Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Friendship and its many flavors

Image from Google

"Growing up we had one TV channel DD and double censorship reigned. One imposed on the content by govt. the other on viewing hours by parents. Our real entertainment was friends. Whether playing games, munching on snacks made by one of the moms or retelling pranks played or books read. Friends were what kept us involved, engaged and happy. We didn't know of friendship day then, friends were everyday. 
Now with multiple channels of entertainment and engagement I guess we need a special day to remember our friends as well. So that's how I have spend my hours today reliving memories of friends the very many I met at various points in time. Some I am in touch with some sadly not. Hope to correct that someday."

Was my FB post on the occasion of Friendship day and many friends remembered the simpler, saner times we lived in with a tinge of nostalgia. 

And I thought I was done with the celebration of this occasion created I suspect by some greeting card companies and perpetuated by media.

However it was not to be and a circular from the daughter's school informed me that they would be celebrating "Friendship Day' at school on the 6th. She was to take along chhole puri and juice as her contribution. 
So I set a reminder on the phone to myself and last evening soaked the kabuli channa. Having done that I thought well if she is going to be celebrating the day at school then why shouldnt I do the same at work as well?

A colleague at work had asked me for a cake sometime back so I thought why not bake one and take it to work as well?

I decided to do an Irish cream cake since after all I was baking for adults.
Also I have had a Bailey's Irish Cream gifted by a friend for sometime it seemed appropriate for the occasion so two cakes got baked - one for home and one for work. My 3 year old girl is super excited about whisking and really is a big help. For this cake too most of the whisking was done by her. 

I poured some chocolate syrup on top....and a few granules of sugar

Since I baked the cake first let me give you the recipe of the cake first and then we shall come to the Chhole.

Bailey's Irish Cream Cake - for adults ;)

1/2 cup butter - since we mostly have butter in solid form deciding on a cup measure could be difficult melt it by keeping at room temperature. I use regular Amul butter and not white butter. If you use white butter add a pinch of salt. Dont if using Amul/ Mother Dairy etc. they come with added salt anyways.
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs - incase you wish to make an eggless one substitute with 1/2 cup curd for each egg whisk the curd with a pinch of Baking soda till smooth 
3 tsp instant coffee - I used Nescafe
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour/ maida
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup Bailey Irish Cream
2 Tbsp milk 
1 Tbsp chocolate chips

  1. Sieve flour and baking powder and keep aside 
  2. Mix butter and sugar and whisk well. Add the eggs one at a time and continue to whisk
  3. Add Vanilla extract, instant coffee and irish cream and whisk again
  4. Add the flour mix a tbsp at a time to the mixture and keep whisking rigorously - remember the best thing you can do to your cake is to whisk it well
  5. Add the milk at this stage to get the right consistency - whisk some more
  6. Pre-heat the Oven at 185 degree C for 5 minutes
  7. Coat the baking tray with a lil olive oil and dust some flour 
  8. Pour batter into baking tray, sprinkle some coffee powder and add the chocolate chips on top
  9. Bake for 30 minutes at 185 degree C - I use the convection mode of my microwave for this. Since my setting is for 185 degree C I bake for 30 minutes in case your is higher or lower please adjust time accordingly.
  10. once done let the cake sit in the oven for sometime so that it can absorb the ambient heat
  11. take it out after 15 minutes and let it cool on a rack 
Serve as is or with a bit of chocolate syrup or Irish cream added. 

Enjoy :)

Now for the Chhole Do Piyaaza

250 gms kabuli chana
4 onions chopped
1 Tbsp garlic
2 tsp garam masala - I use the bengali version which has just clove, green cardamom and cinnamon
2 Tbsp ginger powder
1 tsp kashmiri lal mirch
1 tbsp black pepper powder
1/2 tbsp amchur (dry mango powder you can substitute with tamarind juice as well)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 Tbsp tomato puree
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp sabut jeera
a pinch of Hing 

salt to taste
2-3 bay leaves
Green chillies and coriander for decor

  1. Soak chana over night
  2. Pressure cook the soaked chana with 2 chopped onions (keep the rest of the onion for later), garlic, salt and 1 tsp Garam masala. Once you get a whistle lower the flame and let it cook for atleast fifteen minutes or till the chana is cooked well
  3. In a kadhai heat the oil add the hing, bay leaves, Jeera and let it splutter - add the remaining onion and let it cook till onions turn translucent
  4. Add turmeric powder, Kashmiri lal mirch, black pepper, puree, coriander powder, ginger powder and amchur and a lil bit of salt - mix everything well and let the mix start releasing water
  5. Fry the mix for 2  minutes more sprinkling lil water to ensure it doesnt burn from time to time
  6. Add the boiled chana and give it a good mix
  7. Let it all simmer for five minutes 
Serve with a garnish of green chillies and coriander leaves with puri, paratha, naan or even plain rice with some salad on the side.

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