Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Dalgona Coffee Mousse

Creamy, frothy and sweet, this dalgona coffee mousse has all the flavors of the popular coffee in the form of a mousse! 



Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. 

In the last few weeks you would have chanced upon Dalgona atleast once. A viral craze on social media, you would have seen a video of someone whipping up coffee, sugar and water and serving the concoction on a glass of chilled milk. 

The drink that you end up with is called dalgona coffee and it has become the MOST searched type of coffee on Google world over! 

So what exactly is Dalgona you ask? Read on.

What is Dalgona?



Dalgona for all these years referred to a kind of toffee from Korea. A mix of sugar and baking soda gives a honeycomb structure to the popular toffee. 

This coffee does not have the flavor from dalgona but has an appearance like that. Pillowy, soft, sweet and made from sugar. 

Dalgona coffee has a close resemblance to the Indian phetti hui coffee. I have enjoyed this since childhood. Instant coffee powder and sugar are mixed with some water and beaten with a spoon till it results in a soft cream. Hot or cold milk is added to make the coffee. Here is how I like my Dalgona Coffee!  




What is in this Dalgona Coffee mousse?


Using the flavors of Dalgona to make desserts is a great idea. For coffee lovers, this dessert would be great! 

To make the mousse, you start off with the three basic elements required for  any mousse: a base, an aerator and some sort of sweetener. 

Here the base is made from Heavy Whipping cream, agar-agar and corn starch. This is what will help set the mousse. 



The aerator for the recipe is Heavy Whipping cream with soft peaks. It is light, delicious and easy to make.

Finally the sweetener. Here it is a combination of the sugar in the base and in the dalgona mixture. The two balance each other perfectly. 



What is agar agar?


As I mentioned above, agar-agar is used in the base of this mousse. Agar agar or china grass is a vegetarian substitute for gelatin. It helps set the dessert. 

Agar agar is available in two forms; strips and powder. We use the powder form in this recipe. It can be easily found in the Asian store or on Amazon. 

Gelatin can be used in the recipe too. Just bloom it in water and you are ready to go! 


Is this mousse eggless?


Yes! This mousse is egg-free but has dairy. However, it can be made vegan by replacing the dairy based cream with the one that has no dairy. 

What you need to make this Dalgona Coffee Mousse?


To make the dessert quickly it is great to have a stand mixer or atleast a hand mixer. The stand mixer works well to whip the cream and to make the dalgona mixture. 


The same can be done with a spoon or manual whisk but takes longer. I would totally recommend a hand mixer for making the coffee mixture. 



How to make a perfect glass of dalgona mousse?


This recipe is one of the easiest dessert recipes ever! With a handful of ingredients, this recipe comes together in under 15 minutes. 

The whipping cream needs to have soft peaks after whipping. If it has form peaks, it will be difficult to mix in the base. 

Agar agar tends to set quickly. So just as the mixture cools, add it to the cream. If it sets before adding, heat up the mixture a little before adding. 


The dalgona mixture needs to have sugar:water:coffee in the ratio of 1:1:1. And yes, ONLY instant coffee will give us the foam. Regular coffee cannot be used here. 

Sugar is am important element in creating the emulsion for the foam. If you skip the sugar the foam will come together but turn to liquid in a few minutes. 

To convert this recipe to a coffee mousse, add some extra sugar and instant coffee to the base and add that to the cream. You have a delicious coffee mousse!  





Steps to make Dalgona Coffee Mousse




1- In a stand mixer or a bowl add 2 cups heavy whipping cream. Whip till soft peaks appear. 


2- In a pan add 2 tbsp water and dissolve agar agar powder in it. Stir well and place on the stove. Add in sugar, cornstarch and vanilla extract. 

3- Bring everything to a boil and then add 1 cup heavy whipping cream. Mix well and let it warm up.




4- Turn the stove off and let everything cool for a few minutes. 

5- Once it is cool, pour the mixture into the whipped cream and mix lightly till smooth. 



6- Using a piping bag or spoon fill dessert bowls with the mousse. Place in the refrigerator to chill.



