Cooking

honey-spoon

Using honey as a natural sweetener

honey-spoonHoney is one of those miracles of nature that is known to be good for us since many years. Its not an unknown fact that honey not only taste good, its good for our health too. Add a little honey to your lime water instead of sugar and it comes a perfect detoxifying healthy drink. Sugar is no evil thing but the process of cleaning sugar at refinery which gives you super sparkling white sugar adds some unhealthy things to it. While honey is extraction process is simple, it just requires centrifugal force to separate honey from honeycomb and you get ready to eat without any further processing needed. Also honey does not get spoiled which means it requires no addition of preservatives etc to keep it from spoiling. Packaged honey available from brands like Dabur are very good source of pure honey that you can get which are free from any kind of preservatives.

Honey is a natural sweetener and you can use it in almost every sweet dish or just as extra flavoring substance in your food or drinks. While making any kind of beverages where you need to add sugar, you can always replace sugar with honey to make your drink healthier. Honey is not only good for eating, it is also considered a good antiseptic and speeds up wounds recovery. It has been proven it it speeds up the recovery of burnt skin. Just apply a little bit of honey over the burnt skin and it will give instant relief and work as an antiseptic.

People who want to lose weight, honey is a perfect ingredient to consider. In your Honey Diet you should include lime water with honey before doing to jogging or exercise. It will promote fat loss and also give you energy to do your exercise without causing much exhaustion. Honey does have slightly more calories when compared with equal amount of sugar but honey is denser and sweeter than sugar so you will always need less of it to make food item sweet. Honey dissolves very quickly in water so you also don’t need to spend much time stirring like you have to do it with sugar. I am a lazy person and I do like this fact that I won’t need to keep moving that spoon for endless time to completely dissolve the sugar. However when you are making any dish that requires heating or frying, do not add honey at the beginning but add it at the end so that honey is not cooked with your dish. You do not want to burn it and caramelize like sugar, although pure honey does not caramelize but it changes its texture when heated too much. Pure honey can get solidified, if that happens just place it in warm water and it should be back to liquid state.

me-cooking

Simple things you can do to make food more delicious

me-cookingI am a foodie and I always try to get the best kept secrets of chefs of making tasty food. When invited to a buffet, I always try to get a sneak peak of what chef is making and more important are the ingredients list that he has. Here are some of those tips that you can use to make your daily food more tasty.

Making rich and tasty gravy: If you are making any main course dish with gravy, I have noticed that some dish call for thinner gravy while others need thicker. For thicker gravy you need to have some bulk to make the content thick. Some people would use onion paste but I have found that one should not fully depend on onion paste alone but add a secondary item with it that goes well with the dish. And these items can one or combination of one of these:

1. Cashew nut paste

2. Coconut paste

3. Heavy cream

4. Curd

5. Tomato purée

While cashew nut and heavy cream do not have a strong taste, curd and tomato purée does have a sour taste so the amount of these should be added with caution otherwise you will make your gravy too sour which is not good. Cashew nut paste or heavy cream should be added at the end of the preparation of dish and add them gradually till you see a good colour and consistency of gravy. There is no fixed amount for these, the more you add, richer the gravy is. Coconut paste go well with non-veg dishes, it just need a little bit cooking so it should be added along with other items like onion paste.

 

Making pooris more crisp and tasty: To make them more crisp and tasty, just add a little bit of sooji and maida to your wheat flour. Maida will give it a little rubbery texture and sooji will make it crisp. You can experiment with the amount of sooji and maida to get the right type of poori you want. And always deep fry your pooris and pour hot oil over the pooris while you fry them using any big spoon, it makes them puffed and gives good colour.

 

Avoid overcooking: There is a temperature range for cooking all types of food items, if you overcook vegetables or meat, they taste horrible. This is the biggest mistake people do while cooking at home. Chicken fox example when overcooked becomes dry and hard. It also looses its taste of cooked too much. Similar is the case with vegetables, if cooked too much, the lose the taste. When making gravy dish you can avoid overcooking of vegetables by first stir frying them and then adding them to the cooked gravy at the end. This helps in retaining taste and this is how they do it in restaurants.

ice-cream

Delicious Homemade Blackcurrant Ice Cream

ice-cream

Here is an ice cream recipe which you can make at home with ease and requires no ice cream maker. You can use ice cream maker if you have one but this recipe will give you rich smooth and creamy ice cream even if you freeze it in your refrigerator.

