Mishti Doi (sweet yoghurt) is one of the most famous Bengali sweets and is widely popular as a dessert. Simple to look but rich in taste, Mishti Doi is quite different from other sweets. Though easily available in packaged form these days, old-timers still like it in the traditional way — served in earthen pots that soak up all the loose water and leaves the rich and sweetness to devour. You usually get this only in shops specialising in Bengali sweets, but it is an extremely simple dish and can be easily made at home. Here goes the recipe.
Milk: 1 litre (full cream)
Sugar: 6 tablespoons
Curd/yoghurt: 2 tablespoons
Preparation: Boil the milk with 4 tablespoons of sugar and reduce it to half. Now heat a pan and caremalise 2 tablespoons of sugar. Add the boiling milk to the caremalised sugar and stir till the sugar completely dissolves. Let the milk cool down to room temperature. Now mix in the yoghurt and pour it into an earthen pot and leave it overnight. Once set, refrigerate it for a couple of hours and serve chilled.
LAST WORDS: Do not add yoghurt when the milk is hot, it will curdle. The amount of sugar can be increased or reduced to suit your taste. A little more sugar or less while caremalising it can bring the shade you want to bring to your Mishti Doi. instead of one big earthen pot, you can use or 4-6 small ones.
During late night Twitter surfing after work, waiting for the drop cab, I saw this post of a photograph of baked buns filled with something that looked like eggs. A colleague asked me something in the meanwhile and when I got back to Twitter, the post had got buried under 100s of new ones and I never had the time to fish it out.
But the image stayed with me. My son loves burgers and I try making them at home for him. I had some buns lying in the fridge and thought of giving it a try. Out came the eggs and salamis from the refrigerator, and also some frozen peas, and mozzarella cheese, and my super breakfast dish was ready in 15 minutes flat. I posted a photo on a Facebook page for home cooks and boy, it was a hit! Within hours, I had people telling me they already tried the recipe, albeit with their own innovations, and loved it.
Here goes my recipe…
Food for thought: Omelet in a bun
Burger or any other buns: 4
Onions: 1 , small (diced)
Chicken/pork salami: 2 pieces (chopped)
Boiled peas: Half cup
Salt and pepper: To taste
Mozzarella cheese (grated): Half cup
Preparation: Preheat oven at 175 degrees C. Gently whip the eggs with salt, pepper, onions and salamis. Grate the cheese and set aside. Take the buns and scoop out a chunk from the middle of each of them. Now, pour the egg mixture into the holes. Sprinkle some cheese on top and put it in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes or till the cheese melts.
Last words: It’s an experimental dish and there is nothing that you cannot alter. An alternative way to make it, which I am definitely going to try out next time, will be to pour the eggs and other ingredients separately, instead of mixing them. The yolks will stand out in that case and should give more character to the dish. And yes, as far as the baking time is concerned, you can always reduce or increase it suiting your taste, depending on the way you want your eggs to taste — chewy or gooey
If you are in North India, winters are synonymous with gajar ka halva. I got to know this fact only after I came to stay in this part of the country 14 years ago. Not that I did not know of this sweet dish made of the healthy carrots but loaded with calories, but the cult status it enjoys in the region was kind of a surprise to me.
My mother used to put in great efforts to cook this dish. Grating the carrots was a must, because nobody at home liked the taste when it was cooked the easy way, by boiling and mashing the carrots. She would use all sorts of goodies to give it that heavenly taste.
A bowl of hot and tasty ghee-dripping gajar ka halva generously laden with dry fruits is all you need on a freezing cold day. The day I made the dish some days back was incidentally the season’s coldest day in Delhi.
Here goes my recipe of the winter beauty.
Food for thought: Gajar ka halva
Carrots: 1 kg
Sugar: 1/2 cups
Condensed milk: 1/2 tin
Milk: 1/2 litre
Khoya (Mawa): 200 grams
Cashew & raisins: 1/2 cup
Ghee (clarified butter): 4 tablespoons
Preparations: Grate the carrots and keep it aside. In a pan, heat ghee and fry the carrots till the ghee separates. The ghee will turn orange. Pour the milk and cook the carrots till done. Add sugar, condensed milk, khoya, cardamom and the dry fruits and cook till you get the desired consistency.
My 2-and-a-half-year-old son loves cakes. And I do not need a better reason to bake them. I have become so regular with cakes that my kitchen perpetually smells of the utterly-butterly calorie bombs. Well, maybe that’s exaggeration, but I do end up baking cakes once every fortnight if not week.
An unfinished bottle of wine had been lying in the closet for a long time and I decided to use it in the cake I was going to bake this time. I looked up on the Net for recipes and opted for a soaked cake for the simple reason that I did not want to completely deprive my son of it. I used the same batter to bake some extra that I did not soak in wine.
The recipe that caught my eye was one made with brandy. But I decided to substitute it with wine. Also, it was an almond cake, but I used vanilla instead. You can find the original recipe on allrecipes.co.uk.
So, here goes the recipe of the cake that earned me quite a lot of praise at a Sunday gathering.
Food for thought: Wine soaked sponge cake
Flour: 400 g
Sugar: 400 g
Butter: 225 g
Eggs: 4, separated
Milk: 250 ml
Vanilla essence: 4 teaspoons
Water: 450 ml
Red wine: 125 ml
Preparation: Preheat oven to 150C. Grease and flour your baking tin and set aside. Beat the butter and 250 g of sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, blending them well into the butter mixture. Add the flour alternately with the milk. Pour in the vanilla essence. Once your batter is ready, beat the egg whites in an absolutely dry bowl until stiff peaks form. Now, fold in the egg whites into the cake mixture. Don’t mix too vigorously, but ensure the egg white has evenly blended with the batter. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake in the preheated oven until a skewer inserted into it comes out clean. It may take around an hour or so, but do check before that if it’s ready. Turn off the oven when it is and let the cake cool completely.
In a pan, bring the water and 150 g of sugar to boil (for at least 10 minutes). Reduce heat and add the wine and 1 teaspoon vanilla essence. Let it simmer for 2 to 3 minutes and then remove from heat. Allow the syrup to cool down to room temperature. Now, prick holes in the cooled cake and then pour in the wine syrup all over it. Let it rest for some time and your wine-soaked sponge cake is ready to serve.
Last words: For best results, make sure the eggs you are using are in room temperature. Also, it’s better to use powdered sugar for the cake. It turns fluffy with butter faster. You can use granulated sugar for the syrup.
The Philadelphia cream cheese my brother brought from the US two months back was still resting in my fridge as I was still contemplating what to make with them. It was Christmas time soon and the heavenly Red Velvet Cake I had recently tasted at Elma’s Bakery cafe in Delhi’s Hauz Khas Village was still fresh on my mind. So the cream cheese had to go into my Red Velvet Cake, I decided.
I scanned through a number of recipes on the Internet to find the one I could try at home. I did find some, but I still had to compromise on certain ingredients, which I could not manage to stock. Vanilla beans were over, so had to do with the essence. Couldn’t find Dutch-processed cocoa powder, so used regular cocoa. Didn’t have liquid colour, so had to use dry powder. But it had a disastrous effect, with the cake turning orange, though the packet said ‘RED’, yes in all CAPS.
The colour fiasco notwithstanding, the taste was good, and the way it should have tasted. Here is the recipe.
Food for thought: Red Velvet Cake