7- In a bowl add all the ingredients for the dalgona layer and beat using a hand mixer. It should convert to a thick foam.



8- Spoon the foam on the chilled mousse. Enjoy! 



Ingredients

For the pudding

Sugar 1 tbsp
Vanilla Extract 1/2 tsp
Water 2 tbsp


For the Dalgona Layer

Sugar 3 tbsp
Warm Water 3 tbsp



Method

For the pudding

In a stand mixer or a bowl add 2 cups heavy whipping cream. Whip till soft peaks appear. 

Place the bowl in the refrigerator till ready to use.

In a pan add 2 tbsp water and dissolve agar-agar powder in it. Stir well and place on the stove. Add in sugarcorn starch and vanilla extract

Bring everything to a boil and then add 1 cup heavy whipping cream. Mix well and let it warm up.


Turn the stove off and let everything cool for a few minutes. 


Once it is cool, pour the mixture into the whipped cream and mix lightly till smooth. 


Using a piping bag or spoon fill dessert bowls with the mousse. 


Place in the refrigerator to chill.



For the dalgona layer


In a bowl add all the ingredients and beat using a hand mixer

The mixture will be in a liquid form when you start. After beating on medium speed for 10-12 minutes, it should convert to a thick foam.


Spoon the foam on the chilled mousse. Serve immediately or return to the refrigerator till ready to serve. 





DISCLOSURE: WE ARE A PARTICIPANT IN THE AMAZON SERVICES LLC ASSOCIATES PROGRAM, AN AFFILIATE ADVERTISING PROGRAM DESIGNED TO PROVIDE A MEANS FOR US TO EARN FEES BY LINKING TO AMAZON.COM AND AFFILIATED SITES.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Paneer Jalfrezi

A delicious Indian dish, Paneer Jalfrezi is a stir-fry of paneer and vegetables. Ready in just 15 minutes, this is best enjoyed with naan or parathas.






Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. 

What is Jalfrezi?


Jalfrezi originates from the word jhalphrize which means spicy food cooked on high flame. Jalfrezi can be made with different ingredients like mixed vegetables, paneer, tofu or meat. 

This dish appears in various cookbooks of British India and is a popular dish on the menus of Indian restaurant in various parts of the world. 

An easy way to stir fry vegetables for dinner, this dish works perfectly to empty out the refrigerator. A lot of cookbooks describe jalfrezi as a great way to fry leftovers with some onion and chili.

What is Paneer Jalfrezi?


Paneer Jalfrezi is a slightly spicy recipe made with paneer and a handful of vegetables. This restaurant style dish can be easily made at home in hardly any time.

The recipe is quick, totally customizable and needs only a handful of ingredients. Paired with naan or rotis it is perfect for weekday dinner. Plus, it works really well in lunch boxes. 


How is Paneer Jalfrezi different from other paneer dishes?


Paneer is the MOST popular items on the menu of Indian restaurants. There are places that have atleast 15-20 paneer items listed. 

If you are wondering how the recipes vary from each other, this should help you understand how Paneer Jalfrezi varies from the other paneer dishes. 

Paneer Jalfrezi is a dish that has zero cream. Batons of paneer and vegetables are cooked on high flame gives everything a slight char. This is the characteristic of the dish. The dish has a thick gravy of tomatoes and is more like a stir fry than a curry.

Comparing it to other popular paneer dishes, this one is distinct. Paneer tikka masala has tandoor grilled paneer pieces, paneer korma has a coconut based curry, paneer pasanda is made with a sweet white curry and paneer bhurji needs crumbled paneer. 

Here the paneer is added raw in the dish. It does not have to be fried, boiled or cooked in any way. It gets cooked with the masalas at high heat giving it a slight char on the outside while remaining super soft inside.


What you need to make Paneer Jalfrezi


As I mentioned above, this dish can be made using whatever vegetables you have at hand. The ONLY vegetables that I would suggest not skipping are onions and peppers. 

