Pomfret Fry…..My Style

After an overload of sweetness on the blog, i guess its time for some savory seafood.  Hmmmm sounds yummy. The recipe today is right out of my kitchen. I have not referred to anything from the internet or from anywhere else.

So lets get sizzling.

Today i am going to share my pomfret fry recipe (indian style). Very basic and simple yet absolutely delicious. Such recipes make everyday cooking so easy without compromising on the taste.

What makes this recipe even more easier is the pomfret itself. This fish can be cleaned quickly and easily.

Pomfret also known as butterfish is considered to be excellent source of protein, low in fat, high in vitamin D and few other minerals like calcium, iron and zinc.

First up.. clean the fish. Remove the scales. Unlike other fishes, pomfret has very few and small scales. Remove the head, fins, tail and clean the inside of the fish thoroughly by removing the guts. I personally don’t use the head but if you like you can use it.  Finally rub the fish with salt and rinse it with water. Now carefully make 2 to 3 slits on the fish on both sides. This will help in better marination of the fish.

Clean pomfret with 3-4 slits made on both sides

The fish is now ready to be marinated.

My mom taught me the basic recipe for marination for all kinds of fish fry using turmeric, chili powder, pepper powder and salt. But i tweak the recipe once in a while for different flavor profile. Now there are several options for marination. The first is using turmeric, red chili powder, pepper powder, salt and lemon juice or water. Second option is same as first but instead you can add garlic paste for extra flavor.

And third is the same as second but you can add paste of coriander leaves to make a green chutney which is also very very delicious. You can also make stuffed pomfret fry. I haven’t tried it but i will very soon and will share the recipe for sure.

Well today i am going to share the second option:

Ingredients are as follows:

2 medium sized pomfret (washed and cleaned)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
11/2 tsp of pepper powder
1 tsp of chili powder
Salt to taste
2 tsp of Lemon juice or water
Garlic paste or minced garlic
Oil for frying

I never measure my ingredients and generally eyeball them…..only for the savory indian food that i prepare but thats an absolute no no for me while baking.

So well yea i measured the ingredients carefully so that i can put it on the blog and mannnn it was difficult…hehehehe…. You can increase or decrease the amount of chili powder and pepper based on how spicy you want the marinade to be.

Mix turmeric, pepper, chili powder, salt, garlic paste and lemon juice to make a nice thick paste. Rub this marination on both sides of the fish. Set the fish aside for somewhere between half an hour to 1 hour.

In a pan add enough oil required for shallow frying, about 3-4 tbsp or so and heat the oil on a medium flame.

Once the oil is nice and hot add the fish. The oil should not not be too hot else the outside will burn and insides wont cook properly. Cover the pan with a lid.

After about 6-7 mins flip the fish and cook the other side for another 5- 6 mins. Once done the fish will have a nice sear on the outside and will be perfectly cooked from the inside.

And thats it….you are done. Serve hot with roti, chapatti or rice.

So until next time happy cooking 🙂

Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes

Flourless chocolate cake? cupcakes???….ya you heard it right “flourless”. I didn’t know a dessert like this does exist until recently. Gluten free, decadent and oh soooo chocolatey.

I was not planning to bake anything for the next few weeks or may be months (trying to cut out sugar from our diet you see) but sometimes i desperately crave for chocolates. This was one of those days and i wanted to bake something that was hassle free, needs less ingredients and which bakes in less that 30 minutes. 
Hubby dearest was not happy (he is a chocoholic and is trying his best to stay away from them…hehehe…) coz like i said we were supposed to cut down sugar and here i was doing exactly the opposite :P. Nevertheless he liked it very much. 
Flourless chocolate cake or cupcake is a delicious dense chocolate cake which i bet all chocolate lovers will absolutely devour. This decadent dessert is also good for people who can’t tolerate wheat or gluten. 
All the recipes out there (found on the internet where else?? :P) consists more or less the same ingredients. The one i made is also the standard recipe but the measurements were all mine :D. As expected it turned out to be yummy and was the right texture. 
I didn’t want to bake a big cake so this is a sweet and small recipe. And i baked them on a cupcake tray just for fun :D. 
Here’s what i did: 
Ingredients:
4 oz of semi sweet (56%cocoa) chocolate bars (you can also use bitter sweet chocolate)
4 tbsp of unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1/4 cup of regular unsweetened cocoa powder 
1 tbsp of granulated sugar (less sugar as i was using semi sweet chocolate bars and i like the bitterness of cocoa, you can use more if you desire)
Five ingredient fix….it cant get any better than this 🙂
(oh thats the vanilla extract next to the eggs i didn’t use it but u can :P)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler or microwave. 
In a separate bowl, add sifted cocoa powder and sugar, combine. Add the eggs into this mixture and whisk until nicely combined. Now slowly pour a little of the hot melted chocolate and butter mixture into the egg and cocoa powder mixture ensuring to mix constantly so that the eggs doesn’t scramble.
Chocolate + Butter

Melted chocolate and butter mixture

Cocoa powder + egg + sugar

Chocolate mixture +cocoa powder and egg mixture combined
Pour in the rest of the melted chocolate and mix until nicely combined. And you are done. Pour this mixture on to a cake pan which is buttered and lined with parchment paper  or you can do what i did ….bake them in a cupcake tray with cupcake liners. 

