Chocolate Pudding

This must be every chocoholic’s comfort food. Late night, long after dinner, when all you need is a good movie on the television and a quilt to snuggle in, chocolate pudding is what you need in your hands. It’s so easy to whip up and all you need is what you already must have in your kitchen pantry. You can also serve this with some strawberries. Goes perfectly.
Ingredients:
¾ cup sugar
3 tbsp corn flour
1/3 cup coco powder
A pinch of salt
2 ½ cups milk
½ cup cream
4 egg yolks
½ cup cooking chocolate (chopped)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp butter at room temperature
Method:
Using double boiler method (steel bowl over a saucepan of simmering water) brings together coco powder, corn flour, sugar and salt. Whisk in ½ cup of the milk and cook till you have a thick paste. Add the yolks one at a time so it doesn’t scramble. Set aside. Now boil the remaining milk and cream. Let the temperature come down a little and then you can mix this into the egg and coco mixture slowly, whisking all the while to make it smooth. Now cook this entire mixture in a saucepan for about 5 minutes till the consistency is really thick. Remove from heat and strain in case you find lumps. Finally add the vanilla and the chocolate. Pour into serving bowls. It can be served warm as well as chilled. Any which way make sure you cover with cling film so it doesn’t form skin (you would want it, would you?).
I’d not eat this in front of anyone. Trust me it is NOT elegant when you’re licking the bowl in the end.
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Blackberry Cobbler

Now it was the blackberries’ turn to surrender. Blackberry, such an ugly fruit yet so delicious. Blackberry cobbler. So easy, I could bake this in my sleep. This is definitely one of my favorite baked dessert. By the end of it, we were scraping the bottom of the pan to savor the last bits. It does look similar to the blueberry buckle I made earlier, but the taste is anything but similar. Blackberries are more tart and sweeter than blueberries.
Ingredients:
1 cup flour (sifted)
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
½ cup melted butter
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups fresh blackberries
2 tbsp sugar (to sprinkle over blackberries)
Method:
Mix sugar, flour, baking powder and milk together. Add milk and whisk. Now add the melted butter and mix well. Butter your baking dish. Pour batter, tip the blackberries evenly over the batter. Sprinkle the 2 tbsp sugar over this. Bake in your pre-heated oven for 50-60 minutes in 180C.
Serve it warm/hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The tanginess of the berries and the creaminess of the ice cream…it’s something else!
PS: if you have friends coming over from the US or any place else, ask them to get these kind of berries instead of the usual chocolates and perfumes fair. I’m waiting for raspberries!
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Blueberry buckle

This time around I got my hands on fresh blueberries and blackberries (courtesy, USA return Mr.Rao). My first time tasting fresh blueberries, wasn’t as much as I’d built it up in my head. Nevertheless, I had to bake something. Instinctively I thought of a simple sponge with blueberries. Didn’t seem enough though, so I looked up some blueberry desserts online (girl’s gotta bake, people). I found something very similar to what I had in mind, but with a streusel topping. Streusel is a buttery crumbly topping you’d find on pies and certain cakes. You can try this even with strawberries I suppose. In a nutshell, I was going to bake a Blueberry Buckle!
Ingredients
Streusel topping:
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup chilled butter
¼ tsp cinnamon powder
Cake batter:
1 cup sifted flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
½ cup butter (room temp)
1 cup sugar (powdered to make life easier)
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1/3 cup warm milk
1 ½ cups fresh blueberries
Method:
For the streusel, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and using a fork mash the chilled butter till it resembles coarse bread crumbs. Keep aside.
For the cake batter, combine the dry ingredients and keep aside. With your hand blender or even a fork, cream the butter till fluffy. Add the sugar and cream it till well combined and fluffy. Now add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Now add the flour mixture and milk alternatively and fold it into the butter mixture, without whisking or ever beating it.
Pour the cake batter into a greased baking tin (8 inch) and smoothen the top with a spatula. Tip the blueberries evenly across the batter. Top it with the streusel and bake for 50 minutes or till the top is nice and brown in color. Make sure you do the tooth pick test. If it comes out clean you know what to do. Take it out and let it cool.
Serving …must: Warm/hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, please!
I have some in the fridge I need to polish it off clean 😉
PS: I am going to bombard the blog with more dessert recipes. Kindly put up with my sweet tooth. I have to cater to its needs from time to time.
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Xian

