Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Schezuan Fried Rice

"Schezuan" denotes spice... and this dish is delectable blend of spicy flavours that are sure to tease your palate.

Adapted from "Easy Chinese Cooking" by Tarla Dalal

Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 10 minutes
Serves 4


4 cups Chinese rice
2 tsps celery, chopped
1 tbsp Garlic, chopped
2 cup Vegetables (nearly 1 carrot, 1/2 capcicum, 3/4th cup chopped cabbage), finely sliced and chopped
4 tbsps Schezuan sauce
1 cup bean sprouts
1 tbsp oil(vegetable or sunflowder)
Salt to taste


Heat the oil, add the garlic and saute till it turns golden in colour.

Add the celery and vegetables and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the Schezuan sauce and cook for another minute.

Add the rice, bean sprouts and salt and mix well.

Toss for few seconds till all the ingredients are mixed well.

Serve hot with tomato ketchup.

Schezuan Sauce for Cooking

This sauce is a delicate blend of fiery spices and condiments without which the chinese cooking would be incomplete.

Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 5 minutes
Makes 1 CUP

Ingredients :

For the paste:
20 Dry red chillies (Kashmiri or Begdi which are rich in colour and not very spicy) OR Just 8 regular dry red chilli (the one which is very spicy and hot)
1/4 cup Garlic, chopped

Other ingredients

1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp green chillies, finely chopped
1/2 tbsp ginger, grated
2 tbsp onions, finely chopped
1 tsp celery finely chopped
1 cup clear vegetable stock
1 tbsp Cornflour starch mixed with 2 tbsps water
1 tbsp white vinegar
2 tsps sugar
a pinch of Ajinomoto powder (optional)
3 tbsps oil
Salt to taste

For the paste, boil the dry red chillies and garlic and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Take off the heat and cool.

Drain out the water. Grind into a smooth paste in a blender using a little water. Keep it aside.

Heat the oil in a wok or a frying pan and saute the garlic, green chillies, ginger, onions and celery for 1 minute.

Add the paste and saute again for 1 minute.

Add the vegetable stock and mix well. Add the cornflour mixture, vinegar, sugar, Aginomoto and salt. Bring to a boil and keep aside.

Use as required.

Clear Vegetable stock

Chinese stock differs from French stock in the lack of spices. While a recipe for French stock might call for a pinch of thyme or a few garlic cloves, the chinese believe spicing masks the flavour of the stock. Seasonings are added later, depending on what the individual recipe calls for. This stock is used for soups and sauces to add more flavour to them.

Preparation time 5 minutes
Cooking time 20 minutes
makes 4 1/2 CUPS

1/2 cup Cabbage, roughly chopped
1/2 cup Carrots, roughly chopped
1/4 cup Celery, chopped
2 tbsps Spring onions, chopped
3 to 4 Cauliflower florets


Boil all the vegetables in 6 cups of water and simmer over a medium flame for 15 to 20 minutes, till it reduces to about 4 1/2 cups.

Allow the vegetables to settle at the bottom of the vessel and pour out the stock. Discard the vegetables.

Use as required.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

German Cheese Cake

This is an awesome dessert for sweet lovers.. This cheese cake is very different from the other cheese cakes. It uses Indian cottage cheese(paneer) and sweetened condensed milk for the sweetness. Even the crust is slightly salty and goes great with the sweetened cheese on top. The topmost layer gives a light crunchy feel. Altogether its a lovely dessert.

Preparation time 25 - 30 minutes
Cooking time 1 hour
Serves 8 - 10

Here are the ingredients..

250 gms All purpose flour
125 gms Cold salted butter (or salt free butter + 1/4 tsp Salt)
6-8 tbsp Cold water

1/2 Tin Sweetened Condensed Milk (Milkmaid)
250gm Paneer
4 Egg yolks
1/2 tsp Lemon juice
30 gms Ground almonds
50 gms Chopped dried grapes
50 gms Finely chopped candied peel(Orange or lemon)

1 Egg white
50 gms Powdered Sugar


Preheat the oven to 180 deg C.

Cut cold butter into small pieces.

Using a palette knife rub butter into the flour.

Sprinkle cold water over the flour and using a palette knife combine into a ball.

With medium handling, roll into 1/8" thick pastry.

Lift the pastry over the rolling pin, drop into pie dish and line it. Trim off the extra dough.

Prick the entire pastry with a fork (to prevent puffing). Bake blind at 180 deg C for 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven.

Reset the oven at 140 deg C.