Paneer is the star of the dish so make your choice wisely. I used Sach Paneer in the recipe and it worked really well for me! 

For the vegetables, I used onions, red, green, orange and yellow peppers, carrots, peas and tomatoes. Adding baby corn, broccoli or cauliflower to the recipe works well too.

As the dish does not have any curry, the dry ingredients add a lot of flavor to the dish. Flavoring from garam masala and kasoori methi is used here. Having them to make the dish is a great idea.

The dish uses tomatoes in three forms: sliced, double concentrated tomato paste and some ketchup. YES, I used a few spoons of ketchup here to get the required tang and sweetness.

Don't fancy ketchup in an Indian dish? Replace it with tomato paste and some sugar. 

Beside the ingredients you need a thick bottom pan to make the jalfrezi. You want the vegetables to char but not burn. 

More Paneer recipes


Are you a paneer lover like me? Then you definitely need to try these paneer recipes:


Steps to make Paneer Jalfrezi


1- In a pan heat butter and oil together. Once hot, add cumin seeds, green chili and garlic.

2- Once the garlic is aromatic, add onion and peppers. Mix well and sauté for a minute. 


3- Next add carrots and peas. Mix well. 

4- Add garam masala, red chili powder, turmeric powder, amchoor (if using), salt and sugar. Mix well. 


5- Let the masalas cook for a few minute. Then add tomato ketchup and tomato paste. Mix with the rest of the ingredients.

6- Now add tomatoes and paneer. Also add kasoori methi. Mix well till everything is coated with the masalas.


Turn off the flame and serve topped with some cilantro and lime juice. 


Ingredients


Paneer 12 oz, cut into batons
Onion 1/2 medium, sliced lengthwise
Red, yellow, orange and green peppers 1/4 each, sliced lengthwise
Carrots 1 medium, sliced thin
Green Peas 1/2 cup
Tomato 1 sliced lengthwise
Garlic 2 cloves, minced
Green Chili 1, minced
Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
Amchoor/ dried mango powder 1/4 tsp (optional)
Oil 2 tbsp
Butter 1 tbsp
Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
Salt 1 1/2 tsp
Sugar a pinch


Method


In a pan heat butter and oil together. Once hot, add cumin seeds, green chili and garlic.

Once the garlic is aromatic, add onion and peppers. Mix well and sauté for a minute. 

Next add carrots and peas. Mix well. 

Add garam masala, red chili powder, turmeric powder, amchoor (if using), salt and sugar. Mix well. 

Let the masalas cook for a few minute. Then add tomato ketchup and tomato paste. Mix with the rest of the ingredients.

Now add tomatoes and paneer. Also add kasoori methi. Mix well till everything is coated with the masalas.

Turn off the flame and serve topped with some cilantro and lime juice. 

This paneer jalfrezi tastes best with naan, parathas or roti. 


DISCLOSURE: WE ARE A PARTICIPANT IN THE AMAZON SERVICES LLC ASSOCIATES PROGRAM, AN AFFILIATE ADVERTISING PROGRAM DESIGNED TO PROVIDE A MEANS FOR US TO EARN FEES BY LINKING TO AMAZON.COM AND AFFILIATED SITES.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Instant Pot Brown Rice

Using the Instant Pot is the easiest and hands-free way to cook fluffy brown rice. Perfectly cooked but not mushy rice each time! 




Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. 

Using the Instant Pot is my favorite way to make so many recipes. Noodles, pasta, yogurt and definitely rice! 

No baby-sitting, no worry of a mess and perfect results each time! Yes, that is how I would describe making rice in the Instant Pot. 

As a family we love our rice. We enjoy it in various forms and with different curries. So getting the rice recipe right is really important. 

If you like your rice too, and use the stove top to make it, you really need to try this recipe. After using the Instant Pot you will not go back to the stovetop recipe! 



What is brown rice?


Brown rice is a whole grain rice with the inedible outer hull removed. The bran and germ is intact in this compared to white rice in which all of these are removed. 

