Sunday, 3 September 2017

Cheese Filling ~ Gouge`re

Cheese Filling for Gouge`re


Gouge`res are delightful savoury "eclairs" that can be devoured either on their own when freshly baked or eaten with a filling of whatever one most enjoys. Fresh cream as in Malai, delicious churned butter; with or without home made jam, it is all delicious. 

Here is just one of many options I share with you that I made up with my favourite jalapeno and cheese bread, kernels of corn and assorted cheese. I topped it with Tomato jam and voila. 




Cheese Gouge`res filled with a jalapeno corn and cheese filling served with tomato ginger jam





Filling for 36 prebaked Gouge`res

In a food processor whizz together
6 slices lightly toasted slices of bread; jalapeno and cheese
150 gm/ 6 oz dark cheddar cheese
150 gm / 6 oz jalapeno or harbenero cheese
Scraped kernels of 1 roasted corn on the cob

Remove on a board. Divide into 36 balls and stuff into each gougere.
Reheat for 5 minutes in a hot oven of 350F/165C and serve warm.
Best served topped with a jalapeno or harbenero jam or a tomato ginger chutney.

Tips

If the bread is plain add one jalapeno pepper roughly cut.
Any cheese with harbener or jalapeno will work well for this recipe
The consistency of this filling should be soft enough to form round balls easily. 
If you do not have fresh corn, use 150gm/6 oz frozen kernels that have been blanched and drained.
Salt if needed.



For Parsi Food recipes click for my cookbook The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.



Photo courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala

Almond and Murumba Cake

Almond and Murumba Cake
Almond and white pumpkin Cake

Preparing recipes in a test kitchen has lead me to create this recipe. A success story of a friend who has recently started her own business making marmelattas ( Italian for jam ) and caponatas called Le Bon Magot. It has won some awards, got great reviews and could be the little jar missing from your pantry.

This cake wonderfully moist with armatic yet delicate flavours of rose and cardamom. I love to add a locally produced Gin Rose that is rather unique but perfect for this cake.


Murumba Nu Cake ~ White Pumpkin Murumba Cake.




Prepare an 8x8 / 20cm square pan; grease and flour.
Preheat the oven to 350F/175C


Ingredients

6oz / 180 gm salted butter
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 cups sifted plain flour
¾ cup almonds, powdered or ground
2 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp Rose Gin, Gin or Rose Water
1 cup Le Bon Magot White Pumpkin and Almond Murumba jar

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time until the mixture is whipped and light.
Reduce the speed to slow or stir; add the dry and the wet ingredients alternating.
Starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Test with a skewer for doneness. It can take up to 10 minutes more. Serve with a cup of good strong tea or coffee.


Tips

Mise en place is a great way to bake, (keep each ingredient in place before starting).
Mix all the dry ingredients into a bowl.
Keep the eggs and butter at room temperature before you start.

Do not over bake as the cake will dry out. An 8 or 9 inch/ 20 or 22 cm round pan will also work well.

For more Parsi Food recipes click for The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.



Photo Courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Cauliflower Cheesecups

Cauliflower Cheesecups

Healthy enough to eat and pretty enough to serve. Just a whizz in the food processor of raw cauliflower, some spicy cheese ( or not if you preferred ) and an egg to bind it together.  
Fill it with more cheese and a sharp chutney or jam and you have an elegant side. Perfectly paired with a good piece of meat; steak, roast, chicken or even duck. It is a winner all around.


Pretty cheesy cauli ~ flowers




1  medium to small head of cauliflower
1 cup grated harbenero or jalapeno cheese + 1/2 cup for filling
2 eggs

In a food processor using the pulse button cut the cauliflower and cheese to resemble small pebbles, With the food processor running add the two eggs just until mixed.

Grease well with butter two muffin pans.
Spoon the 24 spoonfuls into each pan as equally as possible.
With the back of a teaspoon press down the mixture to resemble a cup.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F for 25 minutes until the corners are golden brown. Let it cool for a few minutes and loosen with the help of a butter knife or plastic spatula/knife
Plate and spoon in grated cheese and top with jalapeno, harbenero or tomato ginger jam.
Serve immediately.

Tips

The mixture must be textured but easily spoonable. Do not keep using the processor to ''smooth'' it out.
The teaspoon works rather well and its quick to push back into a flower like cup. Do not keep the bottom extra thick and it can stay wet and uncooked while the sides will cook quickly if much thinner. Yet the do have to keep the bottom thick enough to lift out. 


