Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Classic French Onion Soup Recipe

French soupe à l'oignon

French Onion Soup


So I was watching the wonderful movie Julie and Julia when I had a sudden craving to try one of Julia Child's French recipes. Then I remembered that amazing French Onion soup I had on my last visit to Paris and how I wish I could re-create that magic. So I looked up Julia's recipes and found this classic French Onion Soup recipe which I simplified and it turned out absolutely decadent! Noting spells comfort food better than this French Onion Soup recipe! Must try it to believe it! Read on!

Slice up 3 white onions. Heat a tablespoon each of oil and butter together in a heavy bottomed pan. Add some garlic paste or finely chopped garlic, a bay leaf and 2 sprigs of fresh thyme.. Let the onions cook till they're tender with the lid on for about 15 minutes on low heat. Next up, caramelize the onions on medium high heat by adding a teaspoon of sugar. Once onions are browned and caramelized, add half a cup of red wine. Once the wine starts bubbling, add a tablespoon of flour and stir. Continue cooking till the mixture thickens. Add chicken or beef or vegetable stock and bring the soup to boil. Finally add salt and pepper to taste.

Brush some butter/ oil on the surface of a couple of one inch thick bread slices. You can use a baguette if you wish to. Toast the slices in an oven to make them turn light brown and crunchy. 

Pour your soup into two oven proof bowls and fill only two thirds of each bowl with soup. Then, place your slices on each bowl of soup by dunking them half way so that the slices of bread start soaking the soup but aren't entirely covered in soup. Grate some Gruyere cheese or Mozarella and Cheddar cheese over your soup bowls to completely cover the soup and bread slices with cheese. If the bowl is not overflowing with cheese, it's not onion soup! 

While still bubbling in the oven!

Add very little grated raw onion on the cheese. Drizzle some melted butter or oil over the cheese and sprinkle very little paprika seasoning/ chilli powder over the cheese. Pop the bowls into the oven till that cheese bubbles away to glory and turns wonderfully brown and beautifully aromatic! This should take not more than 10 minutes on 175 degrees Celsius. 



If it's not overflowing, its not French Onion Soup!

So go ahead, give this a try and you will thank me for the rest of your lives! I just had a bbig bowl of this soup and I still can't stop drooling at the sight of these pictures. So I'm gonna go now and clean up my kitchen! You go try this and let me know how you liked it in the comments section below!

Much love,
SaloFalo
xoxo

Monday, 16 March 2015

Baked Butterfly Shrimp with Herb & Cheese Stuffing

Baked Butterfly Shrimp 

with Herb & Cheese Stuffing



Hello Lovelies, today I'm sharing with you something that I came up with after a wonderful restaurant experience that I combined with the ideas in my head! Guess what's better than Shrimp stuffed with cheese? Shrimp marinated in a lime, garlic & butter vinaigrette and topped with your favourite cheeses! So, let me tell you how to make this simple and truly decadent comfort food! 

Firstly, 'behead', wash and de-vein your shrimp by making and incision along the back of the shrimp right up to the tail. Make sure not to cut right through so as to keep the shrimp with its skin intact as 1 piece. De-vein the shrimp and wash it under cold running water and then pat dry each shrimp.

Make a lime and garlic vinaigrette by mixing the juice of half a lime, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, 2 tablespoons of garlic paste, salt & pepper to taste, some chopped tarragon & cilantro. I used this quantity of vinaigrette and stuffing for 12 medium-sized shrimps. Stuff each shrimp with the vinaigrette filling and top with grated mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. Bake in a pre-heated oven on 180 C for 20 minutes or until cheese bubbles and browns up. 

Serve with a spicy salsa dip/ tabasco sauce. Feel free to experiment with your choice of herbs. Some do it with spring onions / green onions and some may choose to use fresh Italian herbs. Do whatever floats your boat and let me know what worked best for you!! This recipe is a must try for all cheese lovers!

Watch this space for more such yummilicious recipes and comment below to tell me what you'd like for me to cover for you next!

