seal the edges and flatten by ppressing gently by hand.
Heat oil in a pan and fry until golden brown.
Serve hot with cold onion cucumber raita and hot mango pickle....YUM!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Beans in coconut and poppy seed paste

This is a very simple lunch dish .. one you can make in a jiffy and enjoy with hot white rice.
C came home for lunch and I had fresh beans in the refrigerator. So there I go and in 15 minutes this delicious veggie dish was ready.

To make this you need:

fresh green beans:300-400 gms
poppy seeds(posto)- 4 tbsp ground into a fine paste
coconut shavings-1/2 cup
nigella seeds-1/2 tsp
green chillies-2-3 slit (according to taste)
turmeric-1/2 tsp
white oil- 3 tbsp
mustard oil-1 tbsp

Heat the white oil in a pan and sizzle the nigella and the green chillies.
Next add the beans and fry for a minute .
Add little salt, the turmeric and cover the pan and put the flame on low medium.
Let the beans cook for 5-7 minutes.
Once the beans are soft, add the poppy seed paste and the coconut.
Mix properly with the spices and check the seasoning.
Before taking it off the heat just sprinkle them mustard oil and serve.

P.S.1. You can replace the white oil with mustard oil if you want.
2. This is a recipe I picked up from Sananda.... a popular Bengali magazine.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Soul food!

Typical bong breakfasts on weekends are a little elaborate .It is essentially a 'luchi ' or 'parota' time with the simple 'cholar dal' or 'alur dom'.
Even C who is so much into healthy eating cannot say no to these 'not so healthy' treats.
At any time we prefer parota to luchi because it is not deep fried.

How to make parota:

flour-2 cups
oil-1tsp for kneading and 4-5 tbsp for frying
salt-a pinch

Mix the flour with salt and oil. Now knead it into a soft dough and keep it aside for 10-15 minutes.
Next pinch out small balls form the dough and roll it to a circular disc on a smooth surface .
Fold the disc twice and press roll it again for the triangular parota.
Heat oil in a shallow pan and on medium heat fry the parota.

Alu r dom:

potatoes-6-7 medium ones peeled and halved
peas-a handful
tomatoes-1 large diced
ginger paste-1 tbsp
whole cumin-1 tsp
slit green chilli-2-3
garam masala powder-1 pinch
yogurt-2 tbsp
turmeric-1/2 tsp
oil-4 tsp
coriander leaves- a handful

Pressure cook the potatoes till they are soft but not mushy.
Drain the water and keep them aside.
Next heat oil in a pan and lightly fry the potatoes and keep them aside.
In the same oil sizzle the cumin seeds.
Add the ginger and tomatoes and lower the heat.
Pan fry until the tomatoes soften and release oil. Add the peas.
Add the yogurt, turmeric , chillies and let the gravy come to a boil.
If it is too thick add little water.(We do not like ours too watery.)
Add the potatoes and salt and stir .
Add sugar according to taste and the garam masala powder..
Add the coriander leaves.
Serve hot with parota.