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Thursday, 30 May 2013

I made this PAN SEARED LOBSTER way before I even started blogging. And last night I found this somewhere in my mobile gallery and here I am sharing the recipe with you. I have never cooked or had a lobster before and this was one hell of a experience for me. One of my dad’s friend actually bought this Lobster and he had no idea of what to do with it. In fact he was terrified even looking at it. So since my mom cooks a whole lot of variations with meat & seafood, he gave it away to my dad. And I was so excited to see my had come home with a lobster. I had no idea how to crack open it and cook it. But my instincts guided me and I ended up making this delicious seared lobster with butter. There is a video in the cooking direction section of the post, to guide on how to cut open the lobster. A very simple, quick and delectable dish.

The lobster I have used here is Eastern Rock Lobster, and you can find all about it HERE!

Pan Seared Lobster1

Serves 2

Recipe Slightly Adapted from Curtis Stone’s BBQ King Prawns

You Will Need:

2 Live Eastern Rock Lobsters

For the Flavored Butter:

3 tbsp of Soft Butter
2 Cloves of Garlic, Finely Chopped
2 Red Chilies (I used green which was available to me at that time!)
Zest & Juice of a Lemon
Half of Small White Onion, Finely Chopped (Optional)
2 tbsp of Parsley, Finely Chopped (Optional)

The Cooking:

Place the lobster in the freezer for 30 – 40 mins till its numb and inactive.

In a bowl mix all ingredients for making the flavoured butter and keep aside.

Now for preparing the lobster tail for searing on the pan you can watch THIS VIDEO on YouTube. For some reason I couldn't embed the video in the post, so just follow the link And in that video he also shows how to make butterfly cuts in the tail but that’s really not required here. So follow the video and keep the tail ready.

Just score the center of the tail and apply the flavoured butter. Heat a pan on medium high and place the lobster. The lobster needs to cook for just 5 mins not more. Cook on medium heat glazing the lobster with the juices the lobster gives out. Once done transfer the lobster to a plate and top it off with the fried onions, parsley, garlic & chilli from the pan and glaze with the browned butter.

Serve Hot

Important Pointers:

For Presentation purpose you can leave the tail shell on the lobster and sear it. 


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Happy Cooking!


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Wednesday, 29 May 2013

South Indian breakfasts are the best!! Idlis and Dosas always top the list. In all restaurants they serve two different sambar for rice and idly dosas. The one served with rice is a bit thinner in consistency and has more vegetables in it. But on the contrary, this TIFFIN SAMBAR served with Idlis & dosas are thicker with less vegetables and definitely differs in taste.

Tiffin Sambar

Serves 4

You Will Need:

1/2 Cup of Yellow Moong Dal, Soaked for 15 mins
1 Large Tomato, Finely Chopped
1 1/2 Cups of Shallots, Peeled
2 Green Chillies, Slit
Approx 2 Cups of Water (More if needed)
Some Finely Chopped Coriander Leaves
Lime Sized Tamarind Soaked 1/4 Cup of Water, mix well and strain the tamarind.
1 1/2 tbsp of Sambar Powder
A tbsp of Jaggery
Salt to Taste

Dry Roast & Grind:

1/2 Tbsp of Coriander Seeds
Tsp of Methi Seeds
1 1/2 Tbsp of Gram Dal
1 Tomato
1 Green Chilli
3 tbsp of Grated Coconut

For Tempering:

A tbsp of Oil
1/2 Tsp of Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp of Urad Dal
A generous Pinch of Hing / Asafoetida
Few Curry Leaves
Couple of Broken Dried Red Chillies

The Cooking:

Dry roast all the ingredients (except the tomato) for grinding and let it cool. Then grind it to a smooth paste with the tomato adding little water.

I always make this in pressure cooker that way its much faster.

Drain the soaked dal and place in the cooker and add enough water to help cook the moong dal. 2 sounds from the cooker and turn off. Open when all the pressure is released and mash the dal well.