First of all thanks a lot Karthik for inviting us for lunch over to Xian. We discovered one of the best spare ribs in the city.
Xian is located near the Ulsoor Lake. You might just drive pass it as because it has no flashy sign with the restaurant’s name. We assume that the interiors are on the cusp of completion, however that fantastic ginormous yin-yang on the ceiling, didn’t go unnoticed. The abundance of natural light just made it pleasant.
We started off with an array of starters: Spare ribs, chilli prawn balls, bacon wrapped prawns and crispy spinach with vegetables. The spare ribs like…stole the show! We aren’t big fans of the fat part of pork, but talk about being cooked to perfection. The meat just separated from the bone with one effortless stroke of the fork. It was tender, juicy and succulent. The sauce of the ribs could be served as a dip to turn any boring finger food yum! Well we held a mini conference over the last piece of ribs at the table. Moving on to the main course, we went for the Malaysian flat noodles with mixed meat, pickled prawn in black bean sauce, shredded lamb, Thai red curry with steam rice and sliced pork in char siu sauce. Yet again the pig stole the show. We guess Xian knows how to cook their pork and come up with lip smacking sauce to go with it. The Thai curry was another favorite at the table. There was a perfect balance of coconut milk and the spices. It was impressive to see ingredients like galangal and kaffir lime leaves to bring out the best flavors.
The crispy spinach with vegetables and pickled prawn in black bean sauce weren’t memorable. Basically, the flour over powered the taste of the spinach and the corn starch was just too evident in the black bean sauce. But the most disappointing of the lot were the chilli prawn balls and bacon wrapped prawns. The coating of the corn starch was used excessively for both these dishes that it made them chewy and heavy. The chillies in the prawn balls were over powering and were hard to go down. The flavor of bacon was totally lost in the bacon wrapped prawns. We definitely recommend any of the pork dishes, especially the spare ribs and the Thai red curry. And as someone said, good company always enhances the taste of food 😉 thanks Karthik, Snigdha and Sreeja.

Thai red curry(chicken)

Pickled prawns in black bean sauce

Sliced pork in Char Siu sauce

Malaysian flat noodles with mixed meat

Shredded Lamb


Spare Ribs


Chilli prawn balls


Crispy spinach with vegetables


Bacon wrapped prawns

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Roast Chicken

We had this picture in our minds, one large roast chicken, well stuffed, a bottle of wine…basically we were in a mood for something fancy yet not much investment of stress. Even while preparing, there wasn’t much thought put into it…lot of learning from accidents this time. So when we were getting our pedicures done, we put down a small list of basic stuff (since our hands were free) of the roast chicken and headed off to the supermarket.
Ingredients:
1 whole chicken (skin on and cleaned)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 teaspoons of dried mixed herbs (oregano, parsley, rosemary and the likes)
2 large onions
1 large pod of garlic
10 cooked baby potatoes
2 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsp of tomato ketchup
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp butter
approx 1 handful of cashew nuts and raisins each
salt to taste
Method:
Marinate the whole bird with balsamic vinegar, mixed herbs and half the pod of garlic chopped. Leave it covered for about 30 minutes.
In the mean time, get on with the stuffing. Sauté the finely chopped onions in hot olive oil till it turns golden brown. Now add the garlic, cashew nuts, raisin, tomato ketchup and soya sauce and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Keep aside.
Now, stuff the chicken with this mix and seal the opening with toothpicks or use a sterilized needle and thread to stitch it up.
Heat butter in a heavy bottom saucepan, preferably non-stick…now place the chicken breast down and cover it for about 10 minutes or till you fork it and realized that it’s done, pour any remaining marinade on the bird. Post 10 minutes, turn over the chicken and let it cook till the skin turns golden brown.
Serving Suggestions:
Cream of mushroom soup with garlic bread sticks goes perfectly well with this deadly dish. Also, good old mashed potatoes on the side of the chicken and steamed / grilled veggies (carrot, peas, baby potatoes). So what we did was, we enjoyed the steamed veggies with caramelized onions with red wine. We poured ourselves a nice glass of Jacob’s Creek Vintage Merlot.
This was just how we wanted a tiresome day to end, and it was healthy! 🙂
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Blueberry banana muffin

