Saturday, 28 January 2012

Hot, Spicy and Divine Oxtail Vindaloo and its Back to Work again!!!

 "Wow that's the best dish you've ever made"......exclaimed hubby after he had one bite of this "Melt in the mouth" oxtail cooked in a hot, enticingly spicy and simple Vindaloo curry. Must try it to believe it!  

Oxtail is a bony, gelatin-rich meat, which is usually slow-cooked as a stew or braised. It makes a delicious soup too. Oxtail (occasionally spelled ox tail or ox-tail) is the culinary name for the tail of cattle. Formerly, it referred only to the tail of an ox or steer. An oxtail typically weighs 2 to 4 lbs. (1-1.8 kg) and is skinned and cut into short lengths for sale.

Well I made this vindaloo curry last weekend, and so much has happened since then, that I had no time to blog this recipe until now.....phew........Im tired....happy tired...and cant wait to go to bed!!!! but first ive got to share the happenings of this week and this delicious recipe with you all. 

My maternity leave of a year finally drew to an end and this past week saw me rejoin work and go back to a job that delights my soul (except for the part where Ive got to get up at 6:30am and get everything ready before work!!! as I love to sleeep!! :((((. The joy of going back to caring for people and bringing a smile to their face......makes my life worth living. Little actions like that of content children  adorning my coat with stickers in gratitude for my work ....brings me an immeasurable joy, thats hard to express..... and amidst it all, baby A was in the nursery making new bonds, learning new tricks and having a messy adventure of his own.  My life has taken a new turn, and a new chapter has begun, and as the days go by there may be a lot less posts but Im not ready to give blogging yet!! So friends I promise not to make a disappearing act....though if I know why :)

So here it  is .....Oxtail Vindaloo before sleep takes over............I hope you let me know what you think of it!! My pillow's cheerio.....goodnight!!

250gms oxtail cut into rounds
50g plain flour,
salt to taste

1 onions chopped 
1 big tomatoes pureed
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoon chilly powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper powder
1 teaspoon ketchup

1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
2 tbsps malt vinegar
Oil for frying
Salt to taste.

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. 
2. Season the flour with salt and pepper, then use to dredge the oxtail till well coated. Shake off excess flour and set the meat aside
3. Heat 2–3 tablespoons oil in a pan on a medium-high heat and brown the oxtail, until well browned all over and any fat on the surface is rendered out. Place the browned oxtail in the bottom of a pyrex dish.
4. Drain and discard all the rendered fat from the pan and place back on the stove.Pour in 2 tbsps of oil and fry the onion till golden brown.
5. Add the ginger garlic-garlic paste and sauté for some time till the raw smell dissappears. Add the spice paste to the fried onion mixture ( made by making a paste of all the spices with a little water), fry for a minute then add the tomato puree and continue frying till the oil separates from the spice paste. Add the vinegar and bring the mixture to a boil. 
6. Pour the spice mixture over the browned oxtails in the pyrex dish. Add enough hot water to completely cover the oxtails. Place covered in a preheated oven and bake at 200C for 30 mins. Turn the oxtails over and then reduce the oven temperature to 170C and cook for further 1 and a half  hour or until  the oxtails are well cooked, tender and easily fall of the bone, and the gravy is thickened and rich. Check the liquid level from time to time, adding more water if necessary. Taste for seasoning, allow the meat to rest for a few minutes before serving with a slice of french bread and a healthy salad.



Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Hot and Sour Fish Curry without Coconut, Amshi Tikshi Fish Curry-2 ( No Grinding)

Here is another Mangalore style Hot and Sour red fish curry that is flavourful and mind blowing tasty, involves no grinding of spices and is free from coconut. 

The speciality of this recipe is the use of  dried kokam pieces as a souring agent for the curry in place of tamarind. Kokam is the sun dried outer covering of the kokum/ mangosteen fruit. It very commonly used as a souring agent in Mangalorean/ Konkani and Marathi cooking. The fruit is also known as amsol, bhinda, katambi, looikya, sour apple or panarpuli. Substitute with tamarind or vinegar if you cannot get hold of the dried kokam pieces.

This curry works well with fish like Salmon, Catfish, Trout or King fish.
Must try it if you wish to treat yourself to a tongue tingling, toe warming, healthy fish curry.