Add the shallots, tomato, green chillies, coriander, salt, sambar powder, tamarind water  and add water. This sambar is thicker in constistency, so you can add water according to how thick you want it to be. One sound from the cooker is enough, turn off and open when the pressure is all released.

Now, add the ground spice paste and jaggery. The spice paste may seem to clump up, if you have a wire whisk just use that to breakdown the lumps. Bring to a boil and cook on low heat for 5 – 7 mins till the raw flavours of the spicy paste are gone. Taste the sambar at this stage to check for spiciness and salt.

For tempering, heat a kadai/wok with oil and crackle mustard seeds, urad dal, dried red chillies, curry leaves and hing. Immediately pour in the sambar and stir to combine the tempering on low heat for few seconds.

Transfer to a bowl and serve hot with Idly / Dosa!

Important Pointers:
  • Optionally you can add drumstick & brinjal.

Happy Cooking!
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Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Finally I nailed it…THE PERFECT IDLY / DOSA BATTER! My mom & mother – in – law makes some over the top soft idlis and I just love them dunked in Chicken Kuzhambu or just ghee ;) I never really cared to learn making idly batter before marriage and it was my mother – in – law who taught me ones. After that I had to try on my own every time, but it was nowhere close to hers. My idlis always turned out heavy, dense and cracked on top.  I took lot of idly course from my mom and mother – in – law over the phone and I still did not seem to crack the code. But this time, I banged it. The mistake I made? Not sufficient water, and that’s it. *Facepalm* My batter did not have sufficient water and hence I ended up with peaked and cracked idlis.

So this post may seem silly to many of you out there, but there may be a lot of young girls and recently married women who buy store bought idly batter just because they can’t seem to make their own. And this post is for them! I have not posted any step by step pictures as the batters seems the same in all :) But I have given a very elaborate explanation including the water quantity, so I hope this helps you.

The grinding time of the batter may vary from wet grinders. Mine is a year old this time is perfect for me, whereas if you have a relatively old grinder the time may vary. Try couple of time and make notes (that’s how I learnt on my own) you will get it right after couple of times.

The proportion of Idly rice to Urad dal is 4 : 1, which means 4 cups of rice to 1 cup of urad dal.

Softy Idly copy

You Will Need:

Idly Rice – 4 Cups
Urad Dal – 1 Cup
Fenugreek Seeds – 1/2 tbsp
Crystal Salt – 1 tbsp or to Taste

Water Required:

For Idly Rice – 2 Cups
For Urad Dal – 2 1/2 Cup, Yes Urad Dal Needs More Water

Direction:

Step 1:

Wash and soak the rice and urad dal separately in a bowl for at least an 3 hrs or overnight. The fenugreek seeds needs to be soaked along with the urad dal in the same bowl.

Step 2:

Drain water from both the rice and urad dal.

Step 3:

The urad dal and rice needs to be ground separately. The urad dal goes in first, because its easy to scrap off from the grinder.

So place the urad dal in the grinder and this needs to be ground into a VERY SOFT, SMOOTH & FLUFFY batter. The batter will actually double the quantity when grinding. The water can go in immediately you start to grind the urad dal and it needs more water than the rice. And this is what will make the idly soft. When we grind the urad dal, it will reach 3 STAGES.

Stage 1. Very flat grainy initial stage with no volume at all.

Stage 2. In the second stage the urad dal will double in volume and become very soft and fluffy. By this time the batter will be smooth. This is where you need to stop.

Stage 3. This stage is over grinding of the batter, the fluffy urad dal will become heavy in this stage. So keep an eye and avoid this.
So the urad dal needs to be ground for a good 20 – 25 mins. More when the quantity is more.

Once done scrap it all off into a dry large bowl and add the salt.

Step 4:

No need to wash the grinder just tumble in the rice and start grinding. Don’t add water immediately to the rice it will not allow the rice to breakdown and grind. So after couple of mins add water little by little and grind. On contrary to the urad dal batter, the rice batter NEEDS TO BE GRAINY and NOT SMOOTH! The time taken to grind the rice batter is only half the time of urad dal, 10 – 12 mins will do.

