Showing posts with label Basic Ingredients for cooking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Basic Ingredients for cooking. Show all posts
Summer is the season of jackfruits in my native. Many households will be busy preparing different dishes and preservable foods from jackfruit during jackfruit season. Apart from papad and chips, my mum and aunts will make sun-dried raw jackfruit pieces. They use them to make different jackfruit dishes whenever they need. Here is the recipe of sun-dried jackfruit pieces for you..

Time required: 3 hours
Drying time - 1 week
Difficulty level: Medium

  • Fully grown raw jackfruit - 1
  • Salt - for taste

  • Cut the raw jackfruit and separate the flesh. 
  • Cut the flesh into medium sized chunks or into desired size.
  • Add salt to taste and mix well. Allow it to rest for 1 - 2 hours.
  • Squeeze off the excess water content and spread them on a plate for drying.
  • Sun-dry the raw jackfruit chunks for upto a week or till the chunks are dry and crisp and there is no moisture left in them.
  • Store the sun-dried chunks in an air-tight container and use them for preparing different dishes.
  • Soak them 30 minutes before cooking and they are ready to use!
  • I will share a few recipes using sun-dried raw jackfruit pieces in my upcoming posts.

Christmas is already round the corner. Joy of the festival is visible everywhere in the form of lights, decorations and of course, shopping! We just roamed everywhere and did enough shopping. Actually speaking, we won't celebrate Christmas in our home. But we are very much fond of Christmas Fruit Cake / Plum Cake. So, all the preparations are done to prepare the Fruit Cake!
Candied Peel is one of the key ingredients for Christmas Fruit Cake. Peel of citrus fruits such as orange, lemon are taken out in order to make the candied peel. Fruit peel will be chopped, boiled, drained and then cooked in sugar syrup to make it delicious. Candied peel and candied fruits are easily available in the market especially during the Christmas time, but I always prefer making them at home. 
Here is the easy recipe of making Candied orange peel. Thanks to Suma of Cakes And More for this wonderful recipe! 

Preparation time: 1 1/4 hour
Cooling time: 1 hour
Yield: 30 - 32 pieces of peel
Difficulty level: Medium

  • 2 medium sized navel oranges
  • Sugar - 1/2 cup
  • Water - 1/2 cup + more water to cook the peel

  • Cut the oranges into 4 equal halves and take out the peel carefully.
  • Slit the peels into equal size pieces to ensure even cooking.
  • Take about 2 cups of water in a vessel and bring to boil. Add the orange peel and cook it for 4 - 5 minutes. Now, drain all the water from the peel and run the peels through cold water.
  • In order to remove the bitterness from the orange peel, I have repeated the above step two times.
  • Combine 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water in a vessel and heat it on the stovetop. Once the sugar is dissolved, add the orange peels and simmer the flame.
  • Cook the peels for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or till the all sugar syrup is absorbed.
  • Switch off the flame and leave the orange peels on a wire rack for an hour for cooling.
  • Thats it, homemade orange peels are ready to use!

  • You can prepare Candied lemon peel using the above method.  

Paneer or Cottage Cheese is a common ingredient in most of the North Indian side dishes. Also, there are varieties of sweets which calls for Paneer as the primary ingredient. Since Paneer is easily available in super markets and convenience stores, most of the people prefer to buy them instead of preparing it at home. If you have enough time, preparing Paneer at home is not a big deal. 
Here is the recipe of Home - made Paneer..

Time required: 30 - 35 minutes
Hanging time and refrigeration time: 2 hours
Yield : 25 pieces

  • Full cream milk: 1 1/4 liter
  • Half lime
  • A Muslin cloth

  • Heat the milk in a vessel and bring to boil. 
  • Once it starts boiling, add 1 table spoon of lime juice and stir it nicely. Keep it on medium flame and stir regularly.
  • After 1 - 2 minutes, add one more spoon of lime juice. You can see the milk starts curdling slowly. 
  • Add little more lime juice if required. Keep stirring the mixture regularly. 
  • After boiling it for 15 - 20 minutes, all the fat separates and the water turns into pale green color. 
  • Switch off the flame and pour the mixture onto the muslin cloth. 
  • Expose the mixture to tap water once, to remove the citrus content. 
  • Tie the paneer mixture inside the cloth and hang it onto a hook or tap for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Then, spread the paneer mixture on a flat surface and knead it nicely without any lumps.
  • Pat it into a square or rectangular shape and keep refrigerated for 30 minutes.
  • Take out the paneer and cut into desired shapes.
  • While adding paneer cubes to any side dishes, shallow fry them on the tava to avoid them from breaking.

  • Dont discard the water which you get while preparing the paneer. This water, known as Paneer Ka Pani is good for health. You can replace the plain water for side dishes with Paneer Ka Pani.

Khoa or Khoya, also called as Mawa, is a product of milk which is widely used in Indian cuisine. This is prepared by boiling the milk till it gets thick. For preparing Indian sweets like Halwa, Barfi, Pedha, Gulab Jamoon, etc., Khoa is used to make them rich in taste.
In India, Khoya is easily available in most of the supermarkets and grocery stores. When I was in Bangalore, I always used the store bought Khoa for my sweets. I had tried preparing Khoa at home sometime back and it was really good. These days, I am making Khoya at home whenever needed. Preparing Khoa at home is not at all difficult. The only thing is it takes lot of time to prepare.
Here is the recipe to prepare your Khoa at home..

Time required: 1 hour
Difficulty level: Medium

Full cream milk - 1 litre

Transfer the milk into a wide pan with thick bottom and bring to boil. I prefer using non-stick pan to avoid milk sticking to the bottom.
Keep stirring the milk with a spatula occasionally. 
Slowly, the water content in the milk gets evaporated and milk starts thickening. 
Keep stirring the mixture, and when it starts leaving the bottom of the pan and comes to ball stage, its time to turn off the flame.
Once it cools down completely, knead the Khoa nicely. Transfer to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. Use when required.
Khoa gives a richer taste to Indian sweets like Barfi, Halwa, Gulab Jamoon, Pedha, etc.

OlderStories Home