Blend together, paneer, egg yolks and condensed milk till smooth and creamy. I crumbled the paneer instead of making a smooth paste to get the feel of it, you can follow either of the method(crumbly or creamy). Add almond powder, dry grapes, candied peels and lemon juice. Mix well, pour into the baked pastry case.

Whisk egg white till stiff, add half the sugar gradually and continue to whisk till stiff peak stage. Fold in the rest of the sugar and pipe a fine lattice of meringue over the pie.

Return to oven and bake at 140 deg C for 45 minutes or till meringue is crisp.

Serve hot or chilled with cream.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Layered Dinner Rolls

These beautiful homemade dinner rolls will definitely win the hearts and stomachs of your family members. These rolls are layered and very soft from inside. They can be had as it is or with any accompaniment you wish..

Adapted from myrecipes.com

Yields 12 rolls


3 tbsp Sugar
1 package Dry yeast (7 gm,about 2 1/4 tsps)
1 1/4 cup Lukewarm milk
3 cups All-purpose flour
3/4 tsp Salt
3-4 tbsp Butter, softened
Cooking spray


In a large bowl, dissolve sugar and warm milk. Add yeast and let stand for few minutes until its frothy.

In a large bowl, sieve flour and salt. Add in the yeast mixture; stir until a dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead with your hands till you get a smooth non sticky dough. Do not add extra flour or liquid. Knead well for about 5 to 8 minutes. Let the dough rest covered for 10 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12 x 10-inch rectangle. Gently spread butter over 2/3rd surface of the dough. Keeping the plain surface towards your left,fold the plain surface over the buttered surface and the right surface over the first fold to form a 12 x 3-inch rectangle(refer the figure below). Cover with a plastic wrap and place in freezer for 10 minutes.

Remove dough from freezer. Remove plastic wrap. Roll the dough again (sprinkle on a little more flour, if needed), into a 12 x 10-inch rectangle. Working with a long side, fold up bottom third of dough. Fold top third of dough over the first fold to form a 12 x 3-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap; place in freezer for 10 minutes.

Remove dough from freezer, Remove plastic wrap. Roll the dough into a 12 x 8-inch rectangle. Beginning with a long side, roll up dough jelly-roll fashion(do not seal ends of roll). Cut roll into 12 equal slices.

Place slices, cut sides up, in muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat tops of dough slices with cooking spray.

Cover and let rise in a warm place 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

If the weather is cold and you're in search of a warm place in your kitchen. I've an idea.
Use the oven, place a pan of boiling water on the bottom rack of the oven. Turn the oven on to its highest setting for 2 minutes. Turn oven off. Cover the muffin tray with a towel or a plastic wrap and place in the oven above the pan of steaming water. This method helps a lot during winter.
I followed this method for my dinner rolls and as you can see,the rolls raised beautifully.

Now preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C)

Bake dough at 375°F (190°C) for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Change the psotions of the muffin trays after 10 or 15 minutes by checking which side of your rolls have started turning brown.

Remove from pan, and cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack.

Serve rolls warm. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Onion Mozzarella Tartlets

These Tartlets are one of my favourite, quick and easy. Cheese, Caramalised onions and peppers on soft ,warm and flaky puff pasty gives a wonderful taste. Can be taken as a starter or as a snack. I simply hope you enjoy it as much as i did..

You'll need..


250 gm Puff pastry sheets
2 Red Onions
1 Red Capsicum
8 Cherry tomatoes, halved
100 gms Mozzarella Cheese
1 tsp Dried Thyme leaves
A tsp of Olive oil
Salt to taste

Here you go..

First preheat the oven to 200 deg C.

Take out the puff pastry sheets from the freezer and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the onions and peppers lengthwise. Take oil in a pan and fry the onions and peppers with salt to taste on a medium heat till they turn soft. Remove and keep aside.

Now cut the puff pasty sheets into 7 - 8 cm long squares. Cut down the edges of the puff pasty sheets, about 1/2 a centimeter on all the sides. Apply some water on the borders of the sheets and place the long sut pieces on the borders.

Place an aluminium foil (cut into square) in the center of the squares and bake for 10 minutes.

Now remove the foil and bake again. Dough might stick to the foil while taking it out but do not worry. take it out carefully and bake for another 5 minutes.

Now place the onion and pepper stuffing in the center of the puff pasty. Slightly push the stuffing inside. Place the cherry tomatoes and top up with the mozzarella cheese and thyme leaves.

Now bake again for 15 minutes or till the crust turns golden brown.


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