Thursday, January 29, 2009


This time I had made up my mind, that come what may, I will take part in the DARING BAKER'S CHALLENGE as the past two months I had opted out of them.
When I read the challenge, I found it pretty interesting and thought to myself, hummm this should be easy, what was I THINKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????

I decided to go for the savoury ones. Though I have tried making Parmesan crisps once or twice before and found no luck, I thought let me give myself a well deserved second chance. Again, what was I THINKING!!!!!!!??????.

Well this months DARING BAKER'S CHALLENGE, was brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.

There were a choice of three recipes that one could make.

My first attempt:

Savory tuile/cornet recipeFrom Thomas Keller "the French Laundry Cookbook"

  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (65 grams/2.1/4 ounces) all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (= 2/3 teaspoon table salt)**
  • 8 tablespoons (114 grams/4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened but still cool to the touch
  • 2 large egg whites, cold
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the softened butter until it is completely smooth and mayonnaise-like in texture.
  3. Using a stiff spatula or spoon, beat the egg whites into the dry ingredients until completely incorporated and smooth.
  4. Whisk in the softened butter by thirds, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary and whisking until the batter is creamy and without any lumps.
  5. Transfer the batter to a smaller container, as it will be easier to work with.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  7. Make a 4-inch hollow circular stencil.
  8. Place Silpat on the counter (it is easier to work on the Silpat before it is put on the sheet pan). Place the stencil in one corner of the sheet and, holding the stencil flat against the Silpat, scoop some of the batter onto the back of an offset spatula and spread it in an even layer over the stencil.
  9. Then run the spatula over the entire stencil to remove any excess batter. After baking the first batch of cornets, you will be able to judge the correct thickness. You may need a little more or less batter to adjust the thickness of the cornets.
  10. There should not be any holes in the batter.
  11. Lift the stencil and repeat the process to make as many rounds as you have molds or to fill the Silpat, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between the cornets.
  12. Sprinkle each cornet with a pinch of black sesame seeds.
  13. Place the Silpat on a heavy baking sheet and bake for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the batter is set and you see it rippling from the heat. The cornets may have browned in some areas, but they will not be evenly browned at this point.
  14. Open the oven door and place the baking sheet on the door. This will help keep the cornets warm as you roll them and prevent them from becoming too stiff to roll. Flip a cornet over on the sheet pan, sesame seed side down and place 4-1/2 inch cornet mold at the bottom of the round.
  15. If you are right-handed, you will want the pointed end on your left and the open end on your right. The tip of the mold should touch the lower left edge (at about 7 o'clock on a clock face) of the cornet.
  16. Fold the bottom of the cornet and around the mold; it should remain on the sheet pan as you roll. Leave the cornet wrapped around the mold and continue to roll the cornets around molds; as you proceed, arrange the rolled cornets, seams side down, on the sheet pan so they lean against each other, to prevent from rolling.
  17. When all the cornets are rolled, return them to the oven shelf, close the door, and bake for an additional 3 to 4 minutes to set the seams and color the cornets a golden brown. If the color is uneven, stand the cornets on end for a minute or so more, until the color is even. Remove the cornets from the oven and allow to cool just slightly, 30 seconds or so.
  18. Gently remove the cornets from the molds and cool for several minutes on paper towels. Remove the Silpat from the baking sheet, wipe the excess butter from it, and allow it to cool down before spreading the next batch. Store the cornets for up to 2 days (for maximum flavor) in an airtight container.
I think I messed up with the measurement of the butter, and the "tuiles" were sooooo greasy.
Another mistake that I made was that i did not test a small batter first. I should have baked just one and seen and then probably made some adjustments to the batter. Who knows I could have stumbled upon some new baked goodies......alas that did not happen.

So my second attempt was to make the chocolate tuiles. They looked less complicated.

here is the recipe

Chocolate TuilesMichel Roux’s Finest Desserts
Makes 30
Preparation time: 15 minutes!

  • 9 oz/250 grams dark or white couverture or best-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2/3 cup/75 gr slivered almonds, toasted and cooled


  1. Temper the couverture, and stir in the toasted almonds.
  2. Place the template on a sheet of rodoïde (or use a clean sheet of sturdy plastic such as a folder) and fill with about 1 tbs of the mixture.
  3. Repeat the process a little distance away from the first one.
  4. As soon as you have 5 tuiles fit, slide them onto a mold or rolling pin (side of a glass) to curve. Let cool completely, lift tuiles off the plastic only after the chocolate has set and just before serving, so that they keep their shine.

