Ria's Collection: April 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Finally...we are settled in our new apartment! It's been 6 months since I have stayed away from doing the DB challenge! So many things happened in my life in those months...I got married to Jobin and even moved to another continent! :) But then, I miss those months. Those days were fun. Endless shopping and travelling and hotel food! :)

Sigh! Do all good things have to come to an end?? It's not that I am not having a good time now, but still... Anyway, when I checked the DB challenge this month, I realised that it's exactly one year since I joined DB, yep, I joined DB in April 09. So I have to do this month's challenge to celebrate my one year (rather 6 months) baking with them!

The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.


100 grams/4 ounces) All-purpose flour
(1/4 teaspoon) salt
(1.5 teaspoons) Baking powder
(100 grams/4 ounces) breadcrumbs ( I didn't have any, so I used semolina)
(75 grams/3 ounces) Caster sugar
(75 grams/ 3 ounces) Shredded suet or suet substitute ( I used regular unsalted butter,melted)
(1) large egg
(6 to 8 tablespoons) Cold milk
1 tsp orange zest
3 whole oranges segmented to line the bottom of the pudding dish

  • Sift flour, salt and baking powder into bowl. 
  • Add semolina, sugar,orange zest and suet (I used regular unsalted butter)
  •  Mix to a soft batter with beaten egg and milk Turn into a buttered 1 litre/ 2pint pudding basin and cover securely with buttered greaseproof paper or aluminum foil. ( I used individual ramekins and lined the buttered base with segmented oranges )Steam steadily for 2.5 to 3 hours.
  • Turn out onto warm plate, Serve with sweet sauce to taste such as custard, caramel or a sweetened fruit sauce.

My own recipe

Freshly squeezed orange juice-1/2 cup
Blackberries- 1/2 cup
Granulated sugar- 1 tbsp

  • Mix orange juice, blackberries and sugar together.
  • Mash the berries slightly with a fork and leave aside for 15 mins.
  • Heat the mixture and keep mashing the berries occasionally.
  • Remove from heat when thickened.
  • Pour over the pudding and enjoy!!
  • It can be served both hot or cold.

Verdict: It was delicious to the last crumb! The sauce was well recieved and it complemented the pudding very well. Jobin loved the sauce so much that I felt that he was eating the pudding as a side ;)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I have never tasted blackberries before,so when I saw a boxes of them in the supermarket, I thought of picking up one. And oranges, I absolutely love them! Especially the Californian Cuties, they are tiny yet so juicy and nice! They taste exactly like the oranges we get in India. So I have another reason to like them more. 

I love fruits in my desserts...especially fresh fruits!And while I was wondering what I should do with that box of blackberries sitting in a corner of my fridge, this cobbler idea popped up in my mind! So within 10 minutes flat I had them put into the oven for baking!

So when Jobin returned home from work, he saw them sitting pretty on our kitchen counter and attacked one! I must admit that I just couldn't wait for him to get home, they smelt so good while baking, so I had my share as soon as it came out of the oven!

Recipe source: Ree Drummond

Self raising flour-1 cup
Unsalted Butter- 1 stick/113 g
Milk-1 cup
Sugar-1 1/4 cups
Fruits- 2 cups- Oranges & Blackberries

  • Melt butter in a microwavable dish. Pour 1 cup of sugar and flour into a mixing bowl, whisking in milk. Mix well. Then, pour in melted butter and whisk it all well together. Butter a baking dish.
  • Now rinse and pat dry the blackberries and segment the oranges. Pour the batter into the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle blackberries /oranges over the top of the batter; distributing evenly. Sprinkle ¼ cup sugar over the top.
  • Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until golden and bubbly. If you desire, sprinkle an additional teaspoon of sugar over the cobbler 10 minutes before it’s done.
 Verdict: It was mighty delicious! I just loved the crust which forms on top. It is a very simple recipe and you can make it anytime with any fruits of your choice! Now I am waiting to try these with stone fruits like plums & peaches! Sluurrppp!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Here it is as promised, the recipe for Saucy Chicken. This one comes straight from my mother's recipe collection.A curry which has been requested to be made over and over again because it tastes SO good! Eventually, this curry is now known as Susy Chicken (my daddy dearest is responsible for this!). Oh! For all those who are wondering who Susy is, well she is my superwoman celebrity Amma! :)

