If you thought that my culinary experimentation had gone cold after the self lauding post here, you couldn't be more wrong. The dipping mercury, all the time in hand, and that unmistakable love for good food has ensured that I keep busy with cooking all the stuff that I would want to have. Being in the kitchen in the winter is a nice warm feeling and plus the layers of extra clothing ensures that the million calories go unnoticed. [I swear I have never dreaded spring/summer so much before. Come the new year, and whether there is rain or hail, I promise to hit the gym :(]. But aren't resolutions for new year; let's just enjoy the yummy year ends now :)...
So here's presenting to you my new feats...
We had some friends over for dinner a couple of times giving me the opportunity to expand my guinea pig base :D. In addition to my forte (*wink* *wink*), I tried out the malai kofta for the first time ever. The koftas were not very shapely but I was reasonable satisfied by the end result. I followed Manjula's Kitchen for this one. This pic is straight from the wok...
I tried my hand at some maida crispies. The recipe is ridiculously simple, but the product is a hit especially at tea time...
Had to make some goodies to fill a friend's bakeware that she had brought along (with food ofcourse :)) for a dinner at our place. And the self-proclaimed baking expert that I have now become, dished out these simple yet awesome chocolate walnut muffins. These are much dryer than the cup cakes I did earlier, and make great accompaniments to your coffee. Recipe here; and picture below :D.
Just the two of us, so moong daal kachoris with aloo sabzi was the main course. The recipes I followed are here and here. The kachoris came out so nice and crisp - good enough to warrant a snap...:D
For dessert, I made a German Apple Cake with Pecans. Here's the recipe; just add a cup full of chopped pecans to it for added flavor. Here's the picture. It looks a little bland and dry in the pic but that's because this was taken when it was just out of the oven. Infact the cake is quite moist and refrigerates well. No topping for this one as I wanted to store it for long. To serve each time, I warmed it a little and poured some maple syrup over it. Vish loved it with Vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup.
Winter is really the time for some good comfort food. And we did have a binging spree...
After my near disaster with rava laddoos earlier, this time, I placed my trust in Tarla Dalal's recipe for besan laddoos. And boy, I was so not disappointed. I had to put a little more besan than mentioned in the recipe because I felt there was too much ghee, and I didn't really want ghee dripping laddoos, so... The slight deviation did do me good. The laddoos came out extremely well and we finished the lot in no time at all.
Found an awesome chana daal kebab recipe that does not need too much oil - Tarla Dalal, obviously. Kebabs or tikkis, whatever you call them make a filling evening snack; we dined on it :).
If it is not already obvious, let me say it again, Vish and I have an enormous sweet tooth and well made halwas may well be our greatest undoing. Tried my hand at gajar/carrot halwa following the recipe here - it was okay, came out a little too creamier for our tastes - and that is obvious from the pic too.
I then tried making doodhi/lauki/bottlegourd halwa, following the recipe here. The picture doesn't look great but it was one of the best halwaas that I have had (and not made, please note :P), plus I did not use any food coloring.
Save the best for the last they say; and this one actually takes the cake - quite literally. Attempted the Christmas Special - Fruit Cake with Rum and Wine (recipe here) - and it is the richest and the best cake I have ever baked. Following the instructions, I had soaked the fruits in rum, wine and spices for a week and let the cake rest for a week after being baked. Come Christmas evening, and the cake tasted delicious - all thanks to the wonderful recipe - the spices and liquor gave it a wonderful kick and according to Vish, we must celebrate Christmas more often :).
( I have this one still in my refrigerator, stop by if you can ;))
Adios 2011. And see you guys next year.