Friday, March 27, 2015

Shami Kebabs : Round Minced Meat Rissoles

Shami Kebab / Shami Tikka is a popular snack in Indian Cuisine. Like many other non-vegetarian dishes, it was introduced to South Asia during the Mughal period by Muslim immigrants from the Middle East. It’s made of a richly flavored small patty of minced meat.

Usually, lamb /goat/beef meat is used with ground chickpeas and egg that helps to hold it together. This yummy appetizer is normally served with ring onion, lemon and some green chutney of coriander or mint. 

Today I will share the recipe of this tasty appetizer that I made a couple of weeks back for a party at my home.  The aroma of the dry spices combined with meat and pulses make this dish very delicious. It not only tastes melt in the mouth, it’s healthy too as it’s not deep-fried but slowly cooked on a Tawa / skillet. 

Recipe of Shami Kebabs ( I have used chicken here, you can use lamb/ goat meat too  serves - 4 to 6 people 

Ingredients :

Chicken / Mutton / Lamb : 500 g
Channa Dal / Split Bengal Gram : 1/2 cup
Onion: 1 medium one, finely chopped
Ginger paste: 1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon
Garlic paste: 1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon 
Green chillis: two, chopped or as per your tolerance
Red Chili powder: 1 teaspoon 
Garam Masala powder: 1 teaspoon 
Oil: 2 tablespoons
Salt: to taste 

Finely chopped onion, green chilies, mint, and cilantro: a handful
Lime juice: few drops 

Egg: 1 Butter / Clarified Butter / oil  

Method :

1. Soak the Chana Dal (Bengal grams ) in water for 2 to 3 hours. Wash, rinse and then put it in the pressure cooker. Add a cup of water to it, cover the lid on and cook it on medium heat until three whistles come. Let the steam release on its own.

Once it is done, open the pressure cooker, discard the extra water and keep the cooked dal aside.

2. In the same pressure cooker, add chicken/mutton and add 1 cup water. Add a tablespoon of ginger and garlic and cook it on medium heat until the meat is cooked. ( if you use chicken 2 whistles is enough, if it is mutton then 4 whistles )  Let the steam release on its own. Preserve the chicken stock for other recipes. Discard the bone parts and set the chicken/ mutton aside. 

3. Take a big non-stick pan, add 2 tablespoons of oil and heat it up. When the oil is hot, add chopped onions, saute the onion for a couple of minutes. Add chopped green chilies. Add grated ginger and garlic, cook it until raw smell goes off. Add cooked chicken or mutton. Give some stirs. Add red chili powder and garam masala powder. Add salt and cooked chana dal. Mix it together. Switch off the gas and let the mixture come to room temperature. 

4. Take a blender, add the mixture to it grind it to a coarse paste. 

5. Transfer it from the blender to a plate. Add finely chopped onion, green chilies, mint, and cilantro. Add lime juice and mix well. Check the seasoning. 

6. Now divide the mixture into equal portions. Using your palm make the kebabs of any desired shape, generally flat round shape. 

7. Beat the egg with a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of water.

8. Take a nonstick pan, add butter / clarified butter. D
ip each kebab in the egg mixture and shallow fry the kebabs from both sides till golden brown. Serve hot as an appetizer or a snack with ring onions, lemon and some green chutney of coriander or mint or tomato ketchup. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Chocolate & Mousse Layer Cake With Ganache Frosting

Birthdays are great excuses for me to bake cake. In this time of the year, you would definitely find one or two cake recipes on my blog. Two birthdays that are close to my heart come during this time. Two years back Mix and Stir was born around this time and my husband's birthday is also at the beginning of March. When we celebrate any birthday in our family, I generally ask what type of cake they would like to have, even though I know the answer from my son will always be Chocolate.

This time I made Chocolate Mousse Cake with Chocolate Ganache for my husband's birthday. This cake was so delicious that just three of us could have finished the entire cake without much effort. Before we dive into the recipe, let me share you a brief description of the cake. This rich chocolate cake stacked between layers of light and soft chocolate mousse, finishes with a look of deep, dark and sweet blanket of chocolate ganache

 There are three different components involved–cake, mousse filling, and ganache. The final layer of the chocolate is the silky ganache that is not so difficult to make. It contains only two ingredients – heavy cream and semi-sweet chocolate chips. When you mix up all three of these divine elements of chocoholic joy into one bite, you create the most delicious chocolate cake that you will ever have in your whole life. I like baking but when it comes to cake decoration, it’s not my comfort zone. I don't have even cake stand or an offset spatula. 

Recipe of Chocolate Mousse Cake with Ganache Frosting 

Ingredients :

For Egg-less Dark Chocolate Cake 

All purpose Flour : 1 cup
Baking powder : 1/2 teaspoon
Baking soda : 1 teaspoon
Unsweetened Cocoa powder : 1/2 cup
Granulated Sugar : 3/4 cup
Oil : 1/2 cup 
Hot Coffee - 1/4 cup ( 1 tsp of coffee in 1/4 cup hot water ) 
Milk : 1/4 cup
Yogurt : 1/4 cup 
Vanilla extract : 1 teaspoon 

For Chocolate Mousse :

Whipping Cream : 1 cup
Semi sweet Chocolate Chips : 1/2 cup
Unsalted Butter : 2 tablespoons 

For Chocolate Ganache : 

Semi sweet chocolate chips : 3 cups 
Whipping Cream : 1 and half cups 

Method :

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F or 170 degree C. Lightly grease an 8-inch round cake pan.

2. In a large mixing bowl, sift the all purpose four, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and sugar. Mix together, and add the wet ingredients one by one. 

3. Mix all the ingredients, using a wooden spatula or you can use an electric mixer. mix it until all the ingredients are well combined.

