Tag Archives: quick recipe

Less Than Ten Minutes to Butter Bliss

16 Feb

Butter Bliss - Home Made Butter

That’s right; I tell you that I can introduce to you a way of attaining Butter Bliss in less than ten minutes-How many people could vouch for that eh?

On hot toast, comfortingly creamy and lightly salty…or adding familiar sweetness to fluffy chapatti’s…maybe on soft pillowy bread to add glistening moistness… perhaps a melting knob on steaming vegetables, granting slippery smoothness or even in a jacket potato infiltrating the warm sweet clouds with juiciness…ah oh my, what if in a croissant, crisping up delectable layer upon layer, upon layer…

Butter. Delicious isn’t it? And what do we say about the alluring aroma…Proud cakes and steaming doughnuts all bleating towards us with their cosy smells and pretty colours; how can one not give in? I know some people who add a knob on khichdi (the traditional Indian Kedgeree of rice and lentils), or on their dhal to lift the aroma of the lentils and enhance the mild and homely flavours.

Now I’m not suggesting we all stop buying butter from supermarkets, or even that we encase our hearts with impenetrable and dense layers of it. But there is a glowing pleasure, a gratification, in creating simple ingredients yourself, to use as and when you will. You can make butter. Simple.

Home-made butter is creamier, has lightness about it.  It is smoother and of course you can infuse it with flavours, spices and herbs as you like. There are no performances and no, you don’t need to be churning away at it for hours.  In fact, I ‘made’ this butter whilst washing the dishes and singing to my Aloe Vera plant and spring bulbs (that are now displaying shoots).

Its humble, it’s delightful and you can dress it on a table for your dinner guests to devour between them. Mmm…Butter.

As always, let me know how you go…

My Recipe for Gently Spiced Home-Made Butter

This makes roughly 175g of butter

Ingredients

300ml of Double Cream

Salt to taste (I use ¼ tsp.)

¼ tsp. Aniseed powder, ¼ tsp. black pepper, ¼ tsp. cumin powder

Method

How to make butter and Homemade Butter

  1. Churn the double cream in a food processor with whisking contraptions or use an electronic hand whisk. If you are using an electronic hand whisk, then put the cream in a tall container to avoid spluttering.
  2. Whisk the cream until you see stiff white peaks, like whipping cream at this stage; give it another mix to scoop all the lovely cream back to the centre.
  3. Continue to whisk until you see ball/balls form in the bowl and the whey separates from the butter. Check the consistency and it will feel and look like butter to the touch.
  4. Remove onto a plate, and fork the butter to release more of the whey. Remove this.  I suggest keeping it and using it to bind chapatti flour for instance.
  5. Mix in the salt, aniseed, cumin powder and black pepper into the butter and moderate to your taste, If you wish.

Deena’s Vegetable Dumplings Stewed in a Yogurt Soup/Curry (Kadhi)

16 Nov

I am, like many of you, really into comfort food in this season. I like being comfortable, comforted and ‘nice’.  I console and pamper myself from the elements of this season with long swaying sweaters, ear-soothing hats and blanket trousers – and oh, most definitely the secret snug of tights – and lots of them.  I nestle myself in front of the open hearth of our home, lulled to sleep by the glowing of coal and watching the mesmerising crackles and pops, which snap my attention back to the rice crispies adverts from years gone by but then I’m caught craving chocolate coated cornflakes. And then my mind wanders to open city streets and the smell of roasting chestnuts, despite never enjoying the taste as a child. I think it was just the idea of a sweet nut. Toes playing with fluffy layers of rug, elbow nestled in cushion and nose under the blanket that now inhabits the sofa. Even I get a wee bit lazier in the winter, but I can’t apologise for that? Where there is a (albeit lazy) will, there is a recipe from me!
 
You may find yourself trying to make the weekly shop last longer-particularly those of us that can’t forget being snowed in earlier this year! You may find that when the evenings are darker and colder you just can’t bear to creep out from the wallowing warmth of indoors, for extra food supplies. You may find that you always have leftovers of the big squash, cabbages, potatoes and onions because you just don’t get through it all.  Hopefully it’s not because you’ve been ordering too many take-a ways!
 
My recipe for Indian vegetable dumplings stewed in a gently spiced and thickened yogurt soup/curry (kadhi) hits all the magic comfort buttons, uses up leftovers and also it tastes flippin’ fantastic.  It’s a simple, humble recipe. No coulis. No jus. No precision, or layering to perfect angles on plates. It just is, in all its tastiness, a hearty and delicious meal in one bowl of sunny yellows and oranges.  As this recipe simmers away in the kitchen, you will find that the homely and calm aromas are capturing.

I grew up with variations of this recipe; it looks a little like vegetable sausages stewed in a sunny curry. Some people cook them with more flour than vegetables, for a firmer bite. I like mine soft and sweetened from root vegetables.  Some people use millet flour to help bind the dough, but I find that a little bitter.  Traditionally, I think people bind the dough with oil, but I really can’t bring myself to do that.  Some people use less gravy; I like a good slathering of ginger-spiked soupiness. Some people use very traditional vegetables like bottled gourd (tastes like courgette).  I like to use gourd sometimes, especially as it is so easily available in supermarkets, but more often I will use any of my root vegetable leftovers. If you are using leftovers, this recipe will taste like taste like you’ve gone to a lot of effort!

Deena’s Vegetable Dumplings Stewed in a Yogurt Soup/Curry (Kadhi)

Ingredients

1 cup cooked and cooled rice (that’s aproximately 1/2 cup when uncooked)

1 medium onion, finely diced

1 small/medium potato, grated

100g sweet potato, grated

125g of finely shredded cabbage

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1-2 green chillies, minced and 1-2 green chillies chopped

1 tsp ginger minced

400g yogurt

Gram flour; 3 tbsp for the kadhi and 1 ½ cup for the dumplings

1 cup chapatti flour

4-5 curry leaves

A handful of chopped coriander leaves

The spices ½ tsp ajwain/Carom seeds, 2 tsp cumin seeds (1 of which is toasted lightly), salt to taste, ½ tsp turmeric, pinch of asafoetida, ½ tsp mustard seeds, stick of cinnamon, 2 cloves.

Method

  1. In a very big bowl, combine the cooked rice, cabbage, onion, sweet potato, potato, minced garlic, 1tsp of toasted cumin seeds, carom seeds, salt to taste, ½ tsp turmeric and the minced chillies and mix thoroughly to ensure the spices coat all of the vegetables.  Don’t drain away the water from the vegetables, but allow the wetness to come through and this will help in bind the dough.
  2. Mix together the yogurt and the 3 tbsp of gram flour until smooth and there are no lumps
  3. Heat 2-3 tbsp of oil in a big, heavy bottomed and deep pan and add the asafoetida, chopped chilli (es), curry leaves, minced ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cumin seeds and mustard seeds and allow the mustard seeds to pop before adding the gram flour and yogurt mix and some salt. Add 11 cups of water and bring to a simmer on a medium heat.
  4. Then add the chapatti flour and 1 ½ cups of gram flour to the rice and vegetables, add 2tbsp of vegetable oil and 2tbp of water and mix thoroughly to make a dough.
  5. Grease your palms and make tight sausages no longer than the width of your palm and drop them into the kadhi that is simmering in the deep bottomed pan. When they are all in, simmer for approximately 20 minutes, stirring intermittently to avoid the dumplings sticking to the bottom of the pan. You will know when they are done as you wont see the grains of rice so much and the inside looks meaty, rather than floury.
  6. Sprinkle over the coriander leaves and serve hot!
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