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Lebanese Baklava

Crispy Sweet to die for

Luqaimat

Sweet Dumplings

Rainbow Swirl Classic Roll

Colourful Swiss roll.

Mutton Biryani

King of all recipes-Biryani.

Curd Rice

A South Indian Rice to cool .

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Suji Crystal Cookie

Very excited to host this month's Home Baker's Challenge  and especially its my favorite Malay cuisine. Malaysia is famous for its cookies and bakes. I still remember my Grandmother making cookies for Raya (Eid)..... yummm  it was.  I chose this Suji crystals and it was a super hit in my house... especially my daughter who loved the colorful cookies. Very easy preparation but I changed the recipe a bit as the original ones were like volcanoes, and the dough was a bit stiff.... so I used regular ground almonds, and did not melt the ghee.. found this version better.



Recipe adapted from: http://www.umaskitchenexperiments.com/2011/12/suji-crystal-cookies.html

You need:
All purpose flour                  1cup
Baking powder                     1/2tsp
Baking soda                          1/2tsp
Icing sugar                            1/2 cup
Ghee                                      1/2 cup
Ground almonds                    1/4 cup
Salt                                        1/8th tsp
Vanilla extract                       1/2tsp
Edible Food colours              pink, yellow , bue
Castor sugar for coating the cookies



Preparation:

In a cup sift together all purpose flour,baking soda, baking powder and salt.
To it add ground almonds and icing sugar .
Beat the ghee well using your hand in a bowl, for about 5 minutes. The ghee should have changed its consistency.
Now add this ghee and vanilla extract to the dry mixture and form a soft dough. Allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
Divide the dough in to three equal parts  and add food coloring's of your choice, I used only pink and blue, the other I left it white.
Take about 3grams of dough from each colour and combine it to a ball which will produce marbled effect.
Prepare all the cookies and place it on a cookie sheet  with 2 inch gap in between. Pre-heat the oven  to 170*C and bake the cookies for 10 - 15 minutes. the cookies should not brown.
Cool the cookies, roll them in castor sugar and store in air tight container.

HBC members please link your entries to the linky tool below. Link tool will be open till December 31st . Add in your entries my friends





Saturday, 8 November 2014

Baklava with cardamom, honey and Pistachios

Who wold say no to crispy flaky sweet delicacies, definitely not me! When Nupur of UK rasoi selected these delicious Arabic desserts for HBC my heart directly went to these baklavas.Due to my busy schedule I couldn't post this recipe back, but now I take this opportunity to post it. I've prepared Lebanese Baklava Rolls a couple of times but this preparation is very authentic. The use of clarified butter gave it a aroma of Purity, I was very elated that I learnt an authentic way of making Baklavas. Before entering into the recipe I am very happy to tell you all that my recipe is published in the Indus Ladies - Kids Lunch Box Recipes. Download the book friends , here is the link: 
http://www.indusladies.com/food/kids-lunch-box-recipes/

I wish to thank Indus Ladies team for giving me this golden opportunity to participate in the event. 






Recipe source: http://travelerslunchbox.com/2006/03/09/temptation-thy-name-is-baklava/


You Need:


Filo Pastry                        450 gms

Unsalted Butter                 300 gms
Unsalted Pistachios           300gms
Sugar                                2 tbsp

For Sugar Syrup:


Sugar                               1 1/2 cups

Water                              1 cup
Honey                              4 tbsp
Cardamom Pods              1 tbsp ( slightly crushed)
Lemon juice                      2 tsp




Preparation:


Syrup:

Combine sugar, honey, water and cardamom pods in a sauce pan and boil it for about 5-10 minutes.
Then add the lemon juice and simmer for 30 seconds.Allow to cool and Refrigerate.
The syrup will be little thick, scoop out the cardamom pods. If the syrup turns out too thick then Add little water and give a quick boil.

Clarified Butter:

 Melt the butter in  a saucepan over medium heat and gently bring it to a boil. Boil without stirring
until a layer of foam has risen to the surface and the white solids have sunk to the bottom . Skim off the foam , then strain the  liquid into another container, leaving the solids behind . Keep the clarified butter warm.




Baklava:


Pulse the pistachios and sugar together till they are finally chopped but not powdered. Set aside a few tbsp of them for garnish.

Thaw the filo sheets and keep them covered in a damp tea towel, as not to make them go dry. Brush a large square baking pan smaller than the filo sheet with butter. If the sheets are much bigger then trim ti fit. Lay 12 sheets of filo , one at a time, in the tin, brushing generously with clarified butter between each layer, pressing the filo into the corners of the pan.

Spread the nuts evenly on the sheets. Fold over the pastry that extends over the top of the nuts. Then cover with the remaining sheets, brushing each, +`--including the top one, with melted butter.With a sharp- pointed knife, trim the top layers so that they fit perfectly in the pan.Cut parallel lines about an inchand a half apart, and cut other parallel lines diagonally, to get diamond shaped pastries. Cut right through the bottom.


Preheat the oven to 200*C and Bake them for 10-12 minutes, it should start to brown slightly. Pour the remaining clarified butter on the baklava. Reduce the temperature to 150*C and bake for an hour more. The baklava should have turned golden and crisp all the way through. Remove the baklava and immediately pour the cold syrup concentrating on the gaps. Return the baklava to the turned off oven and let it sit with the doors closed for minimum an hour or maximum overnight ( overnight is the best)

Sprinkle the remaining pistachios and serve.