As a result of this, brown rice grains retain some nutrients that white rice lack. Because of the bran and germ it takes more time to cook compared to white rice. 


Do you need an electric cooker to cook brown rice?


Cooking brown rice has always been quite confusing. From the amount of water needed to time required to cook it; there are a lot of doubts. 

For most recipes you would want perfectly cooked and fluffy brown rice; but not soggy. Various approaches have been used to cook brown rice perfectly on the stovetop.  

Soaking the rice overnight or starting with boiling water help shorten the cooking time but these are not reliable methods to work with.

Instead of these hacks, I like to use my Instant Pot or Mealthy Multipot to cook the rice. 

A timed recipe, easy to follow steps of rinse, set and forget and GREAT results each time have led me to use this recipe over and over again. 


Video Recipe



Tips to get it right each time



As I mentioned above, the two things that lead to perfect brown rice are time and water to rice ratio. 

The time I use to cook my rice is 24 minutes. I have tried various times between 20 and 35 minutes and 24 minutes works best for the brands of basmati rice I have tried. 

The pressure needs to release naturally to get fluffy rice each time. If you are in a rush, increase the cooking time by a couple of minutes and release the remaining pressure at the end of 10 minutes. 

For the water to rice ratio; 1.25:1 works the best. Rinse the rice, drain the water and add water. Use 1.25 cups of water for every cup of brown basmati rice

Yes, I use my measuring cup each time instead of eyeballing. I hate sticky rice and the proportion works like magic every time! 

Adding a fat like unsalted butter, ghee or oil is optional but highly recommended in the recipe. It adds a subtle flavor to the rice which is great. I add olive oil most of the time. 

Last, adding a pinch of salt is my way of making rice. I add that to all my steamed rice recipes to serve with a curry or to use in another recipe. It helps make the rice taste great from the start. However, it is completely optional and can be skipped. 



What to enjoy brown rice with?


I like to make a bigger batch of rice than I need for a meal. The rice can be served with curries like these: 

The leftover rice can be converted to many amazing fried rice recipes like this one. Having some rice in the refrigerator helps whip up a quick fried rice as an accompaniment to any meal.



How to store cooked rice



If you are meal prepping the rice and planning to use it in various recipes later, it is a great idea to store it in small portions. That way, it is easy to store in the refrigerator and you can heat just the amount of rice you need for a meal.

In order to store the rice, first let it cool completely. Then divide the rice into glass jars or plastic containers. Label with the date it was made and store it in the refrigerator. 

To enjoy it, microwave till warm for a curry or just add it to your favorite fried rice recipe and it will heat up while the other ingredients cook. 


How to make brown rice in the Instant Pot


1- Rinse the rice under running water a couple of times. Drain the rice and add it to the steel liner of the Instant Pot. 



2- Add in water, salt and olive oil. Stir a little.



3- Close the lid of the instant pot and set the vent to sealing.



4- Adjust mode to 'pressure cook' or 'manual'. Cook on high pressure for 24 minutes. 



5- Once the Instant Pot beeps, let ALL the pressure release on its own. Open the Instant Pot.



6- Fluff the rice with a fork. Enjoy warm with a curry or dal of your choice!




Ingredients


Water 2 1/2 cups
Salt 1/4 tsp
Olive Oil 1 tsp

Method


Rinse the Brown Basmati Rice under running water a couple of times. Drain the rice and add it to the steel liner of the Instant Pot. 

Add in water, salt and olive oil. Stir a little.

Close the lid of the instant pot and set the vent to sealing.

Adjust mode to 'pressure cook' or 'manual'. Cook on high pressure for 24 minutes. 

Once the instant pot beeps, let ALL the pressure release on its own. 

Open the instant pot and fluff the rice with a fork. Enjoy warm with a curry or dal of your choice! 




DISCLOSURE: WE ARE A PARTICIPANT IN THE AMAZON SERVICES LLC ASSOCIATES PROGRAM, AN AFFILIATE ADVERTISING PROGRAM DESIGNED TO PROVIDE A MEANS FOR US TO EARN FEES BY LINKING TO AMAZON.COM AND AFFILIATED SITES.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Lava Idli (Sambar filled idli)

Savory lava cake; sambar filled idli is super delicious for breakfast or dinner. Super easy to make, this lava idli recipe will be a great variation from regular idli sambar! 



Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. 

Idli in any form is a favorite in our house. We enjoy it with chutney or sambar, fry the pieces of idli and serve with yogurt, convert them to upma or kaima idli and of course this lava idli. 

A popular dinner item, idli does make an appearance once a fortnight on our table.  

If you are a fan of idli like me, this recipe is definitely going to become your favorite. A savory version of lava cake; this is essentially rice cakes filled with sambar that comes out when the idli is cut.


Lava idli is a dish that is popular in restaurants and events. It can be made at home really easily. If you make idli with sambar and chutney, you SHOULD try this. It is the same idli sambar presented in a unique way! 

Still wondering what exactly is lava idli and how the sambar will get into the idli? Read on to find out. 



What is Lava Idli?


The BEST accompaniment for piping hot steamed idlis is sambar. When you can combine the two to make idlis that are stuffed with sambar; it definitely is a winner! 

Yes, just like chocolate lava cake; this is a savory form where hot sambar oozes out of rice cakes. Hence the name Lava Idli! 

The combination is perfect and the method to make it is simple; thanks to an easy technique.



Things needed to make Lava Idli


Now that you know what lava idli is, let us get to making it. To make these idlis there are a couple of things needed. 

First is a steamer. If you have a traditional idli maker with different plates like the one to steam, use that here. 

If you do not have that, a simple pan with trivet and steamer plate works too. I have used that to illustrate how to go about getting it right.

The Instant Pot or Mealthy Multipot will work perfectly for this recipe too. Just use the steam function to make the idlis. 


To make the idlis, the cavities in the idli stand are way too shallow for the sambar to fit in. So instead, we use silicone molds to make the idlis. Any deep containers or muffin molds will be great to use for this recipe. 

These are my favorite molds to use. They are great for tea time cakes as well as these idlis. 


Components of these Sambar Stuffed Idlis


The recipe for lava idli needs three elements; idli batter, thick sambar and a carrier for sambar. THAT IS IT! 


Idli Batter


If you have never made your own idli batter, I urge you to try it. 

With the abundance of appliances like a powerful blender to crush the rice and lentils and the Instant Pot or Mealthy Multipot to ferment the batter; there are barely any reasons for the batter to fail. 

This recipe using the instant pot will be handy to make your batter. 




Sambar


The next element is sambar. If you have a favorite recipe to make sambar, use that. However, you should skip adding large size vegetables in this as they will probably not fit in the idli. 

I kept the sambar simple by adding minimum vegetables. All the ones I added were chopped small. 

The sambar in this recipe needs to be thick. This is for two reasons; one that it should not spill out of the idli while steaming and thick sambar is more flavorful and a small amount is perfect to get the taste you are looking for. 



The carrier for sambar


If you are wondering how the sambar will get into the idli and remain there without mixing with the batter; the answer is puri! 

Once you have the idli batter and sambar ready, you need something to create a thin membrane between the two without interfering with the taste of either. 

The puri used in pani puri is a great thing to use here! Made from flour and semolina, it barely has any taste. 

However it is a perfect carrier for wet ingredients like the ones included in pani puri. An the size is such that it will fit into most molds very easily. And it is easy to find too. 

Make your own or buy it from the Indian store, both work equally fine here. 



What to serve with Lava Idlis?

While lava idlis are perfect to enjoy as is, they can be served with a lot of sides. 

The sambar used to stuff the idlis can be served with the idlis. It can be thinned out by adding some water. 

If you would like dipping sauces for the idli, make these one or more of these chutneys: Cilantro Coconut ChutneyRed Pepper ChutneySukha Coconut ChutneyTomato Onion Chutney

I have topped the idlis with some Ghee and dry milagai podi. My favorite brand for this is MTR.  

Indian Filter Coffee is a great way to complete the meal. 



