Saturday, November 13, 2010

Butter Almond Crunch

Nope I am not yet done with the tantalizing treat not yet- Not when I have just started to enjoy making these fun treats. I also have a wonderful idea of exhausting these without having to deal with excessive chocolate,butter ,calories in my system. I know I do cheat once in while and let the rest in my house do as well but most of it goes to my friends as holiday gift s packed in nice cute little holiday tins,with cute ribbons to tie on them and some paper shredding inside the tin  to make this gift pop out. I am thrilled with this project and it gives me immense pleasure to give something which is so personalized instead of picking up something off the shelf.

I had fun browsing through chocolate isles,and filling my cart with chocolate,it brought back memories from Haldia days when we baked cakes and made chocolates, buying all the ingredients then was an ordeal in itself. Haldia was obviously out of question,we used to use our weekend trips to Calcutta  once every month ,to do all our groceries and  buy all these exotic stuff for our baking needs. Phew* wipes the sweat off the brow* it was a project which took us longer than anyone could imagine but exhilarating nonetheless. Now, it is such a blessing& luxury to look at some  exotic recipe in the book and  be able to find all those  ingredients at a stones throw :) (Mostly)

So here's to a wonderful holiday season which lies ahead,Cheers:)!!!

Makes about 2 pounds

This recipe is also from the Hershey's Classic Recipes, like I said I intend on trying most:)

1 1/2 cups Hershey's semi sweet chocolate chips,divided
1 3/4 cups chopped almonds,divided
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter or margarine
1 3/4 cup sugar3 tbsp Light corn syrup
3 tbsp water


1.heat oven to 350 degree F.Line 13 by 9 inch by 2-inch pan with foil;butter foil

2. Sprinkle 1 cup chocolate chips into pan; set aside.Spread chopped almonds in shallow baking dish.Bake about 7 minutes or until golden brown;set aside
3. melt butter in heavy saucepan; blend in sugar,corn syrup and water.cook over medium heat,stirring constantly,to 300 degree F on a candy thermometer(hard crack stage) or until the mixture separates into hard,brittle threads when dropped into very cold water.(bulb of candy thermometer should not rest at the bottom of saucepan) Remove from heat; stir in 1 1/2 cups toasted almonds.Immediately spread mixture evenly over chocolate chips in prepared pan;do not disturb chips.Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup toasted almonds and remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips;cool slightly

3. score candy into 1 1/2 inch squares with sharp knife,wiping knife blade after drawing through candy.Cool completely;remove from pan.Remove foil;break into pieces.Store in airtight container in cool,dry place.

Friday, November 12, 2010

One lovely Blog,Award !!!

What bettter than ,"One Lovely Blog" award to celebrate exactly one month of my  blogging I have to thank Shalini for giving me this award. Shalini has a super blog with fantastic recipes so please everyone check out  trust me you will find some hidden gems there :) I am passing this award to  some wonderful  fellow bloggers , please accept the award and put this on your blog & link it to me. Please do pass on this happiness to your fellow bloggers.Keep this going !!!










cookery bits

treat & trick http://treat&


I am a huge fan of their blogs and everyone has some very unique and special recipes to offfer on their blogs. I look forward to  their new posts and try and read most and sometimes also try their recipes :)

cashew Macadamia Crunch

I am a tad bit early for the holiday season,but I always refer to my Hershey's Classic Recipe book closer to the Holiday season to prepare some tantalizing treats. I have so far tried a couple  recipes from this book but intend on doing most . The recipes have always turned out excellent and more :) I made this Cashew Macadamia crunch and my husband and daughter thought it was bought from some gourmet chocolate place :) We all celebrated my blog which is exactly a month old today with this super crunch. I started blogging on the 12th of last month:) YAY!!!

Prep Time; 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Cool Time: 40 minutes
Chill Time: 3 hours

Makes about 1 1/2 pounds candy

2 Cups(11.5 ounce package) Hershey's milk chocolate Chips
3/4 cup coarsely chopped salted or unsalted cashews
3/4 cup coarsely chopped salted or unsalted macadamia nuts
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter,softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup

1. Line 9-inch square pan with foil,extending foil over edges of pan. Butter Foil. Cover bottom of prepared pan with chocolate chips.

2. combine cashews,macadamia nuts,butter,sugar and corn syrup in large heavy skillet; Cook over low heat,stirring constantly,until butter is melted & sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium; Cook stirring constantly,until mixture begins to cling together and turns golden brown.

