Posts filed under ‘almond’

Kickstarting the festivities with Scandinavian Rosettes and Timbales!

Airy, delicate, melt in your mouth- these deep fried Scandinavian Rosettes and Timbales are a delight to make and eat! Christmas is just around the corner and what better way to kickstart the festivities than these gorgeous, intricately designed cookies & pastry shells which are traditionally made during Christmas!

Rosettes 1

I have been hoarding these special Rosette and Timbale irons/moulds for many many years now. I found them in a hole-in-the –wall shop in Tulshibaugh, Pune (of all the places). I just bought them on a whim, not knowing what they were used for. They made it to my ‘To be used immediately’ list when I found them during one of my recent cleaning sprees.

For the basic pastry,most of the recipes online use the same proportion of Flour,egg and Milk more or less and the batter can be whisked together quickly. I added an extra tablespoon of sugar for the sweet lovers in my house (except me) and a pinch of baking powder (I may skip this next time).

Rosette cookies 1

Moulding and deep frying the cookies is a bit tricky and needs some  practice as well as patience, if you are a novice. The iron is heated at a high temperature in hot oil, then dipped in the batter so that the batter sticks to it and then re-immersed in the hot oil to create a crisp pastry layer around the iron which can then be taken off with the help of a fork. Just reading this might seem intimidating, but it was easier once I got a hang of it. The Timbales were trickier to take off the iron and to ensure they were fried evenly..

The fried cookies and pastry shells are dusted with Icing sugar to make them sweeter as well as to give them a festive look.

Rosette cookies 2

Achapam, the traditional cookies from Kerala are on my list next. They are very similar to the Rosettes but are made using Rice flour.

The Timbales were served filled with fresh fruits. You may also fill them with custard.

Indulge in this pretty deep fried goodness this festive season, here’s how I made them:

Scandinavian Rosettes and Timbales 

Servings: I made around 15 Rosettes and 10 assorted Timbales

Ingredients

1 Cup Flour

1 Cup Milk

2 eggs

2 tbsp sugar

¼ tsp baking powder (optional)

½ tsp Vanilla or Almond Extract

Large pinch salt

Any Flavorless oil for deep frying (I used Sunflower)

Icing sugar for dusting

Method

Heat oil in a pan deep enough to fry the cookies.

In a mixing bowl sift the flour. Add the milk, eggs, sugar, extract, salt and Baking powder. Whisk together till all the lumps disappear. (Do not over mix)

Carefully dip the iron in the hot oil for 2-3 minutes. Drain the oil and immediately immerse the iron in the batter just upto the top egde for a few seconds. (You will hear a sizzling sound if the iron is hot enough, once you dip it in the batter) If the batter is over the top, it will be difficult to remove the cookies.

Immerse the iron back in the oil and fry  on medium heat, till the cookies are light brown (evenly) in colour. Use a fork to gently push them out of the mould.

Use a slotted spoon to fishout, if the cookies fall off in the hot oil.

Drain them on a paper towel and dust with Icing sugar.

Note: Rosettes as well as the Timbales are best eaten within 1-2 days or being made. To store, keep them layered between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container preferably in a cooler part of the house.

December 1, 2015 at 9:23 pm 3 comments

Modur Pulav for Regional Indian Home cooking series#1- a guest post by Anshie of Spice Roots

We are celebrating Nine years of Homestyle cooking at My Foodcourt! I have always been fascinated by the variety of the regional delicacies cooked in Indian homes. When I started blogging, we had a few events like the RCI that showcased regional cooking and which also introduced me to the different delicacies cooked in Indian homes. Instead of hosting an event, I thought of  inviting my blogger friends from all over India and the world to share their classic, homestyle recipes.

Narli Bhaat 054

I haven’t been fortunate enough to experience much of Kashmiri homestyle cooking, so I thought of kick-starting this series on Regional Indian Home cooking, with the heavenly Kashmiri cuisine. When I thought of picturesque Kashmir and its rich cuisine, I thought of my gorgeous friend, Anshie who blogs at Spice roots -where she writes about made from scratch recipes, immersed in spices and stories in order to help making eating home cooked food a lifestyle. I have been eyeing some of her recipes like Monji Hakh or the Monji Achar and plan to make them soon! Anshie was kind enough to accept my invitation instantly and brings to you a celebratory dish Modur Pulav from her homeland.Thank you Anshie for your lovely post, the fabulous recipe and the gorgeous photos.