The only change I made here was, I used paper cupcake cups.
This is what I did

  1. I melted the chocolate completely and added the sliced almonds.
  2. With a pastry brush I painted the paper cups. The almonds would stick on the sides or the base.

  3. painted chocolate cups.

  4. let it dry for a while and then paint them again.
  5. The only thing you have to take care is, paint at least three layers of chocolate,so that it forms nice cups, and doesn't break off.
  6. slowly tear of the paper, once the chocolate is set. this will take at least 4-5 hours.
  7. Be extremely cautious here, as the cup might break, in case you tend to be in a rush.

the ready chocolate cups.

My filling

Well I did not have a lot of stuff, so I thought of going with what I had in the fridge. I wanted to keep it fruity (as the challenge had demanded). So I made vanilla yogurt added some fruits and some more almonds.

For the vanilla yogurt
Greek yogurt-1 cup
sugar-1/2 cup
vanilla essence - a few drops

Just mix all the ingredients together.

Fruits I used


To assemble

I added some almonds at the base

Added a teaspoon of the yogurt

added the blueberry, the strawberry and the kiwis.
finished it with some whipped cream.

So that was it. My challenge. Finally complete.
I really wanted to make the other versions, specially after seeing all the fun stuff done by my other Daring Baker buddies. But I guess I will try them, sometime later on.

Hope you all liked my challenge and the little variation I did to it.
happy eating.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


When I got married, there were a few Gujarati specialities that were high on the agenda to learn. Undhiu, being just one of them. If we deconstruct the recipe, its just mixed vegetables. But the kind of vegetables, all the spices that go into it and the fried meethi muthias (fenugreek dumplings) makes the dish a delicacy straight from the heart of Gujarat.
This is a festive dish usually made during special occasions and is served with a variety of other items like Khaman Dholka, puri, kadi,pulao etc. I must say the Gujarati thali (or platter),is one attractive and colourful thali.

I had made this dish a couple of times, following a few recipe books. But I actually saw all the real stuff when my mother in law had come visiting me. I learnt some good traditional foods from her.

making undhiu is a task, specially because one has to literally gather a lot of different veggies for the dish. That is particularly not exciting, coz you don't get them fresh and buying a frozen packet for each just too much.
So what I do now is buy ready UNDHIO vegetable packets from the Indian grocery store, and then add some more extra veggies (that are more easily available).Well if you are in India, then there are no worries cause you can get all the required veggies.

here is the recipe for this extravagant Gujarati speciality.

You will need

the vegetables
  • yam-1/2 (cubed)
  • raw banana- 1 (cubed)
  • potatoes-2-3 (cubed)
  • small eggplants-3-4 (slit length wise)
  • green peas- 1/2 cup
  • french beans-2-3 (cut)
  • tomato-1 (cut)
For the muthias or dumplings
  • methi (fenugreek)- 2 cups (fresh or frozen)
  • besan (gram flour)- 1 cup
  • red chilly powder-1/2 tsp
  • salt- to taste
  • water- to make a paste.
  • oil- to fry
For the stuffing
  • grated coconut- 2 cups
  • ginger and chilly paste- 2 tbsp
  • salt- 1/4th tsp
  • red chilly powder-1/4th tsp
  • jeera dhania powder (cumin and coriander powder)- 2 tsp
  • coriander leaves- 1 tbsp
  • lemon juice-2 tsp
  • sugar-1 tsp
other condiments
  • tej patta(bay leaves)-2
  • whole red chilly- 2
  • whole jeera (cumin seeds)-1/2 tsp
  • garam masala or undhiyo masala- 1 tsp

You will have to
For the muthias
  1. mix the meethi, besan and the spices in a bowl. add water little by little to make a paste. the consistency should be like pakodas consistency. It should not be runny, nor should it be too thick.
  2. Heat the oil. Once the oil has heated through, drop the dumplings into the hot oil and fry till golden brown.
  3. take them out and keep on a paper towel.

