Christmas Fruit cake

Recipe for Christmas Fruit cake

Ingredients

1)   1 Cup maida/flour

2)   1 Cup sugar

3)   170 gms unsalted butter

4)   ½ cup sugar + 1tbsp water+1/2cup water to caramalise the sugar

5)   6 tbsp tutty futty soaked in rum/ brandy

6)   3eggs

7)   1tsp baking powder

8)   1tsp vanilla essence

9)   4 cloves, 1 small piece cinnamon and small peiece nutmeg – powdered.

Method :

To make the caramel:

Take a heavy bottom vessel and put the 1/2cup of sugar and 1tbsp of water  and leave it on medium heat. You will see the sugar melt and color change, do not use a spoon to mix it, gently swirl the vessel, when the sugar turns dark brown switch of the flame and add the 1/2cup of water into it and mix well. Do not go close to the pan/pot when you are adding water as it will splash, stand far away and add the water. Leave it to cool.

Sieve the maida/flour and baking powder and leave aside.

Take egg, soft butter and sugar and blend it well till you get a creamy consistency Add vanilla essence, 1/2cup of caramel and the spice powder and blend for a few minutes. Little by little add the maida and baking powder and mix well.

Bake in a preheated oven  at 180 degrees for 30mins, if required more.

Please note – I did not have brandy or rum at home. So added Bailey’s.ImageImageImage

I made two 1/2kg cakes with this batter.

Crack in the marriage who is to be blamed.

Bold thoughts – I have started to pen my thoughts. These thoughts are based on real life experience and thoughts that have been shared with me by many people and some my own.  I do not wish to hurt anybody with these thoughts and I am not going to argue with anyone about it. Others may think differently. I respect each persons view and no one is right or wrong, its only how we think differently.

So here we go…….

I have been thinking of sharing this for a long time. Guess Hrithik and Susanne ‘s split was something that forced me to pen my thoughts.

Firstly when I look at people who joke about the whole thing, I feel it’s really not nice. There are so many people, specially little children who have done nothing wrong who go through so much trauma.  Weather we are celebrity or normal human being the pain is the same for all.

What I have seen and heard why a marriage fails most of the time, is not because the Woman and Man do not get along, its because the family does not get along. Its nice to say that when we get married we do not get married to  a woman or a man, we get married to a family, in all good spirit I totally appreciate and understand it.

What typically happens in our society is the woman and man are very happy with each other and the family too (since they choose the bride or groom), even If not they accept the bride or groom, since their child is happy with that partner. But this love and affection last only for a few months or years. After sometime the negative side of the person is seen more than the positives. We all  have our  good and bad, but the bad is magnified, even if the spouse learns to adjust and compromise the family has a problem. He or she is constantly told how bad her or his partner is, this is what slowly and gradually leads to problems.

What is our duty as parent’s?. According to me , my son/daughter is born to me and he or she is a soul, an individual, I as a mother have to give her/ him good food, teach him good values, give him good education and make him a good human. Now because I have done all this to her/him, he does not owe me anything. After that he decides how he wants to live his life. I should have zero expectation from him. But in our society, it goes the other way. When parents give so much to the children, the children have to be grateful and indebted to the parents all their life and listen to whatever they say and here is where the problem starts.

I have seen so many marriages break, not because there was a problem between the husband and wife, but because all instruction about to how to handle or behave with your husband or wife came either from your mother, father, sister, brother, co-brother, co-sister, brother-in-law or sister-in-law There is total pressure from immediate family on how “you have changed after marriage” if A person is happy changing and being happy with her husband or wife, what bloody is your problem? Are you jealous that they are happy? I totally fail to understand this behaviour. Guess parents , sister or brothers, who find it difficult to part with their near one’s should not get them married and people who get them married should let them live the way they want to live. All of them who get married are grown up adults and know what to do with their life, they do not need your two bits.

I have heard comments  from family members like “ I do not like the way your hubby/wife behaves” to hell with you if you do not I say. I love my hubby or wife the way she/he is. But that does not happen, the wife or hubby, now starts thinking how can I make him/her more likeable by my family and so the whole drama of telling each other how to behave and what to say and what not to say starts? They both start to loose their individuality and start behaving like the people that they are not and how long can you pretend and behave something you are not. Slowly and steady the marriage starts seeing cracks, MIND YOU, not because of the two, but because of family pressure and that is such a sad sad thing. Than ego, advise, bad vibes, negativity it’s a mess and the two people who loved each other dearly and had not problems with each other start hating each other.

