Thursday, October 29, 2015

No bake Berry Cheesecake

This is a very yummy, eye-catching, wow-your-guests  kind of dessert. This isnt very difficult to make but there are quite a few elements involved and just takes some time, but it is totally worth it. You could choose any flavor you like - mango, berries, pineapple. I have done this before with mango and blogged about it here Mango Cheesecake-  and it was a super hit recipe at home.


Serves 3 

Philadelphia Cream Cheese - 1/2 cup
Castor Sugar - 1/4 cup
Fresh Cream - 1/3 cup
Strawberry-Raspberry pulp - 1 cup
Gelatin - 1 tbspn
Digestive bisuits  powdered - 1 cup
Melted butter - 4 Tbspn
Cashews - 5
Sugar - 1 tbspn
Vanilla essence - 1/2 tspn


Base of the cake 

Powder the biscuits along with the cashews and 1tbspn sugar to make about 1 cup. Mix it well with melted butter . Now bring out 3 serving glasses and  spoon this into each of them and press them to make the base of the cheesecake. Put it inside the fridge. Let it stay in the fridge while you proceed with the second layer to make the cheesecake filling as below.

Cheescake mixture

This consists of the three steps as below

Step 1- Strawberry - gelatin mix

Firstly take some equal amount of fresh starwberry and raspberry with required amount of sugar to make about 1 cup of pulp. In a cup, pour about 2-3 tspn of cold water along with gelatin and stir the gelatin with hand. Now add 2-3 tspn of hot water over this - stir and let the gelatin completely dissolve. Mix the strawberry pulp with the dissolved gelatin and keep aside.

Step 2 -Whipped Fresh Cream
Whip the fresh cream separately and keep aside.

Final Cream cheese mix

Now mix the cream cheese and castor sugar well for 2-3 minutes to get a smooth texture. Pour 3/4th of the strawberry pulp mixture prepared in step1 [remaining is to be used for topping] and all of the whipped cream [step 2] and vanilla essence onto the cream-cheese/sugar mixture.

Now take out the glasses from the fridge and fill 3/4 of the glass with the cheesecake mixture. Now return to fridge and refreigerate for 1.5 hrs for it to set.


After 1.5 hrs, bring the glasses, gently spoon in the the remainining strawberry pulp on top of the cheesecake mixture in each glass. Referigerate for 5-6 hrs, for best results cool it overnight. And there we have our beautiful cheesecake ready.

You can always substitute hung curd for cream cheese, as cream cheese is expensive and difficult to get in India.

Gelatin is a meat by-product, so if you are strictly vegan, use china-grass [agar-agar] instead.

Also the quantities in each layer can be adjusted as per taste/need.

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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Mushroom Paneer Pesto Pasta

A quick pasta with paneer and a green pesto sauce made with cilantro as the main ingredient. I love to bring indian flavors into western dishes and try to create fusion recipes. This is one such recipe which turned out super delicious and is a keeper for our traditional taste buds :)


Serves - 2-3
Spice Level - Moderate
Prep Time - 20 min
Cook time - 15 min

Spaghetti - 200 gm
Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Garlic cloves  - 7-8 chopped finely
Mushroom - 6 chopped into medium size pieces
Paneer - 150 gm, cubed
salt - as required
Freshly ground pepper - as required

For the green pesto sauce

Blend all the below together with 2tbsp water and keep aside

Cilantro - 2 cups
Green chilli - 3
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Oilve oil - 2 tbsp
Garlic clove - 2
Salt - as required

How do you do it

1. Cook the spaghetti as per packet instruction in salted water with a couple of drops of oil, drain and wash under cold water and keep aside.

2. Blend all the ingredients for the cilantro sauce and keep aside.

3. Take a tawa and coat with a layer of oil. Toast the paneer pieces and keep aside.

4. Heat oil in a wok, add chopped garlic and saute till they brown slightly, add chopped mushroom and saute well. Cook mushroom until it gives a shiny gleam and all the water the mushroom let out dries. Add little salt and pepper.

5. Lower the flame and add the cooked sphagetti now amd saute for a couple of minutes until it absorbs all the flavour. Toss well.

6. Add 2 tbsp of the cilantro sauce and mix well. Remove pan from flame and check to see if more salt or pepper is needed. Add if required.

7. Add the toasted paneer finally and mix well. Paneer mushroom pasta is ready :)

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Chettinadu Inipu Cheeyam/ Sweet Seeyam

This is a very popular sweet dish in Chettinadu cuisine and like many others falls in the "difficult to make" category. Sweet Seeyams are deep fried dumpling with a jaggery-moong dal stuffing inside them. The consistency of the stuffing as well as the batter that coats it are two important things in this recipe. A couple of trials and you should easily get the hang of this. I had blogged a different version of this here - but this trail turned out perfect and this one is the keeper recipe for me. The other recipe has a stuffing that is a little dry. This one is sooper gooey and moist and we prefer this texture. So you could pick which version of the stuffing you like and make them.


Serves - Makes about 10 pieces
Prep Time - 30 min + 2 hrs soak time
Cook time - 15 minutes

For the sweet stuffing

Moong Dal [Green Gram Dal] - 1/2 cup
Crumbled Jaggery - 3/4 cup
Grated Coconut - 1/3 cup
Cardamom powder - 1/2 Tsp
ghee - 2-3 Tsp

For the batter

Raw Rice - 1/2 cup
Urad dal - 1/3 cup
Salt - a pinch
Water as per need

How do you do it

1. To prepare the sweet stuffing, boil the moong dal until its 3/4 done. Make sure to drain the moong dal of all the water, let it dry for 15-20 minutes. Cool the dal completely and mash it up roughly with a ladle and keep aside.

2. Heat a kadai, flame must be medium level. Add the broken/crumbled jaggery and sprinkle 3 tbsp of water on top of it. Let the jaggery loosen a little and form a thick syrup. Strain the jaggery syrup, remove impurities and keep aside

3. Heat 2-3 Tsp ghee in a pan add grated coconut and saute for a minute. Add the dal and jaggery syrup and mix well. Saute in low-medium flame until it forms a thick mass.

4. Switch off flame and mix in the cardamom powder. Cool the mixture.

5. Once cooled, make small lemon sized balls and keep them aside.

6. To prepare the batter, soak the rice and dal in enough water for 1-2 hours. Drain completely and grind to a smooth paste with  little water as possible. I used about 1/4 cup water while grinding. Add a pinch of salt, mix well keep aside.

7. Take half of the above batter in a bowl. Save the remaining batter to make masala cheeyum. The consistency of the batter should be dosa batter consistency. So add water to get to that consistency. Adding too much water will make it very loose and the sweet balls will not coat well and the cheeyum might soak a lot of oil.  On the other hand if the batter is too thick, you will get a very thick outer layer, so be cautious in this step. Start with little water and then you can add more after testing a few pieces.

8. Heat a kadai with oil for deep frying. Maintain the flame in medium level. Dip the ball in the batter, coat it well with batter and drop them in oil. Deep fry to a golden brown and drain them using a slotted spoon. Put them on a plate lined with paper towels to remove excess oil.

Note: Bite into one of fried cheeyum. If you feel the outer batter layer is thick, add little water to make the batter loose, you will get a much thinner outer layer.

If you have remaining batter left, mix in some finely chopped onions, green chilli, curry leaves and salt. Spoon them into the oil and fry them until golden brown to make masala cheeyam.

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