Now scrap this rice batter on top of the urad dal.

Step 5:

Now, you need to mix the batter well until the urad dal batter and rice batter is well combined. Don’t use wooden spoon, metal spoon or spatula for mixing. You need to use your hands, because your body heat will initiate the fermenting of the batter. So wash your hand and mix the batter well. Make sure you reach all the way down to the bottom of the bowl and mix for a min.

Step 6:

Scrap down the sides and keep a lid over the bowl and let it ferment. So what will happen now is, the batter will begin to raise a lot. It will double the original quantity of the batter and form lot of small air pockets. So make sure you really have a large bowl for this so that the batter don’t overflow and make a mess.
The time taken to ferment differs from place to place. If you are living in a very hot & humid place 7 – 8 hours is enough. But in the place where I live is not that hot and not humid. So it takes a very long time for me to ferment the batter. So what I do is I prepare the batter in the morning and keep the batter under sun and out in my kitchen counter the whole night. Next morning my batter will be fermented and ready to use. So give time for the batter to ferment.

SAMSUNG
This is after the batter has fermented well. I have just given one quick stir and you can see the air bubbles and that texture indicating a very cloud like batter. 
Once it is well fermented, give a good stir and refrigerate until you need it. When using the batter (No need to add excess water), let it come to room temperature and pour the batter into greased idly molds and steam for 7 – 10 mins. 

Stick a toothpick to check if its cooked, if you don’t have wet batter in the tooth pick then its done. Alternatively, wet your finger in water and punch a hole in center of the idly to check if its cooked (This is what I do, you can see the puncher mark in one of the idlis above ;)

Serve Hot with coconut chutney, sambar or anything you like ;) !

IMPORTANT POINTERS:


  • If you don't find time to grind the batter and you have already soaked the rice and urad dal, then drain the water completely and refrigerate till needed. DO NOT leave it soaking, it will get spoiled. 
  • DON'T OVER MIX the batter after fermentation. The batter will have thousands of air pockets and it actually gives the softness to the idly. 
  • 2 days old batter is best for idly and not dosa. Batter older than 2 or 3 days is perfect for dosa. 
Happy Cooking!
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Monday, 27 May 2013

Okay, It’s about a year since my Husband and I have been happily travelling down the road called “Marriage”, with lots of fun and love. And I have decided to share our joy of turning ONE with our family. Yes I have decided & its a total surprise for my husband. So Shhh….. ;) Since our anniversary is on an office day, I have the full advantage to do all the prep work in secrecy. Right from inviting our family from our hometown to planning the dinner menu, Its all Me! Gosh…there is so much to do, very much excited!

I prefer the dinner party to be at home, where I can cook my family favourites. To me a party is about FOOD. A rocking party will have rocking food. I took days to plan on this dinner menu which includes everyone’s favourite, even my one year old Niece. But this is not like any other party, it’s our Anniversary and it got to have some exotic taste buds tingles on the menu. Oh my god, now am stuck here :( !!! Am looking for something quick so that I don’t have to slave the whole day in kitchen on my special day and at the same time I cannot compromise on taste. But wait , what…something just hit me on the head. Oh why am I stressing when there is Kitchen Of India to help me with cooking??!! Great Indian food that are quick, easy and “I Want More”!

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Kitchen of India has a whole new range of delicious ready – to – dine, Conserves & Chutneys & Masala Mixes.  You can know more about it & for online purchases, just click HERE! I have planned on a very elaborate dinner menu, consisting both vegetarian & non – vegetarian starting from appetizers to desserts and not to forgot a very special Anniversary Cake :)

Okay so get ready everyone, you are in for a mouth – watering ride!!!

