Friday, April 29, 2011

Mango Pickle

Mango Pickle 1
               Raw mango/pacha manga    --   1 medium
               Red chilly powder                       --   4 tbsp
               Salt                                                     --   as needed 
               Gingelly oil                                     --   ½ cup 
               Mustard seeds                              --   ¾ tsp
               Curry leaves                                  --   2-3 sprigs
               Ginger                                              --   1 inch piece
               Garlic                                               --   5 - 6 cloves  
               Asafoetida powder                    --   ¼ tsp
               Fenugreek powder                     --   ¼ tsp
               Vinegar                                           --   ¼ cup
Preparation of the pickle:
Cut the mango into small cubes. Add red chilly powder and salt and mix well. Set aside for atleast 2 - 3 hours.
Mango Pickle 5      Mango Pickle 6
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves. Add the chopped ginger & garlic. Saute until the raw smell goes off. Switch off the flame; Add the mango pieces and mix well. Add asafoetida and fenugreek powder. Continue mixing until the raw smell from the powders is gone. Add vinegar and mix well.
Mango Pickle 7    Mango Pickle 8
Store in an airtight container.
Mango Pickle 2

Friday, April 22, 2011


Wish you all a Happy Easter !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As an Easter treat, Presenting you the dessert which really tests your patience, while you prepare. But believe me… its all worth your effort. 

Tiramisu 25

I prepared this dessert around  5 –6 months back for a get together. And since the process was so lengthy, it took all these months for me to draft this post JJJ . And Yeah.. I did manage to click most of the pics too JJJ

I checked a number of sites for this recipe. Everyone had their own versions. And I did absorb parts from many of them. So not sure about which is the authentic recipe. Whether the authentic one or not, I just know that this was yummy…

We need to prepare different items, which we finally assemble as the great Tiramisu. So here I start with the first one.

Mascarpone cheese :

Tiramisu 3


            Heavy whipping cream --   3 cups
            Fresh Lemon Juice --   2 tbsp

Preparation of Cheese:   

Adopted from Baking Obsession.

Boil water in a double boiler or a wide pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low so the water is barely simmering. Pour the cream into a medium heat-resistant bowl, and place the bowl into the pan. I used a pressure cooker into which I inserted a sauce pan. Heat the cream, stirring often. It will take about 15 minutes of delicate heating. Add the lemon juice and continue heating the mixture, stirring gently, until the cream curdles. Do not expect the same action as you see during paneer making. All that the whipping cream will do is become thicker. It will cover a back of your wooden spoon thickly. You will see just a very few clear whey streaks when you stir. Remove the bowl from the water and let cool for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, line a sieve with four layers of dampened cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Transfer the mixture into the lined sieve. Do not squeeze the cheese in the cheesecloth or press on its surface (be patient, it will firm up after refrigeration time). Once cooled completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (in the sieve) overnight or up to 24 hours.

Tiramisu 1      Tiramisu 2

The author said "The first time I made mascarpone I had all doubts if it’d been cooked enough or if I had poured enough lemon juice, because of its custard-like texture. Have no fear, it will firm up beautifully in the fridge, and will yet remain lusciously creamy.". Even after reading this, I had the same doubt, and in fact I wanted to add more lemon juice, which I restricted myself not to do.


Sponge fingers/Savioardi/lady's fingers (36 nos):

Tiramisu 12


    Cake flour    --   1 cup (I used 3/4 cup of all purpose flour + 2 tbsp of corn flour)
    Vanilla essence --   1 tsp
    Large eggs      --   6 separated
    Sugar           --   12 tbsp
    Powdered sugar  --   to sprinkle.

Tiramisu 14

Preparation of Savioardi:

    In a clean bowl - grease free and free of any moisture, add the egg whites. Whip until it holds peak. Add 6 tbsp of sugar little by little and beat well until it is thick, glossy and stiff.

Tiramisu 5a     Tiramisu 6

    Beat the egg yolks with remaining 6 tbsp of sugar at high speed until pale yellow and thick.Pour in vanilla and beat again until incorporated.