For my cookbook The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine click here.


Sunday, 27 August 2017

Bhaji Jhinga ~ Spinach & Prawns

Bhaji Jinga

Growing up we had vegetables prepared in many ways. Spinach which was not a favourite of most kids and am pretty certain that it is the same today, was definitely the most difficult to serve up for a meal. Here is one recipe our family use to prepare with familiar Parsi Food flavours and served it with Khichri rice and yogurt Kudhi and poppodums. Salad with this was generally made up of fresh radish and carrot. However I feel most confident that many of you will enjoy this recipe because of the story I am about to share with you. 

Many years ago I was invited by a small hotelier in Dorset in the UK to run a weekend cooking course and speak about Parsi Cooking. It was advertised through BBC GoodFood, and we had a wonderful group of very interesting well travelled attendees. While having to prepare and serve up at least 7 meals over the duration, one had to include the variety. My mother somehow convinced me to make this dish as a side and with much trepidation I went ahead and cooked it. On the last morning at the breakfast table, the discussion was about all the food we had enjoyed and I was surprised to hear when this dish was mentioned in the best positive manner. They had all found this dish quite unusual, most intriguing and very delicious. Naturally I was delighted but have never quite gotten over the fact that I still find it hard to believe!!








Spinach and Prawns

 Serves 6 to 8

Fry until golden brown
2 large onions finely cut 

add to this and sauté for a minute
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground garlic
3 –5 green chillies finely chopped
1 large onion finely cut
1 tsp cumin finely ground
1-2 tsp red chillie powder

add to this
3 medium tomatoes skinned and diced
2 large bunches fresh cleaned spincah greens
OR you may use two 10 oz pkts of frozen spinach
1 bunch of methi fenugreek (optional)
1 tbsp sugar

cover and cook on a low fire until almost done about 30 minutes. All the water should be evaporated.

Add to this 1 lb/1/2 kg of cleaned fresh prawns.
Cover and cook 7 minutes and serve hot with khichri and dahi ni kudhi.

Tips

A peeled thinly sliced green/raw mango tastes delicious if available. Add with all other ingredients allowing it to cook and soften to release its flavour.
Use any kind of spinach locally grown.
Adding a handful of corriander leaves to this is an option.
I have also added a small handful of fresh mint at times. 

While  traditionally it is served with khichri rice and yogurt kudhee it can be enjoyed with fresh rotli/chapati/flat bread. You can change it up a bit with saffron rice or coconut rice if you preferred. 

For more recipes from the Parsi Food repertoire click The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.


Sunday, 20 August 2017

Cheese and Corn Chowder

Cheese and Corn Chowder



Chowders are generally thick soup that have been prepared with a roux and thinned down with stock, broth, milk or cream.  Corn often being a common ingredient. Often seafood, preferably the shelled variety is added to a chowder. Served with salted crackers or bread rolls and butter it is a meal in itself.

Having had a delicious cheese soup with corn the other day, I decided to come home and make my own. Here I share my version of a chowder; it is a cheese base that has been lightened with chicken broth and thinned down with whole milk. 
It is smooth and silky and the roasted corn kernels give it that extra pop of sweetness balancing out the hint of heat from the red pepper and mustard added to the soup.

Its perfect to use up left over cheese and corn if you wish.





Serves 6 to 8 persons

Butter
flour
salt
1 tbsp mustard powder
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Either or12 pickled peppewdew peppers/ 1 tsp paprika/  2 fresh red chillie finely chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
454 gm/ 1 lb cheese

kernels of 3 roasted corn cobs or 1 can/tin corn kernels

In a large stock pot melt 2 tbsps salted butter, add the 2 tbsp flour 1 tsp salt and  mustard to make a roux. Add 4 cups of chicken stock and mix well until it is all smooth. Add one cup of diced onions, preferably sauteed lightly, 2 cloves of garlic. Add your choice of heat; pickled peppedew peppers, fresh red chillies or a tsp of paprika.
Allow it to simmer for atleast an hour. With an immersion blender smooth the liquid. 
Optional If you wish to strain it through a seive for a silky finish do it now.

Once it is all seived and  ready to continue, on a low flame start adding your cheese. Allow it to melt slowly and then add the milk and cream, Gently stir until it comes to a tepid warmth.
Add corn kernels of 3 fresh cobs that have been roasted. Alternately dry roast a can/tin of corn that has been drained well. 
Allow to simmer for 15 minutes just before serving.

