Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

August 6th… the most memorable date … the most significant, the most important and the most cherished date ‘cos it happens to my dad’s birthday. And I dedicate this post to my father, “the world’s best dad.” He is one in a million (and I can’t count beyond million:) ). Every time I want to write about my dad, I run short of words. He’s my one and only super hero and will always be... There’s so much in life that I have learnt from my dad. He’s simple yet strong with his beliefs, modest yet the most sophisticated with his values, abundant with love…equal with care, tough and practical…yet extremely brittle with emotions. If there was a pedestal for perfection…I guess, he would have defied that too …I am sure all daughters have a special place and space for their fathers. In the words of Joanna Fuchs, here’s an ode to my father that truly expresses my feelings.

Every day the whole year through, I feel grateful you are my father.
Some fathers don't have time for their kids, But for you I'm never a bother.
You always make the effort to listen and share; You're always there when you're needed
It warms me to know how much you care, And with that knowledge my worries are defeated
Dad, you are truly admired and adored, And as your daughter, I hope that you know,
These sentiments fill me each day of the year, And my love for you continues to grow.

I love you Accha !!

Before I push the emotions further, let’s see what I baked for him, “A Pineapple Upside-Down cake” and I am mighty pleased that he loved it…This recipe was passed on by my friend Sangeetha (thanks Sangu!). I had made this cake once before (it was a hit then too!) and I must tell you, it’s a ‘never-fail cake’…so go ahead and try it…it’s damn easy too…!!

Preparation time: 20 minutes 

Cooking time : 35-45 minutes
Serves: 9-10

You need:
6-7 pineapple rings (I used tinned but you can use fresh ones too)
6 -7 cherries
2-3 tsp brown sugar
2 cups maida (plain flour)
1 ¾ cups powdered sugar
1 tsp baking powder
100gms cooking butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp pineapple essence
a pinch of yellow food colour
4 eggs
a pinch of salt

Sieve maida and baking powder 

Take a fairly big tin, grease it with some butter and dust it with some maida

Sprinkle brown sugar evenly on the tin

Arrange the pineapple pieces (do not throw away the syrup from the tin) 

Place the cherries in the center of each of the pineapple rings (awww...it’s going to be a pretty cake)

Beat the eggs, butter and powdered sugar till fluffy

Add the maida (with baking powder) and mix carefully

Now add the food colour, pineapple and vanilla essence and give it a good mix (keep the beater away)

Pour the batter on top of the pineapple rings

Bake at 1800C for 35-45 minutes (keep a close watch to avoid burning!)

Insert a toothpick or a knife to check if your cake is done (it has to come out clean)

Keep the cake in the oven (after you have switched off) for 10 minutes
Allow the cake to cool for another 15 minutes 

Now, turn the tin on to a plate…Voila! The pretty cake is smiling back at you:)
Gently put the cake back into the tin (be careful not to smash the sides) 
Pour the syrup evenly on the back of the cake 
Allow the syrup to sink into the cake (the last wait, I promise) 
Another 30 minutes… over turn the cake again and light the candle… 

Do not allow Pineapple upside-down cake to cool completely before removing from the tin. The caramelized sugar hardens and results in the cake sticking to the tin .

Try it and check how it manages to put a smile on someone you love…!

Here’s wishing the superman, my dad again for the splendid day gone by and many more to come…!!

Yours Tastefully

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chicken Korma

Chicken Korma, a treasure from the Mughlai cuisine  ...and a celebration for 100 followers on my blog. A big THANK YOU one and all for the love and on-going support...it wouldn't have been possible without you...
This popular dish of North India is mild, rich and bursting with flavours. Made with meat or vegetables, yoghurt, spices and a creamy paste of nuts (almond and cashew nut). It’s not a very spicy dish. In South India it’s called “Kurma" and is made differently. There are many ways of making this dish. Try this Chicken Korma Recipe when you are bored with standard chicken recipes (‘cos this looks and tastes different). 

My apologies for the bad picture quality. Just as I started clicking photos, my camera decided to act stubborn :( …(but you must try it...it was one pretty reddish curry and it was yummmm!) 
Preparation Time: 10 minutes 
Cooking Time : 30 minutes
Serves : 3

You need:
300 gms chicken breasts
1’’ fresh ginger
8 garlic pods
2tsp garam masala powder
1tsp kashmiri chilli powder 
(remember it’s not a spicy dish)
1 tsp shahi jeera (black cumin seeds)
3 green cardamoms
2 mace flowers
1tsp coriander powder
8 almonds
8 cashews
5tbsp thick curd
2 medium onions (chopped fine)
3tsp sunflower oil
salt as required
water as required
few coriander leaves (chopped fine)


Wash and cube the chicken breasts. Rub a little salt and chilli powder. Keep aside for 10 minutes 

Make a paste(smooth) of ginger, garlic, garam masala, chilli powder, shahi jeera, cardamoms, mace, coriander powder, almonds and cashews

Add the curd to the chicken pieces 

Now rub the ground paste on the chicken and let it marinate for 30minutes 

Heat oil in a deep bottom pan and fry the onions till golden brown 

Add the chicken pieces to the pan (without reducing the heat), stir fry for 5-7 minutes (on each side) 

Add the rest of the masala and give it a toss (now shift to low flame)

Wash the remaining masala with water and pour over the chicken. Mix well, cover and let it simmer for 20-25minutes or till the chicken is fully cooked (I love the aroma! And it gets me hungry) 

Add coriander leaves and cook for another 5 minutes

Serve hot with rice or any Indian bread!

Am so upset that my red curry is looking brown:(
Yours tastefully!!