Lots of love,
SaloFalo
xx






Thursday, 12 March 2015

Rajasthani Laal Maas

Spicy Lamb Curry Recipe





Hi my lovely readers, today I have for you the very traditional and authentic Rajasthani Laal Maas Recipe! Laal Maas literally translates to red meat! So I'm guessing, any Indian food lover would guess that the two main ingredients for this dish are lamb and red chillies! Well, that's absolutely right! This dish gets its fiery red flavour and colour from the dried red chillies and its richness from the ghee and yogurt. So without further delay, lets get started!

1.   Soak 8-10 whole red Kashmiri chillis in hot water and grind to a paste.
2.   Whisk together the red chilli paste, 1 tablespoon garam masala powder, 2 tablespoons garlic paste, half a cup of yogurt & salt and marinate the lamb overnight in the refrigerator.
3.   Heat ghee in a pot and add 2 bay leaves, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 whole black cardamom, 4 green cardamoms, 5 peppercorns, 5 cloves, a teaspoon fennel seeds and mace.
4.   Add 2 large chopped onions and saut√© till golden brown. Add 2 tablespoons ginger paste, 4-5 small cloves of garlic and stir for 4 to 5 minutes.
5.   Stir in some coriander, turmeric and red chilli powders. Add the lamb with the marinade, fry for a bit and then reduce flame.
6.   Add some water and bring to boil.
7.   Cook the meat until tender. Add the tomato puree (made of 2 tomatoes) and stir. Then add a couple more whole red chillies. Cook on low flame till the lamb pieces are coated with the masala and tender.
8.   Cooking in the pressure cooker might take 6-7 whistles on medium heat and 10-15 minutes on low heat.
9. Adjust salt and serve pipping hot with steamed rice or roti.
Do try this lovely recipe and do let me know how you liked it. Your feedback means a lot to me, so don't forget to comment in the comment's section below and follow me so that you keep getting updates of my new recipes! 
Wont waste your time! Go try it...NOW!
Love.
SaloFalo xx


Friday, 6 March 2015

Chicken Biryani Recipe (Special tips included)

Chicken Dum Biryani Recipe
Restaurant style!



Biryani is a slow cooked flavorful rice dish which is made by mixing it with curried meat or vegetables and owes its roots to the Indian Subcontinent. I've made Biryanis several times before, but on this occasion, my parents just couldn't stop praising it, so I thought I had to share it with you!

This particular recipe is called a Dum Biryani because the rice and meat are slow cooked under pressure so that the aromas and flavors are trapped in their own steam. It employs a longer procedure than the regular biryani, but after doing ample research, I came up with ways to make the recipe slightly simpler and more practical. How, you ask? Read on...

First up, powder a mixture of whole spices and add ginger  & garlic paste, chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, shahi jeera, salt, ghee, juice of half a lime, chopped coriander, chopped mint leaves and half a cup yogurt to the mixture. Mix well to form a paste and marinate chicken pieces overnight or at least for 3-4 hours. Tip - Overnight marination works best! Also, pierce the chicken and use fresh chicken instead of frozen.

Next, slice up 2 medium sized onions, roughly sprinkle some corn flour over the onions and deep fry immediately. This will give you perfectly browned onions. Tip - Take the onions off the heat before it becomes too brown as the colour darkens a bit even after it is taken out of the hot oil. 

Roast a few cashew nuts and keep aside. The fried onions and cashew nuts are to be used along with a few sprigs of mint leaves for garnishing in the end.

Boil 3 cups of long grain Basmati rice so as to cook it half way through. Add salt, ghee, bay leaves and jeera to the water and drain the excess water once rice is cooked halfway. Add a few drops of kewra essence and rose water to the rice to bring out the true Biryani flavour in the rice. Tip - Soak the rice in water for 45 minutes before cooking so that grains lengthen and appear truly restaurant style.

Layer a thick bottomed pan (handi) with the chicken pieces and all of the marinade. Tip - You can also add half cooked potato wedges if you like potatoes in your biryani like my parents do! Sprinkle 1/3rd of the fried onions over the chicken and then layer with the half cooked rice. Top the rice with the rest of the fried onions, some food colour (optional), roasted cashew nuts and saffron soaked in hot milk. Tip - While placing the chicken in the bottom layer of the pan, make sure each piece touches the bottom of the pan to ensure equally cooked pieces and a flavorful roasted texture to the chicken. 

