Thursday, 31 October 2013

Honeycomb Buns

Aahh! the pursuit of happiness. If you see, the things that make you happy are generally very small things. One of the things that make me happy is my trial of a new dish that comes out good.

But the post today is about a recipe that made me very happy, as I have been contemplating about trying my hand at bread and bun making for a long time. The original recipe was for stuffed honeycomb buns or khaliat-nahal as it is known in Arabic. Apparently these buns with a sweet filling are made during Ramadan for aftar. I however chose to make plain unfilled buns as I had never made them before and wanted to team it up with a chicken curry I was dishing out for dinner.


2 ½ cups all purpose flour,
1 cup lukewarm milk,
1 1/2 tsp dry active/instant yeast,
1 tsp sugar,
1 tsp salt,
40 grams melted butter,
2 tbsps milk for brushing the dough,
Sesame seeds for sprinkling


Cool the melted butter and mix it in with 2 cups of the flour and salt.

Combine the milk, sugar and yeast and set aside till it froths. The time taken for this step will depend on the quality of your yeast.

Once the yeast mixture froths, add it to the butter and flour mixture and knead into a dough. You should get a smooth and elastic dough which is not sticky. Add as much of the remaining ½ cup of flour as you need in this step.

Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl, turning it to coat completely with the oil. Cover and let it rise till it doubles in volume.

Turn the dough out onto your work surface and cut it into 2 halves. With your palms, roll out each half into a 9 inch long rope.

Cut each rope into 1” pieces so you have a total of 18 pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball and place it in a well-greased round cake tin. Arrange the dough balls in concentric circles, filling the base of the cake tin.

Cover this with a kitchen towel and let it rise for about 30 to 40 minutes. Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle the sesame seeds over this. Preheat the oven for ten minutes at 180oC and bake the buns at 180oC for about 25 minutes, until they’re done and turn a nice golden brown on top.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Chocolate Mousse with Agar Agar

This is the first time I made mousse and I didn’t go for the classic mousse recipe with egg whites but tried a round-about recipe using agar agar. I used this recipe from Priya’s blog.

But I went wrong with the amount of agar agar and I had to pass off the dish as chocolate custard :-), especially since I didn’t use agar agar flakes but a sheet. Here in this post I have given the proportion of agar agar that will work and you won’t end up with custard.


4 cups milk,
2 tbsps cornflour,
8 tbsps sugar,
2 tbsps cocoa powder,
½ cup chocolate chips,
20 grams agar agar,
1 tsp vanilla extract,
2 cups cream


Mix the cornflour, cocoa powder with half a cup of milk and keep aside.

Bring the remaining milk to a boil with the sugar.

Add the chocolate chips and the cocoa-cornflour paste to the boiling milk and stir continuously. Switch off the heat and let it cool.

Beat the cream until it turns fluffy.

In another pan boil about half a cup of water and add the agar agar. If you are using the agar agar sheet, you will find it useful to tear it into small pieces before adding it to the water. Cook until it dissolves.

Add the agar agar mixture and cream to the chocolate custard. Mix it well and pour into individual bowls. Let it reach room temperature.

Keep it refrigerated for at least two hours before serving.

Decorate it with chocolate vermicelli or chocolate chips or whatever takes your fancy.  

Monday, 28 October 2013

Mirchi Ka Saalan

In Hyderabad or Hyderabadi cuisine, biriyani is always accompanied with mirchi ka saalan, not that I have ever been to Hyderabad .... but yes a culinary trip to Hyderabad is definitely on my long to-do list for this stay on earth.

Hubby prefers this as an accompaniment to biriyani more than the standard raita made both at my in-laws place and mine too.


12-15 thick green chillies,
Salt to taste,
Oil for frying,
½ cup not-too-thick tamarind pulp,
1 medium sized onion,
1 ½ tbsp coconut,
1 ½ tbsp coriander seeds,
1 tbsp sesame seeds,
8-10 garlic cloves,
1 inch piece of ginger,
¾ tsp garam masala powder,
½ tsp cumin seeds,
½ cup roasted peanuts,
2-3 red chillies,
1 tsp mustard seeds,
10-12 curry leaves,
1 tsp turmeric powder,
A pinch of asafoetida


Slit the green chillies, keeping them whole. You can destalk the chillies or leave the stalks on.

Stuff the chillies with some salt. Heat about 2 tbsps of oil and add the green chillies and fry for about 2 minutes. Keep aside.

Roast the coriander seeds, sesame seeds, cumin seeds, dry red chillies, onion, peanuts, coconut, garlic and ginger. Let it cool and grind it into a fine paste.

Heat about a tbsp of oil and add the mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds pop add the turmeric powder and the prepared paste and fry well till oil separates.

Now add a cup of water and bring it to a boil and add the tamarind pulp, salt and fried chillies.

Simmer for 8-10 minutes and then sprinkle the garam masala powder.

Goes well with any biriyani or pulao.  

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Egg Chops


It’s interesting to see from which all myriad routes you get your recipes. This one is something my sister’s sister-in-law saw in some newspaper or magazine and liked how it turned out, she shared it with her sister who in turn tried it out at my sister’s place...and that is how my sister came to share the recipe with me. Phew! The bottom line is I tried this recipe and it was good though a little difficult to manage..maybe because I have small hands..more about that when you read the recipe in detail.   


3 boiled eggs,
3 boiled potatoes,
2 roasted red chillies,
1 tsp roasted fennel seeds,
¾ tsp roasted cumin seeds,
Salt to taste,
2 tbsp coconut,
3-4 cloves garlic,
3-4 green chillies
1 beaten egg,
Breadcrumbs as required,
Oil for deep frying


Combine the boiled potatoes, crushed roasted red chillies, roasted fennel powder, roasted cumin powder and salt to taste well.

Grind the coconut, garlic, green chillies and a little salt to a fine paste without adding any water.
Divide the potato mixture into three equal portions. Divide the coconut paste into three equal portions as well.

Take one potato portion and spread it to form a disc, apply a layer of the coconut paste on the disc and place the boiled egg in the centre. Then gently get the edges of the potato disc together so as to completely cover the egg.

Roll this is bread crumbs and dip it in the beaten egg, roll it once more in the breadcrumbs (this is the portion I found difficult) and deep fry.

Slice and serve.