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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Fancy a Cheesecake Brownie?

Do you like cheesecake? And brownies? Here’s the perfect recipe to marry the two and give yourself a sugar high in the process. But a delicious sugar high at that. I’d heard about cheesecake brownies for ages, but never eaten or made one. Since I seem to have a lot of free time on hand nowadays, I found myself a recipe and decided to try it. End result, everyone who ate it seems to be utterly enamoured by it. I still prefer my brownies and cheesecake separate. But hey, we must give the people what they want. And if cheesecake brownie is what they want, then cheesecake brownie is what they’ll get.
Don’t skip any of the steps, or take shortcuts. You absolutely must let the cake cool in the fridge for 3-4 hours, if not overnight. Otherwise the cheesecake layer won’t set. Also, this is best eaten chilled. The brownie layer is more fudge-like, than cake-like.
Here goes.

120 grams butter
120 grams dark chocolate
200 grams brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
65 grams flour

Cream Cheese/ cheesecake layer:
225 grams full fat cream cheese, at room temperature (I used Flanders Mascarpone)
65 grams castor sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 tbsp dark rum

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C). Prepare a baking tin, around 8-9 inches with baking paper.
In a double boiler (take a glass bowl which won’t shatter with heat, and hold it over a pan of simmering water), melt the butter and chocolate.
Remove from heat and whisk in the sugar and vanilla extract and rum. Then add the eggs,

one at a time. Keep whisking. Stir in the flour and keep whisking the batter. Remove 1/2 cup of this brownie batter and keep it aside. Pour the rest of the brownie batter into the prepared pan.
For the cheesecake layer:
In another bowl, whisk the cream cheese/ mascarpone with a hand mixer till it is smooth. Then add the sugar, vanilla, and egg and beat till creamy and smooth. Now spread this batter over the brownie layer. Spoon little drops of the reserved brownie batter on top of the cream cheese batter. Run a wooden skewer through this top layer till it has a marble effect.
Bake in the preheated oven for about30 minutes or until the brownies are set. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Do NOT take it out of the tin. Then cover and refrigerate the brownies  for 3-4 hours or overnight. Once chilled, remove the brownies from the pan by lifting with the ends of the baking paper and transfer to a flat surface. With a sharp knife cut into squares. Keep wiping the knife with a damp cloth between cuts.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How To Make The Most Divine Mutton & Mince Korma Ever

Around a month back I read a recipe from Pamela Timm's book - Korma, Kheer and Kismet. It was a mutton korma recipe from Ashok and Ashok Meat Dhaba. Very few ingredients and the deadly combination of mince AND mutton. I finally got around to making it and it is simply delicious. I tweaked the recipe slightly, skipping the slow cooking process totally.  Here's how I made it.

3 tbsp ghee (I used cow ghee)
1 onions, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic 
1 tbsp garam masala 
1 brown cardamom 
3 green cardamoms 
3 cloves 
5 black peppercorns 
250 gms minced mutton (I got it put through the mincer twice) 
600 gms mixed shoulder and rack of mutton 
1 tsp turmeric 
1 heaped tsp red chilli powder 
2 tsp salt 
6 green chilis finely chopped
5 medium-sized tomatoes, finely chopped 
Grated ginger and chopped coriander to garnish
Melt the ghee in a large pan. Add the onions, ginger and garlic and cook until well browned, 10-15 minutes. Add the garam masala, brown and green cardamoms, cloves and peppercorns and stir well. Add the minced mutton and mutton pieces, coating well with the spices. Stir in the turmeric, chilli powder and salt.
Then cook on a low heat for about 20 minutes until everything is well browned. Add the chopped tomatoes, chilis and enough water to cover the meat. Pressure cook for 12 whistles.
Check seasoning and add more salt or chilli if required. Garnish with grated ginger and fresh coriander.
You should ideally eat it with roti. But being a good Bong, I ate it with rice. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Goalando Steamer Chicken Curry - Sharing The Joy

 The story goes that Goalando Steamer Chicken Curry is named after a curry which was served on a steamer which used to carry people across the Padma river. Goalando was the name of a tiny railway station on the Padma bank. From here passengers would cross the Padma on steamers to make their way to Narayanganj and then to Dhaka by train. The steamer ride was an overnight journey and the boatman would supposedly cook a chicken curry with the bare minimum of spices and ingredients. And it is this chicken curry which is the Goalando Steamer Chicken Curry.

I tried to make it for the first time tonight. And boy, was it wonderful. It is extremely easy, stunningly delicious and is perfect for a day when you realise that you forgot to restock your spice cupboard. I looked at a bunch of recipes and all of them had some constants. I did tweak the recipe slightly (and I’ll let you know where), but you can just stick to the original recipe.

This uses no water and has a lovely red gravy. The wonder is when you peep into the pan while the chicken cooks and watch what seems to be a dry chicken, slowly start swimming in gravy, and then watch the colour of the gravy change from yellow to a sunset red.

You can leave out one of the chilis used – red or green - if you’re spice averse. I used both and think they both add their unique flavours to the gravy and the specks of green and red look lovely in the gravy.

1 kg chicken pieces on the bone
6 onions - sliced 
2 tablespoons garlic - freshly minced
2 tablespoons ginger - freshly minced
4 dry red chillies - bashed into small pieces
8 green chillies - sliced 
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
½ cup mustard oil (do not scrimp on this)
1 teaspoon salt

Marinate the chicken in all the ingredients and keep it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Heat a pan and add the marinated chicken to it. First cook on high flame for 2 minutes, till the chicken starts boiling. Then turn the flame to medium and cook the chicken with a lid on. You can keep checking the chicken and stirring it. In about 20-30 minutes (depending on the quality of your chicken), you should be done. The pan will have a lovely reddish gravy from the onion. Do not add any water.

I also added a teaspoon of sugar in the marinade, which is pretty imperceptible in taste, but accentuates the spiciness of the dish. The onions will impart a sweet balance as it is, so you can skip the sugar if you’d like.

Serve it with hot rice. This is truly delicious. I’m sorry I don’t have pictures of the final dish, but I ate it up before I could take a picture.