Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Baked nippat (Sweet and Salty Onion Crackers)

After too many chocolatty and sweet desserts, i thought i would try some snack this week, "Baked Nippat". This is a known snack in all the South Indian bakeries. Its an all time favourite snack for most of the south indians. It tastes both sweet and salty with the presence of onion which gives a distinct sweetness and a touch of sesame gives a lovely crunchy and nutty flavour.

In India, the dough used to make "nippat" is usually deep fried in oil, but here i'm presenting you with the healthy baked version which tastes as good as the deep fried. Its a great snack to be taken along with your evening coffee. Its a must try recipe..

So here goes the recipe..


250 gms( 2 cups) All purpose flour(maida)
50 ml(a little less than 1/4 cup) Water
5 tsp Sugar
2 tsp Salt
50 ml Oil
50 gm Butter
2 Onions[big, finely chopped]
3 green chillies ,finely chopped
few coriander leaves ,chopped (optional)
2 tsp White sesame seeds and a little more for sprinkling on top


Mix in all the ingredients in a large bowl either by your hands or using a stand mixer with the dough attachment. Add water little by little and keep mixing the ingredients with your hands till you get a soft and pliable dough.

Rest the dough covered with a cloth for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 160 deg C. And line a baking sheet with a parchment paper.

Divide the dough in equal portions of a tablespoon and a little more. Flatten each divided portion in between your hands and arrange them on the baking sheet.[Or you can even flatten them by placing them directly on the baking sheet and pressing them with your fingers.]
To get a very crisp and crunchy nippat, flatten the dough very thin and bake till the onions have turned brown in colour.

Sprinkle some White sesame on the flattened dough and press lightly.

Bake in a preheated 160 deg C oven for 20 to 25 minutes or till the nippats turn slightly pink in colour.

Remove and cool completely.

Storage: You can store these nippat in an air tight container for upto a week..

Enjoy with a cup of coffee!!

French Toast

Originally a way to bring anew life to stale bread. French Toast can be made with virtually any fresh or stale bread, including quick breads and even tortillas. European dtyle loaves require a bit more soaking to soften the crust, while hearty whole grain breads make more sunstantial slices. My favourite are soft thick slices of broiche or challah, which make a truly decadent French Toast.

4-6 slices Challah bread
2 Eggs
2 tbsp Sugar
2 tbsp Flour
1/4 tsp Cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tbsp Curd
1/2 cup Milk
1 tbsp Butter

Mix in all the ingredients excepy butter and bread.

Heat a pan and spread butter on top.

Dip the bread slices one by one in the egg mixture. Dip each side for about 10 seconds and then place it on the pan.

Fry the bread on both sides till it turns golden brown.

Sprinkle some powdered sugar and maple syrup on top and serve..

Believe me, it tastes delicious.. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Chocolate Pear Tart

This is a recipe taken from the "Chocolate" cookbook. This tart is one way of giving treat to your tastebuds as well as getting fruits in you.. Its a delicious combination of pears and chocolate with a drizzle of sugar on top...


For the Base
120 gm all purpose flour
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons sugar
120 gm butter, cut into cubes
1 egg white
1 tbsp lemon juice

For the Filling
120 gm Chocolate (grated, 60gm dark chocolate plus 60 gm milk chocolate)
4 pears , cut lengthwise [I used the canned one]
125 gm whipping cream
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 drops of Vanilla aroma
3 tablespoons sugar


Sieve flour and salt in a bowl. Add in the Sugar and butter and start kneading. Add the Yolk and lemon juice. Knead well to from a stiff. Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and set it to cool for 30min.

Preheat the oven to 200 ° C.

Take out the dough and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough such that it could be lined into a spring form of approximately 25cm diameter.

Spread the grated chocolate on top of the base.

Peel pears, halve and seed. Cut each pear several times half lengthwise and place them one by one on the grated chocolate.

Whip the cream, egg yolk and vanilla aroma together and pour over the pears. Finally sprinkle the tart with sugar.

Bake the tart in the pregeated oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180 ° C and bake for another 20 minutes until the pears begin to brown and the filling looks stiff.

Cool and serve.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cream Caramel

Creme caramel is a great make ahead dessert option. Its a beatiful, rich and delicate custard dessert with a layer of soft caramel on top. This dessert would just melt in your mouth.
Its baked in hot water bath so as to avoid the direct contact of heat with the cream. It lets the cream to stay soft and supple.

So here is the recipe for the cream caramel


Condensed milk [Milkmaid] : 1 tin
Milk : 500ml
Eggs : 4
Lemon (grated rind only) : 1 tsp
Sugar : 2 tbsp (to coat the mould with caramelised sugar)


Preheat thr oven to 180 deg C. Place a shallow pan of water in the oven.

Heat sugar in the ring mould till it melts and caramelises. Turn the mould so as to coat its base and sides with caramel. Keep aside. [ You can even caramelise sugar in a small pan and transfer it immediately into the ramkins. Just turn a little so that it coats the base. It need not have to coat the base completely as it hardens very soon.]

Combine milk and milkmaid together.

Beat the eggs lightly. Add lemon rind. Gradually add milk and keep stirring till all the ingredients combine.

Pour into the caramelised ring mould or ramkins. Place the mould in the pan of water in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

Cool, chill in the refrigerator for 5 to 6 hours before unmoulding to serve.

Serve chilled.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

5 Spice Mushroom Rice

This dish is a delicate blend of flavours and textures that may not appeal to all, but its a "must" for those who like to experiment beyond the conventional Chinese fried rice. Mushrooms and Chinese 5 spice powder together make this rice a very traditional fare.