Sunday, 28 September 2014

Easy Vegetable Pulao

Are you in a hurry? Do you have to prepare Lunch within short time, then this is the perfect pulao. It is done under 15 minutes. Just raita and chips would be enough as a accompaniment. This pulao is perfect for working moms and for kids lunch box. i used frozen mixed vegetables that is readily available in supermarkets. Very proud and happy to send them to Indus Ladies kids lunch box recipe



You need:
Basmati rice                    1cup
Onion( sliced)               1nos
Green chilli( sliced)        1nos
Mixed vegetable             1cup
Curd                              3tbsp
Biryani masala              1tsp
Ghee                              1tbsp
Ginger garlic paste          1tbsp
Salt
Sugar      a very small pinch



Preparartion:
Wash the rice.
Heat the pressure cooker , add oil and fry onions, ginger garlic paste, green chilli for a minute.
Add the vegetables and rice, biryani masala and fry for a minute. Add curd, salt n sugar, 2 cups hot water.
Bring to a boil, close the pressure cooker and cook for 2 whistles.
Open the lid after the pressure subsides.
Serve hot with Raita.


Sending this dish to http://www.indusladies.com/food/kids-lunch-box-recipes/

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Badam Ke Lauze / Almond Slices --- 5th blog anniversary

This is the 5th year of my blog baby! How time flies fast.......  From a novice cook I've turned into a better cook... Lots of ups and downs.... Burning dishes to perfect bakes. A special thanks to all the blogger friends who have been a pillar of support in all these years. ## Another happy news while typing this recipe my first interview is published in SmartIndianWoman
http://www.smartindianwomen.com/blog/an-interview-with-blogger-niloufer-of-kitchen-samraj/
Feeling very very happy! Maasha Allah ##

This recipe was for Shhhh Cooking Secret Challenge  this month and I was paired with Viji of Virunthu Unna Vaanga and the secret ingredient was Almonds ... My mind immediately went for this delicious Badam ke Lauze / Almond slices. This dessert is our family favorite. It can be made a day in advance  and can be reheatedand is a perfect dessert for any party. The advantage is it freezes very well too. This recipe serves 6-8



Lets move on to the recipe

You need:
Eggs(medium)                 3 nos
Ground Almonds             75 gms
Milk Powder                    200 gms
Sugar                                200gms
Saffron Strands                1/2 tsp
Unsalted Butter                100gms
Flaked Almonds               25 gms



Preparation:

Beat the eggs in a bowl and leave aside.
Place the ground almonds, milk powder, sugar and saffron in a large mixing bowl and mix well.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan, pour over the dry ingredients and mix well with a fork.
Add the beaten eggs and blend.
Spread the mixture in a shallow 15-20 cm dish and bake in a pre-heated oven at 160*C for 45 minutes.
Check whether cooked by piercing  with a knife or a skewer, which will emerge clean if its done.
Cut into diamond shapes and decorate with flaked almonds.

This dish is best eaten hot but also be served cold with whipping cream.


Thursday, 17 July 2014

Fig agar-agar pudding with gulkand sauce and almond praline

That's a long title!! I think that's the effect watching MKR and Masterchef Australia. Feeling proud of being a blogger I created a new dish from scratch and with my own imagination, it's the courage given from blogging for the past four years. This month my partner for Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge was Prathima Shivraj of Prathus Food, She gave me Dry Fruits and Spice. After a long thought process I finally decided on doing Agar Agar Pudding with Figs. Then wanted to add something along with, checked my pantry and found a bottle of Gulkand / Rose Petal jam, Voila Second component done, now to have texture in our dessert thought why not add crunchiness to it and added Almond Praline.
    What a decadent dessert it was, silky smooth pudding, chewy gulkand and crunchy praline. simply loved it, to me all the three flavors jelled together, If your kids are fussy about eating gulkand then you can substitute with Strawberry syrup, kids will like them.
Moving towards the recipe



You Need:

Agar Agar                       5 gms/  1/3 cup
Dried Figs                       50 gms
Milk                                560 ml
Sugar                              1/4 cup

For Gulkand Sauce:

Gulkand                          1/4 cup
Water                              1 tbsp

Almond Praline:

Sugar                             1/4 cup
Slivered Almonds           1/2 cup
Water                              1 tsp



Preparation:

Gulkand Sauce:

Combine gulkand and water together in a small sauce pan and cook for about 2-3 minutes in low flame.
Remove from fire and keep aside.

Almond Praline:

Combine Sugar and water in a sauce pan and cook in medium flame till the sugar dissolves and forms a golden caramel.
Add the Almonds and pour the mixture on a  greased butter paper and allow it to cool.
Later crush them to a coarse powder in coffee grinder / food processor/ mixer grinder.



Fig Agar- Agar Pudding:

Soak the Agar- Agar for 1/2 n hour. Then drain
Meanwhile boil the figs in a cup of water till it becomes tender, drain the water and grind the figs to a paste.
In a medium sauce pan add the milk, sugar and Agar- Agar and boil in medium heat till the agar-agar almost dissolves, it takes about 20 minutes.
Pass the milk through the strainer, to this add the ground fig paste and whisk them well, for 5 minutes, this will ensure a smooth silky pudding.
Pour them in individual cups and Allow it to set in refrigerate for minimum 3 hours.
When you are about to serve top them with Gulkand sauce and almond praline.
Enjoy!!

Note:

You can also pour them in a shallow glass bowl and set. Loosen up the sides by running a  small thin knife then around the sides, Invert them on a plate,  top it with sauce and praline. Cut them into squares, and Serve

VARIATION:



Fig Agar-Agar Pudding with Strawberry Syrup and Almond praline:


Substitute the Gulkand with Strawberry Syrup,