Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Egg-free Lemon Creme Brulee

Monday is here and as you all know, again I have come up with a post dedicated to the Foodie Monday Blog Hop group. The 162th theme is decided as 'Lemon Affair'. Lemon, a citrus fruit which is always available in our pantry is one of the healthiest fruits having essential vitamins and minerals. A good amount of lemons and lemon juice in our everyday diet is always a win-win situation. Also in many type of dishes, lemons are used to brighten up the flavors. 

Loaded with vitamin C, citric acid, iron absorption quality, anti-cancer property and lots more this is totally beneficial for our health. Lemons are best when bright yellow and has thin skin. Beside above mentioned benefits, these are some other effects which lemon provides for our body :
  • helps in weight loss (drinking lemon water in morning)
  • prevents kidney stone
  • dental care
  • reduce cancer risk
  • aids digestion
  • hair care etc. 

Since the theme is Lemon Affair, so I have decided to make the classic french dessert with lemon as 'Lemon Creme Brulee'. Creme Brulee is an exotic dessert of rich custard topped with caramelized sugar (a hard caramel). Here, the French term 'Creme Brulee' means Burnt Cream. But neither the cream nor the sugar is burnt, rather both are cooked. Basically a simple custard is prepared using the mixture of cream and eggs. The custard is then allowed to cool and after that a small amount of sugar granule is sprinkled on top of the cooled custard. Using a kitchen blow torch / broiling method, the sugar is caramelized. Thus a hard caramel top is there having a soft custard beneath. Creme brulee is usually prepared in individual ramekins and served as it is.

Traditional creme brulee does not use any additional flavorings. But these days, people are flavoring the dish with vanilla, chocolate, coffee, many other fruit etc. Here the creme brulee which I have prepared is infused with rich lemon flavor. Also the dish is completely egg free, means the custard used here has no egg. The process is so easy and loaded with lemon flavor due to addition of lemon zest and lemon extract. This lemon creme brulee is a super refreshing, tangy twist to the classic french dessert. 

So do try this egg-free Lemon Creme Brulee soon to devourIf you tried my recipe and enjoyed fully, then please share some pictures of your creation with me. Also kindly give your valuable feedback either in the comment box below or tag me as #firsttimercook on Instagram. You may also follow me on Facebook,  Pinterest,  Twitter,  Google+,  Instagram and can subscribe for free to get new recipes directly into your inbox 😊

Preparation Time : 10 mins  |  Cooking Time : 35 mins

Ingredients :        

Fresh cream
½ cup
Condense milk
¼ cup
4 tbsp
Corn flour
2 tbsp
Lemon essence
1/2 tbsp
Lemon zest
½ tsp
Coarse sugar
For caramelization

Method :
  1. In a pan take cream, condense milk, lemon essence and mix well.
  2. Turn on heat to medium and bring to a boil while stirring.
  3. Meanwhile, in a bowl mix corn flour and milk well so that no lumps are there.
  4. Then pour the milk mixture into the pan keeping the heat on low.
  5. Add in lemon zest and keep stirring until the whole mixture starts to thicken.
  6. Turn off heat and pour into ramekin molds. 
  7. Preheat the oven at 190 deg C.
  8. In a baking tray (having height same or more than ramekin molds) place the ramekin molds and then fill the tray with hot water up to 1/2 of the ramekin mold height.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or till the top looks slight brownish color.
  10. Then take out from oven and allow the custard to cool down a bit.
  11. Next put the ramekin molds in refrigerator for 2-3 hours / overnight to cool and set completely.
  12. Then take out from oven and sprinkle coarse sugar ( 1 tsp per ramekin) evenly over the custard.
  13. Start caramelizing the sugar either by 
  14. (I) using a blowtorch : First ignite the torch. Focus the flame directly on top surface of the custard keeping the nozzle 2-3 inches away from the top surface. The sugar'll start to melt slowly at first and finally caramelize having a glossy brown color on top of the custard.
  15. (II) using broiling method : Place the ramekins on top rack and start broiling till the sugar caramelizes.
  16. (III) using broiling method (safe mode) : In a baking tray (having height same or more than ramekin molds) place the ramekin molds and then fill the tray with ice cold water up to 1/2 of the ramekin mold height. Place the tray on top rack and start broiling till the sugar caramelizes. (The ice water basically helps to keep the custard cold when the heat from top is used to caramel the sugar)
  17. Keep aside all the ramekins either at room temperature or in the refrigerator (for 4-5 minutes) to set the caremalization hard.
  18. After that, serve and enjoy this egg less lemon creme brulee !!

Notes :

  • I usually prefer the 3rd method of caramelization.
  • Instead of sprinkling 1 tsp of sugar, I have sprinkled a little more. Hence the upper layer sugar starts caramelizing soon and the underneath are still there which is completely visible in pictures. So don't sprinkle more sugar on top, 1 tsp is enough for each ramekin.
  • If lemon essence is not available, then just proceed with vanilla essence.
PIN for later :

Continue Reading ...