Ingredients for  fish 
(For fish like Salmon/ Trout, King fish or Surmai/ Catfish :

Fish cleaned and sliced into 2 inch thick pieces- 2 lbs
Mangosteen or Cocum/ Kokum star- 2-3 leaves 
Salt - As required

For seasoning:
Coconut oil: 1 tbsp and sunflower oil: 1tbsp
Mustard seeds:1/4 tsp
Fenugreek seeds: 6 seeds 
Onions large: 1.5 no sliced
Tomato large:1 no. sliced
Garlic cloves 3 large chopped
Ginger garlic paste: 1tsp
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Spice paste:
Kashmiri red chilly powder: 3.5 tsps ( any other chilli powder- 1.5tsps or according to your heat levels)
Coriander powder: 1 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek/ methi powder - 1/4 tsp
Water to make paste

1. Clean and slice the fish. Keep aside. Soak the cocum leaves/kokam pieces
 in a small bowl with a pinch of salt and enough hot water to cover.
2. Heat oil in a wide bottomed vessel pan (should be big enough to accommodate all of the fish in a single layer).  Add mustard seeds and when they splutter, add fenugreek seeds. Fry till aromatic. 
3. Add the sliced onions and fry till slightly softened. Then add the ginger-garlic paste, sliced garlic, tomatoes, curry leaves, 2 pinches of salt and fry till the tomatoes are softened. (Add more oil if required).
4. Mix together the red chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, and fenugreek powder with little water, to make a smooth paste.
5. Add to the onion mixture. Fry for a minute. Then add a cup and a bit of water( enough to cover the fish) to the onion mixture, add salt to taste( a tiny bit more than required) , add the soaked  Kudampuli leaves with the water. Close the vessel and bring the mixture to a rolling boil.
6. Add the drained slices of fish one by one to lie flat on floor of vessel. Avoid overlapping. Close and cook the fish on a medium heat for about 7 minutes till fish turns opaque and whitish in colour and appears cooked. Avoid overcooking the fish. Taste for seasoning again add a tsp of vinegar only if required. 

Serve hot with boiled or white rice. Tastes better the next day.

Caysera's tips:

1. If you do not have kokam/cocum pieces substitute with a marble sized ball of tamarind. Soak in hot water and extract juice.
2. This recipe calls for Kashmiri red chili powder which has a beautiful colour and mild- moderate levels of heat. If you intend to use any other varieties of chilli powder, please halve/ adjust the quantity of chilli powder accordingly.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Happy 1st Birthday Baby

To Our Darling Son on his First Birthday.............

God blessed us with a son who is turning one today,
as cute as a bug, and cuddly as a bear,
a dear child who brings out smiles to all those who are near.

When your eyes sparkle it is so nice to see,
that one day you will for certain become all you're meant to be,
everyday you bring to us all the joy that life could hold,
like teardrops on roses kissed by the morning dew.

Our vows we'll pledge that by your side we'll always walk,
our anchor we'll throw to keep you safe from any storm,
our love will nourish you through the path that you will take,
our promise to cherish that our bond will never break.

Happy birthday to our dear son who couldn't be more loved,
we turn to God each day and night to keep you safe and sound,
we join you in your night prayers as to the guardian angel you call,
please protect and keep your light on for this cute little boy.

May God bless you today, tomorrow and always
in peace, in health, in happiness and in love.
Source: adapted from Caroline Falzon  

I got this idea from the web for a simple 3 layered ice cream cake for Aaron's Birthday. I used  shop bought vanilla, strawberry and chocolate icecream. I  filled each ice cream layer with my favourite treats. I used maltesers in the vanilla layer, cadbury flakes in the chocolate layer and marshmallows in the strawberry layer. Put them one on top of each other and freezed till required. You could also use chocolate chips/ snickers bits/ mars balls/ toblerone/ oreo cookies etc......let your imagination run wild. It was a truly delightful and enjoyable cake. Must try for a stress free, bake free experience. 


Saturday, 7 January 2012

Luscious and Decadent Chocolate Mousse Cake.

Yes friends, Im finally back to the blogging world. Ive enjoyed a funfilled Christmas season with friends and family and I feel refreshed and look forward to 2012 with renewed energy and excitement.

As I look back at 2011, amongst the many blessings, I see what a rollercoaster it has been for life has changed sooo drastically, from being a carefree fun loving bindaas person..... to that of a sleep deprived, walking, talking zombie for months on end, yes friends 2011 has brought me the joy of being a Mother...of caring and nurturing for this little person, who has turned my world upside down and filled my life with immense joy, excitement, wonder, love and mystery...........I wouldnt want it any other way.