As for the Appetizers; I have planned 3 ridiculously delicious finger foods. One, cheese stuffed mushrooms rolled in crunchy breadcrumbs and oven baked & served with salsa. Two; Fish Sticks, filleted fish marinated in Italian Spices rolled in breadcrumbs and deep fried to be served with spicy mayo. And the No 3 contender please put your hands together for my husband’s favourite Spicy Oven Grilled Chicken Tikkaaa :D

HEY! Stop drooling, save some for main course and desserts :p

vegetable-biryani_m For the Main Course; I have put together unique combination of veg and non – veg taking a lot of help from Kitchen of India. For vegetarian I have planned on Vegetable Biryani cooked with Kitchens of India’s Vegetable Biryani Mix.  Mmmm I can already smell the flavours of biryani. 


paneer-makhani_m Well Biryani alone will not do the job, so to compliment it I have picked two Ready – to – Dine Curries. I cannot live without this curry Paneer Makhani it has to be in my list for all occasions, Kitchens of India’s Paneer Makhani Masala Mix. The second curry that goes into the list is Dal Bhukara made with Kitchens of India’s Dal Bhukara.

 And for meat lovers in my family including me, I have planned for Spicy Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani cooked with Kitchens of India’s Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani Mix which will be complimented with Butter Chicken and Mutton Kolhapuri using Kitchens of India’s Butter Chicken Masala Mix and Mutton Kolhapuri Masala Mix. Biryani without Mirch ka Salan?? Never :)

MttnKolhapuri-Mix_M_3butter_chicken-mix_m_1hydcknbrni-mix_m    Mirch-Ka-Salan_1









Life is uncertain, eat desserts first!
– Ernestine Ulmer!
So, don’t forget to leave a little space in your tummy for desserts ;)
And for the desserts we have Mango pudding made with Kitchens of India’s Mango Saffron Conserve and my favourite Hazoori Petha Halwa prepared with Kitchens of India’s Ready - -to – Dine Hazoori Petha Halwa!

mango-saffron-bottle       hazoori-petha-halwa

Wow, just writing about it has made my keypad wet with drools.

Oh for the Anniversary Cake, it’s deeply chocolate cake filled and frosted with whipped vanilla frosting! And the romantic part?? It’s me who is baking it…Isn’t that great?

So what do you say? Its a definite shocker for my husband right? ;)

One year down the road, with many more dinner parties to come :)

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Sunday, 26 May 2013

Am not a seafood person, but Prawns are my weakness. This SPICY PRAWN / ERAL THOKKU is a South Indian classic that I leant from my mother. A very simple & lip smacking, Best served with rice and rasam (You really don’t wanna know how many servings I have ;)

Amply Serves 2

Prawn Thokku 1

You Will Need:

500g of Medium Sized Prawns, Cleaned & Deveined
2 Medium Sized Onions, Thinly Sliced
3 Large Tomatoes, Finely Chopped
2 Green Chillies, Slit
1/2 tsp of Turmeric Powder
1/2 tsp of Coriander Powder
1/2 tsp of Cumin Powder
1 1/2 tsp of Homemade Chilli Powder, More or Less
Salt to Taste
1/2 tsp of Mustard Seeds
Tsp of Cumin Seeds
1/2 Tsp of Fennel Seeds
Few Curry Leaves
3 tbsps of Gingelly Oil
A tbsp of Coriander leaves, Finely Chopped

The Cooking:

Heat pan over high heat and add oil. Crackle mustard seeds, cumin, fennel, green chillies and curry leaves. Add the sliced onions and sauté till they are translucent and change a very light brown colour. Add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt and chilli powder. Sauté on high till the tomatoes turn soft, if required add little water to help cook the tomatoes. 

After 5 – 10 mins cooking on medium heat, tumble in the prawns and stir well. No need to add water at this stage, the prawns will release little water. Lid on cook on medium heat till the prawn are done and all the excess water has evaporated.

Sprinkle cumin powder and coriander leaves and stir. Cook for another 2 – 3 mins till all the raw flavours are gone and little oil separates from the thokku.