3. Pour mixture over chocolate chips in pan,spreading evenly.Cool. refrigerate until chocolate is firm.Remove from pan; Peel off foil. Break into pieces,store tightly covered in cool,dry place.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Murg Makhani/Butter Chicken

I would have answered all the queries most people have on the ,"difference" or the," similarity "between Chicken Tikka  Masala and Butter Chicken but I am afraid there is no ,"one single"  answer which would put all the questions about these two dishes to rest . So as of now I think it would suffice to say that the preparation for both these dishes is same as far as the marination and grilling part is concerned. The gravy for both these dishes is quite similar but not same. The point is these are served as two separate dishes in an Indian Restaurant .

Now the origin of these two very popular dishes- Well,butter chicken or murg makhani is an Indian cuisine from Punjab. The origin of this dish can be traced back to a man named Kundan Lal Gujral who ran a restaurant by the name Moti Mahal Deluxe in Peshawar before the partition of British India. On the other hand the origin of Chicken Tikka Masala remains disputed.  There are surveys which have found this dish to be most popular in British restaurants and it has also been called Britain's True National Dish.  This dish was conceived in some British Pakistani Restaurant or British Bangladeshi Restaurant therefore the explanation  of the origin of the dish. Source Wiki

Who Cares as long as food connects people all over the world . Butter Chicken  & naan and Amitabh  bachchan are two names synonymous to India & Indians. Every time we travelled outside India , people would greet us with a ,"namaste " and then talk about chicken Tikka and Amitabh Bachchan to strike a conversation :)

Now without further ado here is what I ate for lunch with my dear friend Massi :)
Massi here's to a splendid afternoon and the yummy murg makhani/butter chicken we enjoyed.
Preparation time: 4-6 hours ( marination included)
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6

Chicken : 2 pounds cut into 2 inch chunks( boneless or bones depends on what you prefer)
Curd: Hung Curd 1 cup
Kashmiri chilli powder: 1 tsp
Garam Masala: 1 tsp
Ginger: 2 tbsp
Garlic: 2 tbsp
Mustard Oil: 2 tbsp
Butter: 2 tbsp
Fenugreek leaves/Dried Methi ,roasted and crushed
Salt : 1 tsp
Lime juice: 2 tbsp
Tomato Puree: 2 cups
Fresh Cream: 1 cup
Honey: 2 tbsp
Whole spices: 3 cloves, 3 cardamoms,and an inch of cinnamon

take the chicken pieces and marinate them in salt,lime juice,kashmiri chilly powder,Ginger 1 tbsp and garlic 1 tbsp and mustard oil 2 tbsp and take the hung curd and mix all these well and marinate for 4-5 hours in the refrigerator.

 Pre-Heat the oven to 350 degree F . Thread the marinated chicken pieces onto a skewer and grill them (broil) for 10  - 12 minutes or until done.

Take a big kadai and add 2 tbsp butter,when the butter has melted and is hot add whole spices-cloves,cardamom,cinnamon and chop big pieces of green chilli and add to the butter,now add the remaining ginger and garlic and saute for a couple minutes. Now add the tomato puree along with salt,red kashmiri chilli powder and cook till the butter starts to appear on the edges.

Now add to this the grilled chicken pieces.

cook for couple minutes and then add 1/2 a cup of water,let the masala come together and blend well with the chicken. Add the cream now and crush the roasted fenugreek leaves and 2 tbsp of honey and give it a good mix. Serve with naan ,onions and some green chutney. Enjoy murg Makhani :)

Note: Two main ingredients which give this dish its distinct flavor is honey & roasted fenugreek leaves .
Kashmiri Chilli powder  has a brilliant red color ,it is very flavorful and milder compared to other Indian Chilli powders. 

I am sending this recipe to Dr Sameena's Chicken Event  which she is hosting from 1st now-30th November.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bread Rolls with potato stuffing

I am thinking aloud about old  school days when I could eat bread rolls,samosas,aloo bondas to my hearts content without  having to worry about love handles ( fat  deposit on ones waistline)When ,"calorie count"was an alien concept  and eating more was,"IN" speaking of skinny-The fad was to have some jiggle here and there;) It was considered the sign of prosperity. I remember as kids we would travel to Pune,India to meet up with our aunts & uncles once every year. After the customary greetings with my parents at the railway station,my uncle & aunts would turn to us (me & my siblings)and exclaim in bewilderment," look at you-you look so weak,someone has to just blow in your face & you would fall like a twig" Exasperated we would mutter under our breadth. We dreaded the outcome-Dad would now give us the deworming tablets- arghhh !!! Hopeful that we would get rid of the underlying problem and look more healthy(prosperous) .
That was bygone era, and  here I am-Constantly fighting with the weight :)

Here's to old times sake :)