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Cabbage Rabri

Cabbage, a round / oval leafy vegetable is made up of soft, light green / whitish inner leaves followed by a bit harder and dark green outer leaves. It comes in a variety of shapes as well as colors which include red, purple, green, brussels sprout (tiny cabbage), napa, bok choy etc. But if anyone point out only cabbage, then that indicates to the green one or the normal cabbage. This leafy vegetable grows easily and is edible both raw and cooked. It is one of the inexpensive vegetable totally, versatile and filling as well. Since loaded with impressive nutrient content, the cabbage is fully beneficial for our body. Some are listed below as :

  • Helps to detoxify our body
  • Regulates blood sugar
  • Helps to improve brain health
  • Anti-inflammatory property
  • Loaded with powerful antioxidants
  • Helps in weight loss
  • Fight cancer
  • Good for skin etc.

Well, why I am discussing about Cabbage here is because, for current month the event 'A to Z Recipe Challenge' has come up with the alphabet C. That means, there must be a recipe post having the main ingredient name starting with alphabet C. So I opted C for Cabbage. And also I have prepared a sweet dish using cabbage as 'Cabbage Rabdi'.

Rabdi !!!!! who can deny to have this sweet delicacy... Oh my God, I know no one 😉

Hmmmm Rabdi / Rabri, a traditional north Indian dessert is a thickened
sweetened milk having layers of cream in it. The whole making process is certainly a time consuming, still the end result is fantastic and totally worth it. The full fat milk is continuously simmered and reduced over low heat till the consistency reaches semi thick one. I have added some shredded cabbage to get an unique flavor in the rabri. The freshness of the cabbage is much needed here which implies most the taste of the rabri. Here the cabbage is added when milk starts to thicken during the boiling process. As a result the cabbage gets time to fully cooked along with milk and at the end the rabri texture is a soft kind. But the cabbage can be added along with sugar and then the rabri texture will be little crunchy. Still, both the cases taste so yum. Among dry fruits, pistachio is used much as compared to cashew as per my preference. Any other dry fruits can also enhance the flavor here.

So do try and savour this creamy delight, Cabbage RabriIf you tried my recipe and enjoyed fully, then please share some pictures of your creation with me. Also give your valuable feedback either in the comment box below or tag me as #firsttimercook on Instagram. You may also follow me on FacebookPinterestTwitterGoogle+Instagram and can subscribe for free to get new recipes directly into your inbox 😊

Preparation Time : 10 mins  |  Cooking Time : 1 hr 30 mins 

Ingredients :        

Cabbage (finely shredded)
1 cup
Milk (full cream)
¼ cup
Cardamom powder
½ tsp
¼ cup
½ cup

Method :
  1. First in a heavy bottom pan, take all the milk and bring to a boil.
  2. Then lower the heat and keep stirring in 8-10 minutes interval.
  3. Meanwhile, finely chop all the pistachio and cashews. Keep aside.
  4. When milk reduces to 2/3rd of the original quantity, add the finely shredded cabbage.
  5. Mix well and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes while stirring in between.
  6. Then add sugar, cardamom powder, finely chopped cashews and pistachio (keep few chopped pistachio for garnishing on top).
  7. Mix and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  8. Turn off heat.
  9. Pour into serving bowl and sprinkle some finely chopped pistachio on top.
  10. Serve chill or warm this delicious Cabbage Rabri !

Notes :

  • If you want crunchiness in the rabri, then add cabbage along with sugar.
  • Keep stirring the rabri in 8-10 minutes interval while cooking, otherwise the milk tends to stick at the bottom of the pan. 
  • Adjust the amount of sugar as desired.
  • Always use fresh cabbage for this rabri to get the most delicious flavor in the dish.

PIN for later :

Continue Reading ...

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Noon Chai | Kashmiri Pink Chai | Sheer Chai

The cuisine of Kashmir, the land of fruits and nuts in Indian subcontinent has been influenced by Iran, Afghan and Central Asian styles of cooking. Still, a collection of recipes from Kashmiri cuisine that are not just delicious but also easy to cook. All recipes are loaded with flavors and spices and hence the dishes have an unique aroma of their own.

Well among all the Kashmiri cuisine, Noon Chai / Kashmiri Pink Chai / Sheer Chai is a traditional hot beverage. The word ‘Noon’ means salt in Kashmiri language. Unlike other tea, this tea tastes salty due to addition of salt, particularly sea salt instead of sugar. Like in any other dishes of this cuisine, nuts like chopped pistachio and almonds are used here too.

This unique tasted tea is pinkish in color. The gorgeous color comes from the addition of a pinch of baking soda. Basically the chlorophyll present in the tea leaves react with the baking soda which results into a reddish color. Then the red color finally changes into pink color by addition of milk. So before adding the milk, the tea along with baking soda must be cooked enough so that the chlorophyll released from leaves and react with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). One pinch is sufficient to get the appropriate color and flavor of the tea. Beyond 1 pinch will surely spoil the taste of the tea. Here I have used 3 cup of water and added in batches to the tea. After that I got the exact reddish color of the tea. If there is no reddish color of the tea after addition of 3 cups of water, then some more water'll be needed to get the color. This tea is most preferable during cold winter evening in Kashmir.