Serve hot with rice, roti, or dosa!
Happy Cooking!
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Ok, this chilli powder is a must in my kitchen, mostly in all south Indian kitchen. I mom  uses this in all her South Indian dishes. May it be any curry / gravy like chicken sukka and chicken kuzhambu this is what gives that unique flavour and I never substitute with the store bought ones. And after I got married, my mother always keeps supplying me this home made chilli powder. Its really easy and more flavorful. 

So, what's the difference between the homemade ones and store bought ones??!

Its HUGE!!!

1. The colour: Store bought ones are deep red. But this chilli powder is more like an orange colour due to the turmeric.

2. The smell: Store bought ones are very pungent. This one is a little less pungent.
3. Spiciness: Red Chilli Powder gives a lot of spice compared to this chilli powder which gives relatively less spice.
4. The Flavour: Personally I prefer the home made chilli powder for all my south Indian dishes. The store bought ones just don’t make up with the south Indian flavours.

DIY Chilli Powder

You Will Need:

1/2 kg Coriander Seeds
300g cumin
150g Turmeric
100g peppercorns

Direction:

Mix all the ingredients together and sun dry it well. Grind to a very fine powder and use as required.

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Happy Cooking!
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Friday, 24 May 2013

Malai KoftaMALAI KOFTA & Paneer Butter Masala drives my taste buds crazy. Any restaurant I go its a must I order anyone of these, and am known to eat kofta curry in a bowl & spoon in front of the TV. My mom makes amazing kofta curry, though its not a frequent on our dining table. So, kofta basically means Middle Eastern and South Asian meatballs. And malai is the cream and cashew paste that goes into the curry / gravy. Generally, koftas are made with boiled potatoes mashed, nuts and paneer / Cottage Cheese. But you can do any stuffing you like may it be all veggies like carrots, beans, peas or it may sound a little unauthentic but even koftas made of ground meat can go in. I wanted the Malai Koftas to be in this yellowish green colour (or whatever colour it is!), hence I have added only one tomato and no chilli power. The green chilli gives the spiciness to the gravy and personally I like the flavour of green chillies than red chilli powder.

This kofta curry is very rich, creamy and definitely heavy on your waistline. You can cut down little on the calorie but replacing the heavy cream with warm whole milk, that much you can do.

Serves 3

You Will Need:

For the Koftas:

4 Medium Sized Potatoes, Boiled & Mashed
2 Chillies Finely Chopped
Some Broken Cashews (Optional)
Some Raisins (Optional)
A cup of Tightly Packed Grated Paneer
A tsp of Cumin Powder
1/2 tsp of Garam Masala
A tsp of Finely Chopped Coriander
1 1/2 tsp Plain Flour / Maida
Salt to Taste

For Batter:

2 tbsp of Plain Flour
4 tbsp of water
Oil to Deep Fry

For the Curry:

Cashew Paste:

1/2 Cup of Cashews, broken
1/4 Cup of Poppy Seeds, Soaked until Soft (Optional, I never use)
A tbsp of Milk, Just to Loosen Up the Paste

Onion Paste:

3 Large Onions, Quartered
5 Garlic Cloves
An inch of Ginger
5 Cardamom Pods
4 Cloves
A Cinnamon Stick
2 Bay Leaves

For the Curry:

1 Medium Onion, Finely Chopped
A tbsp of Kasuri Methi, Crushed
2 Green Chillies, Finely Chopped
1 Medium Sized Tomato, Pureed
1/2 Tsp of Turmeric Powder
A tsp of Cumin Powder
A tsp of Garam Masala
A tsp of Coriander Powder
1/2 tsp of Sugar (Optional)
1/4 Cup of Heavy Cream (I just use a cup of warm milk)
A tbsp of Butter
2 tbsp of Oil
Salt to Season

The Cooking:

To Make the Koftas:

Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan and sauté the onions and green chillies for a min. Then tip in all other ingredients and cook for a min over medium high heat. Add the flour and stir. It makes the mixture to come together. Take off heat and make balls out of it, what ever shape you want them to be.

Make a batter in a semi thick consistency and dip the koftas in and deep fry in oil. Remove and place on paper towel to absorb excess oil.