Bake time
Bake for 15-20mins or until toothpick inserted comes out a little wet (not gooey). Dust the cupcakes with cocoa powder or powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream or ice cream if desired ( i ate it as is yummmmmyyy)


So until next next time Happy Baking and Happy Holidays 🙂

Caramel Custard…Childhood memories revisited

I have very fond memories of my childhood, one of which is visiting my native place Kerala “Gods Own Country”. Starting from the 3 day train ride (that was a long long time ago) to the lush green landscapes, coconut trees, serene beaches, backwaters and the lovely houses with beautiful gardens.

Back waters of Kerala……clicked on our honeymoon trip
One such house is my aunt’s (my dad’s sister). I still remember playing in the garden, plucking flowers for my grandma’s morning pooja and running helter skelter around the house. But of all those memories, one of the things that was stuck in my head forever was my aunt’s caramel custard. She makes the world’s most delicious caramel custard. It was at my aunt’s place that i first devoured this delicious dessert. So today whenever i have an opportunity to eat this, i always miss my aunt and her delicious custard. 
Back to the present day. 
Caramel custard or pudding, creme caramel or flan whatever you may call it, is one of the most (at least in my opinion) delicious, melt-in your mouth desert which is very easy to prepare and you don’t have to buy any fancy expensive stuff from the grocery, yet you end up with a five start restaurant quality desert.
Caramel custard consists of a creamy custard made of eggs, sugar and milk/cream with a soft layer of caramel on top. Do not confuse it with creme brulee it contains hard layer of caramel on top.
My aunt’s recipe was the same eggs, milk and sugar (may be vanilla extract as well). She used her trusty pressure cooker to cook it. And yes i wanted to replicate it. But i tweaked the recipe a bit not coz i wanted to but coz i had this leftover heavy cream sitting in my refrigerator :P. This can also be prepared on gas stove with little water on large pan, the bowl with the custard can be placed in the pan and you can cover the pan with a lid until the custard is cooked.
My tweaked caramel custard recipe is also simple. So here it goes…
You will need
Serves -2
For the Custard:
1 cup of heavy cream (you can totally substitute this with only milk) 
1/2 cup of whole milk
2-3 tablespoons of granulated sugar (i used less sugar coz i don’t like it when the custard is too sweet, it takes the fun away from enjoying the caramel on top)
1 whole egg 
1 egg yolk
1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
For the Caramel
1-2 tbsp of water
4 – 5 tablespoons for the caramel (again you can use more if u desire :P).
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. 
In a pan add the sugar, water and stir. Put in on the stove with low-medium heat. Cook on low heat until the sugar melts (turns dark golden brown in color). Pour the syrup on to two ramekins or any heat proof bowl. Allow the sugar syrup to harden. Set this aside.  
In a sauce pan pour the heavy cream, milk and vanilla extract. Cook this mixture on a medium heat until you notice small bubbles at the edge of the pan.
When the cream and milk mixture is still cooking, in a separate bowl mix one whole egg, one egg yolk and sugar. Whisk (for about 2-3 minutes or so) until the mixture turns pale yellow in color. 
Carefully add a little amount of the hot cream and milk mixture into the egg mixture. Please remember to continuously whisk the mixture while pouring else you will end up with scrambled eggs. Strain if you want. Your custard is ready. Pour this into the ramekins or bowl.
Place the ramekins in a rectangular pan. Pour very hot water in the pan until it reaches about an inch of the ramekins. Bake for about 35-40mins or until the custard is set (and has very little wobble to it when shaken). 
Remove the ramekins from the water. Cool it for about half an hour and later cover and refrigerate until serving.
To unmold the carmel custard, carefully loosen the sides of the custard with a small knife. Place a small dish or a plate on top of the ramekin or bowl, holding very tightly turn the plate and the ramekin upside down. Shake the ramekin gently to unmold the custard. Now comes the best part….once this is done you will notice delicious caramel syrup running down on the sides of the custard. Yummmyyyyy…..
Happy Cooking 🙂

Easy Stuffed Mushrooms…..

In my last post i shared how i ended up making bread crumbs and eventually made some yummy stuffed mushrooms. So thats my next recipe.

 

I personally love mushrooms a lot on its own, in soups and along with other veggies. I know few of my friends who don’t enjoy it as much as i do. But stuffed mushrooms is something very different and i think everyone can enjoy it as a snack or as an appetizer. Its easy to prepare and is ready in less than 45 mins. The recipe here is inspired by Laura Vitale. 