Add more milk or cream to thin the chowder to desired consistency.
Taste for salt.
Serve warm with a corn muffin or corn bread with butter.



A roasted corn on the cob



Tips

The smoothness and the colour of the chowder will depend on the cheese you add to this dish. Try to use a variety non-grainy cheese like velveeta with a dash of strong cheese like gruyere or comte` to keep it creamy and cheesy. Dark cheddar and jalapeno cheese adds to the colour and flavour of this chowder. 

Using half and half instead of a combination of milk and cream is also an option.

Using only whole milk is another option

Add more milk or cream to thin the chowder to desired consistency.

For recipes from the Parsi Food repertoire click The Art of Parsi Cooking;reviving an ancient cuisine.


Friday, 18 August 2017

Topli na Paneer

Topli na Paneer
Silky cottage cheese

There is no literal transaltion for this phrase but best described as cottage cheese that is made in a basket called a topli. It is small enough for individual bites, soft enough to fall apart and has the impressions of little rings left behind from the wicker basket ~ topli.
Parsis love it enough to serve it in their wedding and navjote feast. This is a Mumbai speciality and not many of us who grew up in Karachi or away from India had even tried it. With social media becoming the tool to make us all of one world it has suddenly become the topic of the day.

After reading it up, asking a few of my elders and experimenting I have managed to get it right; (I think)!! I do not have access to the toplis, and so no impressions on mine, but it is delicious and most authentic as my taste testers from Mumbai and others have vouched.

Keep it simple, be precise and you cannot go wrong.



Topli nu paneer as an appetiser; served up with fig, fig jam jam, peppadews, honey comb and caramalised nuts and crackers.



1 litre whole milk organic
10 drops of veg rennet or alternate 
1/4 tsp salt

Bring the milk to a tepid warm. 
If you can keep your finger in the milk counting up to 10, its perfect.
Anything warmer and it will turn into grainy cottage cheese.
Add the rennet and salt. Give it 10 slow turns with a metal spoon.
Cover with a cloth.
Leave from minimum 3 hours to over night.
Place a thin cheese cloth or thin muslin over a seive.
Remove the chunks of the paneer on to the cloth and twist the top. Allow the liquid to drain for an hour or two. It will be ready to eat, soft and tender. 

Tips

While a stainless steel pot works best; do not use a non-stick pot.

Milk being the key ingredient will dictate how quickly and well it forms. I have used an Organic Water Buffolo grassfed milk from a glass bottle that shows it is 8% milk; available from natural food supermarkets.
The longer you keep it the harder it will become. 
If you need to leave it for a day or two, keep it in the cloth, in a tightly covered dish in the refrigerator.
Best enjoyed fresh.
Its called topli na paneer because of the little woven baskets in. I have not been able to find them so far and so have to use a seive. This works just as well but does not "look'' like the original form.

For more recipes from my Parsi Food cookbook click the link The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.



Readers comment
27th August 2017
Roxanne HaddrellLearn to Make Cheese
The paneer is wonderfully silky - a real delight! The salt in the recipe is spot on. One thing I'll do different next time is to chop my nuts - the whole almonds are a bit big. And yes, there WILL be a next time.



Monday, 14 August 2017

Olive Oil Chocolate and Sea Salt Cake

Olive Oil Chocolate Sea Salt Cake

With a request to experiment with olive oil cakes this is what was the end result. Best served fresh and at room temperature with a coffee or steaming tea it would be a treat for any day of the week. 
I would serve it with a wonderful coffee icecream or liquor. Even simple vanilla bean ice cream or decadent salted caramel would compliment this moist and dense cake. 










Ingredients

8oz/454gm dark chocolate
8 oz/ 454 gm ground almonds, preferably skinless
2/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp vanilla
5 egg yolks

5 egg whites

Rock salt ; freshly grated

Pulse together in a food processor the chocolate, almonds, sugar, flour and baking powder until it resembles a grainy sand with little chocolate pebbles.

In a large bowl mix the olive oil, vanilla and egg yolks with a woodens spoon until blended.
Add the chocolate, almond and flour mixture to this and continue to mix it with a spoon and a spatula. It will resemble wet sand.

In a third bowl beat the egg whites until light and stiff. Gently fold it into the above wet mixture until it is incorporated.