2 cups Chinese rice
1/3 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup dried black mushrooms (shitake), soaked in hot water for 15 minutes and sliced, discard the stalk
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
a pinch sugar
2 tbsps Oil
Salt to taste


Heat the oil, add the mushrooms and saute till they are tender.

Add the dried black muhrooms and saute for 2 to 3 more minutes.

Add the Chinese 5 spice powder and saute for 1/2 minutes.

Add the rice, sugar and salt and mix well.

Serve hot.

Chinese 5 Spice Powder

An authentic home-made version of the original blend of spices. Just lke our very own garam masala,every Chinesehousehold has its own delicate balnce of ingredients to make this fragnant powder.

Preparation time : 10 Minutes
Cooking time: 15 Minutes
Makes 1/4 Cup


4 tsps Peppercorns
16 whole Star anise
12 Cloves
10 Stiks Cinnamon
2 tbsps Fennel seeds


In a dry pan, roast the peppercorns over lo heat until the aroma is released. Keep aside.

Roast togeter the other ingredients for about 3 minutes on low heat till the aroma is released.

Grind together all he ingredients in a blender. Sieve the miture.

A coarse powder of the spices will be left behind. Grind it again to make a fine powder and sieve again. Discard the coarse powder left behind or grind it aain.

Store the sieved powder in a air-tight jar and use as required.

Chinese Rice

To the Chinese, rice is a symbol of life. When you are a dinner guest, it is considered bad manners not to consume every grain of rice in your bowl.
The Chinese generally use long grained rice for various rice preparations. You need to be very careful with the way the rice is cooked because that is what determines the end product..

The Chinese also use another variety of rice called sticky rice which has a very high starch content. This rice is not boiled in water, like the ordinary rice but has to be steamed to get the perfect texture.
This symbol represents the Chinese/Japanese character for a rice grain. Clockwise from the top English, French, Hindi, Spanish/Portuguese, Tagalog and Greek.

The Chinese have developed the simple technique of rice making into an art. Each grain of the cooked rice is seperate and it is this method of cooking the rice that yields the perfect fried rice.

Preparation time; 5 minutes
Cooking time; 15 minutes
Makes 4 Cups

To prepare rice, you'll need.

1 cup Basmati rice or any other white rice
2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp Salt


First wash the rice thoroughly and soak in 3 cups of water for 30 minutes. Drain and keep aside.

Boil 6 to 8 cups of water, add salt and a tbsp of oil.

Add the rice to the boiling water. Cook till the rice is 85% cooked.

Pour into a colander and let the water drain out. Pour some cold water on the rice to arrest further cooking.

Let all the water from the rice drain out ensuring that the rice does not contain any moisture.

Add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil and toss the rice in it.

Spread the cooked rice on a flat surface till it is cool.

Use as required

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Very Very Chocolatey Mousse - 3 Layered !!

This is a delicious light and creamy dessert. Its got the airy and sandy texture, the richness and the taste. This sneakily delicious version combines cornstarch-and-egg yolk thickened custard folded with whipped cream and beaten egg whites to produce a light and fluffy yet extremely rich confection, Plus, a triple-dose of white, bittersweet and milk chocolate. Because this dessert needs time to chill to maintain its aeration, it is a terrific make-ahead option.

A lot of patience and time is required in this preparation but this dessert is worth all your patience and time. Just go for it. Remember to keep all your mixing and beating bowls ready before you start ;)(you'll need lots..)

I present this recipe to all the chocolate lovers out there..!!

So here is the recipe..


3 Eggs
1 tbsp Cornstarch
75g Sugar
300 ml Milk
1 Pkt Gelatin
3 tbsps Water
300g Whipped cream
75g Bittersweet Chocolate
75g White Chocolate
75g Milk Chocolate
Chocolate shavings for decorating

How to..

Line a loaf pan (850 ml) or any other pan with baking paper.

Break the eggs. Seperate egg whites in 3 different glass bowls and mix in all the egg yolks together in another bowl. Stir in the cornstarch and sugar with the egg yolks and keep aside.

Boil the milk stirring gently. Place another bowl filled with water on high heat and let it come to a boil. Meanwhile gradually pour the egg yolk mixture into the milk and keep stirring with a whisk. When the milk and yolks has combined well, remove the bowl from the heat and place it in the hot water bowl such that the base of the bowl touches the boiling water. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens. Remove and let cool.

Mix in the Gelatin with 3 tbsps of water in a small bowl and leave to swell. Place the bowl in hot water and keep stirring till it dissolves completely (You can also use a microwave, just microwave for 4 to 5 seconds on low). Mix the dissolved gelatin into the milk-yolk custard and keep aside.

Whip the cream until stiff and fold it gently into the milk-yolk custard. Now divide this custard-cream mixture into 3 portions.

Melt all the 3 types of chocolates seperately using a double boiler (You can use a large bowl with water which can accomidate all the 3 chocolate bowls or cups and melt them simultaneously, remember to use 3 different spoons to stir).

First stir in the melted dark chocolate into one portion of the custard-cream mixture. Beat 1 egg white until stiff and fold it into the dark chocolate-custard-cream mixture. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smoothen on top. Place the pan in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, mix the melted white chocolate with the second portion of custard-cream mixture. Beat the second egg white until stiff and fold it into the white chocolate-custard-cream mixture. Pour this on the first layer of mousse and smoothen on top. Transfer it back to the refrigerator.

Repeat the same steps with the milk chocolate and layer it on top of the white chocolate. Let it stay in the refrigerator for 5 to 6 hours or overnight or until you serve.

Before serving, Carefully place the prepared serving plate on top of the loaf pan and turn the pan upside down. Lift the pan up and remove the parchment paper. Decorate with chocolate shavings before you serve.

Hmm..... yummy!!! :)

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