Tiramisu 7     Tiramisu 8

    Just sift the flour mix on the egg yolk mixture. Slowly add the egg whites, in 3 or 4 stages, folding carefully to the mixture just until incorporated and take care not to over mix.

Tiramisu 9

    Preheat the oven to 350 F.Line two baking sheets with baking paper. Fill the mixture in a plastic bag, piping bag or Ziploc bag with ½ inch wide hole. Hold the bag at 45 degrees and pipe out the mixture into 3 inch long sponge fingers leaving a space of 1 inch between each piping. After piping out all the cookies, add the powdered sugar in a wire strainer and lightly sift over the sponges.

Tiramisu 10      Tiramisu 11

    Bake it until just firm and barely golden for about 10-14 minutes depending on the oven temperature.Let it cool for sometime, remove and place on a wire rack for further cooling.

    For lazy ones like me, who do not want to pipe it out, here is the alternative. Line your pan with parchment paper or aluminium foil. Grease it with oil/butter. Pour the mix into the baking pan and bake until they are golden brown in colour. Repeat this 2 or 3 times as per your wish. The above quantity gives me 3 cakes in a 8x8 pan and 2 in a 13x8 pan.

Tiramisu 13

    Its all up to you to decide which is easier. Fingers would be complete in one batch, if you have big baking sheet and the cake would require 2 -3 batches. The taste doesn't differ. One more reason why I like to bake the cake is that, while assembling, you get an even surface to work on. But the fingers are the authentic way of making tiramisu J

Zabaglione (Pronounced as Sabayon, Courtesy --> Shabs, I would have never thought about how to pronounce this J)


    Large eggs yolks --   6 (Reserve the egg whites for assembling)
    Sugar --   6 tbsp
    Vanilla Essence -- ½ tsp
    Marsala wine/coffee --   ½ cup

Preparation of Zabaglione:

In a heat-proof bowl , beat the egg yolks,sugar,vanilla and wine/coffee until you get creamy and pale yellow mixture(zabaglione). Heat water in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, place a pot with about an inch of water in it on the stove. Place the bowl with the mixture on the pot making sure the bottom does not touch the water. Do not let the water boil, but let it be simmering hot.Whisk the zabaglione well for around ten minutes until it gets thick. Add vanilla essence to this and keep it aside to cool.

Tiramisu 15     Tiramisu 16

There are chances of the egg yolk getting curdled if the water boils/the bowl touches the hot water/bowl gets too hot. So make sure that these do not happen.

When it cools to room temperature, refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.


Vanilla pastry cream:

    I have not seen addition of the pastry cream in many recipes. But I loved the taste. You can ignore as per you liking. But let me tell you.. Taste this atleast once.


    Whole milk  --   3/4 cup
    Sugar      -- 1/4 cup
    All purpose flour   -- 1 tbsp
    Vanilla Essence     -- ½ tsp
    Large eggs yolk     --   1
    Lemon zest           --   ½ tsp

Preparation of pastry cream:

Mix together the sugar, flour, lemon zest and vanilla extract in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. To this add the egg yolk and half the milk. Whisk until smooth.

Now place the saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from curdling. Add the remaining milk a little at a time, still stirring constantly. After about 10 - 12 minutes the mixture will be thick, free of lumps and beginning to bubble. (If you have a few lumps, don’t worry. You can push the cream through a fine-mesh strainer.)

Tiramisu 17

Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.

Whipped Cream:


    Chilled heavy cream --  2 cups
    Sugar -- ½ cup
    Vanilla Essence -- ½ tsp

Preparation of whipped cream:

Chill the bowl to whip the cream in the refrigerator for about an hour. Add the cream sugar and vanilla and whip until they form peaks. Set aside

Tiramisu 18



Mascarpone cheese  --   500 gms (Made out of 3 cups of cream)
Whipped cream -- 2 cups
Savioardi -- 36 (or 2 - 3 layers of cake)
Zabaglione -- Prepared from 4 egg yolks
Vanilla pastry cream -- Prepared as per the above measurements.
Strong coffee powder --  2 tbsp
Water  --   2 cups
Sugar -- 4 tbsp
Large egg whites -- 4 (you will have the ones left over from the zabaglione)
Vanilla essence -- 2 tsp
Cocoa powder  --  2 - 3 tbsp

Tiramisu 26

Assembling the Tiramisu:

The recipes for all the ingredients are given here.Let me now tell you the order in which or when you have to prepare these. Making a tiramisu from scratch takes atleast 2 - 3 days of planning.