Now as I prepare to move on from a "Stay home mom" to work soon, I eagerly look forward to claiming back a part of my life that I have long forgotten, a new found excitement is welling within me, at the same time new fears of letting my son start his journey towards toddlerdom begins!! ......I look forward to all the challenges and joys 2012 brings me and pray for strength, hope and good fortune. 

Coming to the present, ITS JANUARY the most happening month OF THE YEAR in our family with 4 wedding anniversaries ( My parents and 3 of us siblings) and 3 birthdays ( my baby's 1st birthday!!!, my nephew and sister's bday)!! time to rock and roll again.....

I begin this year's post with a utterly delicious, decadent and moorishly addictive chocolatey mousse cake recipe that is melt in the mouth and sinfully gorgeous. The beauty and speciality of this cake lies in the fact that I have carefully married two of my favourite chocolate recipes.......Nigella's instant chocolate mousse and hershey's chocolate cake to give you this bombshell of a cake. The cake recipe is eggless and the mousse is made from marshmallows, hence kids will love it!! (unlike traditional mousses which have raw eggs in it....this one is simple to make, sets horrendously quickly and is delicious!)

I made this cake for my friend and partner in life- Clem............. you know I wouldn’t change a thing ....."God proved his sense of humour when he matched you and I together ;) ...........He also proved He's a genius". Happy 6th Anniversary!! 

To make this Decadent Chocolate Mousse Cake you will need:

For the Chocolate Cake ( my adapted recipe from Hershey's). Preferably make the previous day.
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup Cocoa
1.5 teaspoon baking soda
Dash salt
1 cup (2 stick) butter
2 cup sugar
2 cup milk
2 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Instant Chocolate Mousse ( Nigella)
150 grams mini marshmallows
50 grams soft butter
250 grams best-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
60ml hot water from a recently boiled kettle
250ml heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 4 tablespoons seedless black raspberry preserves


To make the chocolate cake (preferably make the previous day)
1 Heat oven to 350°F/ 180C. Line bottom of a 23 cms 0r 9-inch round baking pan with wax paper. Lightly grease sides of pan. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; set aside.

2 Place butter in large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 1 minute or until melted; stir in sugar. Add milk, vinegar and vanilla to butter mixture; stir until blended. Add dry ingredients; whisk until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.

3 Bake 15-20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack; gently peel off wax paper. Cool completely for atleast 2-3 hours. If making the cake the previous day, once cooled, place the cake back in its springform baking tin, place it in a closed plastic bag in the fridge overnight.

Next day:
4 To prepare the CHOCOLATE MOUSSE topping.
a. Put the marshmallows, butter, chocolate and water in a heavy-based saucepan.
b. Put the saucepan on the stove, over heat, though keep it fairly gentle, to melt, stirring every now and again. Remove from the heat.
c. Meanwhile whip the cream with the vanilla until thick and then fold into the cooling chocolate mixture until you have a smooth, cohesive mixture.
d. Take the cake with its tin out of the fridge; spread 3 tablespoons of preserves over the top of the cake. Carefully pour all of the chocolate mousse filling over the cake ( make sure the cake is still in the tin). Smooth the top of the mousse. Cover the top of the cake tin with foil and place in the fridge for about half an hour to an hour to completely set.

5. Once the mousse has set, run a knife along the sides of the tin to loosen it. Open the springform and check to see if the mousse has completely left the sides of the tin. Then close the tin again while you complete the decorations for the cake. I used lightly sweetened stiffly beaten whipped cream and a no. 30 rossette tip to pipe a few rosette all along the border of the cake. I also used the same tip to write on the cake. Since its my first time actually piping on a actually chuffed at the outcome :) Refrigerate till serving.

Just before serving open the springform side and carefully place the cake with the tin base onto a decorative plate. 

Caysera's notes:
1. You  may add a teaspoon of instant coffee powder dissloved in a tablespoon of water to the to the cake batter, to increase the depth of flavours. I also added a teaspoon of coffee powder to the mousse mixture while on the stove top, for a mocha flavour.

I share a virtual piece of this cake with all of you who have lived and love...Cheers!! 

Refrigerate leftover cake. 12-16 servings.


Sharing this recipe with Valentines Day event hosted by Anzz @ Anzz Cafe.

Sharing this recipe with Teena Mary's Valentine's Day Event.@ Teenz Yummy Delights

Sharing this recipe with Chocolate Mela event hosted by Srivalli @ Cooking 4 all Seasons.