Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Peg & Pig's Kitchen - Dark Chocolate Fantasy!

Well, hello! Hope you are fine and exploring different cuisines.

I've always been fascinated by chocolates, and love them. Oh yes, there are days when I, on impulse, wanted to make chocolates at home! I never miss an opportunity to watch a cookery show or read a cook-book, to know more about making chocolates at home. And it's no secret that I've had enough and more of (homemade) chocolates from Ooty and from different parts of the world. Uff... These chocolates are little fantasies wrapped in beautiful packages. How can I not fall in love with them again and all over again? :-)

I had bought chocolate molds (metal and silicon) from the food mall at the 'No.1 @ M. G. Road' mall. This evening I decided to try my hand at making chocolates at home. I broke the dark chocolate bar into small pieces, added butter to it, and melted them in a bowl (placed on a double boiler). Then poured the glossy buttery melted chocolate into the molds, and put them in the refrigerator for about half an hour.

When I removed the chocolates from the fridge and tapped the molds on to a flat surface, voila, the chocolates turned out perfect! Verdict from hubby, FIL, and MIL - "Yummy!" I ate one too; I'm happy with the taste and texture. Lesson learned is 'kick out your fear and try new recipes, and enjoy the experience.'

Have a sweet day!


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Peg & Pig's Kitchen - Veg Samosa

I was feeling slightly under the weather today, and stayed back at home all day long. Gave me a change to update all my blog sites: Gardening, Travelogue, and this blog. I set a record of updating all the blogs on a single day; yay! :-)

My brother visited me, and well, I hadn't cooked anything special. Because I had planned to prepare vegetable samosa, had steamed potatoes and peas along with rice (in the afternoon). So, I quickly made samosas for him and his friend. Verdict - the dough needed a little more salt; but the samosa tasted good. During the second time, I made fresh dough with a little salt and a teaspoon of ajwain. Now the samosas taste better.

I used whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour (maida). For the filling, I used potatoes, peas, onions, garlic cloves, and masala - red chilli powder, garam masala powder, turmeric powder. Along with these ingredients, added cashews and raisins, and salt. Cooked the filling for sometime, and then let it cool. Rolled the dough, cut into half, made cones, stuffed the filling, and then fried in oil.

Was the first time that I made samosas. Glad that they were edible! Remembered the time when my mom had made samosas; oh, such delicious ones! Of course, any dish that mom prepares tastes yum because of a special ingredient that she puts - mother's love.

Enjoy your evening.


Sunday, 20 January 2013

Peg & Pig's Kitchen - Vanilla Chocolate Marble Cupcakes

I love the look of a marble cupcake, and wished that I could bake some. This weekend, for the first time, I baked a vanilla-chocolate marble cupcakes and a cake. The cakes were moist, baked well, and tasted yum. While baking this cake, I realized that I needed to decrease the temperature of the oven, and then bake for a longer while. Otherwise, the center of the cake would be softer or uncooked while the outer edges would burn. The cupcakes didn't need any temperature or time adjustments; they baked beautifully. Well, the lesson learned is that I need to bake cupcakes than regular cakes. :-D

Happy week ahead!


Saturday, 12 January 2013

Peg & Pig Kitchen - Banana Cake, Sponge Cake, and Cupcakes

Beautiful Saturday, isn't it? I tried a few cakes today. One, a banana cake. Two, sponge cake with jam. Three, cupcakes. The cakes tasted yum. I should have used a smaller cake mold; the cakes would have looked bigger. And I tried my hand on making icing for the cakes. That I need to practice a lot!

Overall, I am happy with the cakes!


Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Peg & Pig's Kitchen - Paddu and Mini Idlis

We love paddus. We love mini idlis. we are the idli-liking people! :-) :-)

As kids, we have eaten loads of paddus and idlis. Watching mom make the paddu, in a special pan, was fun. The paddu pans come in different sizes, and is made of a variety of materials, such as stone, iron, and non-stick material. My mom had pans made of stone and iron. Let me tell you that the pan material can enhance the taste of the paddus.

Recently, when we visited Trichy, I was tempted to buy a paddu pan (not that I don't get it at Bangalore). I also bought a mini-idli stand. On return to Bangalore, I prepared the idli batter, and then made delicious paddus and mini idlis. Served paddu with spicy mint-coconut chutney, and mini idlis with sambar made of sambar onions.

Well, yes, the batters for both paddu and mini idli are slightly different. But I tend to prepare universal idli batter (!) from which I can make idlis, paddus, and dosas.

My version of the idli batter:
1 cup rice
2 cups parboiled rice
3/4 cups urad dal (split black gram)
1/2 cup flattened rice
1 tsp (or lesser) fenugreek seeds

Take two bowls. In one, soak only urad dal; in the other, soak the remaining ingredients. Soak for 4-5 hours. Strain all the water, and then grind the ingredients. For idli, let the batter be little granular. For dosa, batter must be smoother. You may not be able to use the batter as soon as you grind it. Add sufficient salt to the batter, mix well, and then let the batter ferment for 6-8 hours.

Before making the idlis or dosas, vigorously mix the fermented batter. Oil the idli stands or dosa pan, and then make the dishes. I smear the idli stands with ghee; adds flavor to the idlis.


Monday, 7 January 2013

Peg & Pig's Kitchen - Steamed Veg Momos

We love steamed momos! I tried my hand on making them at home. Yes, was easy to make and delicious to eat.

For the filling, I used finely chopped cabbage, carrot, french beans, and green chilli, and ginger-garlic paste. Mixed all these ingredients in a bowl; add a pinch of salt. Heated a pan, drizzled oil, and lightly heated the mixture. Removed from the heat, and let it cool. You can also blanch the vegetables.

For the momo dough, I used plain flour and a pinch of salt; added warm water and mixed the ingredients in to a fine dough. Wrapped the dough in cotton cloth, and kept it aside for a few minutes. Made small balls from the dough; rolled them out. In each sheet, placed the filling in the center, and folded the sheet to form a ball. Steamed them all.

Note: Can also use barley flour, or add a little rice flour to maida to make the dough.

I served the momos with red spicy chutney!

What's your recipe?