Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Pumpkin Soup with Red Curry paste and Coconut Milk

I know Ishould be posting something very christmasy as it is December.
Truth to told , this is the first year I have not made any cookies or anything festive as I hardly have time and when I do have free time last thing I want to do is bake even though I love baking.

And I thought this soup is a good idea as if you are like me, when we have having christmas eve party at home and we do serve soup, so if you are in a mood to serve a creamy soup for your guest then I think this is a delicious soup for the occasion.

Ofcourse make sure your guest like a little bit of spicyness they get from the red curry paste.
I served this soup for dinner with the delicious buns


1300 ml vegetable broth
1600 gm pumpkin skin removed and chopped
2 onions chopped
350 gm leeks chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
12 gm ginger peeled and chopped
1 stick lemongrass (crush them and cut in two pieces it will be easy to take them out when the soup is cooked)
1 1/2 tbsp toamto puree
2 tbsp thai red curry paste
400 ml coconut milk ( I used tin)
2 tbsp oil
1 red chillie sliced , this is optional it is to decorate before you serve the soup.

Heat in big pot oil and add the onions and leeks and sautee for few minutes.
Add the ginger, garlic fry for few minutes.
Add the red curry paste and totamto pure cook for futher few minutes.
Now add the pumpkin pieces saute for 2 minutes.
Add the vegetable broth, lemongrass.
Let the soup come to boil and lower to medium heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes ot till the vegetables are cooked.
Fish out the lemongrass pieces and using a hand held blender mix the soup to a smooth texture.
Add the coconut milk and serve.


Friday, 13 December 2013

Onion Brioche with Bacon and Mushrooms

Here at home we always watch news in BBC 1 , that is our routine, while having our breakfast we watch BBC breakfast .
And the other day while they were talking in the show, that everybody is so busy in UK doing their shopping etc..
And I am like what shopping maybe we don't have a huge family etc... so here christmas is always relaxed.
No big shopping and there is not gift give for christmas, here we give gifts for Newyears, so I sitll have plently of time to buy the gifts.
But then I have started planning the Menu for the Christmas eve Dinner and I know my family expect me to come or with super delicious looking plates of food .
So I am excited at the thought of trying some new dishes and method of cooking.

This bread recipe is from the Delicious Magazine from Nederlands, I do occaisionally buy the magazine as the main reason I bought this one is because I saw the bread recipes in the magazine.
And I must say I am glad I did it as this is one Delicious looking Savoury Brioche Buns.
And While we had this yesterday with our soup Hans even said maybe I should make these for serving with the soup on christma day.

For the bread

125 ml butter milk
4 gm yeast
1 large egg ( i weighed my egg and it was 70 gm) Add half the egg to the bread mix and keep the other half for brushing the buns.
1 tsp salt ( take care with the salt as thee is salt in the bacon)
40 gm unsalted butter at roomtemperature
250 gm white bread flour ( the recipe asked for flour but i used bread flour) + extra for dusting
2 tbsp of almond flakes

For the filling: Make this first and leave it to cool

80 gm good quality smoke bacon fat trimmed ( if you don't like bacon you can replace with sundried tomatoes)
1 medium onion chopped fine
75 gm of brown chestnut mushroom finley chopped (if you dodn't like mushrooms you can use this amount of more onions in the mix)
1 heap tsp of rosemay finley chopped
1 tbsp olive oil optional

Method for the filling :

Heat a non stick pan add the bacon pieced and fry them in a low heat for 6 minutes, then add the onions fry for few minutes, if you think there is no oil in the pan then you can add the olive oil. Add the chopped mushrooms and the rosmay and continue frying for futhure few minutes till the mix is cooked and looking dry. Leave to cool .

Method for the buns.

Make sure all the ingridients are in roomtemperature.
Slightly warm the butter milk add the yeast and keep for 5 minutes.
Whisk together  flour, salt in the bowl of a standing mixer (or in a large mixing bowl if kneading by hand).
 Make a well in the center of the flour and add half the egg and yeast buttermilk mix.
 Whisk these together to form a slurry, pulling in a little flour from the sides of the bowl.

With a dough hook attachment, knead the dough on low speed for 6-8 minutes. (Alternatively, turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for about 10 minutes.)
If you want add a tbsp more butter milk but don't add to much as you still have to add the butter.

Now add the butter piece by piece and mix for further 6 minutes is you are using maching and 10 minutes if you are using our hands.
The dough will be elastic and supple.

Butter a big bown and keep the dough inside and leave in a warm place to rise (covered) for a hour.

After a hour take the dough out , sprinkle some flour on the work board and mix the cooled mushroom onion mix. Make sure the mix is well divided into the dough.
Make a ball and keep it back in the butterd bowl covered and leave for resting for 1 more hour.

