Mum's end to tiffin box tantrums......

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Chocolate cookies- the yummy treat for your kids!!

Preparing cookies at home is not a very impossible achievement provided that you make up your mind to get the best of the taste right from your kitchen. A little innovativeness with ingredients will lead you to create a combination of innumerous delicious n fantastic stuffs. This is really not cooking but called 'kitchen chemistry'. Let me share how I landed up in creating a very delicious Chocolate cookies recipe.

Ingredients: (for preparing 40 cookies)

Self raising white flour (250 gms.),
Unsalted butter/Margarine (200gms.),
Sugar (200 gms.),
Drinking chocolate powder (100gms.).

Procedure: The process of baking cookies is schematically represented in a pictorial basis.

Step 1: Take margarine/unsalted butter with sugar in a container and beat till both of the ingredients take a very even mixture. Mix self raising white flour to it.Keep it standing for about 20 minutes. When the dough rises press it with your hands.


Step 2: Please make two separate half of the doughs and mix drinking chocolate powder with it and make two elongated structures and keep side by side. 

Step 3:  Mix the two separate doughs and make a twist so that thay make an even mixture.

Step 4: Make a roll with polythene wrapper.

Step 5: Make a net roll with the polythene bag and keep the dough in refrigerated condition for 20 minutes so that it becomes a hard structure.

Step 6: When the structure is hard enough then cut it into pieces as shown in the picture above.

Step 7: Place the cut structures in oven . The oven should be either greased with edible oil or butter paper should be applied. 

Step 8: The oven should be pre heated at 100 degree celsius for 10 minutes. Put the tray filled with doughs for 20 minutes at 180 degree celsius. Care should be taken that the cookies should not get burnt else reduce the heat and you may keep it for a longer time.

Step 9: Remove the cookies from the oven and display in a plate for serving. You may store it in an air tight container.

Perhaps this can be the best treat for your child's birthday or as his tiffin item. Cookies can be enjoyed with coffee. So, try experimentation with ingredients and innovate your own creative cookies in your own style. Just enjoy the Culinary art and claim yourself to be an artist.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Puli Pithey- the iconic savory of Bengal!

Delicious pithey Puli
Bengal has it's own culture of hand crafted sweets and savories which is a popular culinary art practised by the ladies during the winter. A festival called " Pous Sankranti" which marks the end of the winter season is the ideal  time when these sort of sweets are prepared in every households. A special jaggery called 'khejur gur' or the extract from date trees are obtained to add the ultimate flavour to the specially prepared savory called 'Pithey Puli'. I feel very proud to share the secret of this preparation with my readers, for every Bengalee is very much fond of this dish. With the mark of 21st century when ladies get the spend the least time in kitchen and tech savvy generation seeks towards a short cut method of preparing food  these types of sweet preparation is  almost a lost culture but can be regained done with a bit of  dedictaion and lots of devotion in mind.

Ingredients: ( for preparation of 20 pieces )

White flour or Maida (250 gms.),
Rice flour ( 150 gms.)
Grated coconut ( 150 gms.),
Sugar ( 200 gms.),
Mawa / Milk powder ( 50 gms.),
Milk (2 lts.),
Khejur gur (one packet, might  be 100 gms. in weight).

Procedure: To be followed meticulously, the process is not very difficult but needs to be accomplished in various steps shown hereby in a schematic way.

Step 1: Make a dough with grated coconut, sugar and mawa/ milk powder under low flame in a container. Stirr till it solidifies and then remove and wait till it cools down.

Step 2: Make a dough with white flour ( maida) ,rice flour,  little oil and water. Make conical shapes like the way shown in the figure above. The combination of rice flour with white flour will make the structure flexible but will prevent from unnecessary breakage of the prepared stuff.

Step 3: Fill the conical shaped doughs with the prepared coconut mixture. Carefully put in between the rounded structure and press with the help of your fingures so that it takes a semi circular shape and the ends are tightly closed tom prevent spilling of the coconut fillings.

Step 4: Prepared semi circular structures like the figure displayed above. You may use a little water to prevent spliitting of the closed ends.

Step 5: Boil the milk at low temperature for long time till it thickens. Add the jaggery or 'khejur gur' to it. Stirr for longer time till the gur mixes well and the syrup finally acquires a good texture.

Step 6: Release the already prepared semicircular structures made of coconut fillings very carefully into the boiled milk. See that the structures should be cooked in the boiling milk but should not split out. 


Step 7: Remove from the oven , allow it to cool and serve in a bowl.

Serve it to your guests and see them being simply spellbound by your excellent culinary skills. This dish will make any Bengalee totally homesick and will smell the odours of age old traditional Bengalee cuisine. Achieve the moments of being a complete woman by experimentaing with various dishes. Bon Apetit !