the stuffing

  1. mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
the vegetables.
  1. place all the cut vegetables in a nice big bowl.
  2. add the stuffing spice mixture, and mix everything up. Make sure the veggies are well coated with the masala. keel aside.
To make the actual dish
  1. heat a tablespoon of the oil in which the muthias were fried.
  2. add the tej pata and the whole red chilly.
  3. add the jeera and the hing.
  4. once the jeera begins to splutter, add the entire bowl of the veggies (coated with the masala), to the oil.
  5. add some water to the veggie bowl, and swirl it around so that all the extra masala dissolves in the water. add this water to the veggies.
  6. cover and cook on slow heat. this will take at least 10-15 minutes. keep checking.
  7. uncover add the tomatoes, and the undhiyo masala or the garam masala.
  8. Mix everything well. cook uncovered for a few minutes. You might have to add a little water here.
  9. Check if the veggies are cooked, adjust the seasoning.
  10. add little lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves.
  11. serve hot with puri, kadhi and pulao.
A few things: I use the frozen Undhio mix available at any indian grocery store here in the US.
I make fresh dumplings, and add extra peas, potatoes and baby eggplants.
The undhio masala is again available in the indian grocery stores.

I know I should have given a step by step pictorial demo, but alas it did not happen. may be next time.
happy eating

Monday, January 19, 2009


I feel extremely lazy on Sunday nights, wonder why? I don't feel like cooking and most of the times we have had our share of outside food, on Saturday's and sometimes that lingers on to sundays too. So we either end up having leftovers, sometimes just fruits or something that can be made in a snap. This sunday night was no different. The only difference being that I felt like having a bowl of soup.

I have to admit that though I made it both for my hubby and myself, but I ended up having it all and keeping some for the next day too. Reason: My husband doesn't like soups and that to with veggies!!!!!!lots of them. and I love them. I made this soup using maggi noodles and some tom yum soup paste I had picked up from the Vietnamese market.
A soup filled with lots of flavour and nutrition too.

here is how I made it.

You will need
  • maggi- 1/2 packet, or any other noodles.
  • kafir leaves-2
  • tomato (cut in chunks)-1
  • tom yum soup paste-1 tbsp (available in any thai, chinese or vietnamese store)
  • boiled corn-1/2 cup
  • tinned black bean-1/2 cup
  • onions (sliced)-1
  • green bell peppers (cut into pieces)-1/2
  • tomato sauce-1 tbsp
  • salt - to taste
  • oil-1/2
  • vegetable stock- 2-3 cups

You have to
  1. heat oil in a saucepan.
  2. add the sliced onions and saute. Add the kafir leaves (lime leaves). saute.
  3. add the chopped bell peppers and saute for around 2-3 minutes.
  4. Now add the tomatoes. cook everything for a few minutes.
  5. Add the boiled corn, the black beans along with the tom yum paste and salt. Mix everything well.
  6. add the maggi noodles along with the vegetable stock. cook till the noodles soften up. add the tomato sauce and check for seasoning.
  7. serve hot garnished with cilantro leaves.
If using any othe noodles, boil them prior to putting them in the soup.
enjoy this hearty bowl of soup any time of the day, evening or night.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Back in India, this was our all time favourite food. holiday brunches, evening snack, mom's quick fix to my friends hunger pangs.....

In kolkatta (my birthplace and where I grew up to taste some really yummy food), there was this place called FLURY'S (does that ring a bell to the calcuttans? that is if they are reading!!!!). A very English kind of a confectionery shop/restaurant, that had specials for brunches. And baked beans on toast was their all time famous breakfast item.

The baked beans that we get here in the grocery stores, is very different from the ones available in India. Here, its more thick (thanks to extra bit of corn syrup they must be adding) and sweet. When I started making this all time favourite dish at home I used the BUSH vegetarian variety, until one day my friend told me to use HEINZ. And that is what sent my taste buds down memory lanes. 