Now the dough will have doubled up.
Divide the dough into egual parts I got 8 buns and each was weighing 70 gm +/-
 Shape them into a ball and keep in a butterd baking tray ( i used baking paper) cover loosely with a dry kitchen towle and keep again in a warm place for 40 minutes.

In the meantime Preaheat the oven to 180°c
Take the rested bun tray mix a little bit of milk with the left over egg yolk and brush it over the top of the buns, and sprinkle with the falked almonds and bake in the oven for 18 to 20 minutes.
Leave it to slightly cool and enjoy.
The buns will be soft and fluffy inside as it is a brioche dough.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Cranberry And Marzipan Cake

I think this is the first year I have not done any christmas baking or even soaked the fruits for a traditional cake.
The reason for the cake is that the only person who really love christmas cake in my home is just me. The rest will eat a slice only because I took all that effort to make it.
They all prefer the christmas cake ( roll)  with butter cream etc...

And anyway this cake was not made because it is christams season, I made this last month as I had left over cranberries and I was looking for a cake recipe in the baking books I have and found in one of my new addition of baking book which is from The Great British Bake Off Every day I love the show and every year I am glued to the screen when they show each week.


150 gm cranberries ( thawed if frozen) I used fresh
100 gm unsalted butter softened
60 gm sugar ( I added 30 gm)
200 gm Marzipan grated
3 medium eggs at room temperature
120 gm ground almonds
120 gm plain flour ( plus 2 tbsp for sprinkling on the cranberries)
2 teaspoon baking powder
25 gm flaked almonds
Icing suagar for dusting ( i didn't do)

1.  Heat your oven to 180°c /350°F / gas 4.
Chop the cranberries fairly coarsley . Set aside untill needed.

2. Put the soft butter and sugar into a mixing bowl and beat with a hand held electric mixer untill light and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the grated marzipan beat trhoughlty untill very smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides from time to time.

3. Beat the eggs in a small bowl with a fork untill broken up, then gradually add to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as before. Gently stir in the ground almonds with a spoon.

4. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and fold with a sppon. As soon as the flour as been incorporated, carfully fold in the cranberris ( before that mix the extra 2 tbsp flour to the cranberries this is a trick i do when making cakes with fruits)
Avoid over mixing at this point stop as soon as the cranberries look evenly distributed in the cake mixture.

5. Scrape the mixture into a prepared cake tin ( 20 cm round pan) spread evenly.
Scatter the flaked almonds over the top.
Place in the heated oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes untill risen and golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
If you think the cake is getting too brown you can loosley cover the cake with a aliminium foil andother trick i always use making cakes.

6. Set the tin on a wire rack. Run a round blades knife around the cake to loosen it from the tin, then carfully unclip the tin side and leave the cake to cool completley.
Once cold , wrap in  greasproof paper or foil and stone in a air tight container overnight.
The flavours are better if you eat the cake next day that is why the recip say to do the above thing.
Dust with icing sugar before serving.


Monday, 9 December 2013

Kanel Snegle/ Kanelbullar (Swedish Cinnamon Snails/ Buns)

Today morning I said to myself I am going to try to post more often in my blog.
So my Dear blog readers be prepared to see more post here well fingers crossed :-)

These days I am mostly late in making and posting for We keaned to Bake and for November Month it Aparna had choosed Kanel Snegle/ Kanelbullar a swedish bread.

I have been wanting to make this for a while but that just sits in my mind saying i should make them, so was delighted when I saw what bread it for November.

I made them and we ate for afternoon coffee and Hans and I loved it, they are not over sweet I guess that is the reason why Hans loved them as he is much more a savoury man.
And when I went to my FIL's place late afternoon I took 3 of them and he ate 2 1/2 saying they are really good and then the other half he reluctantly shared with couscous('dog)

I did the recipe exactly just that I let the dough to rest for half hour in a warm place other than that sticked to the recipe.

If you want to know how to shape thes Buns here is a you tube link showing how to make them.


Kanel Snegle/ Kanelbullar (Swedish Cinnamon Snails/ Rolls)


For the Starter:
1 cup warm milk
2 tsp instant yeast
2 cups all-purpose flour

For the Dough:
All the Starter
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt (if using salted butter, otherwise 1 1/2 tsp)

6 to 8 pods cardamom, powdered
2 tsp lemon zest
1/3 cup caster sugar
60g butter, soft at room temperature

For the Filling:
75g butter, soft at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed (or 1/3 cup caster sugar)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup coarsely ground almonds

For the Topping:
1/4 cup milk (or egg wash if you eat eggs)
Pearl sugar or large sugar crystals


Mix together all the ingredients for the Starter into a sticky dough, in a large bowl. Place the Starter dough in an oiled bowl and loosely cover it and then refrigerate it.  Remember the dough will rise quite a bit so use a container that has enough room for this. 
The next day, about 30 minutes before you are ready to start on the dough, take the Starter out and leave it at room temperature. As always this can be kneaded by hand or in the processor. I’m giving instructions for using the processor.
Tear the Starter to large pieces and drop into the processor bowl.  Now sift together the flour, cardamom and salt into a bowl. Add this, the lemon zest and sugar to the bowl and run the processor till well mixed.
Now add the soft butter and knead well until you have a smooth and elastic dough. If your dough feels dry, add a little milk or if it feels wet then add a little flour till you have the required consistency of dough.