To Make the Curry:

Grind all the ingredients together to make a smooth onion paste.

Heat butter and oil in a shallow cooking pot and add the chillies and onions. Sauté till the onions become a light brown colour and soft. You can actually feel the softness of the onions when stirring. Now pour in the onion paste and sauté on high heat. This part is very important when making any gravy. The onions need to cook completely, if not you will taste its raw flavour. So sauté till the onions paste begins to lump around and does not stick to the bottom of the pan anymore. Now add the pureed tomato, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala, cumin powder and salt. Give a quick stir to mix everything together and cook for 3 – 4 mins on medium high heat.

Once all the raw flavours of the tomato and spices are cooked down pour in the cashew paste, sugar and stir to combine. Cook for a min on medium heat and finally add the cream and kasuri methi. I usually use warm milk it also gives nice creaminess to the gravy. Cover and cook on low heat till the gravy thickens to your desired consistency.

Add the koftas and serve hot with roti or Naan.

IMPORTANT POINTERS:
  • You can also shallow fry the koftas.
  • You can also fry the potato without the flour batter but it may fall apart when frying or in the gravy. So the batter is highly recommended.
  • Don’t let the onions brown too much, it will taste bitter.
  • When adding milk, make sure you turn down the heat completely and you add little WARM milk at a time. This ensures it does not split.
  • Add the koftas few mins before serving, in that way they remain not too soggy or too crisp

Happy Cooking!
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Sundal is a simple, tasty, extremely healthy and a very popular snack in South India. We prepare this sundal as offerings in a lot occasions. Sundals are my husband’s favourites and they are our dinner on many nights. White Chickpeas are my favourite and this is something different from the usual sundal tempered with just mustard, urad dal, curry leaves, red chillies and grated coconut. Its spicy and very aromatic. I learned this recipe from my mom and she learned this from one of our family friends, its in her house we first tasted this spicy sundal. A nice refreshing twist to the usual boring ones.

Serves 2




You Will Need:

A cup of Chickpeas (White)
Salt to Taste

For the Masala:

2 tbsp of Freshly Grated Coconut
Tsp of Grated Ginger
1/2 tsp of Cumin Seeds
1 Green Chilli
A Handful of Chopped Coriander

Tempering:

A tbsp of Oil
1/2 tsp of Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp of Urad Dal
Few Curry Leaves
Couple of Dried Red Chillies

The Cooking:

Soak the chickpeas for 8hrs or overnight and cook with salt until soft & tender. Drain water and keep aside.

In a mixer, coarsely grind all the ingredients for masala and keep aside.

Now, Crackle the mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves and red chilli in hot oil. Add the masala and salt to the tempering and sauté on low heat for a min or so. Tumble in the chickpeas and toss well so that the chickpeas are well coated with the coriander masala. Check for seasoning and take off heat after a min.

Important Pointers:
  • Do not add water to the masala. You want to be dry and coarse not chutney or paste like.
  • Keep the flame low when sautéing the masala, too much heat will make the masala go dry and crisp.

Happy Cooking!
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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

This dish is one of my childhood favourites, well I still do like it ;) Now you will think am a bit crazy to give absurd names to dishes, please blame my mom on this. She used to call this IDIYAPPAM SEVAI as ‘Singapore Biryani’!!! You may ask me in what way it looks like a biryani. Me too, I still have no Idea why she named it Singapore Biryani. But I tell you, I love Biryani. I would eat anything names Biryani. Maybe that’s why she named the dish so, and the name stuck to me and I still prefer calling it Singapore Biryani :) 

Now, this sevai may sound like any other sevai but its a bit tangy and minty in flavour. Its quick…simple and the best way to cook the left over Idiyappam.