Well so here it is folks, a quick fix to satisfy a hungry stomach

You will need
  • Heinz baked beans- 1/2 can
  • chopped onions-1/2 cup
  • green chillies-1-2 chopped
  • coriander leaves-1 tbsp
  • grated mozzarella cheese-1 tbsp
  • red chilly flakes-1/2 tsp
  • salt and pepper- to taste
  • bread -2 -3 slices 
  • butter- to smear on the toast
  • olive oil-1/2 tsp
You have to
  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. smear the slices of bread with butter
  3. toast the bread in the pre heated oven till nice and crispy. do not over toast it.
  4. heat the oil in a pan. add the chopped onions
  5. add the baked beans. here you might need to add some water as the baked beans is very thick.
  6. add the seasonings, along with the green chillies. let everything cook for about five minutes.
  7. place the toasted slices on a plate.
  8. top them with the baked beans, sprinkle some chopped coriander
  9. And lastly add the cheese.
  10. serve with tomato ketchup.

note: You can get innovative and use any bread. I used baguette as that is what I had. You could use regular white, wheat, or any other variety too. 


Thursday, January 8, 2009


Soups are my favourite addition to winter menus,specially around this time of the year. There is nothing more comforting than a bowl of nice steaming hot soup on a cold winter day. That is not how my husband feels about soups. He is not a big fan of soups in general. He loves creamy cheesy soups. But I like soups, all types.
This recipe was made cause I had to finish up the veggies that were sitting in my refrigerator and I was craving something hot and spicy. Though my husband did not like it much (which I knew he won't, as it had no cheese or cream!!!),I enjoyed it.

Its a perfect low calorie soup, that can be made in a huge batch and frozen in smaller containers for future hunger pangs. It has it all, the carbs from the veggies, fiber, mineral and the protein from the egg.

enough intro, here goes the soup

You will need
  • olive oil-1 tbsp
  • onions (chopped)- 1/2 c
  • celery (chopped)- 1/4th cup
  • mushrooms (chopped)- 2-3
  • carrot (chopped)-1
  • beans (chopped)- 3-4
  • spinach (chopped)- 1 cup
  • corn-1/2 cup
  • cherry tomatoes- 4-5
  • garlic (crushed)- 2 pods
  • vegetable broth/water-2- 3 cups
  • oregano-1 tsp
  • red chilly flakes- 1/2 tsp
  • tomato sauce- 1 tbsp
  • sugar-1/2 tbsp
  • eggs (lightly beaten)-2
  • salt and pepper to taste.

You have to

  1. heat a pan, add the oil.
  2. now add the crushed garlic pods along with the onions. saute.
  3. add the celery. now add all the vegetables one by one.
  4. add salt, cover and cook. this will soften the vegetable
  5. add the vegetable broth, along with the herbs
  6. let everything come to a boil.add the tomato sauce.
  7. reduce heat and let it simmer for a while.
  8. adjust the seasoning.
  9. take the beatn egg and drop it into the soup, by keeping the bowl far away from the pan, so that the egg falls in a long stream.
  10. meanwhile using your other hand keep stirring the falling egg, this will give us the "egg drop" property of long white threads in the soup. heat well.
  11. serve with bread rolls, sandwich or pasta

check out some more soups

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


animated graphics

woow, the month of December passed by with a wink of an eye. I hardly realised till it was 31st midnight, that its actually 2009......and we are already a week into the new year. 

The last ten days was a mixed bag of fun, travelling, eating out, stress and lack of sleep.
Fun, because my husbands brother with his wife and cousin were over.
Travelling involved showing them around San Diego, driving up to LA to be with my brother and then VEGAS.
Off course with so much outings, one tends to eat out more often but mine was a separate case altogether and a pretty rare one. And sure thing, not to mention that it was perfect timing. Right at the time when my guests came over, I had power outage and guess what went off? MY COOKING RANGE...............How frustrating can that get, well that's were the stress came in. 
Tried making a few things in the microwave and then went over to a friends place to cook some food for a few days.
finally it got fixed after five days........god it was crazy.
With so much happening, there were constant late nights, getting up to get some breakfast onto the table and lots of planning.
But apart from all that it was all good.
So with all this happening around me my blog took a back seat and hence no blog posts from almost three weeks.  Well that is one of my new year resolutions, to get super regular with my blogging. 

That is how I entered the new years. But I am all charged up for the year 2009, with lots of resolutions to accomplish (lets see how many I accomplish), I am looking forward to see what is in store for this year.

Hope this year is safer for all of us making all of us more caring and compassionate towards people around us. We should all resolve to keep ourselves more healthier and happier. 
This is wishing all my readers, old and the new ones, a very HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Happy eatings to you and all your family members.

Its recipe time from my next post.
take care