Now turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and then roll it out into a approximately rectangle about 20” by 12” in size. Make the filling by mixing/ creaming together the soft butter, brown sugar and cinnamon with a fork or spoon into a spreadable paste. Depending on which shape you are going to make your Cinnamon Buns, spread the filling either all over your dough rectangle, or over half of it.
Sprinkle the coarse almond powder over this and then either tightly roll the dough jelly/ Swiss roll style and cut it into 20 equal pieces with a sharp knife. Place these, cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet leaving space between them, or in white cupcake cases. 
Otherwise fold the dough over in half and cut into 20 long strips with a sharp knife, twist and shape them as desired. Place these, cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet leaving space between them, or in white cupcake cases.
Let them rise for about 10 to 15 minutes till they look a little puffy but not swollen up. Brush the Snails/ Buns with milk (or egg wash) and sprinkle with pearl sugar, large sugar crystals or brown sugar (whatever you have on hand).
Bake them at 200C (400F) for about 15 minutes till they’re cooked, golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. If they’re browning too quickly, turn down the temperature by about 20C (65F) and bake them till done.
Let them cool on wire racks. You can serve them warm or at room temperature. You can freeze these Kanel Snegle for whenever you feel like having one. This recipe makes about 20 Kanel Snegle/ Kanelbullar

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Meat Balls with Geuze and Tarragon

I know I have not been that regular in blogging last month, but I think ( atleast that is the plan) I will try to compenste for that and try to do more post here.
I do have so many dishes I want to share here with you all, just the writting and editing the pics which puts me off doing a new post.
I must say nothing exciting has happend in my side of the world.
Just the daily routne and going to FIl's place almost twice a day.
Every time I say Ok now this or that is finished I don't have to be so busy with the things I have to do there.
Last month he broke his foot and he beeing stuck at home and the leg in the cast I have been going there twice a day and doing every thing there. And now last week the cast his removed and he is mobile :-) I was like phewwwww now life is back to normal I don't have to rush that side, something new pops up that I still have to go there twice a day.
Hopefully that will be over in two weeks fingers crossed.

Here we love meat balls , though we mostly stick to theregular meat balls in tomato sauce but these days I have been trying new ways especially as I have the cook book Gehakteballen  from the flemsih TV Chef callesd Jeroe meus .
This recipe use a particular Belgium Beer called Geuze but I am sure you will get them in most of the speciality shop, when I was in Houston visting my sis I saw in the supermarkets there in the Iternational Beer section.

For the meat balls.
2 tbsp Tarragon leaves finley chopped
1 kg of Mixed Mince meat ( We get mixe minch and that included Beef,Veal,pork) But i am sur eyou can do this with pure beef mince too.
Pepper and salt for taste

For the Geuze-Tarragon sauce

2 onons finley chopped
2 tbsp of flour
1 bottle (25Oml geuze beer)
500 ml brown beef stock home made or buy the good quality you get form the stores
3 tbsp tarragon vinegar
100 to 150 ml cream
Few sprigs of tarragon chopped
pepper and salt for taste.
2 tbsp of butter or oil

Add the ingridients for the meat balls in a bowl and mix everything well. Make medium size balls .
Preheat the ovento 180°c and layer the alls in a baking pan and bake them in the oven for 15 minutes or till they are fully baked inside.
In the mean time make the sauce.
Add the oil in a sauce pan, when the butter is melted add the onions. Fryfro few minutes , add the flour and fry for 2 more minutes add the beer , beef stock and the vinegar and mix everything well so there is no lump.
Let this mixture cook for a while till the sauce gets atleast 1/4 less.
Add then the cream and thetarragon leaves and the baked balls. Add salt and pepper for taste and serve with potato mash like I did or you can serve with rice.


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Bolognese sauce / Ragù alla bolognese

I learned to make this bolognese sauce from Hans some 22 years ago and I have been making like this from that time onwards.
I never knew anything about this sauce untill I came here and Hans was a much better cook than me actuakky I should rephrase it, I didn't know to cook at all.
So Hans who was used to make this bolognese sauce showed me how to make and then from that time onewards I have been cooking this sauce.

