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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Flowers are Forever-1

The Yellow Whopper Asiatic lily has finally bloomed!!! It has made me wait for almost a week but I can say it was worth the wait :)

Nigella's Baci Di Ricotta

I don't know what it is with the English weather. One has always heard about its unpredictability but could have never guessed the extent of it unless one sees it! 30 degrees on Sunday and Monday and then suddenly on Tuesday it started raining cats and dogs. And I simply didn't feel like cooking. Normally we'd have Khichuri (savoury rice porridge) and Deem Bhaja (Spicy Omlettes) on a day like this but Little T hates anything to do with rice. I hate anything to do with Khichuri unless it's served with Labra (Bengali style mixed vegetable curry) on Saraswati Puja. And DH hates anything to do with vegetables! Yeah we are a family of weirdos and we are very fussy and particular about what we eat. So i tried my ''tired after doing a day's of housework'' formula and it worked! DH agreed to cook dinner - Calcutta Roadside Chowmein. I had 2 hours to spare till DH came biking back home after work. Yeah I know what you are thinking about me but I simply couldn't be bothered with cooking last night. It's one of those days...some of you will know what I mean :)

So I had some spare time, an old Ricotta tub in the fridge and this amazing recipe that I stumbled across long ago on Nigella's website and again not so long ago on Ananda's blog . So I decided to make these and serve them with a hot cup of cappuccino after my dear hubby came home in order to coax him again to cook dinner. But surprisingly he didn't need coaxing at all and he didn't wait for the coffee either. These tiny little ''Kisses'' disappeared before I could even take some decent photos. Little T loved them and this was her dinner along with some boiled Noodles! Nigella asks to serve them dusted with Icing Sugar and Ananda suggests Ricotta Mousse or melted chocolate.but since I made some quick Chocolate mousse to go with them. Kisses smeared in Chocolate...well you can imagine what they are like :)

Baci Di Ricotta

Ingredients : 

200 gm Ricotta
2 Eggs
75 gm plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (or more as per your taste)
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
A pinch of salt
The original recipe asks for Vegetable Oil for frying but I used Sunflower Oil
2 tbsp of Dusting Sugar/Icing Sugar for dusting (or more if you can risk it)

Method : 

Take Ricotta in a deep bowl. Beat 2 eggs separately(I always beat the eggs separately in case one or two turns out dodgy) and add them to the ricotta. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, sugar and vanilla extract and whisk eat mixture into a smooth batter. Put oil in a wide shallow pan (a teaspoonful of blob can deep fry) and heat until a tiny blob of batter sizzles when dropped in it. Take a deep rounded teaspoon and add a few drops of batter to the hot oil. Add only 4-5 blobs at a time as they fluff up. Drop them vertically to make round shapes. (I used a second teaspoon to push down the blob from the first teaspoon). The flame should be on medium otherwise the other surface with change colour quickly and the inside will remain uncooked. Taste one from the first batch to ensure thorough cooking. Cook for a minute or two on both the sides and colour them evenly. Take them out and keep them on a kitchen towel to soak out excess oil. Serve it in a pyramid on yor favourite dessert plate. I didn't get a chance to do so myself as they disappeared within minutes :). 

Recipe for Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients : 

1/2 cup Double Cream
100 gm Chocolate -try any...I used a large chocolate egg :)
Mint Leaves

Method : 

Melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave. Alternatively melt the chocolate in a bowl kept on a pan of boiling water. Add the cream and mix. Now whip the mixture with a hand held electric mixer until soft peaks rise. Chill and garnish with a sprig of mint leaves. I used mine fresh out of my garden :)

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Mango Ice-cream

I'm too lazy and tired to write anything today. I had an Indian sweet order to finish yesterday and have been out for the whole day today. But I promised the recipe for Mango Ice-cream and here it is! 

