Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Christmas Sugar Cookies



Deck the hall with boughs of holly,
Fa la la la la la la la la.
'Tis the season to be jolly,
Fa la la la la la la la la.

Merry Christmas everyone!! I'm sure everyone's in the holiday mood.

We @ ChocoChili want to apologize  for being MIA for quite some time. 

This is also the season to be forgiving so we know our readers would ignore the huge time gap in posts.. 

 
These sugar cookies are yummy and super easy to make. I made the cookies in chrismas colors.And yes what you see are orange cookies. I bought a food color which said red-orange. Clearly you can see there's no red in it. It was all Orange. ALL ORANGE!!!!

This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart's sugar cookie.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 100 gm butter(I used salted amul butter)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • food color as required
  • Sprinkles for decoration.(I used silver balls)\
Preparation
  • In a large bowl   whisk flour and baking powder.
  • Cream butter and sugar using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. 
  • Beat in egg and vanilla extract.
  •  
  • Put the mixer on low and slowly add the flour into the bowl till it is combined.
  • Divide the dough into two halves and add the required food color. Mix till the dough is become the required color.
  • Flatten the dough into disks and wrap it in cling film.
  • Freeze it till the dough is firm roughly around 20 mins. 
  • Preheat oven to 160 degree centigrade.
  • Line baking sheets with butter paper.
  • Remove one dough disk from the fridge  and let it stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Roll it out between two butter paper. 
  • Cut the dough into shapes using cookie cutter.
  • Decorate the cookie with sprinkles. 
  • Reroll the scrap dough and cut shapes. Repeat with all the remaining dough.
  • Bake it for 10-15 mins, rotating it halfway through. I was using a microwave in convection mode so I didn't need to rotate it.
  • The time required for the cookies vary from the size and thickness of the cookies. Mine took between 10-12 mins. Bake the cookies till the edges are golden brown.
 

These cookies are super easy to make and will make a really good Christmas gift. Wrap it up in see through paper and tie a ribbon. Voila!! You have your own homemade Christmas gifts. I used them as return gifts for my Christmas lunch.

Note: To make an egg-less version of these cookies mix 1Tbsp of flax-seed powder with 3 Tbsp of water in a bowl. Keep it for 5 min. Beat it with a fork and add it to the mixture.

I have made the cookies with and without egg and it tastes the same.


Friday, 6 June 2014

Mango Panna Cotta

Its raining Mangoes. How we love love Mangoes!! I have been wanting to make Panna Cotta for a very long time. 

Panna Cotta is an Italian dessert made by cooking cream, milk and sugar, adding gelatin and then cooling it down. It is an easy dessert to make and tastes yummy.


In this version of Panna Cotta, instead of gelatin, I have used agar agar. 

Ingredients:
  • Ripe mangoes - 2 
  • Cream - 200 ml 
  • Milk - 250 ml
  • Chopped Agar Agar strands - 4 tsp. 
  • Warm water - 3/4 cup
  • Sugar - 125 gm 
  • Vanilla Extract - 1/2 tsp. 
Preparation:
  • Soak the agar agar strands in warm water for 10 mins.
  • In the mean time, peel and chop the mangoes. Put it in a blender and make puree otherwise called as coulis.
  • Add cream, milk and sugar in a deep bottom pan and cook it on stove top on low flame. Whisk it in frequent intervals till it comes to a gentle boil. Make sure that the sugar has dissolved completely.
  • Simultaneously, cook the agar agar and water solution on low flame till all the strands have dissolved completely.  Keep stirring it continuously.
  • Once the agar agar strands have dissolved and the milk+cream+sugar has come to a gentle boil, pour the agar mixture into the milk mixture and stir it very well with a whisk.
  • Cool the panna cotta mixture down for about 5 minutes. Whisk in the mango coulis into the panna cotta mixture.
  • Pour the panna cotta mixture into greased serving bowls. Cover it with cling film or foil and let it cool down till it becomes warm. 
  • Place the bowls in the fridge and refrigerate for 4 to 5 hours till it is set.
  • While serving it, top it with some chopped mangoes bits or even praline. 