4. Divide the mixture into the three parts. Pour the batter ( 1/3 of the batter ) in the prepared pan and spread the batter evenly. 

5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake, comes out clean. You can use three different pans, or bake the other two parts like the same way one by one.

6. Let the cake cool down slightly, then remove the cake to a rack and cool completely. Wrap and chill until ready to assemble. 

For Chocolate Mousse :

1. Take a saucepan, add water. Bring about an inch of water to a simmer in the saucepan. 

2. Set chocolate chips in the bottom of a metal or glass bowl, make sure it is heat-proof.  Set the heatproof bowl in the mouth of the pot, make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir chocolate occasionally as it softens. When the chocolate chips are almost soft, remove bowl from heat. Mix the chocolate nicely, stirring it. 

3.Once the chocolate is melted, set aside to cool slightly.
  1. 4. Whip the heavy cream in the stand mixer using the whisk attachment or using electric mixer. Whip until it thickens and peaks form.
  2. 5. Add the butter and melted chocolate. Whip for another 30 seconds or until the mousse is thick and fully blended. Once it is done, chill it until ready to use. 

For Chocolate Ganache : 

1. Take a heatproof bowl, put the chocolate chips and keep it aside. 

2. Take a saucepan, place cream and butter in it and heat it over medium heat, bring it to a boil. 

3. When it just starts to a boil, immediately pour the boiling cream and butter mixture over the chocolate chips. Let it rest for couple of minutes, then stir until the mixture gets smooth, beat it with a wire whisk till it becomes soft and fluffy.

4. This is the final step, which is to assemble the cake. Once the cakes are completely cooled, wrap in plastic and place the cake in the refrigerator for at least an hour. This makes the spreading of the frosting a much easier task as a freshly baked cake is quite fragile and when you try to spread the frosting, there is a tendency for the cake to tear.

5. Cut the top swelling parts off of each cake. Place the first layer of cake on your serving plate. Spread with half of the chocolate mousse. Place the next cake layer on and spread with the remaining mousse. Place the last layer of cake on top and slowly pour the ganache over it to completely cover the top. It will run over the sides of the cake.

6. Decorate with more chocolates, as I did with ferrero rochers and chocolate wafer rolls. 

Note : Any leftover cake can be refrigerated or frozen. Cover with plastic wrap and put it into the freezer or refrigerator.  It stays fresh for couple of days. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Beetroot Pulao ( Rice with Mix of vegetable and Whole Spices )

I have a quick and easy recipe today. Light but intensely aromatic and colorful that goes well with this spring season. Though in US officially spring is yet to come, but in southern California we already started enjoying spring-like weather. This is a rice recipe with pleasant smell and mix of vegetable and spices, called vegetable pulao. The whole spices and the “ghee” (clarified butter) make this dish so pleasantly fragrant. 

Pulao is believed to be a Persian dish (named Pilaf) and originated from Middle Eastern countries. Like many other dishes, this has been introduced to Indian cuisine probably during Muslim rules in India. You can make this dish with Basmati rice, that is mostly used in signature rice dished of Indian cuisine. Basmati Rice is a variety of long grain rice grown mainly in the Indian Subcontinent. The main characteristic of the Basmati rice is the intense fragrance that fills the air when the rice is being cooked.

Vegetable Pulao is not a fancy or an elaborate dish like the Biryani. It is simpler and a quick-fix recipe. Instead of having the same plain old steamed rice, you can jazz it up by adding few vegetables and spices during special occasions. I have been making vegetable pulao for several years now but was not using beetroot and sweet potato in my version. Off late, one of my friend made this dish with these ingredients and I really liked it. Later I collected the recipe from her and tried at my home. This dish could be served as a main dish with a side of salad and yogurt. It can also be served as a side dish that pairs well with grilled meat and poultry.

Recipe of Vegetable Pulao : serves 4 to 5 

Ingredients :

Basmati Rice : 2 cups 
Green cardamoms : 3
Cinnamon Stick : 1 inch 
Cloves : 3 
Cashew nuts : 2 tablespoons, soaked in water and halved 
Ghee : 2 tablespoons 
Oil : 2 tablespoons
Carrot ( thinly sliced / chopped ) : 1/2 cup
Beetroot ( thinly sliced / chopped ) : 1/2 cup
Sweet potato ( optional ) ( thinly sliced or chopped : one small 
Green Chilies : 1 or 2, slit vertically 
Paneer cubes : 1/2 cup
Salt :
Sugar :
Water : 4 and half cups. 

Method :

1. Wash the rise, then soak it in enough water for 30 minutes. Drain the water and set it aside. 

2. Now take a deep bottomed pan, add oil and ghee. Add the cashews and fry them, until they are nice brown colored. Once done, set it aside. 

3. Add the paneer cubes and fry it until they are golden brown in color. Keep it aside. 

4. Now add the whole spices ( cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves). Once they become fragrant, add the green chilies and sliced vegetables. Add salt and saute it for 2 to 3 minutes on a low flame. 

5. Add drained rice. Stir the rice gently for 2-3 minutes on a low flame, so that the rice gets well coated with the oil. Add fried cashews and paneer cubes. 

6. Pour 4 and half cups of water and stir well. Cover and cook the rice on a medium fame till the water is absorbed. Check in between. Add water, if needed. Once the rice is cooked, fluff it gently with a fork. Check the seasoning. Add salt or, sugar if needed and let it stand for five minutes covered with the lid. 

Serve hot as a main dish with a side of salad and yogurt. It can also be served as a side dish that pairs well with grilled meat and poultry or any vegetarian curries. 

Recipes , you might like with this dish :

Kashmiri Dum Aloo

Choto Aloo-r Dom ( Baby Potato Curry )