Mango is not my favourite thing in this you'll probably never find a mango in my kitchen even in the season. But I simply love the East End Mango Pulp cans available at the Asian grocery stores or even in Tesco now a days! And that's what you'll need for this recipe along with a tub of Double Cream...yeah it's really that simple! :)


A tub of Double Cream
A can of mango pulp (available in tesco at the world food isle)


Whisk the cream in an Ice Cream tub with a hand held electric whisk till soft peaks rise. Add the pulp slowly half tin at first. Whiz with the whisk to mix well. Gradually add more according to your taste. Put it in the freezer for atleast 8 hours. Take out about 10 mins before
serving. Serve with chopped mangoes or pulp

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Almond Cupcakes with Mango Jam centre

 Everyday should be a father's day..don't you think? Ummmmm NO! Being a mother that's the answer that comes in my mind. Thoughts of sleepless nights, endless nappy changes and screaming babiesrush inside the mind!! While us moms go through all the above mentioned hellish tortures the Daddies enjoy a nice easy-peasy life with occasional helping with washing ups and a few feeds here and there. They get all the glamorous jobs like taking the child to the park and showing off the child while gorgeous busty women go ''aa-oo, he's so cute, she's so pretty' all over them!  And the moms look like a homeless tramp in a pair of baggy shirt which has been puked and pooed on! So you can't blame the mom if she becomes evil and smiles inwardly , thinking, 'wait for the baby to grow up, and he/she will be all mine. He/she will worship me treating ME like some kind of a lady Superhero, albeit hot (in my mind I'm always Jessica Alba type mom)'! That will be my revenge....

Reality comes crashing down upon us fantasising mommies when we see the kids worshipping their Daddies instead, thinking Them to be some kind of Superheroes who can ''Mend'' everything like the Handymanny or save the world like ''Fireman Sam'' or even fly like ''Superman''....and that's when we realise that we were the same when we were small. I have always been my বাবার সোনা মেয়ে  (Daddy's girl) and I still am...and having my Father-in-Law love me like his own little daughter is the cherry on top!  So wouldn't it be unfair to thehusband if his Little Girl wasn't the same? Little T thinks her Dadda can fix everything and for her his ''Lappu'' is the safest place in this world. For her Dadda is indeed the strongest (even when she was born a decade after that Dhara ad was made!) and the poor dad has to let her test his strength sometimes too so being a Dad is definitely not an easy job! Seeing them together makes me the happiest person in this world and yes, that's when I think Everyday should be a Father's Day! :) 

When I asked Little T what she wants to make for Dadda she said cupcakes without any hesitation or second thoughts. You can tell she's a baker's daughter :). She painted the little red car. I am obsessed about cupcakes and cupcake decorations at the moment and every waking minute of my life goes in doing that...if I'm not doing my other chores that is! So it gave me yet another excuse to experiment with some new sugar art. Now you have to remember that I'm new at this sugar craft thing so these things don't even look close to nice and perfect or what you see on those other pinky girlie websites! But who's fun to do and I heart it :)


Almond Yogurt Cupcakes with a Mango Surprise Centre

Ingredients : 

For the cupcakes:

Natural Yogurt - 150 ml
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
175g caster sugar
140g plain or self raising flour
175g unsalted butter
75g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
Mango Jam - 1/2 tsp for each cupcake (you can replace it with any other jam of your choice)

For the Icing: 

I used Betty Crocker readymade Vanilla Butter Cream Icing.

(For a simple home made butter cream icing go to the end of the recipe)

Method for the Cupcakes :

Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases and heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. In a jug, mix the yogurt, eggs and vanilla extract. Put the dry ingredients, plus a pinch of salt, into a large bowl and make a well in the middle.

Add the yogurty mix and melted butter, and quickly fold in with a spatula or metal spoon - don't overwork it. Spoon into the cases (they will be quite full) and bake for 18-20 mins or until golden, risen and springy to the touch. Cool for a few mins, then lift the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat the steps if some batter is left and make a few cupcakes again. Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

 Now scoop the icing into a piping bag and use ur favourite nozzle to decorate. Or you can just spooon a little bit of icing on each cake and spread it out evenly with the spoon. Sprinkle with a few chocolate chips. You can also decorate with some cupcake toppers. 