If there is a house where no curry should be re-heated because the father and son thinks a LOT of water is being added into the curry during the re-heating process [re-heating on a stovetop] or every curry needs to be freshly made or all 3 meals should have different stuff, it is mine! :)

Gradually my mother has learnt all the tricks that needs to fool such a husband and son and the daughter is planning to follow it dutifully! ;) Talk about 'like mother like daughter!' :D The first day it would be chicken roast, the next day it would be chicken curry...all with the addition of coconut milk etc! :)

But, this curry is not like that :D It was freshly made by the still-freshly-married young woman for her ever-loving husband! Ahem! Yes, love is very much in the air! ;)


Chicken -1 kg, cut & cleaned
Soya sauce - 1 tbsp + 2tbsp
Tomato ketchup/sauce- 2 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste-2 tbsp
Onions- 2,large cut into squares
Carrot- 1, medium cut into squares [I don't like to see chunks of carrot ,so I cut into thin rounds]
Salt-to taste
Water /chicken stock- 1 cup
Cornflour- 1 tbsp diluted in 1/2 cup water
Pepper to taste.
Spring onion-1 sprig, chopped

  • Marinate the chicken pieces with salt, pepper and 1tbsp soya sauce for 15 mins or till you get the other ingredients ready :)
  • Slightly fry the chicken pieces in 4-5 tbsp of oil and keep aside. Reuse the oil for the curry cooking.
  • Heat oil, add the ginger-garlic paste and saute it till the 'most fave aroma of mine' seems to be flooding your kitchen.
  • Add the onions and carrot and saute it for 3 mins.
  • Reduce the flame to low, add the sauces and give it a good mix.
  • Add the fried chicken pieces and also a cup of water. Let it boil.
  • Add the diluted cornflour into it and let it thicken.
  • Garnish with spring onions and serve hot with Chicken Fried Rice.

Monday, April 12, 2010

CRAISIN - ORANGE SQUARECAKES ...a step-by-step tutorial.

If you are following me on facebook, you would have read some status messages of mine as 'thinking...' :) I was thinking of doing something which I have never done on my blog before. I always wanted to do a step- by- step tutorial of baking a cake and it never materialised.

So while this thought was doing it's rounds in my mind, Bharathy prompted me into it :) Thank you Bharathy for your encouragement! I think I should continue doing this...or will get boring? I don't know!You tell me!

Should I? Shouldn't I? Should I? Shouldn't I? Should I? Shouldn't I? Or maybe just for cakes... :) I hope it does not turn out to be boring!

People, I have to warn you, this is going to be a real- long picture laden post. If you feel I should discontinue blogging this way for cakes, please do let me know!!

Welcome to my kitchen...it is bright enough for me but very shadow-ey for my cam ;) And yes, I would like to introduce to you all ,my new friend, Reddie, my beautiful KA!

Dump in one stick (113g) of regular unsalted butter.

Add 1 cup of sugar. I used granulated and here in US, the granules are very tiny so it mixes well when creamed. If you are living in India, please use powdered sugar of the same measure.
Aaaaannnnndd cream it!
Add in one cup of regular all purpose flour.
To that, you need to add 2 tsp of baking powder.
and 1/2 a tsp of salt. 
Aaaannnndddd MIX! Be ready for a flour storm ;)
Add in 1/2 cup of milk. I used fat-free skim milk. Hey! now do not ever think that I drink that fat-free stuff...nope, I used it cos that's what I had on hand! I feel that milk has a wierd smell and Jobin thinks otherwise...so yeah! he drinks that :)
Go on! Beat it!
Now, add in another 1 cup of regular all purpose flour
 aaannnnndd beat!
Now is the time to add those yummylicious ingredients! Add in 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice. I used Mandarin oranges.
Add in the yummilicious ingredient #2. 1 tsp of freshly grated orange rind.
Aaaaaannnnnddd beat it till fluffy for about 30-40 secs.