You Will Need:

6 – 7 Leftover Idiyappam, approx
2 tbsp Oil
2 Cardamom Pods
1 Bay Leaf
2 Sticks of Cinnamon
1/2 tsp of Fennel Seeds
2 Medium Sized Onions, Thinly Sliced
2 Medium Sized Tomatoes, Chopped
4 Slit Green Chillies
1/2 tsp of Turmeric Powder
A tbsp of Finely Chopped Coriander
1/2 Tbsp of Finely Chopped Mint
Few Curry Leaves
Juice of Half a Lime, more or less according to your liking
Salt to taste

The Cooking:

Heat oil on a pan on high. Crackle cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf and fennel.

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Add in the sliced onions and green chillies and sauté till the onions are pink and translucent.

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Tip in the tomatoes and sauté for 5 mins on medium high heat.

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Now stir in the turmeric powder and salt, cook for 2 – 3 mins.

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Sprinkle the coriander, mint leaves and freshly squeezed lime juice. Give it a good mix and cook for a min on medium high heat.

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Now, tip in the crumbled idiyappam and mix well till the idiyappam strands are well coated in the masala. Crumble in little by little, so that you don’t add way too much of idiyappam.

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Sauté for 5 mins on medium high.



Serve hot. It really needs nothing as side but I love this with onion raita.
Happy Cooking!
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Monday, 20 May 2013

DSC04241 I already posted the recipe of Swiss meringue buttercream in my Vanilla Mango Cupcake post. But I wanted to do a separate post with more explanations and also I didn't want to lengthen the cupcake post further. The recipe is basically adapted from Dyann Bakes with a small change in butter, and am very thankful for her for being so patient in answering all my queries.

Making SMBC in a stand mixer is so easy, but it is possible with the hand held mixer too. It just takes a little more patience and elbow work.

SMBC is a very soft, less sweet and luscious type of buttercream unlike the American Buttercream made with butter & icing sugar. Its silky smooth and are great for filling and frosting cakes and cupcakes. Since its softer than the ABC, it may not hold some shapes well.

 YOU WILL NEED:
4 oz of Egg Whites, Room Temperature
8 oz of White Granulated Sugar
8 0z of Unsalted Butter, Cubed at Room Temperature
Pinch of Salt

DIRECTION:

Step 1:

Now, the equipment you are using for the buttercream must be spotlessly clean. Take a tissue and add few drops of lemon juice and wipe the bowl and beaters clean. This will remove even the tiny specks of oil from the bowl and beaters.

Step 2:

Separate the eggs and place the whites into a large metal bowl, plastic bowls don’t work well when forming stiff meringues. There SHOULD NOT be even a small amount of yolks in the whites. Eggs separate easily when they are cold. So separate them when cold and leave it to come to room temperature.

Step 3:

Bring water to simmer in a bowl. Add the sugar to whites and place over the simmering water, this method is called water bath or double boiler. Make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl containing the whites. Add a pinch of salt and whisk the whites and sugar using the whisk of your stand mixer or hand mixer. Keep whisking till the temperature records 160 degrees in a candy thermometer or simply whisk till the sugar completely dissolves into the whites and are not grainy anymore, and till your biceps feel Hard ;)

Step 4:

Remove from water bath and continue whisking on high with a stand mixer or a hand held mixer till the meringues becomes very sticky, glossy, white and form stiff peaks. Take the bowl and tilt it upside down over your head, if you end up with meringue pack on your head then you need to whisk more ;)

Step 5:

Once the meringue form stiff peaks and the bowl feels cool to touch add the butter one cube at a time with your machine running on medium speed. NEVER ADD butter when the whites are warm. The buttercream will become soupy. Be patient till the whites cools down.

Step 6:

Now after all the butter is added, the buttercream will begin to curdle and separate. Now, there is nothing wrong in what you are doing, its just the butter breaking down and mixing with the whites. You need to keep going and going. The buttercream will look like curdled milk with lumps and thin water separating from the butter cream. Just keep whisking on high and everything will come together beautifully. The buttercream will start to come off the sides of the bowl and appear light and cloudy.
FOR VARIATIONS:

Vanilla / Almond / Any Extract Flavorings:

Add the few drops of vanilla extract in step 6 and beat till combined.