This is what you will need:

1 pound of button mushrooms
1 to 1 1/2 cups of bread crumbs (store bought or homemade)
1/2 cup to 1 cup of grated mozerella cheese (you can use any cheese of your choice)
1 to 2 cloves of finely grated or minced garlic
1 tbsp of chopped coriander leaves or parsley leaves
1 tsp of oregano
1/2 tsp of pepper
1 tsp of olive oil or as required
Salt to taste

Directions:

Wash and clean the mushrooms.  Remove the stems of the mushrooms. Do not throw them away they are completely edible. Chop the stems and keep them aside. 

Scope out insides of the mushrooms a bit to create small pockets for the stuffing.

Next for the stuffing, which is the easy part. Mix the bread crumbs, along with the chopped mushroom stems, cheese, garlic, oregano, pepper, 1/2 tsp of olive oil, coriander leaves and salt. 

                                                                                                           

And finally fill the mushrooms with the stuffing. On a baking sheet brushed with olive oil, line the mushrooms. For the final touch sprinkle the rest of the olive oil over the stuffed mushrooms so that they are nice and browned while cooking. Bake them on a preheated oven at 400F for about 15-20mins until the stuffing is nice and golden brown. 

Sorry if there are any shaky pictures, its really tough to take snaps while your hands are all greasy :P.

Thats all. Easy and yummy stuffed mushrooms are ready to be served.

Tune in for more recipes. Happy cooking guys 🙂

Homemade Veggie Pizza

Ok…So i wasn’t planning to put this recipe on the blog but when i started with the prep work for my very first attempt at homemade pizza from scratch, i thought why not?

Do i know anyone who doesn’t love pizza? May be some of our moms and dads back in India hehehe…..but our generation and children are always up for it, be it a quick lunch at office, when out with friends or at the movies. Pizza has always been a hot favorite.

What i love most about pizza is that they are so versatile. You can absolutely go crazy with the toppings and yet create something delicious. Have any leftover chicken kebabs, panner tikka (cottage cheese), or veggies?? Put them as toppings for your pizza and create your very own version.

I made a simple veggie white pizza (known as pizza bianca in italian; its a pizza that contains no sauce).

I could have easily bought a premade pizza base (which is available in all possible sizes and flavors) but naahhhh….that wouldn’t have been fun at all. I have lots of patience so i prepared my own pizza base. And ya one more thing i dont have a pizza stone sooooooo i made mine on a baking sheet. Sounds crazy? Nope not at all it worked perfectly. Its just that instead of round you will get a square…no a rectangular pizza….hahaha  😛

The recipe is nothing extra ordinary or out of this world but its worth a try since mine came out to be just as delicious as any take out pizza. I read, try and test a lot of recipes that are on blogs, websites and that is how i learn. So nope this is not my creation but the toppings were my idea 😛

With this recipe you can make upto two 12inch x 8inch (i guess) pizza with a nice flat crispy base using a 15inch x 10 inch baking sheet. Sorry about the photos guys don’t have all of them but posting few which i did happen to click.

Ingredients:

For the dough

3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour (maida)
1 envelope of dry yeast (7g or 1/4 oz)
1 1/3 cups of warm water
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp of olive oil

For the toppings

2 cups of frozen cut broccoli, defrosted (you can also use fresh ones)
1 1/2 cups of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted (you can also use fresh ones)
2 cups of chopped button mushrooms
1 1/2 cups of chopped onion
1/2 cup of chopped jalepeno
2 cups of freshly grated mozzarella cheese
2 small cloves of garlic
1 tbsp of olive oil
Salt & pepper for seasoning
Oregano & Chili flakes for garnishing

1) In a bowl dissolve dry yeast with the warm water and set it aside for about 5- 10 mins. You will notice a frothy creamy layer forming on the top. That is what we are looking for. Make sure the water is warm and not hot before adding the yeast else they will die.

2) In another large bowl mix in the salt, sugar, olive oil with the flour. To this mixture add the yeast
(make sure to stir the yeast in the water before adding it to the flour) and knead. Yes i did this by hand. If you have a electric stand mixer please feel free to use it with the dough attachment. Mix or knead until everything is nicely combined. Brush the top of the dough with some olive oil and cover the bowl with a plastic wrap or a wet cloth. Put the bowl in a warm place or inside the oven (turned off).
The dough requires time for proofing. So keep the dough in a warm place for an hour.

3) In a small bowl add 1 tbsp of olive oil and to this add 2 small cloves of chopped garlic. Mix and set it aside.

4) Preheat your oven to 475 F. After an hour, remove the pizza dough from the bowl and divide it into two equal parts. Take one part of the dough and start to spread it on the baking sheet with the help of a rolling pin or by your hand.

5) Poke holes all over on top of the dough with a fork if you don’t want the base to rise too much and want it to be more flat and crispier.

6) Next generously brush the top of the dough with the garlic oil. This will give the pizza base a nice garlic flavor.

7) Now comes the easy part. Spread all the toppings starting with the jalepenos, onions and veggies. Add salt and pepper on top for seasoning. Finish off with lots of cheese.

8) Bake the pizza for 15-20 mins or until the cheese on top becomes light golden in color. Garnish with oregano and chili flakes. Repeat the same with the second pizza maybe with different toppings. Happy cooking. Enjoy.