The fiance was back from the US after a 2 week work related trip. I am so very fortunate to have a man who ‘listens’ when I jabber what would be of absolute irrelevance to him. For instance when I whine about how we have no blueberries growing here and how I wish I had some to bake muffins or any dessert. It was tremendously sweet of him to remember all the whining and get me a pack of dried blueberries (would’ve been better if it were fresh, but hey what the hell!). So then followed blueberry banana muffins. Why the banana? I figured since the berries weren’t fresh, they wouldn’t kick in a lot of flavour. And I was right. They were nice but maybe I’d ask him to get fresh ones nicely packed the next time. But for now, I’m just glad I have atleast the dried ones 🙂
Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
3/4 cup mashed banana
1/4 cup curd
1 egg
1/3 cup oil / melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 cup fresh/fozen/dried blueberries
a pinch of salt
Method
Combine the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl mix in the wet ingredients. Add the dry to wet mix and fold. Do not over-mix else the muffins would turn hard. Now fold in the blueberries and walnuts. Scoop 2 tb sp batter into each muffin mould or fill it up 3/4th of the mould. Bake for 20 mins at 190 C in your pre-heated oven. Let them cool and enjoy with some coffee or serve them warm for breakfast. They’re not too sweet or heavy as I’d expected. Quite light and tasty. You get a bit of everything, banana, blueberry, walnut and cinnamon. Real good treat!

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Apple pie

Anybody who knows me must know my love for apple pie. It’s the comfort food of desserts for me. After a few failed attempts I finally got my way around. Cold night, warm pie. Couldn’t get better. Well…with more pie it does get better 😉 Let me not ramble on as usual and get on with the recipe.
Ingredients:
Filling:
3 large apples chopped (green, worse comes worse red)
1 tsp cinnamon powder
3 tbsp sugar
juice of half a lemon if red apples is what you use
1/4 cup cashews/almonds/raisins (optional)
Crust:
125 gm margarine frozen and cut into small pieces
250 gm flour
2 tbsp chilled water
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp powered sugar
1 tbsp milk powder
Method:
First things first: make the dough for the crust, because it has to sit in the fridge for about 20 min. On your kitchen counter, which I really hope is clean!, place the flour with the salt and milk powder. Tip in the frozen margarine, with the help of a fork mix the margarine into the flour. When the margarine has slowly disintegrated, use your fingers to bring the mixture together along with the chilled water. The water is just to bring it all together and make the dough. Don’t knead it! just bring it together. Now wrap this in plastic and chill in the fridge. Meanwhile, get on with the filling.
Now for the filling. If you have green apples (which are the best btw) peel, core and dice them. Mix the other ingredients together with the apples.
Get the crust out of the fridge. Use 3/4th of it and roll it out carefully not breaking it. Roll it enough to fit a 9 inch pie base. Trim the extra dough off the rim of the crust. Fill it with the apple mixture. Roll the rest of the dough out, thinner than the crust. Make stripes of the dough and arrange on top of the pie. Now brush with milk or beaten egg. This is to give the pie a nice golden brown color on top. Let it bake in your pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes or till it turns golden brown. Let it completely cool before you cut. But once you do, don’t waste any time. Attack!! 😉

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UTMT, Under The Mango Tree

Veg and Non Veg Xacuti…flavor from Goa we love 🙂

Spare ribs in brown chilli sauce with caramalized apples…that was some fiesta for my soul 🙂

Best chicken pasta ever! ….above are those Kingsize Sausages with Caramalized Onions; cant have enough of that…EVER!!

I love this coaster…and Thank you for the balsamic vinegar!

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Blueberry french toast stuffed with drunken strawberries

We’re still in the middle of the weekend, so technically we are still allowed another strawberry story. After last night’s dessert, we couldn’t get over the rum and berries combo. We just had to repeat it. But now this is breakfast. We still had some fruit left from last night. Neither of us wanted to step out of home to shop for anything, since it being a lazy sunday morning.
We did have the basic ingredients for French toast though. But we had to add our zing to it. We present, Blueberry french toast
stuffed with drunken strawberries.
Ingredients:
5 strawberries chopped
1 tb sp dark rum
2 tsp powdered sugar
2 eggs
6 slices of bread
1 tsp vanilla
1 tb sp powdered sugar for the egg mix
2 tb sp blueberry fruit filling
Method:
To the chopped strawberries add the rum and 2 tsp sugar, mix and keep aside. In another wide mixing bowl crack the eggs and whisk them with the sugar and blueberry filling. Add the vanilla. Take one slice of bread, place some of the strawberry mix on it, and place another slice over it. So basically you have sandwiched the stawberries with the bread. Now dip this sandwich
into the egg mix making sure you have some of the blueberries on the bread, and immediately place it on a hot pan greased with some butter or oil. Let it cook on both sides for about 2 min each on low-med flame.
Done! Breakfast is ready to be served.
Garnish with some whipped cream and strawberry slices if you like, or eat it just like me, straight up!
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