Here are the ingredients:

1. Blackcurrant flavour powder 100g ( Weikfield Freeze recommended)

2. Full cream milk – 400ml

3. Heavy milk cream – 350 gms

4. Sugar – 95 gms (~7 tablespoon)

5. Banana – 2

6. Vodka – 2 teaspoon (optional)

 

Method:

In a deep pan pour the milk and add 100g of blackcurrant ice cream flavour. Heat this mix on slow flame first and stir, then increase the flame and bring it to boil. Make sure there are no chunks of flavouring powder left. Take the pan off the stove and let the mix cool down.

In a separate pan take the heavy milk cream, add sugar and whip it using a hand blender. If you don’t have the blender then you can also whip it in mixer grinder. After whipping the volume of cream will almost become double.

Now add the milk (make sure its cooled down) to the cream and whip it again. You can add two teaspoon of vodka in your ice cream mix to make it more creamy. Science behind soft ice cream is that your ice cream mix should be whipped well and have least amount of water which is possible only with best quality of milk and cream. Alcohol mixes with water that may be present in your ice cream mix and stops ice crystal formation because alcohol acts like antifreeze here. Commercial ice creams have chemical antifreeze like propylene glycol which makes commercial ice cream so easy to scope out. We are not adding this in our recipe because its not very healthy stuff to add.

IMG_20140323_132922Now cut banana into small pieces and add to the ice cream mix. Banana adds nice flavour to the ice cream and compliments blackcurrant flavour really well. You can also add other fruits like grapes etc but do not add fruits which have strong flavour like pine apple otherwise it may ruin the original flavour of your ice cream.

Now put your ice cream mix in refrigerator (not in the freezer yet) and let it cool down. When its cold enough, put it in freezer for about 30 mins so that its half set. After 30 mins take it out and whip it lightly using spoon so that any ice crystals that may be forming can break. Now keep it in freezer and let it set fully.

Enjoy the delicious ice cream!

falsa-phalsa

Tangy Falsa Sherbet

Its Falsa (or Phalsa) season these days and I would like to share a wonderful Falsa sherbet recipe. Falsa is a kind of fruit with lots of health benefits. Read its wiki page for more knowledge about it, here just enjoy this simple recipe:

Take about 500 gms of falsa. Before buying check that most of the falsa should be fully ripe, fully ripe ones will be soft and not hard. Now take this falsa in a bowl, wash it well and then smash them with your hands. Do not use any food processor for this job because they grind the seeds as well and spoil the taste. Once smashed well, it will look like jam. Don’t worry about the seeds, let them be there. Now take 500 gms of sugar (since we had 500gms of falsa) and mix the sugar in smashed falsa. Just mix it well and leave it for few hours, all the sugar crystals will dissolve itself. Always remember that quantity of sugar will be equal to quantity of falsa. You can keep this mix in a clear jar and put it in refrigerator.

Now to make sherbet, put two spoon of falsa jam in a glass of ice cold water. Mix it well and filter it in another glass. Enjoy the drink.

 

IMG_0635

Fried potato in gravy

Yesterday I was thinking of making fried potatoes with dip and ended up making this unique dish. I don’t know how I started putting this all together randomly selecting the ingredients but end result was awesome. As you can see in the photo only that much was left for taking photograph. Enough talking and here is the recipe:

 

 

 

 

 

 

What you need:

  • 6 medium sized potatoes
  • 5 – 6 spinach leaves
  • 3 – 4 mint leaves
  • 2 fresh lemon leaves
  • 150ml fresh cream
  • cheese spread – 2 spoon
  • ginger paste – 1 tea spoon
  • tomato ketchup – 1 tablespoon
  • chilli sauce – 3 tea spoon
  • chat masala
  • lemon juice – 2 tea spoon
  • honey – 2 tea spoon
  • salt to taste

How to make it:
Half boil the potatoes. I just kept them for 3 minutes in microwave and they were good enough. Now peel them and cut in cubes. Heat oil and fry these until golden brown and keep it aside.

For gravy:
In a grinder put cream, cheese, mint leaves, spinach leaves and lemon leaves, salt and make a smooth paste. Heat little oil and put ginger paste, tomato sauce and chilli sauce. Now fry it for sometime and add the paste we made above and fry till oil separates.

Now add friend potatoes and sprinkle chat masala and mix. Add lemon juice and honey as well and mix. Dish is ready for serving!