Dear Readers, Please welcome  Anshie and I hope you all enjoy discovering India’s culinary diversity through this series on Regional Indian Home cooking.

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Hi I am Ansh and I blog at Spiceroots. I write about made from scratch recipes, immersed in spices and stories in order to help making eating home cooked food a lifestyle. I hope to inspire a love for spices & home cooking and through my blog I try to stay connected to my roots.

Madhuli invited me over to be a guest at her cozy, beautiful blog space to celebrate Regional Indian Home cooking. She requested that I make a home style Kashmiri dish to introduce to you all. Since she is celebrating completing NINE years of food blogging, I decided to make a special dish from my home – Modur Pulav or the Sweet Pulav.

Modur Pulav-2

In Kashmir, Modur Pulav is how a feast begins. It is served as the first dish in any celebratory meal. Infused with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and bayleaves, flavored with aromatic saffron; cooked in ghee and sugar and bejeweled with dried fruits and nuts and a heavy dash of peppercorns. The dish looks, feels and tastes celebratory! A little goes a long way, since it is really sweet and  since it’s not a main dish.

I wanted this dish to hit all the right notes and though I have cooked the Modur Pulav a few times, I always thought it didn’t taste like my mom’s. So I looked up Anita’s Blog, A Mad Tea Party and found the missing ingredient from my dish. I was cooking it all along without the dried coconut.  Once I found the missing link, I made it again and voila! So don’t skimp on the dried fruits and nuts. They are essential to the dish.

Modur Pulav-6

What better way to celebrate a friend and her accomplishments than share a treasured recipe from the place I celebrate everyday. I am glad to have connected with Madhuli through social media and her blog. Her love for food is showcased through her pictures and recipes. Thank you for having me over to share your space, Madhuli.

Modur Pulav Recipe:

Equipment – A Medium size pot with a tight fitting lid

Ingredients

2 c basmati rice

6 c water

1/3c Ghee

4 green cardamoms

½ Stick of cinnamon

4 cloves

½ C almonds

1/4 C sliced dried coconut

½ C raisins

4- 6 sliced dates

2 tej patta ( Indian bay leaf)

1 tsp peppercorns

2 C sugar

a big pinch of saffron

a pinch of sugar

3/4 C warm milk

Instructions

Wash the rice until the water runs clear. Drain and keep aside for a few minutes.

While the rice is resting, bring 6 cups of water to a rolling boil in a 5- 6 Qt pot.

Meanwhile, grind the saffron with the pinch of sugar and then add it to the warm milk.

Add in the rice into the boiling water and cook it to al dente (about 5 – 7 minutes)  like you would for a biryani.

Drain and keep the rice aside.

Heat the ghee and add in the cloves,  peppercorns, cardamom, bay leaves and cinnamon. Saute for a bit and then add in the nuts , dates and raisins. Add in the sugar and then add in the milk with the saffron. Cook until the sugar dissolves and you have a milky sugar syrup.

Using the same 6 qt pot as before, add the rice back into it. Now add the sugar syrup and nut mix into the rice. Stir to combine.

Cover and cook on low heat for 45 min to an hour. Alternately you can bake it in the oven at 350*F for 20 – 25 minutes.

Modur Pulav-8

September 17, 2015 at 1:11 pm 1 comment

Kesar Phirni

I am not a great fan of sweets, specially the Indian sweets, most of which are way too sweet for my taste. My Husband on the other hand loves sweets .He recently had Kesar Phirni and was raving about it. The little girl shares daddy’s sweet love.

Phirni has been on my to-do list for ages. I found a recipe for ‘Strawberry Phirni’ in Sanjeev Kapoor’s cute booklet ‘Sunday Specials’ . I did not have strawberries at home and so I chose the royal ‘Kesar/Saffrom’ for flavor.

The recipe is very easy and quick (except for the refrigeration time). The only change I would like to make next time is either use a little more rice or use some evaporated milk (milkmaid) while cooking the Phirni. After 5-6 hours of refrigeration the Phirni was still on the ‘runny’ side. I was expecting a pudding like thicker consistency. The taste was fabulous all the same.

I would recommend making it previous night chill and have it next day. Tastes much better.