Using an Instant Pot to steam idlis



To steam them in the instant pot add 1 cup water to the pot. Place the steamer plate on a trivet. Place the idlis and close the lid.

Move vent to venting. The timer will not work with this setting so use an external timer. Press cancel in 14-15 minutes and let the idli stand for a couple of minutes. 

Open the lid and remove the idlis. 



Options for the filling


While sambar is the BEST lava to use with idli batter, there are a few options. 

Filling in Coconut Chutney is great. The thick chutney will ooze out of the idli when cut. However, the chutney will become hot and may not taste the same! 

If you are looking for stuffed idli recipes, adding some potato masala that is used in masala dosa is a great option.



Method to make lava idli




1- Place a big pan on the stove. Place a trivet in it and add 1 cup water. Set a  steamer plate on the trivet. Cover and let the water come to a boil.

2- Grease silicone cups with non-stick spray or oil. Add a spoon of idli batter to each of the cups. 


3- Make tiny holes in the puris. Place a puri in each of them. 

4- Carefully fill the puris with sambar. 



5- Add another spoon of idli batter on it.

6- Place the cups on the steamer tray and cover immediately.



7- Let the idlis steam for 15-17 minutes. Once the top looks cooked, turn off the heat and let the idlis cool for a minute or two. 

8- Remove the idlis on a plate. Top them with 1/2 tbsp ghee and 1/2 tsp dry chutney. Cut the idli and enjoy with some coconut or tomato chutney on the side. 


Ingredients


Idli Batter using this recipe 
Puri used for Pani Puri 8
Ghee 4 tbsp
Dry Milagai Podi Chutney 4 tsp

For the filling


Toor Dal 1/2 cup

Onion 1/2 medium, diced 
Tomato 1 medium, diced
Peas 1/4 cup
Mustard Seeds 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/4 tsp
Asafetida a pinch
Green Chili 1, minced
Ginger 1/4 tsp, grated
Curry Leaves 2-3, chopped finely
Salt 3/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder 1/4 tsp
Red Chili Powder 1/2 tsp





Method



Make the idli batter using this recipe. Set aside. 

To make the filling


Set the Instant Pot or Mealthy Multipot mode to Sauté. Let the display read hot.

Add oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafetida. Once the mustard seeds pop, add curry leaves, green chili, ginger and onion.

Sauté till the onions are light pink. Then add tomatoes and peas. Mix well.

Add salt, sambar masala, red chili powder and turmeric powder. Sauté for a couple of minutes and add the dal.

Deglaze using 1 cup water. Make sure all the bits and masalas are off the base. 

Close the lid and set mode to Pressure cook. Adjust the pressure level to high and time to 8 minutes. 

Once the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes. 

Release the remaining pressure and open the instant pot. 

Using a ladle or wire whisk crush the dal a little. Set aside. 

To make the idlis


Place a big pan on the stove. Place a trivet in it and add 1 cup water. Set a seive or steamer plate on the trivet. Cover and let the water come to a boil.

Grease silicone cups with non-stick spray or oil. 

Make small holes in the puris and keep them ready. 

Add a spoon of idli batter to each of the cups. Place a puri in each of them. 

Carefully fill the puris with sambar. Try not to drip the sambar on the batter.

Add another spoon of idli batter on it. 

Place the cups on the steamer tray and cover immediately.

Let the idlis steam for 15-17 minutes. Once the top looks cooked, turn off the heat and let the idlis cool for a minute or two. 

Remove the idlis on a plate. Top them with 1/2 tbsp ghee and 1/2 tsp dry chutney. 

Cut the idli and enjoy with some coconut or tomato chutney on the side. 





DISCLOSURE: WE ARE A PARTICIPANT IN THE AMAZON SERVICES LLC ASSOCIATES PROGRAM, AN AFFILIATE ADVERTISING PROGRAM DESIGNED TO PROVIDE A MEANS FOR US TO EARN FEES BY LINKING TO AMAZON.COM AND AFFILIATED SITES.