Mascarpone cheese -- a day before you assemble the tiramisu.
Savioardi -- Can be prepared any time before assembling. But to make it easy, I did it the same day as that of the cheese. You can even preserve them in an airtight container for 2 -3 weeks.
Zabaglione -- 4 hours to one day before assembling the tiramisu.
Vanilla pastry cream -- 4 hours to one day before assembling the tiramisu.

If you have all these ready, then lets start assembling it :)

Prepare 2 cups of coffee by adding boiling water to coffee and add sugar. Keep it aside to cool.

Whip the cream as mentioned. Mix the mascarpone cheese in the whipped cream and mix well until no lumps appear. Add the cooled zabaglione to this and mix well. Then add the cooled pastry cream to this and mix well.

 Tiramisu 19

Whip the egg whites until peaks form and fold into the cheese and cream mixture to keep it light and airy. Do not over mix it..

Tiramisu 20

Now in a large clear glass dish (I took a 13x8 pyrex dish), just dip the sponge fingers in the coffee and layer them side by side until you cover the bottom of the dish with the sponge fingers dipped in coffee. Don’t keep the sponge fingers in coffee for long time since they tend to absorb liquid too quickly. Just dip each side for a second.

Tiramisu 21

Pour half of the cheese cream mixture over this lady’s fingers and again layer another layer of savoiardi dipped in coffee over this cream mixture and tip over the rest of cream mixture.

Cover carefully with a plastic wrap and Refrigerate for minimum  of 12 hours and if possible for 24 hours to get the tiramisu set completely.

Tiramisu 22 Tiramisu 24

To serve, carefully remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle cocoa powder on the tiramisu using a fine-mesh strainer or decorate as you please. Cut into individual portions and serve.

Tiramisu 27

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Chakka Pradhaman / Jackfruit Kheer

Here comes my Vishu Special….

Chakka Pradhaman 1


Chakka varatti/Jack fruit halwa    -   1 cup packed
Jaggery                                                      -   4 - 5 blocks (this depends on how sweet the chakka varatti is. So adjust accordingly.)
Water                                                           -   1 cup
Thin Coconut milk                                  -   2 cup
Thick Coconut milk                                -   1 cup
Cardamom                                                -   4 no ( crushed into fine powder)
Dry ginger powder(chukku podi)   -   ¼ teaspoon
Coconut pieces                                        -   ¼ cup
Cashew nuts                                             -   15 - 20 no
Ghee/clarified butter                           -   1 tablespoon
Rice flour                                                   -   1 tablespoon  (optional)

Preparation of Chakka Pradhaman:


In a thick bottom pan add jaggery and ½ cup water. Let it boil and let the jaggery melt completely. Strain the melted jaggery into another pan. Mix the chakka varatti and strained jaggery and keep on low flame, so the chakka varatti loosens and becomes jam consistency.

Add the thin coconut milk to the mixture and let is cook for about 8 - 10 minutes, Until it reaches a slightly thicker consistency. Add dry ginger and cardamom powder.

Meanwhile, in a small pan heat ghee and first roast the cashew nuts till they become golden brown and set aside. In the same pan add coconut pieces and fry them until they brown in color and set aside.

Then add thick coconut milk along and cook for another 3 - 5  minutes and switch of the flame.

If you feel that the consistency of the payasam is still thin, take 2 tbsp of the payasam, mix rice flour into it and make a paste out of it. Add this paste into the payasam and cook for 2 minutes.

Chakka Pradhaman 2

To this add roasted cashew nuts, coconut pieces.  Serve hot / cold. I love to have chilled payasams :)

And here is my Vishu Kani…