Pour into a prepared 10 inch springform pan lined with parchment and butter.
Bake in a preheated oven of 350F/ 175 C.
Bake for 22 to 25 minutes until the test skewer comes out with cake crumbs on it.
Sprinkle with freshly grated sea salt to complete the cake.

Tips

If you like a bold flavour of olive oil, omit the vanilla or add only 1 tsp instead. Do not over bake as it will dry the cake.
Baking in a smaller pan makes it deeper and will not bake evenly. 
Do not over beat the egg whites for it will be dry and harder to incorporate.
Keep the eggs at room temperature for best results
The chocolate grinds best when chilled. 

For Parsi Food recipes click on The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Green Curry

Chicken Green Curry



Here is a green coconut milk curry that is simple to prepare. It is versatile and can be served with your choice of meat or chicken. Served with plain bolied basmati.
Keep the flavours of the curry stong and the thickness to coat the back of the spoon.


Green Chicken Curry served with plain boiled basmati rice and a salad



Grind together to a paste

1 tbsp oil
2 tsp garlic;  6-8 cloves
1 tsp ginger; 1inch piece
4 to 6 green chillies
3 tbsp gram flour
1/4 cup ground nuts (almonds, cashews or peanuts)
1/2 cup coconut cream
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cumin powder
1 cup  fresh coriander; leaves with thin part of the stalks
1 large onion; peeled and cut into pieces


Step 2

11/2 kg/3 lb   8 pcs of chicken, skinless with bone

4 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 pc cinnamon stick
6 black pepper corns
6 cloves

Step 3


3 cups coconut water

1/4 cup lemon juice
3 kaffir lime leaves

Cook the chicken to leave a broth of  2 cups; strain and keep aside

11/2 kg/3 lb   8 pcs of chicken, skinless with bone
4 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 pc cinnamon stick
6 black pepper corns
6 cloves




In a pan heat the oil and stir fry the ground paste.

Add the strained chicken stock and the coconut water. Stir until smooth and all the lumps have gone.
Bring to a boil and let it cook until thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
Add the chicken, bring to a boil for 3 minutes. Add the lemon and kaffir lime leaves. Cover and leave on a simmer for a few minutes allowing to incorporate all the flavour. Serve with boiled rice and an onion salad.

Tips


For a nut free option substitiute sun flower seeds.

Curry Patta/leaves are a good substitute for Kaffir Lime leaves.

This recipe needs to be cooked and thickened to perfect consistency before adding the chicken. Leave the pot uncovered and allow it to rapidly boil once the curry is smooth.
It is best to add the chicken and cool overnight for the flavours to be perfect for next day.

For delicious Parsi Recipes click The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.









Photo courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala


Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Marcha ni Curry

Marcha ni Curry
Green Peppers in Curry

Indian food has an abundance of regional cuisine that is both hard to read all about or have a deep knowledge off. Imagine the Indian Food being subdivided by province, city, town, village, tribe and so on. 
Here I have a version of one of the 'richer' Hyderabadi Cuisines.
With green peppers like Padron and Shishito taking the world cuisine by storm here is an ancient cuisine and recipe being revived to share and enjoy!



A flavourful curry from the Hydeerabadi Region of India

Make it your own with optional ingredients listed in the Tips section


Ingredients
1 tbsp oil
12 Padron or Shishito Green Peppers

1 tbsp oil

5 red dry chillies
12 curry patta leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds3 thinly sliced fresh garlic

3 tbsp macadamia nuts
3 tbsp sesame seeds
3 tbsp coconut
1 tsp salt
1 large onions sliced
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp corriander powder
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 tbsp jaggery
2 cup water



Step 1

Heat the tablespoon ofoil in a pan and sizzle the green peppers  until they are slightly charred and bruised on the skins. Remove and keep aside. In the same pan heat a tablespoon of oil and add the dry chillies, garlic slices, curry patta and mustard seeds for just a minute. Keep aside in the pan.

Step 2


Dry roast onion for 5 minutes, then add the nuts for a minute. Continue to add the sesame seeds and coconut. Now grind all of this together adding as much water as needed from the 2 cups.
Add the rest of the turmeric, cumin, corriander powders and tamarind and jaggery.
Return to the pan heat for a minute and add the rest of the liquid bringing it all to a boil. Cook for another 5 -7 minutes until you can see a few droplets of oil released from the side.
Add all the ingredients of step 1. Stir and mix well and allow it to simmer for a few minutes. Serve with  warm rotli, naan or any other bread of choice.