Here’s the recipe for Kesar Phirni (original recipe: Strawberry Phirni by Sanjeev Kapoor in Sunday Specials )

Ingredients

4 Tablespoons Rice (I used Basmati)

1 Litre milk

¾ cup Sugar

6-8 Almonds (I used readymade Almond flakes)

8-10 Pistachios

Few strands of Kesar/ Saffron

Method

Clean wash and soak the rice in sufficient water for ½ hour.

Drain and grind the rice to a coarse paste. Add ½ cup water to the paste.

Soak Pistachios (and almonds too if using whole) in hot water for 5 mins ; drain, peel and slice finely.

Warm the Kesar/Saffron strands and lightly crush in a small mortar-pestle.

Heat the milk and bring it to a boil.

Stir in the rice paste, lower the heat and cook for 5-6 minutes until the milk thickens, stirring continuously.

Add the sugar and saffron and continue to cook till the sugar dissolves.

Remove from heat, cool to room temperature.

Pour the mixture into earthenware/ ceramic bowls.

Garnish with Pistachios, Almonds, few strands of Kesar.

Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours and serve.

April 6, 2012 at 4:39 pm 11 comments

Macadamia Marmalade cake

I have been guarding my prized stash of Macadamia nuts for almost a year now. I found these delicate creamy nuts in Sugarland last year when Indira took me on a foodie tour at the Whole foods market. I had bookmarked several recipes using Macadamia nuts to be tried. Somehow I never got around trying any of those and the nuts continued to lurk around in my freezer.

I hardly make resolutions, but this year I have resolved to use up all the ‘treasured ingredients’ I have been collecting from my various trips to different places; now it was the turn of the Macadamia nuts. The blog has been starving for quite some time now and needed some food. Life has been a roller coaster for the past few months and to add to that a few health concerns, sick little ones and the last straw –my old haggard camera dying on me! I have been handicapped photographically for the past 2 months and have resorted to ‘phonography’ for the time being. So please pardon the pictures in this post- they have been taken from my cellphone!

I have been toying with the idea of investing in a good DSLR camera for some time now (read 2 years) . Left with little choice now the DSLR has been ordered and will be with me in a couple of days! You know what they say-Every dark cloud has a silver lining!

I also thought a baking partner would be fun and a great motivation to return and feed the blog. Who better than my friend and a fabulous food blogger Aparna to bake together? Aparna too was game for it.A few messages later we were set to make this delectable ‘Macadamia Marmalade cake’. Apart from our fascination for Macadamia nuts the tangy Marmalade also attracted both of us to this recipe. We gave ourselves time till today to bake the cake and so I had to post it even if it meant taking pictures with my cell phone 🙂

I made this cake when we were visiting our friends for a casual weekend dinner at their place last night. The cake was light and has a fabulous crumb. The zesty marmalade added a lovely citrusy tang to the mildly sweet cake and the creamy ,delicately flavored nuts the required crunch.

I served the cake with vanilla ice-cream for dessert but you can have it as it is for a tea time snack.

Here’s the recipe for the Macadamia Marmalade cake:

Ingredients

• 2/3 cup self-raising flour
• 1/2 cup semolina
• 1/2 cup ground almonds
• 180g butter  (I used Amul)
• 1 cup caster sugar
• 1/2 cup buttermilk  (I substituted with ½ cup milk and 1 tsp vinegar)
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup marmalade (I used orange)
• 100g macadamias, chopped

Method

Grease a 17cm x 27cm x 4cm  tin(I used 17 x27x3 cm)) Line base and sides with baking paper. Preheat the oven to moderate, 180ºC.

Sift flour into a large bowl.

Add the semolina and ground almonds. Make a well in the centre.

Melt butter and sugar in a bowl in the microwave or on the stovetop in a pan. The sugar does not need to dissolve completely. Cool slightly. Pour mixture into the well.

Add the buttermilk and eggs. Stir to combine.

Pour mixture into the prepared tin.

Heat the marmalade in a bowl in the microwave or on the stovetop in a pan until warm and slightly runny.

Stir in the macadamias.

Spoon marmalade mixture over the surface of the cake. If the marmalade is too hot, it will sink into the cake mixture.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden on top and a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre.(Mine took 45 minutes)

Leave cake in the tin to cool.