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 8

Potato: 2 large Idaho boiled and mashed
Tomato: 1 medium
peas: 2 tbsp
Cilantro: chopped 2 tbsp
green Chilly: 2 chopped
Panch phorun /fennel,fenugreek,mustard,nigella seeds 1 tsp
Salt: 1 tsp
Turmeric: 1/8 tsp
Red Pepper: 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala: 1/4 tsp
Chat Masala: 1 tsp
Anardana powder: 1/4 tsp / dried pomegranate powder
Bread slices: 8
Oil: 2 tbsp
Oil: for deep frying


Take a kadai. Heat 2 tbsp oil,when hot add the panch phorun,when it starts to splutter add chopped tomato and cook till you see oil on the edges. Now add salt turmeric,garam masala,red pepper,chat masala and anardana powder. Cook for couple minutes and add the mashed potato and along with that green chilly and peas. Mix well and let it cool.

Meanwhile take the bread slice,you can remove the edges if you like.Now dip the bread in water and instantly remove it.Press it between the palm of your hands and remove the excess water. Now add a spoonful of potato mix and fold the bread from both ends and cover the mix with the bread.Like this:

Now deep fry these bread rolls in very hot oil till golden brown. Serve with green chutney or tamarind & date chutney :) Enjoy hot !!!

Note: I was running out of cilantro and peas so you will not see nay greens in these bread rolls.

Bread rolls make an excellent evening snack with tea or breakfast .

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Raw Mango Rice

The good thing about being a part of blogosphere world is adding  more recipes to your  repertoire of existing ones :) Not a bad bargain, right? It is even better as they are all on the web, so it is  hassle free ,especially for someone like me,who moves every 2-3 years this really is an appealing preposition  but mind you-My recipe books are very precious and even if I don't refer to them too often they still are amongst my very dear belongings. Today's recipe was inspired by (Raw mango Rice) the only modifications I have made to the recipe is fresh cooked rice instead of left over and peas instead of carrots. I would have preferred to use left over rice,but there was none:( and I would much rather have used carrots but again there were none:( Not a very happy scene ,I need to go shopping !!!

I have to admit ,that I made the right choice when I decided to prepare this rice,it is FANTASTIC !!! I urge everyone to try this  at least once. I liked the use of raw mango's with curry leaves . Also my daughter loves to eat dinner or lunch without me fussing over her to finish the vegetables on her plate. This rice dish could not get any better for her :)

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4

Rice: 2 cups cooked and drained in a colander and then spread on a paper towel to soak excess water
Raw mango's : 2 grated
Oil: 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Red Chilli: 2 whole
Chana dal/ split  Bengal gram : 1tbsp
 Urad dhuli/ Split Black Gram hulled(washed): 1 tsp
Curry leaves: 15-20 dried or fresh
Green Chilli: 2 with a slit through the middle
salt: 1 tsp
Turmeric: 1/8 tsp
cashews: 8-10

Take a kadai and heat 2 tbsp oil in it.
When the oil is hot ,add the mustard seeds,cumin seeds,red chilli,daal's,cashews ,curry leaves and at the end add the grated mango,green chilli  and saute till the masala looks dry and oil starts to appear at the edges. Now add the salt and turmeric and add the rice and very gently mix the rice well,taking care not to break the rice. I enjoyed the rice with bread rolls for dinner.Will post the recipe for bread rolls soon :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Caramel- Glazed Apple Cake

No Kiddin' my home smelt like a  french bakery  today while this Apple Cake was rising & being cooked in the oven at 325 degree f . The  sweet smell of apples along with cinnamon & nutmeg was intoxicating and I had developed a ravenous appetite & could not wait to indulge  all my buds in this sweet scrummy apple delight . I am writing this post on a deeply satisfying note, it sure was a slice from heaven :) I added the caramel glaze and topped it with some home made fresh cream and ate it along with a slice of apple. No I don't mean to tantalize your taste buds.Go hurry make yourself some of this.......

1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
5 Washington granny smith apples or golden delicious apples(cored peeled & cut in 1/2 inch pieces)
1 1/4 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
2 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

4 tbsp butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees f.Butter & flour a9-by-13-inch pan
To prepare the cake,beat both sugars and oil in a mixing bowl until very well blended.Add eggs one at a time,beating well after each addition. Sift together flour,baking soda,cinnamon,nutmeg & salt ;
gradually add to eggs mixing just blended. Stir in apples,pecans & vanilla; pour into pan.

Bake for 50-75 minutes,or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.Let cool in the pan while preparing the glaze.

Method for Glaze:
Melt butter in a sauce pan over low heat .Stir in both sugars and salt and; Cook over medium low heat for 2 minutes. Add cream and boil for 2 minutes .Stirring constantly.