My two bit and this is how I look at things : Give your children, brother or sister unconditional love. But when they are ready to face the world with a new family leave them to their own. DO NOT be the REASON for breaking a lovely Nest of love. Forget God, you will NEVER be able to forgive yourself.

cartoon on marriage

How we treat our daughters and wife.

image dad and daughterBold thoughts – I have started to pen my thoughts. These thoughts are based on real life experience and thoughts that have been shared with me by many people and some my own.  I do not wish to hurt anybody with these thoughts and I am not going to argue with anyone about it. Others may think differently. I respect each persons view and no one is right or wrong, its only how we think differently.

So here we go…….

I know father’s love their daughters. I have seen father’s who do everything for their daughter’s, they would give their life for theirs daughters. They are most careful not to hurt their daughter’s. They take care of every little needs of their daughters. Finally when they have to get them married they are very careful and cautious about whom they would get married to! All this sounds so true and fantastic right? And we all agree to this!

But what happens to this Man who is such a loving father when he has to take care of a lady who also is/was a daughter of a father who loved her dearly. Why do fathers follow this double standards, do you think wives just break out of tree and fall on this earth and only your daughter is born with your flesh and blood? Fathers just think how you would feel if your daughter is treated the way you treat your wife, am sure your heart will bleed. So please treat your wife well, cause what goes around, come around and if you treat your wife badly, someone else will treat you daughter bad.

And if you have no daughter’s teach your son to respect every woman, since every woman has/had a father who loved her dearly.  Your son will treat his wife or girlfriend or any other women the way his dad treated his mother.

If you really love your children, show that to them by loving your wife. Children learn to love and respect looking at their parents.

Stuffed Brinjal / Eggplant (Mom’s recipe)

ImageStuffed Brinjal / Eggplant (Mom’s recipe)

Ingredients:
1) 1/4kg Small brinjal/ Egg plant
2) 1 cup scrapped coconut
3) 1 medium size onion
4) 1bsp oil
5) 1 tbsp coriander powder
6) 4 cloves
7) 1 small piece cinnamon
8) 1tsp jeera. Cumin seeds
9) ¼ tsp whole black pepper
10) 4 flakes garlic
11) 1tsp or more (according to taste) chili powder
12) Salt to taste
13) 1/2tsp turmeric powder
14) 1/2tsp jaggery
15) 1 small tiny ball tamarind
Method:

Take oil in a pan and when hot put the cloves, cinnamon and onions and fry till the onion is soft and light brown, add the scrapped coconut and fry till it turns light brown and you get the right fragrance. Switch off the fire now to the coconut add, jeera,, pepper, coriander powder, red chili powder garlic, tamarind, jaggery and coarse grind in the mixer without water. To the paste add turmeric powder and salt.
Wash the brinjals and make two cuts into each one so that the paste can be stuffed into them. Don’t remove the stems but you can trim them so that they are not too long.
Then stuff a small amount of the paste into all the brinjals and put them aside. Heat a non-stick kadai with about 2 tbsp of oil.
Then add the brinjals to the kadai.let them cook for a few minutes with a lid on under medium flame(5 mins). Cook them on both sides.then check if they are cooked. if they are still not cooked you can add a little water and cook for a few minutes. Once the brinjals are cooked add the remaining paste to the kadai and mix well. Let them cook for another 10 mins till the oil comes out.

Spinach Lasagna

Spinach Lasagna

Ingredients:

Lasagna sheets (You get them ready made) I made mine at home.

For the salsa/ tomato sauce

1)   4 large tomatoes blanched (I use country tomatoes,)

2)   2 large onions finely chopped

3)   7-8 flakes of garlic

4)   2-3 green chilies

5)   ½ packet of tomato puree

6)   2 carrots finely chopped (optional)

7)   Salt to taste

8)   1tbsp chili powder

9)   1/2tsp pepper powder

10) 1tsp oregano dry or fresh

11)  2tbsp or more oil (based on your cooking pan) if non stick you can use less oil.