This cake will keep for up to two weeks stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Mine already got over! 🙂

See Aparna’s eggless version of the cake here

 

February 19, 2012 at 5:00 pm 13 comments

Am Back….with a Peach and Almond Cake

It’s been ages since My Foodcourt saw any activity.  Here’s a long post to make up for the absence.

Firstly, Thank you all for your lovely wishes .The little one has settled in perfectly- just like the last piece of our little jig-saw puzzle. It’s a pleasure watching her grow day by day along with her hero- her dada (elder brother).

As you can guess life after the little one has been an exciting roller coaster ride; had not imagined life with 2 very active kids + a full time job would be soooo hectic.

I have been surfing through some of my favourite blogs, have been tweeting sporadically too, but could not find any time to take pictures of the food that I have been dishing out or to blog about it.

From Rainbow cakes for the 6 year old’s birthday to a Peach and Almond cake (recipe follows) for A’s birthday, I have been quite adventurous in the kitchen. But the chaotic schedules did not permit any photography or posts.

2011 also brought a few Foodie adventures for me. In February this year, I visited Sugarland, Houston on a work trip. There I got a chance to meet the Fabulous Indira, of Mahanandi. Indira has been one of my earliest food-blog friends and in ways a trigger for me to start blogging. So it was just like a dream come true for me to meet her and that too my first time meeting any food blogger. We went for a small shopping spree at the Whole foods market in Sugarland, buying foodie things from Macademia nuts to Bamboo steamer to mini ramekins or just chatting over some fabulous Indira- recommended cheese and desserts (tasted the Tres Leches cake for the first time) and coffee.

Another work trip in April took me to Singapore where I met the gorgeous S from Served with love. I had recently discovered her blog. A few tweets and mails to and fro and we met one evening to discover some fabulous foodie things at ‘Cut the Mustard’; the most prized being a lovely bottle of dried Lavender. I also found my way to a tiny little shop (recommended by S) called ‘Bake it yourself’- a paradise for bakers.

Currently I am armed with lots of foodie ingredients and weapons, collected from different continents and hope I find time in my frenzied schedule to blog about recipes using them. July -August bring some blogging inspiration to me (My Foodcourt was started 5 yrs ago in August) and I am hoping they will also bring back my blogging mojo. Fingers crossed.

Here’s a recipe for a simple yet decadent Peach and Almond cake which I made for A’s birthday.

The recipe is from a Book called BAKING-Simple cookery series. I have tweaked the original recipe to accommodate the available ingredients. The original recipe uses Apricots, but I had a can of Peach halves, which was waiting to be used up and so I used peaches instead of Apricots. I also added some in-season fresh cherries to add that extra zing.  Also, I used some Tutti- Frutti instead of chopped dried apricot as recommended in the recipe.

Peach and Almond Cake recipe:

Ingredients:

2 tbsp Demerara Sugar

25g flaked almonds

400 g can peach halves drained (original recipe lists apricots)

225 g butter (I used Amul butter)

225 g caster sugar

4 medium eggs

200 g self-raising flours

25 g ground almonds

½ tsp almond essence

50 g Tutti-Frutti (original recipe lists chopped dried apricots)

3 tbsp clear honey

3 tbsp roughly chopped almonds, toasted (I used almond flakes)

~1/2 cup pitted halved cherries (not listed in the original recipe)

Method:

Preheat oven to 180oC.

Line a 8 inch square pan with parchment paper or grease with baking spray (am armed now with both these baking must havesJ).

Sprinkle sugar and flaked almonds uniformly in the pan. Then arrange the peach halves, cut side down.

Arrange the cherries in between the peach halves.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl till light and fluffy.

Gradually beat the eggs into the butter mixture, adding a spoonful of flour after each addition of egg.

When all the eggs have been added, stir in the remaining flour and ground almonds and mix properly.

Add the almond essence and Tutti Frutti and stir well.

Spoon the mixture into the pan taking care not to dislodge the peaches.

Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour, or until golden and firm to touch (it took about ~ 55 mins for me)

Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly for ~ 15-20 mins.

Turn out carefully, discard the lining paper and transfer to a serving dish.

Pour the honey on top of the cake, sprinkle the toasted almond flakes and serve.