Cover the pan with a lid and weights so that the steam and flavors are trapped in the pan. Place a tawa on the fire and the pan over the tawa so that the chicken doesnt burn. Cook the biryani on high flame for the first 10 minutes and then reduce the flame to a medium for the next 20 minutes. ...and Voila! Authentic Chicken Biryani is ready! Whip up some cucumber raita and serve with lime wedges and onion! This Biryani is to die for! 

Go try this right now and experience the taste of the most authentic restaurant style biryani in the comfort of your home! You can thank me later ;)

Lot's of love,
Salo!

Monday, 2 March 2015

Punjabi Chhole Bhature Recipe

Chhole Bhature Recipe

Chickpeas/ Garbanzo beans gravy served with Indian bread


My earliest memory of the best ever Chhole Bhature I've had is of the one at Elco in Hill Road, Bandra (W). I didn't think I would be able to make Chhole Bhature so divine and flavorful until I tasted what I made today. And hence, I felt I had to share my recipe with you. It is a mixture of my mom'straditional Chhole recipe blended with Sanjeev Kapoor's Bhature recipe and my own modifications to make it quick and tasty. So, let's get started!

For the chhole you'll need - 

Chhole (Garbanzo beans/ Chickpeas soaked overnight) - 1& 1/2 cups
Tea leaves - 1 tbsp 
Large onions - 2
Ginger paste - 1 & 1/2 tbsp
Medium sized tomatoes - 2 
Chhole masala powder (I used Everest) - 3 tbsp
Kashmiri chilli powder - 2 tbsp
Amchur powder (Dried mango powder) - 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Chat masala to taste

Procedure - 

Boil the chhole with 4 cups on water, a tsp of salt and 1/3rd cup black tea in a pressure cooker. Cook for upto 6 whistles and then take it off the heat. Heat oil in a pan and add ginger paste. Then add finely chopped (or ground) onions and cook till the water content dries up. Add finely chopped (or pureed) tomatoes and cook until it all combines into a paste. Add chhole masala powder, Kashmiri red chilli powder and amchur powder and cook till the aromas fill your kitchen and the mixture loses all its rawness. Add the boiled chhole along with the water it was boiled in.

Last, but not the least, adjust salt and add chat masala to taste. Garnish with chopped coriander.


For the bhature you'll need - 

Refined flour (maida) - 2 & 1/2 cups
Yogurt/ curd - 1/2 cup
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Soda Bicarbonate - a pinch
Sugar - 2 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Oil - for deep frying

Procedure -

Mix all the dry ingredients and pass through a sieve. Add the yogurt, baking powder and soda bicarbonate. Add sugar and salt and a little water to knead into a dough. Divide the dough into 12 equal roundels and roll into oval shaped rotis. Heat sufficient oil in a kadai and deep fry each roti till they puff up and then place them on absorbent paper so that the excess oil is soaked out. Serve immediately with chhole.

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did! Let me know in the comments section below, what you would like for me to cover next!

Bon Apetit!
x



Saturday, 1 November 2014

Cheryl's Malvani Chicken Curry

Mom's Malvani Chicken Curry

The most aromatic chicken curry in Malvani cuisine also known as Murgh Malvani

The title says it all... so let's cut to the chase?

In a tablespoon of oil fry some whole spices (3/4th tsp cumin seeds, 3/4th tsp caraway seeds, 6-8 cloves, 6 green cardamoms, 4 black cardamoms, 7-8 black peppercorns, 1 tsp poppy seeds) along with 2 sliced onions and 4 tablespoons of desiccated or freshly grated coconut. Keep tossing till you get a good aroma. Then take it off the stove and wait till it cools down. Next up, grind it to a fine paste and keep aside.

Now, fry one finely chopped onion in some oil and add a finely chopped tomato (optional). Continue frying, till it is soft. Now, add the washed chicken marinated with salt, a tablespoon and a half of ginger and garlic paste, 3/4th teaspoon haldi powder & 1 teaspoon red chilli powder along with a teaspoon garam masala and some finely chopped green chillis. Add very little water and allow the chicken to cook in its own juices. When the chicken is almost done, add the ground coconut-onion paste made earlier and stir well. Add this paste slowly and cook till the chicken is done.