Chocolate SMBC:

Add required cooled molten chocolate in step 6 and beat till combined.

Fruit Variations:

You can find Mango SMBC in the my Vanilla Mango Cupcake post. So, if you want a buttercream with fruit flavours beat in fruit purees in step 6. Just make sure the fruit puree you are using is thick enough so that it does not make the SMBC soupy.

Tinting Buttercream:

Add few drops of gel food colour in step 6 and beat for few mins.

STORING SMBC:

You can use it straight away or make it a day before and refrigerate until you need to use it. Then let it come to room temperature. You may need to beat it again to get it the correct consistency. Since it has egg whites It is a potentially hazardous food if left unrefrigerated.
Happy Whipping!
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Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Girl: “So how do you like my new hairstyle?”

Boy: “Now you remind me of an Italian Dish!”

Girl: “What, Sophia Loren?”

Boy: “No, Spaghetti! :D”

Lol….

Every single girl must have asked this question atleast a 100 times in her lifetime to someone. I know I do, everyday to my husband!!! Poor thing ;) A woman takes longer time to style her hair than applying mascara or picking up lip shade to match her outfit. Hair to a women is a possession….an obsession! Never EVER Mess with a Girl’s Hair, Take this from me… NEVER!!!!

Good lord, the severity of baldness / thinning of hair in women is marginal when compared to men. You really don’t want your girlfriends or wife like this
woman screaming2

Ha ha ha anyway, Indiblogger has been hosting some fabulous blogging events with cool prizes to be won. So let me Introduce you to the “Secret Formula Behind Salon Style Hair, Everyday”

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TRESemmé created by high profile hairstylist Edna Emme a cosmetologist, is used by professional hairstylist all over the world. Its been 60 years and is a success in 25 countries. And now this cutting – edge technology is made available in India, specially formulated for the Indian hair.

TRESemmé has a wide range of products…Keratin Smooth, Smooth & Shine, Climate Control, Hair Fall Defence and Styling. And apart from shampoos and conditioners TRESemmé has treatment masque, serum, straightening spray, glossing spray etc etc etc PHEW…Please click HERE if you want to know more about their products, am out!!!

I ordered a sample through Indiblogger, and it was delivered to me in few a business days. And this is my sample product…

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This neatly packed box had,

One 100ml Smooth & Shine Shampoo (The one is black)

and

One 100 ml Smooth & Shine Conditioner (The White Guy) a total worth of  Rs 128.

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Now ABOUT THE PRODUCT 100ml of Shampoo priced @ Rs. 64 is reasonable, not too pricey at all. Again CHECK!

First this I loved was the Smell. Just like in hair SPAs. Sweet and Lovely fragrance. I Kept flipping the cap off the bottle and inhaling the aroma. So smell & aroma…CHECK!

As for the texture, satiny smooth…Again CHECK!

The shampoo and conditioner felt so refreshing in my hair and I loved the fact the lovely fragrance clung to my hair even after the wash. Now, this shampoo is highly recommended for DRY & ROUGH HAIR it says so in the bottle too so you can trust me on this one ;)

SO, Did the Vitamin H & Silk Protein work????

Yes It did. My hair was tangle free and absolutely smooth, just the way I wanted it to be. A definite Buy from my side.

Coming to the end of the contest Choosing & Flaunting Ramp Ready Hairstyle, TRESemmé’s Youtube Channel has some fantastic yet simple DIY hairdos. I have a natural Wavy hair and not a big fan of very elaborate hairdos. I prefer to keep them simple and manageable. I have picked the below looks for the ramp! Hope you will like it ;)

1. The Butterfly Ponytail is my most favourite, I also love to flaunt the same in a side pony. So CHIC ;)


2. Voluminous One Side Braid…! As a kid I hated braids, but this one is definitely Sexy ;)


Two simple hairdos for the Ramp!!! Now All I need is one of Oscar de la Renta couture gowns….Ha ha ha…. Yeah One Can Dream ;)

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