Tips

While the peppers are the main ingredient and most important it is your choice of other ingredients which are listed. Padron is a Spanish pepper which has a sweet flavour while Shishito is from Japan and the area around it that is also most flavourful. Any other chillie can be of your choice but they can be hot to extremely hot and one should be careful if they are relatively unknown to yourself.
Macadamia nuts can be interchanged for peanuts, a tbsp of peanut butter or even almonds. If you need a nut free option sunflower seeds are a brilliant substitute.
The red dry chillies can be small and round or long. While the sesame seeds can be easily substitued for poppy seeds. While mustard seeds are delicious, onion seeds/nigella seeds are just as good.
Jaggery can be reduced, omitted or substituted with a teaspoon of brown sugar.
Tamarind paste is for sourness and can be changed for lime or lemon juice.
Curry Patta/ Leaves are hard to get in many parts but kaffir lime leaves or fresh mint are great substitutes.



For delicious Parsi Food recipes click The Art of Parsi Cooking;reviving an ancient cuisine









Photo Courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Lemon Tart


Lemon Tart

Growing up we had delicious treats of lemon tarts, always a favourite depending on how cumbly the pastry was, or how thin and crisp it was; how sweet or tart the lemon filling as and ofcourse how much was filled into the little bite of goodness! The traditional swirl of the filling with a dot of red on it, made a difference too, if and when we had a choice. 

Here is one that was made in a larger quantity, to share with the table, delicious and just as good. You may be happy to make them individually, and this recipe should cover 8 to 12 tartlets, depending on the size you wish to mould them into.

"Creativity is an artist's prerogative" I mantain, so go ahead and make it your very own.

Lemon tart sprinkled with icing sugar and drizzled with lemon curd


Pastry case

4oz / 113 gm soft salted butter
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla essence

1 cup flour
pinch of salt


In a food processor beat the butter and icing sugar until light.
Add in the yolk, lemon juice and vanilla. Mix well.

Now add the flour and salt; using the pulse button allow it to become a soft ball.

Over turn the dough on a rolling surface and allow it to rest for 30 minutes, preferably covered.
If it is too soft and sticky, refrigerate it for 30 minutes wrapped up tightly in a cling film.

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C
Roll it out in a 9 or 10 inch pie plate. Prick it all over.
Bake until slightly golden brown, approximately 15 to 22 minutes. Cool.


Lemon curd
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup corn flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 oz butter
4 egg yolks, well beaten with a fork

In a pan mix together 
the sugar, cornflour, salt, orange and lemond juices. Keep stirring it until it comes to a boil. Allow to boil for 1 minute or two. 
Remove it from the fire and add in the butter, mix it until it is melted and then add the egg yolks through a strainer, rapidly mixing it while it seives through.
Return the pan to a very low fire, mix well till the mixture gets incorporated and a nice sheen comes over the curd and looks ready to eat. The mixture should NOT boil once the egg yolks have been added. 

Remove from the heat and allow it to cool down.
Optionally, with an electric hand beater, whip the curd if you like a light lemon tart. The texture and colour will change. 

Asemble


Spoon in the lemon curd into the pastry shell. 
Serve at room temperature.


Tips

The lemon tart can be spooned into the pie shell or put through a large piping bag if it needs to be decoarted.
If you prefer the lemon tart to be colder, all the curd to chill before filling the pastry shell. The pastry shell is best served when not chilled.

Lightly greasing the pan/dish with butter will help you lift it off.

You can prepare indiviual ones if you prefer. Keep the pastry as thin as possible. It should be moist, with a bite to it.

If you use a loose bottom fluted pie/tart pan, you are able to remove it to serve. If you have a glass pie plate it will still work just as well, except you need to serve it straight from it. 

Depending on where you reside, the weather will make a difference on leaving the pastry out or in the fridge to chill. 
It can easily be made in a cake mixer, hand beater or even by hand.
The end result will be the same, perfect!

Using lime is an option. 

OPTIONALLY To make a lemon meringue pie,
Simply prepare the meringue by beating the left over
4 egg whites until stiff and add very slowly 1/2 cup of sugar to it until it is glossy.
Spoon it over the ready lemon tart. Use the back of the spoon for the swirls lightly pulling it toward the top to make pretty peaks!
Broil with a hand torch or under the oven grill for a couple of minutes to prepare the golden crust over. 

Click for recipes from my cookbook The Art of Parsi Cooking;reviving an ancient cuisine

Photo courtesy William Reveall