So this is my mum's recipe for a fantabulous Malvani Chicken curry. The Malvani cuisine originates in the Konkan redion (coastal areas) of Maharashtra and derives its name from Malvan: a town in Sindhudurg, which is on the west coast of Maharashtra.

Living far away from home often makes me miss the wonderful food my mom cooks and this recipe of hers came in handy just in time to satisfy my craving for traditional maharashtrian food! Needless to say, this was my first trial and it turned out so flavourful and aromatic, that I had to share the recipe with you! When I asked mom what tip she would like to share with you guys, she simple said, 'We serve it with rice, but feel free to experiment! All the best!' So on that note, I'm going to let you do the cooking and let me know how it turned out for you. An easy peasy Malvani Chicken curry!

Follow me for more such wonderful recipes :)

CIAO

SaloFalo
xoxo

Friday, 29 August 2014

Coffee Cake with Dates and Walnuts

Date, Walnut & Coffee Cake

Classic, Timeless, Yummy Goodness!


Today i'm bringing to you, my recipe of the perfect gourmet cake for any special occasion. I have made this for one of my last few gatherings with my lovely friends in Bristol who I call my Bristol family. The gathering is tomorrow and I made the cake a day in advance just so that I don't do it in a hurry tomorrow.. Anyway, here's a picture of all them crazy people at one of our parties...!




Coming back to my recipe... This is the most luxurious, aromatic and comforting cake ever with the sweetness of dates, crunch of walnuts and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee! Mouth watering already? Read on!

Ingredients

For the Cake

1. 300 g all purpose flour
2. 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3. 300 g unsalted or slightly salter butter, softened
4. 200 g granulated sugar
5. 4 eggs
6. 4 tablespoons of strong black coffee
7. 30 ml milk
8. 100 g dates dee-seeded and made into a paste
9. Vanilla essence

For the filling and buttercream topping

1. 200 g unsalted or slightly salted butter, softened
2. 350 g icing sugar sifted
3. 3 teaspoons of strong black coffee
4. a handful of chopped walnuts for the filling
5. 10 walnuts for decorating
6. some of the date paste mixed in water to drizzle on the sponge for moistness.
7. Vanilla essence

Procedure

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Sift the flour and baking powder and set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy in texture, using an electric whisk or a manual whisk. Add the eggs, one by one, adding a tablespoon of flour with each egg and beating it all thoroughly. Now stir in the vanilla essence, date paste and the coffee and fold in the remaining flour gently with a spoon. Add as much milk is needed to make the mixture come to a dropping consistency.

Grease your baking tin and add half the mixture spreading it evenly with your finger/ back of a spatula. Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes till the top turns lightly brown and a knife comes out clean when pierced into the cake. Remove the cake and let it cool for 10-15 minutes before you turn it out on a cooling wire rack. 

Repeat the process for the second half of the batter. This way, you will have 2 cakes which will be the two layers in the middle of which we shall add our filling.

For the buttercream, beat the butter adding a little icing sugar every now and then. Add the coffee and the vanilla essence and keep beating until the mixture is fluffy and creamy. 

Drizzle the date water in both the cakes so that they are lightly moist. Now spread the buttercream onto one of the cooled cakes, add crushed walnuts on the buttercream layer and sandwich together with the second cake. Now you have a two layered cake. Spread the remaining buttercream on the top and sides of the cake and decorate it as per your choice with a piping bag and whole walnuts. You can also lightly dust the cake with a little cocoa powder or instant drinking chocolate powder if you're a fan of chocolate. This is optional.. And there you go! Your masterpiece is ready!




Things I learned with this experience: If you're making the cake a day before it is to be consumed, don't do what I did. Make the sponge and refrigerate it. Don't put the icing and refrigerate it as the sponge will dry up and lose its softness. Take the sponge out on the day of consumption and after it comes to room temperature, drizzle sugar water or Coca Cola to moisten it before you decorate it with icing. This way, your cake will remain soft and moist and will not have the dryness that comes with refrigeration.


This is just the right cake to make your guests feel extra special and set them praising your hospitality for weeks. Let me say no more.. Go, try this recipe and you'll know what I mean ;) Dont forget to comment on this post and let me know how you liked my recipe and also which recipe you'd like me to cover for you next. Till then, keep baking, cause it's a great thing to do!

Thanks for reading, amigos!

Love,
SaloFalo