July 18, 2011 at 10:08 am 8 comments

Almond Powder

Saturday mornings are special for us. It’s the only time we get to be  together, without having to rush for work/school. Though it is my day off, ‘getting up late or sleeping in’ luxury is not for me. The son ensures that. He loves to sleep in on weekdays, when we have to rush for school/work but on a Saturday he is up and shining at 6. Last Saturday was also the same and he insisted to go on a morning walk! He is mighty impressed by some superhero on TV and believes this is the only way to build up muscles!

I had planned Dosas for our post walk brunch but was not in the mood for elaborate chutney or Sambar to go with it. Wanted something quick and simple. I saw this recipe for Almond powder a few days ago at Talimpu. I had a pack of almonds which was threatening to get rancid and waiting to be used up! The recipe itself looked quick and simple and used all the day –to-day ingredients.

We enjoyed the delicate, nutty flavour of the lightly spiced powder on the hot dosa; a good variation from the usual Chutney powder. Thanks Raji for this lovely idea

I tweaked the original recipe to suit our taste. I did not use the recommended oil at all and added a pinch of jaggery powder while grinding.

Here’s the recipe:

~18-20 Almonds

4 Red chillies

½ tsp Cumene seeds

1” piece of tamarind

Salt to taste

Pinch of jaggery powder

(You can change the proportions to suit your taste)

Dry roast Almonds till you get a nutty aroma.

Similarly dry roast the Chillies and cumene seeds.

Add the other ingredients and grind together to a fine powder.

Sprinkle this on hot dosa (on the dosa tava itself) and top with Ghee/clarified butter if you like.

 Since I have used ‘Almonds waiting to be used up’ in this recipe the Almond Powder travels all the way to St.Louis for Blog Bites#4

June 22, 2010 at 12:39 pm 18 comments

Stone Fruit Tarts

Apricots, Peaches, Cherries, Mangoes, lychees; its the season for all these wonderful fruits. Usually, I enjoy my fruits in their natural form, as it is; with cooking or baking.A batch of peaches I bought some time back was very sour and was just lurking around in the fridge. I was thinking of ways to use-up the fruits when I saw Deeba’s post about these gorgeous tarts. The fate of my sour peaches was sealed; they along with a handful of cherries and apricots were baked to make these delectable tarts.

The other thing which attracted me to the recipe was the use of Buckwheat flour for the crust. Buckwheat Flour had been on my wishlist for quite some time. I happened to mention this in one of my comments on Deeba’s blog and Viola! my wish was granted! A few days later I received 2 packets of Buckwheat flour all the way from Gurgoan from this gorgeous girl! Thanks a lot Deeba for the BW flour and for all the inspiring recipes!

 Here’s the recipe for the Stone fruit tarts 

Original recipe on PAB here

For the crust

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled (I used salted butter and skipped the addition of sea salt)
1/2 cup vanilla sugar
1/4 tsp pure almond extract
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp fine sea salt (skip if using salted butter)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
2 tbsps finely ground unblanched almonds

For the filling
200ml low fat cream (I used Amul Fresh Cream)
1 large egg lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tbsps vanilla sugar
1 1/2 tbsps cornflour
2 tbsps almond meal                                                                                                                500 gms fresh stone fruit, apricots & peaches, pitted and sliced                                                                                                                                         Fresh pitted cherries
Confectioners’ sugar

Method:

For the crust:

Preheat the oven to 180oC.

Grease 4 6” tart pans.

Mix together the melted butter and sugar and blend well.

Add the extracts and the flours. Mix well to form a soft cookie like dough.

Divide it into 4 dough balls.

Evenly press each dough ball along the bottom and sides of the tart pan.

Place the pans in the oven and bake until the dough is slightly puffy and set~ 15 minutes.

Sprinkle the ground almonds over the bottom of the crust.

For the Filling:

Whisk together the Fresh cream, egg, extracts and sugar in a bowl.

Whisk in the Cornflour and almond meal.

Carefully pour the filling on the baked pastry crusts.

Arrange the sliced fruits and cherries on top.

Bake until the filling is firm and the pastry is a deep golden brown ~55 to 60 minutes.

Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

Cool the tarts

Just before serving, sprinkle again with confectioners’ sugar.

. 

Since I have used fruits lurking in my fridge and have followed a recipe from one of my favourite blogs, these Stone fruit tarts are heading over to Nupur’s blog for Blog Bites 4

June 17, 2010 at 10:12 am 22 comments


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