A simple Butter Cream Icing:


140g butter, softened
280g Icing Sugar
1-2 tbsp Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Few drops of your favourite food colour...mix them up it's fun :)

Method for icing :

Beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth. 
Add the remaining icing sugar and one tablespoon of the milk and beat the mixture until creamy and smooth. Beat in the milk, if necessary, to loosen the mixture.Stir in the food colouring until well combined. Add a few drops of the food colour of your choice. I used Blue as I made these for Father's Day.


A  Happy Father's Day to all the greatest, strongest, bravest and wisest Dads in the world. We Mommies would be incomplete without you guys :). 

Monday, 20 June 2011

Vegetable rolls a.k.a Vegetable Chop in Kolkata...perfect for anytime of the day!

They say ''Some things never change''. I can say the same about my darling city of joy Kolkata. No matter how many posh malls are built, how much money spent or the change in the political scenario...I can only say that ''Kolkata Robe Shei Kolkatatei''. Like these blue buses, each a vintage vehicle responsible for many accidents. I really don't miss travelling in one  but I wanted to give it one last shot the last time I visited Kolkata. Sadly enough, I couldn't gather the courage to get on one.  

I did manage to get on the yellow taxis....a lot! Infact they are the best ways to digest all those Biryanis, Phuchkas and Kati rolls as they will shake you to the bones, Thanks to their almost ''falling apart'' state and the huge potholes on the roads! I still love them nonetheless, coz they are dead cheap! Infact that's still the best thing about my city. Everything is so cheap here. Amra shobai raja amader ei rajat rajotye (we are all Kings in this Kingdom of ours!!!) :)

''Dada duto Vegetable Chop din toh''....

 Memories come flooding back as soon as I smell these little balls frying in deep oil. But
of course in those memories the oil is a darkish coloured oil which many health freaks
used to refer to as ‘’Baaje Tel…khash na Jaundice hobe’’!!! (unhealthy oil…don’t eat it
you’ll get Hepatitis). Unfortunately for us and fortunately for the chop seller the heavenly
taste of these fried variety and the others made the possibility of Jaundice seem alien.
And to be honest even if we did end up with a bad tummy we couldn’t care less! I still
remember those summer vacations spent at my Mama Bari (maternal uncle’s house). A
family reputed for having lots of branches on its tree, hence we never had any shortage of
brotherly or sisterly love or hatred for that matter. The only way my Mami (Aunt) could
get us all behave was by enticing us with Telebhaja (fritters). On the evening when there
were power cuts we used to sit around in a large circle with a lantern in between and a
huge bowl of spiced Muri (puffed rice) being passed around. Accompanying the muri, of
course, was a variety of fritters as we all had our personal favourites. Mine was vegetable
chop and sometimes alur chop (spicy potato fritters). 

Those days seem far away and might not come back to me. But at least I can still smell
and let the memories flooding back.


Beet Root – 4 small
Carrots – 2 large
Green Peas – 1 cup
Potatoes – 4 medium
Onions – 2 medium (optional) sliced
Ginger – ½ tsp grated
Coconut – ½ cup grated
Peanuts – 2 tbsp roasted
Coriander Leaves – 1 cup chopped
Cumin powder – 1 ½ tsp or to taste
Salt – to taste
Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
Gramflour - 1 cup
Breadcrumbs – 2 cups (more if required)
Oil to fry (I use sunflower oil)


Cook the beet, carrots, peas and potato in a pressure cooker. Mash it together. In a pan
heat 2tbsp of oil and fry the onions. Add the ginger and the mashed vegetables and all
the spices. Mix well. Take the pan off heat and let it cool. In the meantime make a runny batter with gramflour and water.  Add the peanuts and coriander
leaves to the mixture and mix again. Make equal sized rolls. Make them flat shaped or roll shaped according to your wish with your palms. 

Pour a cup of breadcrumbs on a plate. Dip each roll in the batter and roll each roll on the plate of breadcrumbs until they are evenly covered. The rolls can be frozen upto a month. You can also make the

rolls in a day in advance before using.

Heat oil in a pan. Deep fry the rolls. Serve it with Muri or a choice of sauces and thinly
sliced cucumber and onion salad.

Here are some more pictures that I fine winter morning :). Have fun.