Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Yakhni Pulao

It’s that time of the year, the month of October when the Bengali hearts across the world start to beat in excitement . Yes, our long wait for one year is over, it’s now the time to celebrate Durga Puja. From the very first day of October I can feel the festive mood in the air, smell the flowers of the season even though sitting far away from the land of Durgoutsav. Since we can’t wake up in the early morning and tune to radio any more, played the “Agamoni” song so many times in YouTube. The sound of “Dhak” is still so fresh and can bring back the childhood joy to our minds.

Like every year, San Diego Bengali community started its preparation to celebrate Durga Puja from the beginning of the month. Last couple of weeks we were so busy preparing for kids drama. In the midst of this busy schedule, I got to manage some time to share this recipe that you can try in this festive month. Before introduction of the recipe, wish you all my Bengali readers a very Happy Durja Puja. 

Chicken Yakhni Pulao is my today's recipe. It’s a  simple rice based preparation, a classic and popular North Indian dish. Yakhni means broth or stock , the particular type of pulao is cooked in meat stock so it gets the name. Originally Yakhni Pulao is made with mutton broth, but here I am making this dish with chicken. Preparing this dish is not as complex as it sounds. Not only simple, it takes only 30 minutes to complete. People would love to have Yakhni Pulao with just salad or raita but you can add a curry dish too with it, if you wish.

Recipe of Chicken Yakhni Pulao : Serves 3 to 4 people 

Ingredients :

Chicken : 2 lbs ( around 1 kg ), cut into medium-big pieces 
Yogurt half cup 
Garlic paste : 2 tablespoons
Ginger paste : 1 and half tablespoons 
Ghee or white oil : 4 to 6 tablespoons 
Cloves : 3-4 
Cinnamon stick : 2 inch 
Green Cardamom : 3-4 
Black peppercorns : 2-3 
Bay leaf : 1
Caraway seeds ( sahi jeera ) : 1 teaspoon 
Green chilies : 3 , slit in half 
Turmeric powder : 1/2 teaspoon 
Salt :
Basmati rice : 2 cups 
water : 4 cups 
Red onion  : one big, thinly sliced 
Cashew nuts : halved , a handful 

Method :

1. Take a bowl, add chicken pieces. Add ginger paste,garlic paste and yogurt. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest for 1 to 2 hrs. 

2. Soak the rice in water for half an hour. Drain and set it aside. 

3. Take a big pan, add oil / ghee and heat it up. Add onion to the hot oil / ghee and stir it util it is crispy fried. Once it is done, take it off from the oil and keep it aside.

4. In the same oil, add the cashew nuts. Fry it until they are golden in color. Remove it from oil and set it aside. 

5. Add one or two tablespoons oil or ghee in the pan and again heat it up. Add green cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon stick, black pepper corns, bay leaf and caraway seeds. 

6. Once it sizzles, lower the flame add the chicken and marinade. Add the turmeric and green chilies. Saute the chicken for 5 to 6 minutes. Add salt and stir it again until oil separates from the spices. 

7. Add four cups of water. Once it starts boiling add the drained rice, mix it well. Cover the pan with lid. 

8. Reduce the heat and let it cook until both chicken and rice are done. 

9. Garnish the Pulao fried onion and fired cashew nuts and serve hot. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Brownie Ice Cream Cake

My east coast friends might find it strange that I’m posting a frozen treats in the month of October. Here in San Diego, summer is still there in its peak form and sometimes very close to scoring a century. So it’s great time for ice cream lovers to try out different experiments. But I see no reason for my other friends not to like this recipe because true ice cream lovers enjoy it round the year.

Today I am sharing a delicious cake recipe that I recently made for my son and his friends. It  is a decadent dessert, truly a chocolate-lover's dream . It’s pretty simple to assemble and surely will satisfy of anyone's chocolate and ice-cream craving both at the same time.

The cake has three layers. At the bottom it has a layer of brownie, topped with ice cream. Then it has some chocolate ganache over the ice-cream layer and finally decorated with some oreo cookies. You need to first bake the brownie. Once it is done, let it cool down and pour the soft ice-cream over it. Then freeze it and finally pour the chocolate ganache over it. You are all set to indulge yourself. 

Recipe of Brownie Ice Cream Cake : 9 inch round Cake : Serves : 15 to 20 people. 

Ingredients :

Fudge Brownie mix : 1 box
Water :1/3 cup 
Vegetable Oil : 3 tablespoons 
Plain Yogurt : 1/4 cup ( to substitute for egg )
Vanilla Extract : 1 teaspoon
Ice Cream ( any flavor as per your choice , here I used Chocolate Chip Cookie dough Ice Cream ) : 1/2 gallon 

For Chocolate Ganache :

Semi sweet chocolate chips : 2 cups 
Heavy Whipping Cream : 1 cup

For Decoration : 

Oreo Cookies 

Method :

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (170 C ) Grease a 9 inch springform pan with nonstick spray.

2. Combine the water, vegetable oil, Plain yogurt, vanilla extract. Mix the wet ingredients with a fork.

3. Add the mixture to brownie mix. Mix it well. 

4. Pour the mixture into the greased pan and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes until it is set or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan.

5. Once brownie is cool, remove the ice cream from freezer and allow it to soften for about 8 to 10 minutes. 

6.  Now evenly spread the ice cream in a layer over the brownie layer. Wrap the cake pan tightly in plastic wrap and freeze at least 2 hours or until ice cream is firm.  

7.  Take a heatproof bowl, put the chocolate chips and keep it aside. Take a saucepan, place cream in it and heat it over medium heat, bring it to a boil. 

8. When it just starts to a boil, immediately pour the boiling cream 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.

9. Remove the cake from freezer, remove the wrap. Drizzle it with chocolate ganache, decorate with oreo cookies and serve immediately. 

Note: If you eat eggs,  you can bake the brownie as per package direction.