Sunday, July 27, 2014

Ginger and Curry Leaves Martini



Hello friends, I am back from my Goa trip and have started the reverse counting for the Indian food Bloggers meet. I am so looking forward to meet the fellow bloggers and appreciate the effort and time taken by the organizing committee to make this meet happen. Apart from meeting the bloggers who I knew only virtually, this meet also offers some exciting contests and surprises, one of which is the Urban Dazzle Cocktail and Mocktail contest.

Urban Dazzle is India's leading Home Shopping Website with a wide range of products to choose from at a very competitive price. As a food blogger who loves to buy Props which are unique and different and do not burn a hole in my pocket, Urban Dazzle is my destination and so far I have liked the service and quality they offer. From bakeware to serving platters to drinkware, they have it all.

 Keeping up with the Indian theme as required for this contest, I have come up with this Ginger and Curry Leaves Martini. I had recently bought the Martini glasses and Bar accessories from Urban Dazzle and they were the perfect choice to serve this cocktail. Here is how to make the Martini with an Indian twist. Cheers!!!!!


All you need is

Dry gin - 60 ml
Vermouth - 10 ml
Sugar syrup - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - 5-6
Ginger - 1\2 inch piece
Ice

For the glass rim

Curry leaves - a bunch
Martini salt


Method of preparation

For the glass rim

Heat the oven to 180 degree C.
Spread the curry leaves on a baking sheet.
Keep the baking sheet in the warm oven for 5-6 minutes, till the leaves are crisp.
Remove the leaves from oven.
Crush to make a fine powder using your fingers.
Add the equal quantity of Martini salt.
Mix well.
Wet the rim of Martini glasses using water.
Dab the wet surface over the martini salt.
The glass is ready.
Chill it for a few hours prior to serving.

For Martini

Take curry leaves and ginger in the mixing glass.
Crush them using a muddler.
Top the glass with ice.
Add gin, vermouth and sugar syrup and give the mixture a gentle stir.
Strain in the prepared glass.
Serve immediately.


Review of ASKME Android App


The smartphones have become the life line in current times, the penetration of these phones is growing rapidly. Just the other day I was watching a you tube video where a toddler girl was trying to pinch a nice photo on the cover of a fashion magazine to zoom it, this clearly shows how much even kids love the phones and the apps and are moving away from the print media. More often than not I use my phone to Google loads of stuff, find restaurants, ingredients for my cooking, find services for my home, find deals to buy and the list goes on. I've been thinking what it would be to get an app that could do this all for you, and  Getit Infoservices Pvt. Ltd. have done just that. They have released an app called ASKME which is really "The BAAP of all apps".

The moment you install the app, it would become an integral part of your android device. The app gives you deals, searches anything that you may need from places to services, gives an option to post an ad, post a deal or shop on askmebazaar.com.

The app uses your GPS location from the phone to give you the most convincing results in your city or town. I tried searching for Kerala Restaurants in Bangalore and it gave a long list of them. What I really loved is that with just a tap on the right of each result, I could call the place I want to, which is a huge value add to the whole experience. For each of the results, it also gives a description of their products and services.



The Main screen also gives a featured deal and many more once you click through. Buying items on deals is fairly new to the Indian market however it is a much accepted way of shopping in the west. With this app, this market is sure to get a boost.

The next feature I tried was posting an ad, which I've done on some of the other apps as well, however combining this feature as a single app is what I liked. Within a matter of a minute I was able to post an ad which starts to appear on their website.

The askmebazaar is still getting formed but is a great platform for a market place easily accessible, it gives a menu through which you can search for items in various categories. I found an induction top, hand blender and various other cookware when I narrowed down on kitchen appliances. Just click on buyme and you can complete the checkout process right within the app. For now, it let's you confirm the order while a representative calls you to complete the process.



The app also let's you post a deal, however I was not able to try this feature out, however I'm sure this would be great for a phone marketplace.

All in all, all these features definitely make this a BAAP of all apps and with the backing from Getit, Its sure to reach new heights. Download on your android device from here https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.GetIt&hl=en and enjoy.



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Chicken Pulav \ Indian Style Rice with Chicken


Life is super busy at the moment and this is what I always wanted. Learning and exploring new things each day, coming up with wild ideas and executing them and most of all enjoy what I am doing and I am glad this is exactly what I got into through the medium of blogging. This chicken pulav happened in one of these busy days when I wanted to make something very quick and interesting and this recipe is just the one. Unlike a Biryani, where a lot of preparation is required, this chicken Pulav is pretty simple to make and hits just the right spot on the palate. Here is the recipe to make it.