Poke holes in the cake with a skewer or toothpick.Pour on the glaze. Serve warm or at room temperature.Top with fresh whipped cream or ice cream.

Makes 12 servings.

Note: I halved the ingredients for the cake and the glaze as well. So the cake you see in the picture is made with 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour and similarly all other ingredients are also exactly half of what this recipe calls for.

The cake was ready in 30 minutes. So even if the recipe says 50-70 minutes,I will not wait that long to check on my cake.I have made this cake with the exact proportions as mentioned in the recipe & cake was done in 45 minutes. I baked it on mark 3

I followed this recipe from,"Easy Cooking The Costco Way ".

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Chicken 65

I want to share some very interesting material I found for chicken 65 on Wiki. I always wondered about where the dish got its name chicken 65,since a numerical name for a dish is quite unusual . I am so amused at how the dishes get their names (most of the time) This makes the dish even more interesting for me. So here is what I found on Wiki ;

While the name "Chicken 65" is universally used to refer to the dish, there are many different stories for how the name came about.[1] It is generally acknowledged that no one knows which (if any) of these anecdotal theories are true:
  • The 65 represents the 65 separate ingredients in the chicken
  • The first price of this dish was 65 rupees.
  • Weight of each piece is 65 gm.
  • The 65 in the Chicken 65 represents the year it was introduced by the famous hotel in Chennai called "BUHARI". Hence the name "Chicken 65". They also serve Chicken 78, Chicken 82, Chicken 90 which are all introduced in those years. The number 65 is variously said to be the number of days taken to prepare the marinade or the year of the dish's creation. (However, 65 days of marination would mean that the chicken would start to decompose or if it was frozen then it would lose its taste and freshness). One account claims that the dish emerged as a simple meal solution for Indian soldiers in 1965. Others accounts claim that an enterprising hotelier targeted macho diners with a 65-chilli recipe and named the dish accordingly. It is also told that the name Chicken 65 is evolved from the age of the chicken used to prepare this dish. The original recipe called for Chicken 65 was prepared using chickens which were 65 days or roughly over 2 months old. Since this is a bar-snack, young and tender fried chicken goes as a good starter with wine. (Skeptics of this origin argue that typically a young tender chicken is just 25-35 days old and not 65 days. At 65 days the chicken would be old and fat.)
  • The name Chicken 65 relates to the number of pieces the whole chicken is cut up into before cooking. (However, it has been suggested humorously that cutting a whole chicken into 65 pieces would make it a Minced Chicken and not chicken 65.)
  • Another interesting story about the origin of the name stems from Indian Army soldiers from the northern states of India who were posted in Madras (now Chennai) would go out to the city for leisure. One of the restaurants popular with the soldiers had its menus in the local language. As a consequence the non locals who couldn't read the menu could not say names but would indicate their choice by referring to the number of the entree in the menu (in this case, the recipe correlated to the number 65) when placing their orders. It is said that the popularity of this dish spread amongst the soldiers when one tried, liked it and told his fellow service men about it. They were simply told to go get item 65 which soon was called simply as Chicken 65 and in time this became its official name for the entree.
         To begin with,my recipe does not have 65 ingredients :(  nevertheless it does taste very authentic and I
         made this for Diwali and served it as an appetizer,trust me -It just flew off the table in a matter of
        seconds . I have not deep fried the chicken . You have that option,I prefer not to,as I realized that
        this not make the dish taste any different,try it for yourself .

Serves : 7 as appetizer
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

  Chicken : 1 pound cut into 1 inch pieces (boneless)
  Tomato Ketchup: 10 tbsp
  Lemon Juice: 2 tbsp
  Salt: to taste
 Yogurt: 1/2 cup
 Oil: 10 tbsp
 Mustard seed : 1 tsp for seasoning ( do not grind these)
 Black peppercorn: 1 tbsp
 Coriander Seeds: 2 tbsp
 Rice powder: 2 tbsp or rice grains
 red chilli whole: 2 or kashmiri chilli powder 1 tsp
Turmeric: tip of the tsp
Curry leaves: dried or fresh 20 in number
Ginger: 1 tbsp
Garlic: 1 tsp


    Take all the dry spices roast them and grind them to a powder and marinate the chicken in this along with yogurt,curry leaves,lime and 4 tbsp of oil  for an hour.

Now take a kadai and heat oil ,add mustard seeds ,when they start to splutter add the marinated  chicken pieces  and fry them in two batches,till the chicken is cooked and the masala clings to the chicken and you see the oil on the edges of the kadai. The Chicken 65 is ready to be enjoyed as a snack /appetizer or a side dish .