Saturday, September 14, 2013

Kesar Pista Kulfi | Indian Style Saffron Flavored Ice Cream

Kulfi is an Indian Style Ice cream that can be prepared without using an Ice cream maker. It comes in many flavors and the most favorite one is this saffron flavored chiller.

My first indulgence of authentic kulfi was in Jaipur,North India, during my college days.We had been there for a tour and our gang indulged in this so much that the vendor literally ran out of stock!

Usually they are served in small Earthenware or on Popsicle sticks. I froze them in both...


I used:

Full fat milk -1 liter
Condensed milk- 1/2 tin
Sugar - 1/4 cup [adjust to taste]
Cornflour - 2 tablespoons
Cardamom powder- 1/4 teaspoon
Saffron - a few strands, soaked in a tablespoon of warm  milk
Chopped pistachio nuts- 1/2 cup


  1. Take the corn flour in a small bowl and add a little milk to it and make a thin paste without lumps. Keep aside
  2. Heat the remaining milk,condensed milk,sugar and bring to boil. Simmer till it reduces to 3/4 the original volume.Scrap off the cream from the sides and add to the milk so that it is all the more creamier.
  3. Put in the corn flour mixture and stir well without any lumps.
  4. Cook for a few minutes till the mixture thicken a little more
  5. Gently rub the saffron into the milk in which it is soaked and add it to the milk mixture.
  6. Next in goes the chopped nuts and cardamom powder.
  7. Remove form heat and cool completely.
  8. Pour into Kulfi molds / Popsicle molds / Earthen pots[cover with a foil before freezing].Freeze till set and serve....




Absolutely delicious Kulfi ready!!!!


Bon Appetit...


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How To Brew South Indian Filter Coffee

After a long time, I am back with a post. It is not exactly a recipe but something that is a part of our 'lifestyle'....

For most of us South Indians, the day does not begin until we have our morning cup of coffee. Not just any coffee,it must be a 'filter coffee'


Frothy and piping hot, this coffee rejuvenates us and makes it easier to start the day on an energetic note. Popularly known as Filter Kaapi,it is really an art to prepare.Each family/ household has its own variations and techniques. I have made an attempt to bring my morning cup of coffee here. 



Before I go any further let me share a few memories.In my childhood, I was strictly forbidden to drink coffee.Mom wanted me to have milk which I hated.So I was given cocoa based drinks. I would yearn for a sip of coffee and mom seeing my craving would pass me just a couple of sips. I wanted to grow up as quickly as possible just to drink this coffee.Later at a certain stage[around high school age,I think],mom realized that she could not keep me away from this aromatic beverage and would pass me a small mug of coffee sometimes.Now there is no keeping me away from coffee :).

The aroma and flavor of homemade filter kaapi is unique and the instant coffee mixes can come nowhere near the flavor of the fresh decoction.

Let us move on to today's post.....

To prepare this filter Kapi, you need a coffee filter as seen below.It has 2 compartments,One is the base[seen in the right] and the top compartment is the one with holes where the coffee powder and water is allowed to drip into. It gets collected in the bottom compartment.



First see to that all the holes in the top compartment are open. In case a few are blocked use a needle to clear away the clog. Gently warm the top compartment for a couple of minutes...



Put in the ground coffee powder. This powder can be in your preferred ratio.Some coffee powders have higher chicory content, while some are pure coffee.Either way its up to your taste. For the above filter we add around 5 tablespoons of coffee powder.Fit the compartment over the bottom part.



Then lightly press down  the powder. This can be done with the plunger like device that comes with the coffee filter vessel or use a small ladle.If the is loosely packed, the decoction will not be thick / flavorful. At the same time do not press it down too hard as the water will not seep into the coffee powder



In a vessel boil water. Pour it along the edge into the comparment with the coffee powder. The reason why it is poured gently is to make sure that the coffee powder layer is not disturbed.



Fill the water to the brim



Cover and let it sit for sometime..



The decocotion is now ready.....


To prepare the perfect cup of Kaapi, one must not heat the milk and the decoction. Here is what must be done.Pour the required quantity of decoction into a tumbler.Yes, a stainless tumbler and not a cermaic / porcelain mug  cup. In a vessel heat  milk till it is almost boiling. Add sugar and stir to mix. Pour the piping hot milk over the decoction in the tumbler and serve.As you can see this kapi is served in a Davara-Tumbler as it is called.The vessel that holds the tumbler is the Davara.

When served in the Davara-tumbler, the coffee is swished a couple of times between the dawara and tumbler to bring the coffee to the right temperature and make it more frothier.