So do try this salty hot beverage Noon Chai / Kashmiri Pink Chai / Sheer Chai. If you tried my recipe and enjoyed fully, then please share some pictures of your creation with me. Also give your valuable feedback either in the comment box below or tag me as #firsttimercook on Instagram. You may also follow me on FacebookPinterestTwitterGoogle+Instagram and can subscribe for free to get new recipes directly into your inbox 😊

Preparation Time : 5 mins  |  Cooking Time : 25 mins 

Ingredients :        

Kashmiri chai / green tea leaf
1 tsp
Milk (full cream)
1 ½ cup
Baking soda
1 pinch
2 no
Almond (finely chopped)
Pistachio (finely chopped)
3 cup
As needed

Method :
  1. In a saucepan first take kashmiri chai leaves / green tea leaves, 1 cup water, baking soda.
  2. Mix well everything using a spoon and allow to boil while stirring in between till the color of the tea turns reddish brown.
  3. When the liquid quantity reduces a lot, then add freshly crushed cardamom, salt, 1 cup water and again allow to boil.
  4. Next add rest 1 cup of water and boil again till the color of the tea turns deep reddish brown while stirring in between.
  5. Now add milk and suddenly, the color of the tea will turn into pink.
  6. Boil again for 1 minute more.
  7. Strain and pour into serving cup.
  8. Sprinkle some finely chopped almonds and pistachios and serve hot !!

Notes :

  • Before adding milk, it is advisable to taste. Take 1 tbsp of the steeping tea mixture in a bowl and add few drops of milk. If the color changes to pink after mixing, then its the time to add milk. Otherwise boil the tea mixture for some more time. 
  • Straining the tea before serving is optional. I prefer to strain first and then serve.
  • If full cream milk is not available, then use normal milk. But while serving, add some cream to get some creamy and thickness in the tea.

PIN for later :

This 'Noon Chai / Kashmiri Pink Chai / Sheer Chai' is contributed for 52th Healthy Wellthy Cuisines where the theme is 'Kashmiri Cuisine at HW'.  Here are more similar recipes shared by our Healthy Wealthy Group members as Kashmiri Paneer Saunfia Chaman, Kashmiri PulaoKashmiri Dum Aloo.

Continue Reading ...

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Modak Series 2018 - Ganesha Chaturthi Celebration

Lord Ganesha, the younger son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati is known to be the symbol of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. He is honored at the start of any Hindu rituals and ceremonies as he is considered the God of beginnings. Ganesha Chaturthi is celebrated as the elephant-headed God Ganesha's birthday. This festival is one of the important Hindu festivals celebrated throughout India which falls on Shukla Chaturthi of the Hindu month of Bhadra (generally falls between August and September). The duration of this festival varies from 1 day to 11 days depending on the place and tradition. Maharashtra state is known for the grand way Ganesha Chaturthi celebrations.

During the celebration, devotees offer various sweets and savories to the deity, among which modaks are the most favorite food of Lord Ganesha. It is said that any offering to Ganesha is incomplete without the modaks, hence he is also known as Modakapriya. As per the rituals, 21 modaks are offered to the Lord Gajanan as prasad. Actually there is a story behind 'Why Modak is the favorite food of Lord Ganesha ?' as

"According to Padma Purana, once the Devas (demi gods) came to visit Shiva and Goddess Parvati and presented them a divine modak. It was a very special modak and the person who ate it was supposed to become knowledgeable in all scriptures, science, art and writing. Goddess Parvati wanted to present it to her sons : Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartik. But the brothers were not ready to share it. So the confused Goddess Parvati finally stated that whoever among them proved the true meaning of sincerity and devotion would get the sweet. Lord Kartik immediately mounted his Vahana / vehicle and started visiting all the spiritual places. But Lord Ganesha went around Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, stating that no amount of offerings / fasting / visiting sacred places is equal to the devotion to one’s father and mother. Impressed by Lord Ganesha’s explanation, Goddess Parvati gave him the modak. This is believed to be the reason for Lord Ganesha’s love for this delicacy, MODAK."

Basically, modaks are steamed or fried dumplings made from rice flour / wheat flour and have fillings which include grated coconut and jaggery. Ukadiche modak is the traditional modak variety which is a must to be prepared on Ganesha Chaturthi for offerings. Beside this, there are some interesting variation in modak which are now-a-days available in market. Here I have listed some exotic yet delicious modaks which you should try for Ganesha Chaturthi celebration.

 Deep Fried Modak

Deep Fried Modak

 Chocolate Modak Recipe
 Vermicelli Modak with stuffed Dry Fruits
 Cashew Caramel Modak
 Modak Payasam
 Panchkhadya Modak
 Guava Kalakand Modak
 Cashewnut Rose Modak
 Dry fruits modak
Dry fruits modak
 Ukadiche Modak

PIN for later :

Continue Reading ...