For the white spinach  sauce

1)   1 bunch spinach finely chopped

2)   1 tbsp butter

3)   2-3tbsp Maida

4)   2 cups milk

5)   Salt to taste

6)   1tsp oregano or mixed herb

To garnish

1)   Processed cheese

2)   Olive oil

3)   Fresh Basil leaves (Optional)

Method

Cook the Lasagna sheets in boiling water, just as you cook your pasta. Cool and grease them with oil and leave them aside.

For the Salsa/ tomato sauce:

Take oil in a pan, when the oil is hot add the onions, green chilies, garlic and cook till the raw smell has gone. Add the carrots (optional) and keep cooking. Puree the blanched  tomatoes and add to the onions, cook for a while add ½ packet of tomato puree, chili powder, pepper powder, oregano and salt and cook till the sauce is ready.  It should be a thick gravy consistency. Keep this aside.

For the white spinach sauce

Take butter in a pan, add  the spinach and sauté for some time, add the maida to the spinach and sauté for some more time. Add milk and cook the sauce for a while, add salt and oregano. If you feel the consistency is too watery add some cornflour mixed in water to thicken it.

To assemble :

Take a baking tray and spray some oil in the bottom of the tray, spread some tomato sauce/salsa at the bottom of the tray, layer with one lasagna sheet, on the sheet one layer of tomato sauce and next layer of white spinach sauce, than the sheet and follow this layering till the sauce and sheets are over. Top/ final layer would be tomato sauce, white sauce and finally the shredded cheese or slice. Fresh basil to garnish (optional).  Drizzle some olive oil on top and bake in a hot preheated oven at 180 degrees for 20mins.Image

Prawn Rava Puttu

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1)    2cups Roasted rava

2)    Grated Coconut

3)    I cup of Water with 1tsp or  ½ – 1tsp salt dissolved. (According to taste)

For the Prawn Masala

1)    300gms Prawns

2)    1 medium size onion chopped to small pieces

3)    1 medium size tomato chopped to small pieces

4)    2-3 flakes garlic chopped

5)    1 inch ginger chopped

6)    1-2tsp chili powder

7)    1tsp turmeric powder

8)    1tsp Garam masala powder

9)    Salt to taste

10 Few curry leaves

10)1tbsp oil

11)½ tsp jeera

Method for Prawn Masala

Take oil in a pan add the jeera, curry leaves, onions, ginger and garlic and sauté till the raw smell is totally gone. Add tomatoes, salt, turmeric powder, chili powder and sauté for some more time till the tomatoes are totally cooked and mashed up (If it sticks on the pan, add a little water). Finally add the garam masala. When all the masala has blended well, add the prawn and cook for little while (prawn when over cooked can get hard and rubbery).

Method for the Puthu

Take the roasted rava in a bowl add some grated coconut and mix well, sprinkling salt water little by little and mixing it simultaneously. Keep repeating this till Rava gets properly moistened/Wet.

Fill the Puttu mould with 1 tbsp of fresh grated coconut then 4-5 tbsp of wet rava, take a tbsp of prawn masala and layer on the rava, then again 1tbsp of coconut. Repeat till the mould is filled. The mould should not be tightly packed. Everything should be filled loosely, don’t press the content into the mould after filling.

Keep it on the pressure cooker or puttu vessel and let it steam for 5mins.

Strawberry Panna Cotta

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Ingredients

200 ml milk

200 ml whipping cream/Fresh cream

5 g (1/2 tbsp) gelatin/ Agar Agar as per coversion.

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Strawberry Sauce

300 g fresh strawberries

2 tbsp water

1/4 cup sugar

Directions

Dissolve gelatin in 2 tbsp cold water and let it swell for about 5 tp 10 minutes. 

In a medium saucepan bring the cream, milk and sugar to a simmer over medium-low heat  (Do not boil). When sugar has dissolved remove from heat and add vanilla extract.

Add gelatin in the milk mixture and stir until the gelatin has completely dissolved. Pour it in the serving glasses or ramekins and refrigerate until it sets, for about 4 hrs or overnight.

To prepare the sauce wash the strawberries, drain well and remove leaves. Cut strawberries in quarters. In a small saucepan put the strawberries, sugar and water. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat immediately. 

Pour into the bowl of a blender or food processor and  blend the mixture to make a smooth sauce. Pass through a strainer to remove the seeds out of the sauce. 

Cover and let it cool to room temperature then refrigerate until ready to serve.