Note:

  • Always remember to serve this coffee piping hot and frothy.
  • The time taken for the decoction to seep varies with the size of the filter used. So it is wise to do this at night so that you wake up to a jar full of fresh decoction.
  • Play around with the quantity of milk,sugar and decoction till you get the flavor and strength[of coffee] to suit your taste.
  • In a TV show, it was mentioned that a spoon of sugar sprinkled over the packed coffee powder in step  3 [before adding water] enhances the taste of the coffee.
  • This coffee tastes best[according to me] if there is hint of bitterness. If it is too sweet, then there is no fun in enjoying this coffee.
  • To the best taste of filter coffee, roast and grind the coffee beans as and when you want to prepare the decoction. But I do know it is not possible in our busy schedule.To compensate this fact, store the ground coffee powder in the refrigerator and use as needed.
  • Sometimes a second decoction which is slightly a thinner version is also prepared with the same powder. After the first extract, boiling water is added to fill half the top compartment.The coffee prepared with the second decoction is not as tasty as the one prepared with the first extract.
  • You can store the decoction in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a couple of days [provided there is no power cut and your refrigerator is in good working condition]
  • Discard the previous days coffee powder, wash and use the filter to prepare another batch of decoction.

Bon Appetit...

 

Catch me cooking @ Seduce Your Tastebuds

Friday, September 9, 2011

Shahi Paneer Kofta Masala

You might have noticed that I have been posting a lot of recipes with Paneer and Tofu. We love them so much that these two appear on our table often.Though I wanted to share some other recipe here, I am posting one of my favorite recipe today which is paneer based . This dish has been praised and savored with the same gusto every time I serve it.  

Shahi denotes something rich,creamy and fit for kings. In one word it can be summarized as 'Royal'. Paneer is Indian cottage cheese. Koftas are dumplings. So I guess you would have understood that you are about to be a part of a royal indulgence......

I came up with this recipe a few months ago when I was feeling so bored one afternoon and wanted to cook something different and exotic[That usually happens to me-Boring = go and cook something]. I had to prepare dinner earlier as we had plans to go shopping . A side dish would be the perfect thing to cook ahead and so this dish came up in my mind. It took an hour from start to finish. I had made paneer earlier that day with no idea what to make with it and used it here.

When dinner was served hubby was the first one to taste it and he was literally spell bound. I am not exaggerating here. He loved it so much. Lil angel loved the koftas and MIL made no comments about the gravy. When she came into the kitchen later that night she praised it. She said it was just like the ones served in restaurants and hubby who happened to pass that side peeped in to comment that it tasted better than the restaurant food!!

All those rich and creamy ingredients had worked their magic on the dish and I got praised for it!!!!




I used:

Homemade paneer from ¾ liter milk [ make sure that the whey is completely drained out]
Coarsely ground pistachio nuts – 2 tablespoons
Almonds -10
Khus- khus seeds / Poppy seeds -2 teaspoons
Tomato puree- 1 cup
Onion- 2, sliced
Ginger garlic paste- 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds -1 teaspoon
Fresh Yogurt -1 cup
Whole spices – cardamom seeds from 2 pods, cloves -2 , cinnamon- a small piece.
Kasuri methi / Dried fenugreek leaves -1 tablespoon
Red chilli powder -1 ½ teaspoons
Coriander powder -1 teaspoon
Cumin powder -1/2 a teaspoon
Salt to taste
Butter -1 tablespoon
Oil to deep fry


1.    Soak khus khus / poppy seeds in the smallest jar of your blender.[It is a lot easier this way than soaking it in a cup and then transferring to the blender jar as half of them get stuck to your finger / spoon / the cup]
2.    Microwave almonds in a cup of water for 2 minutes and when cool remove the skin[and discard] and keep aside[the almonds].
3.    Heat butter in a pan and sauté onion till brown. Cool and grind to a smooth paste.
4.    Grind the almonds along with the soaked khus khus to a fine paste and keep aside.
5.    In a bowl take crumbled paneer and coarsely powdered pistachio and mix well. Make small balls and deep fry in oil till golden brown and keep aside.
6.    Heat a little oil in another pan and add cumin seeds and whole spices.
7.    When the cumin crackles, put in the ginger garlic paste and onion paste. Cook for a minute.
8.    Add the tomato puree, coriander powder, chilli powder, cumin powder, salt and mix well.
9.    Add around ½ a cup of water and bring to boil.
10.  Now put in the ground almond-khus-khus[poppy seed] paste and mix well.
11.  Simmer for 5 minutes and add the yogurt.
12.  Adjust consistency by adding water/ milk.Simmer for 10 minutes.
13.  Add the kasuri methi and remove from heat.
14. When you are ready to serve, heat the gravy once again and bring to boil and add the fried koftas.Simmer for a couple of seconds .

Serve with Roti / Chapathi [Griddle cooked Indian flatbreads]




Though the ingredient list and the steps are lengthy, this is a true treat. Served with Chapathi / Roti, every bite is pure bliss.



Bon Appetit...

 

Catch me cooking @ Seduce Your Tastebuds

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