I forgot to grease my bowls so I couldn't take it out the bowls. The panna cotta was set firm and what I loved was that it was not too sweet. 

If you are having a dinner party, then this dessert can be made a day earlier so that you are not bogged out on that day cooking the main course as well as the dessert. 


Monday, 17 February 2014

Red Velvet Chocolate Brownies

I hope you all had a good Valentine's day and was spoiled crazy by your loved one. Valentine's day might be over but here in Choco Chilli, it doesn't stop us from making delicious desserts. 


Go ahead and try this delicious Red Velvet & Chocolate Brownie.

Ingredients:
  • Butter - 115 gms.
  • Egg - 1 large
  • All purpose Flour - 3/4 cup 
  • Cocoa Powder - 1/4 cup 
  • Vanilla essence - 1 tbsp
  • Brown / White sugar - 1 cup 
  • Red food coloring - 1.5 bottles (1 bottle is 28ml)
  • Salt - a pinch
  • Dark chocolate - 200 gms 
Preparation:
  • Preheat oven to 180 degree centigrade. 
  • Melt the butter by keeping it out or in a microwave for a minute.
  • Add sugar to the butter and whisk using a hand blender.
  • Add egg and vanilla essence and blend till smooth.
  • Add cocoa powder and mix it well.
  • Next add the red food coloring. You might think the amount of color is too much but trust me, if you want the brownie to look red post baking,that much color is required. Otherwise it would look like a regular chocolate brownie.
  • Now add the flour and a pinch of salt. Mix it till it combines. Do not over whisk it.
  • Pour the mixture into a prepared 8 inch square baking pan or a mould of similar size. I used my heart shaped one.
  • Take the dark chocolate and chop it into small pieces. Melt it on oven top or in a microwave till it is of pouring consistency.
  • Pour the chocolate over the brownie mix and swirl it to give it a marble design. I went overboard on the chocolate and had quite a bit. I just poured it over like an icing as seen in the pic above
  • Bake it for 30-35 minutes. 


To serve:

Cool the brownie down and if possible have it the next day after keeping it in the refrigerator. Trust me it was totally worth it. I had to fight the brownie monster (PR) at home and store it. 

The brownie monster thanked me immensely for giving it to him the next day as he really enjoyed it. Have the brownie on its own or go wild and have it with a scoop of favorite ice-cream. 

Make your own variation by adding some nuts or even using white chocolate.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Paneer Kofta

Kofta is the Asian/Middle Eastern version of meatball. In India we make a vegetarian version of it and mostly out of potato and cottage cheese. 


Paneer Kofta

Ingredients:


  • 200gms Paneer/Cottage cheese crumbled
  • 2 medium size potato boiled and mashed
  • 1 small cauliflower grated
  • 1 large Onion
  • 2 large Tomatoes
  • 2-3 tsp Gram flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 green chili (1 chopped and the other slit)
  • 1/4 tsp Ajwain/Carom seeds
  • 1/3 tsp Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic
  • Coriander leaves chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying

Preparation:

  • Mix potato, cauliflower and paneer thoroughly
  • Add ajwain, pepper, chopped green chili and coriander leaves to the above mixture
  • Add gram flour and make it into a soft dough. Make lime sized balls.
  • Heat oil for deep frying. Add the balls in the oil and fry it on low flame.
  • Once the paneer koftas have become brown, use a slotted spoon and remove them from oil.
  • Put the chopped onion, tomatoes, ginger and garlic into a mixie and grind them to a paste
  • Heat 2Tbsp of oil in a wok and add cumin seeds. 
  • Once they sputter, add the onion-tomato paste, slit green chili, coriander powder and turmeric powder.
  • Cook it on low flame till the oil separates.
  • Add koftas and milk into the pan. Boil for 3-4 minutes
  • Garnish with coriander leaves

Serve this paneer kofta with roti or parathas.