All you need is

Long grain basmati rice - 2 cups
Chicken - 1 kg
Oil - 4 tbsp
Cloves - 2-3
Black peppercorns - 5-6
Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
Onion - 2 cups ( thinly sliced )
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp
Tomato - 1 cup ( chopped )
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1\2 tsp
Red chili powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1\2 tsp
Lemon juice - 2 tbsp
Water - 4 cups
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander and fried onions for garnishing


Method of preparation

Wash and soak rice for 15 minutes.
Heat oil in a pan.
Add cloves, black peppercorns and cinnamon.
Fry for 20 seconds.
Add onions and fry till slightly browned.
Add ginger garlic paste and fry till onions are nicely browned.
Add chicken and cook on high heat for 3-4 minutes.
Add tomato and cook for a minute.
Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder, salt and cover and cook till chicken is done.
Remove the cover and cook on high heat till all the water is absorbed.
Add lemon juice and mix.
Drain the rice and add it in the pan with chicken.
Add 4 cups of water.
Cover the pan and cook till rice is done.
Mix the rice once very gently in between the cooking.
Garnish with fried onions and fresh coriander.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Sago and Coconut Pudding with Plum and Vanilla Compote



Sago pudding is a favorite in my house and since it is a breeze to whip up this pudding, it's one of the dessert of choice to make when I have sudden guests at home. Kitchen Aid India has announced a contest at IFBM, a first of it's kind, bloggers meet in India and they are giving away a kitchen Aid Chopper to the winner. One of the condition to participate in the contest is to cook with plums. Keeping the theme in mind, I came up with this combination of our favorite dessert topped with a sweet and tangy Plum and Vanilla compote and it came out a real winner. Here is the simple recipe to make this delicious dessert.


All you need is

For the pudding

Sago pearls \ Saboodana - 1 cup
Full cream milk - 1 liter
Coconut powder - 1\4 cup
Sugar - 1\2 cup ( you can adjust according to your taste )
Cardamom powder - 1\2 tsp

For the compote

Plums - 8-10 ( de seeded and chopped )
Castor sugar - 1\4 cup
Vanilla bean - 1 ( you can use vanilla extract if vanilla bean is not available )


Method of preparation

For the pudding

Wash and soak sago pearls in enough water for 4-5 hours.
Drain the water.
Boil full cream milk in a pan.
Add soaked sago pearls and coconut powder and simmer the heat to low.
Add cardamom powder and mix well.
Cook the pudding till it thickens. ( approx 30 minutes )
Add sugar and cook for another minute.
Remove from heat and cool.

For the compote

Add plums and castor sugar in a pan.
Slit the vanilla bean into half and scrap the sedds.
Add the seeds and bean in the pan.
Cook for 5-7 minutes.
Remove the bean and whizz the compote in a blender just once.

Assembly

Fill the serving glasses or bowls with the pudding.
Top with the plum compote.
Garnish with a mint sprig.
Serve chilled.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Plum and Chicken Soup with Crispy Fried Garlic


With the onset of Monsoon, the weather has become a little cold and there is a slight nip in the air. This is the time to sip on some thing warm and soothing and that's exactly what I did for today's dinner. A bowl of this hearty plum and chicken soup with a crunch from fried garlic in every bite and a few slices of Herb and Garlic bread to dunk in the soup is just what I needed to enjoy the weather. This combination of Plums and chicken is sure to impress your taste buds. Here is the recipe to make this Plum and Chicken Soup with Crispy Fried Garlic. This recipe also goes to the Kitchen Aid Contest held by IFBM, a food bloggers meet that is happening in Bangalore.


All you need is

Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Garlic - 8-10 cloves ( chopped )
Onion - 1\2 cup ( sliced )
Celery - 1\4 cup ( chopped )
Plums - 5-6 ( de seeded and chopped )
Chicken breast - 1 ( cut into pieces )
Bay leaf - 1
Chicken stock - 4 cups
Butter - 1 tbsp
All purpose flour - 2 tbsp
Freshly ground black pepper - 1\2 tsp
Dried rosemary - 1\2 tsp
Dried thyme - 1\2 tsp
Dried oregano - 1\2 tsp
Salt to taste
Fresh cream - 2 tbsp



Method of preparation

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan.
Add 2-3 cloves of chopped garlic and fry for a few seconds.
Add onion, celery and fry for a minute.
Add plums and chicken and fry for a minute.
Add bay leaf and chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil.
Cook for 3-4 minutes.
Remove the pan from heat and blend the mixture in a blender.
Add butter in a pan.
Add all purpose flour and fry for a few seconds.
Add the pureed mixture in the pan.
Add black pepper, rosemary, thyme, oregano and salt.
Add cream and cook the soup for a minute.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a small pan.
Add garlic and fry till golden brown and crisp.
Pour the oil over the soup.
Serve hot with some bread on the side.


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