Uh-oh! I forgot to add in the eggies! Okay, big deal! I just cracked and added them in the end. I am showing you the cracked shells, because I am not too sure whether you can see the small babies behind the paddle.
And give it a one last good mix for 1 minute. The batter is dreamy and thick!
Now I have the oven pre-heating at 350 deg F (180 deg.C) for 10 mins.
There it goes, I fill in the cake tin, 1 1/2 tbsp at a time. Look how fluffy the batter is!! And I apologise for all the shadow-ey pics. It's either the 'big' me or it's the kitchen! ;)

I am all set! I divided them into 2 halves. 6 with craisins (just added them after I filled in the tray) and 6 plain.

Pop it into the oven and ...

bake for 15 mins!

Recipe source: Unknown

Flour- 2 cups
Sugar- 1 cup, powdered
Unsalted butter- 1/2 cup /1 stick/113 g
Milk-1/2 c
Orange juice-1/2 c
Orange rind-1 tsp
Craisins- 4 tbsp (You can substitute it with raisins too!)
Baking powder- 2 tsp
Salt-1/2 tsp (If using salted butter, omit salt)

  • Prepare the baking tin.
  • Mix flour , baking powder and salt and keep aside. I must admit, I never do this! I just dump it all in!
  • Cream butter +sugar well.
  • Add in eggs and beat well. ( I happily missed this step...was clicking pics, you see! ;)
  • On low speed , beat in flour mix + milk alternately in 3 lots.
  • Add in the orange juice and orange rind and give it a final mix.
  • Pour into tins and bake for till done. It took 15 mins for me. It purely depends on your oven.Do a skewer test to find out if it's done.
  • Let it cool completely on a wire rack.
I had some batter left behind, and I was in no mood to make squarecakes again. So I dumped it all into my springform pan and baked it!
I almost fainted with it's wonderful texture and taste. It was delicious!
We had some friends over for tea and I served them these squarecakes. And boy! I didn't know it would be so much in demand! They loved it! And I packed some for them ...for their breakfast the next day ;)

Friday, April 9, 2010

SPINACH & CORIANDER CHICKEN...deliciously heathy!

As much as I love packing , I hate unpacking! Unfortunately I cannot help it because we have just moved into our new house. And all the bags that we had carried all the way from India needs to be attended now! SIGH! Yesterday, I was arranging the footwear closet and that's when I realised I had carried 10 pairs of footwear all the way! After that, I was li'l hesitant to open up my suitcases which carried my clothes! :)

 And now onto cooking while unpacking: I have to admit that our kitchen is not yet completely stocked. So beware! :) For the next few days I'll be cooking with all what I have! You might find greens in a chicken curry or chicken in a veg curry or sometimes even no curry! :D

Lack of ingredients is the mother of all experiments! :) That's exactly how this chicken curry was born! I just threw in all what I had with me...and while I did so, I wished some ginger and green chillies would fly in too! I am really short of ingredients! But that gives me something to blame upon if the curry turnes out bad! ;)

My own recipe

Chicken - 750 g , cut into pieces ( I used boneless)
Red chilli powder- 1/2-3/4 tbsp
Coriander powder-1 1/2 tbsp
Garam masala- 1 tsp
Onion- 1 big, chopped [I used yellow onions, since there were no red in Walmart then.]
Tomatoes- 2 medium, chopped
Spinach leaves- a handful, chopped
Coriander leaves- 1 small bunch, chopped
Garlic- 5-6 cloves, finely chopped ( I do not own a mortar n pestle...so :(
Ginger- 1 " piece, finely chopped ( I did not add since I did not  have it, but it will enhance the taste of the curry)
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Water-1/4 - 1/2 cup
Oil- 5-6 tbsp

  •  Wash and clean the chicken. Keep aside.
  • Heat oil, add the mustard seeds and when it pops add ginger- garlic and saute well.
  • Add in onions and cook till translucent.
  • Add in chopped tomatoes and cook till soft.
  • Add in the powders including salt and cook well till the raw smell goes.
  • Add in the chicken pieces and water, mix well and cook.
  • When chicken is halfway done, add in spinach leaves and coriander leaves and mix well.
  • Cook till the chicken is done and the gravy is nice and creamy.
  • This curry is perfect with rice and chapathi.
    Jobin loved the curry so much that he was very particular that nothing goes waste...even the last bit on the spoon! Even I loved it :)

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