This is a guest post by Anshu Dhamija who likes to try out new dishes in her spare time.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Paneer(Cottage Cheese) in Oyster Sauce

I initially intended to make this dish with Mushrooms. I opened up the box and ironically the fungi had fungus growing on it. 


Luckily I had a packet of cottage cheese in the fridge and quickly replaced the fungus growing mushrooms.  Disaster averted. Huge sigh of relief!!!





Ingredients
  • Paneer(cottage cheese) cut in cubes 250 gm
  • 2 large onions diced
  • 1 large Capsicum(Bell Pepper) diced
  • 1 tsp julienne ginger
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Preparation
  • Heat oil in a non stick pan.
  • Add the ginger and garlic. Fry till the raw smell goes and slightly browned.
  • Next add the onions and fry till they are golden brown. Add some salt to speed up the process.
  • Once the onions caramelize, add the capsicum. Fry for 5 minutes. 
  • Next add the oyster sauce, soya sauce, salt and pepper. Mix it well with onion and capsicum.
  • Add the cottage cheese and mix it well. Be careful while stirring not to crumble the paneer. 
  • Fry for another minute and remove from fire. Garnish with some spring onions.
Serve with fried rice, noodles or rotis. This can be used as a sandwich filling or even as a starter. 

Note: If you want to make with mushrooms. Add them after adding capsicum and fry for a couple of minutes till they are cooked. Then add the sauces and fry for a minute. 

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Farfalle with Bacon & Sausage

Farfalle is just a fancy aka Italian name for butterfly or bow tie pasta. I love the shape of this pasta and it gives the whole dish a character




Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Farfalle Pasta
  • 3 strips of Bacon
  • 4 Chicken Sausages, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 3-4 Tbsp sliced green olives
  • 2tsp oil
For the white sauce
  • White Sauce Recipe here.
  • 1/4 cup cheese (Add more as per to how cheesy you want)
  • Italian seasoning: Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary, Basil - 1/4 tsp each
Preparation


For the Pasta
  • Cook the Farfalle pasta to al dente.
  • In the mean time, cut the bacon into small bits. Add 1 tsp oil into a non stick pan, add the bacon and fry them till they are crispy. Remove and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, cook the chopped sausage using the fat released from bacon.Once they are cooked put them in a bowl
  • Add 1tsp of oil, fry the chopped garlic till the raw smell goes. Add the onions and cook they turn golden brown.
For the White sauce
  • Please follow the recipe given here.
  • To the sauce add the Italian seasoning and cheese.
To Serve:
  • Place the pasta in a bowl
  • Add the onion, bacon,sausages and olives into the bowl. Toss them all around like a salad.
  • Pour the white sauce and mix it well with pasta.
Serve it with garlic bread or have it on its own. 

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Onion Rings

Onion Rings are the bomb!! I mean they are just delicious!


Its a pity that most of the restaurants in India don't sell it. I remember the first time I had them. I was around 7yrs old and had it from KFC in Dubai. I had never heard of Onion rings before that and in the first bite itself I knew I was going to have a life long bond with this dish. 

I always thought it must be difficult to make these and you need some special equipment and ingredients like beer to make them. I finally decided to venture out and found this recipe online. They claimed it would taste like the ones in the restaurants. I was skeptical but I decided to give it a shot and they were so right, in fact it was better than the ones you get in some of the restaurants. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • salt to season
  • Oil to deep fry

Preparation:

  • Cut the onions into concentric circles of 1/4 inch and separate them.
  • In the mean time, heat oil in a pan used for deep frying.
  • In a bowl which has a lid, add the flour,baking powder and salt. Close the bowl with the lid and give it a good shake for the ingredients to mix.
  • Add the onion rings into the bowl, close it and give it a good shake for the onion to get coated with the flour. 
  • In another bowl, whisk the egg and milk.
  • Dip the onion rings in the egg mixture and dump into the bread crumb till it gets covered in it.
  • Add the onion rings into the oil and cook on each sides for 1 to 2 mins till they reach a nice golden brown. 
  • Place it on a paper towel to remove excess oil and sprinkle some salt.
  • Serve with tomato ketchup.