I must have taken the picture of the sauce in summer 2012 for adding the recipe in the blog and I remeber it was getting late and I was hurrying up to take pictures so the sauce has been only simmering for less than 2 hours and I just took some sauce from the pot and fast clicked few pics and then put the sauce back with the rest to let it simmer for more time :-)
Doing all that work I still didn't post it and now here I am writting a post with the pictures take a while ago :-)

Tip :
1. There are times when I add 100 gm of bacon into the sauce.
2. When ever I make this sauce as it takes so long to simmer I always triple the recipe or more and then freeze them in portions as I think if you are anyway going to do the work then do the work once and enjoy it later too :-)
3. There are times when I add a bit more broth, more wine etc...
4. Always simmer it for long so that the sauce gets thicker and delicious.
5. I always take my hand blender (when the long coking is done ) and give it a mix so that the sauce gets a bit smoother ( don't over mix it) The picture you see I have not used the mixer because as i mentioned i was in a hurry to take pic so took the pic fast and then put it back for futher simmering.

Bolognese sauce, known in Italian as ragù alla bolognese, is a meat-based sauce originating from Bologna, Italy. In Italian cuisine, it is customarily used to dress "tagliatelle al ragù" and to prepare "lasagne alla bolognese".
In the absence of tagliatelle, it can also be used with other broad, flat pasta shapes, such as pappardelle or fettuccine, or with short tube shapes, such as rigatoni or penne.
Genuine ragù alla bolognese is a complex sauce which involves slow cooking using a variety of techniques, including sweating, sautéing and braising
 Ingredients include a characteristic soffritto of onion, celery and carrot, different types of minced or finely chopped meat (generally bovine, including beef, and possibly pork, such as pancetta), wine and a small amount of tomato concentrate.
Thankyou Wiki for the information.


500 gm mixed mince ( we use here beef,pork and Kalf mince)
200 ml milk
3 tbsp olive oil
3 onions peeled and finely chopped
1 carrot  peeled and finely diced
1 celery stick finley chopped
3 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
800 ml tinned chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp mixed dried herbs ,(basil , oregano etc..)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp sugar
350 ml Red wine
1 cup beef . chicken broth ( aprox)
Salt and pepper to taste
Hand full of chopped parsley
In a big pot add the olive oil and add the onions, when it is lightly colored add the mince meat and fry till they are light brown.
Add the milk and let it boil in a high fire till the milk is evaporated, add the red wine and cook again in a hig temperature till all the wine is almost evaporated.
Add the carrots, celery,tinned tomatoes , herbs , bay leaves ,garlic ,broth ,sugar , parsleyand salt and pepper to taste and bring it to boil.
Reduce the heat now and simmer for 3 to 4 hrs.
Serve with any kind of pasta .

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Kerala Egg Curry

There are times when I say to myself, why do I mostly blog about the baking goodies I make at home rather than the easy to make dishes like this egg curry.
Answer is simple, I always think why I should post a very easy recipe as who would be intrested in such a easy dish to make.
I have started posting here some easy recipe as I know Shyama has fully started cooking lunch/ Dinner in her place.
She refuse to take the tupperwares which I pack with all the dishes I make as I did in the first years of her college years.
Now every weekend when she goes I will be asking her shoudn't you take atleast one dish with you which I have kept in the freezer for you.
She will be like no mama you know I am cooking these days with my friends in Kot.
 But she fall for her Indian mom's trick, I just make this sad face and she takes a tupperware :-)

Idiappams just going to be steamed

So this is yet another super easy recipe and I know she will make them in her place too and yet another reason for me for making this is , Friday I am giving a Cooking Demonstration ( Kerala food) for a whole bunch of University Kids in Leuven.
So this is such a easy recipe to make and just use few ingridients and also SUPER cheap and I didn't want that the recipe is not in my blog if any of them wanted to make the dish for them self.

Serve 2
2 Hard boiled eggs
2 tbsp oil
Onions 1 1/2 thinly sliced
Green Chilly 1
Ginger grated 1 tsp
2 garlic cloves grated
Few curry leaves ( 6 )
Chilli powder 1 tsp
1 tsp corriander powder
Garam masal 1/2 tsp
Half tomato ( large) chopped
Coconut milk 150 ml ( I used tinned)
Salt to taste.

Heat oil in a pan add the slices onions fry for few minutes till they become light golden brown, add the ginger, gralic, chilly and curry leaves and fry for 2 minutes.
In the mean time mix chilli powder, worriander powder and garam masala in a small bowl with 1 tbsp of water. Add this mix into tha pan and fry in a medium fire for 5 minutes. Take care you don't burn the spices if it is too dry add one more table spoon of water.
You will know when it is ready when the oil seperates from the spic mix.
Add now the sliced tomato and cook for futher few minutes.
Add salt , and the coocnut milk and bring to boil. Add the egg  ( I just give few cuts on the egg not too deep so that little taste of the sauce can go into the eggs )and cook it further for just 2 more minutes so the eggs are heated through.
Serve with rice, Idiappams, Apoms or even bread choice is yours.