Friday, August 26, 2011


An ebleskiver is a traditional Danish pancake, in the shape of a sphere. They taste like American pancakes, but are light and fluffy. They are made in special pans, which have several hemispherical indentations. In India, we use an ebleskiver pan to make kuzhi paniharam, and I've made an egg curry with it too. It's an extremely versatile pan.

A friend recently gave me an ebelskiver cookbook, Copenhagen for Dessert. I was delighted to find that they are simple to make and very easy to personalize.

I made two kinds - one with chocolate chips and another like a jelly doughnut (with jam in the center).

The basic batter is the same for both. I used a plain batter for the chocolate chips and a vanilla batter (that is, basic with vanilla) for the jam version.


For the Batter:

1 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
2 large Eggs, separated
1 cup Whole Milk
2 tbsp Butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract (optional; for the vanilla batter)
6 oz Chocolate Chips (if using)
1/2 cup of your favorite Jam or Preserves (if using)

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks, then whisk in the milk, melted butter and vanilla extract (if using). Add the yolk mixture to the flour mixture and, using a wooden spoon, stir until well blended. The batter will be lumpy.

In a clean bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites until stiff, but not dry and peaks form. Using a spatula, fold about a third of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it, then fold in the rest of the egg whites (and chocolate chips, if using) just until no white streaks remain. Use the batter right away.

To make the Ebleskivers:

1 tbsp Butter, melted and slightly cooled

Brush the wells of the pan with some of the melted butter and place over medium heat. When the butter starts to bubble, add about 1 tbsp batter to each well. If adding the jam: Working quickly, carefully spoon about 1 tsp of the jam into the center of each pancake. Top each with another 1 tbsp batter.

Cook until the bottoms of the pancakes are lightly browned and crisp, 3-4 minutes. Use 2 short wooden skewers or dessert spoons to turn all the pancakes and cook until lightly browned on the second side, about 3 minutes longer.

Transfer the finished pancakes to a platter or keep warm in the oven. Serve right away.

(that's my daughter, who can't wait to get her hands on them!)

Can't wait to make a savory version!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Apple Salad

I was asked to bring a salad to a dinner last night. My family and I brainstormed on a fun new salad. Someone first suggested zucchini and cucumber together because of the similar textures and flavors. Then green apple and green bell pepper for crunch and color. I have a good yogurt dressing recipe, so decided to go with that. And for extra crunch, we decided to add peanuts. In the last minute I added some crushed red pepper for extra zing. It was a true culmination of ideas.

It reminded me of a video of chef Grant Achatz coming up with ideas for new dishes - something called Flavor Bouncing. Watch the video - it's very cool. How exciting to be doing this for a living!!

(As the salad was fast disappearing, I had to take a photograph quickly with my phone camera, so excuse the photo!)

Apple (and Bell Pepper and Zucchini and Cucumber) Salad

1 cup Apple, preferably green apple, peeled (optional) and chopped
1 cup Green Bell Pepper, seeded, cored and chopped
1 cup Cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 cup Zucchini, chopped

1 cup plain Yogurt
2 tsp Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Vinegar
A pinch of Salt

2 tbsp Mint Leaves, chopped
1/4 cup Peanuts, crushed
2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper, or to taste (optional)

Heat a pot of water to boiling. Drop in the bell pepper and zucchini, and quickly blanch for a minute and drain. Cool completely.

Store the chopped cucumber and apple in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Combine all ingredients for the dressing (except for the mint), keep aside. Just before serving, toss the salad with the dressing, garnish with the mint leaves and serve.

Sit back and enjoy the compliments! :)

This is a forgiving recipe. Feel free to use substitutions, or leave out any of the vegetables you don't enjoy. Also a nice touch would be to cut the veggies into long strips. The dressing is a keeper recipe though.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dates & Chips Biscotti

So you might have seen my first attempt at biscotti, Nutella and Chocolate Chip Biscotti. The recipe is so great and so flexible. Someone gave me some fresh dates, and I couldn't pass up using them in the biscotti. While looking through some ideas on the reliable Food Blog Search, I came across an interesting combination - banana chips and dates - on one of my favorite blogs, Apple and Spice.

The chips gave it that much-appreciated crunch and saltiness. The dates made it sweet and flavorful.

Dates & Banana Chips Biscotti
(loosely adapted from Apple & Spice, and Baking Bites)

1 1/8 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
3 Eggs
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Banana Chips, crushed
1/4 cup Dates, fresh or dried, chopped

Preheat oven to 180 deg C.

Sieve all the dry ingredients together and keep aside.

In another bowl, whip the eggs with an electric blender until frothy. Add the sugar and beat again. Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Fold in the chips and dates. Pour the batter into a rectangular baking pan.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and turn the oven down to 150 deg C. Using a serrated knife, cut the cake into long strips. Turn the strips over onto their side, arrange on the baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Turn the biscotti onto the other side and bake for a further 12 minutes.

Remove from oven, and cool completely on a wire rack.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mushroom Risotto

We were recently invited to a cook-out by some good friends. A cook-out is exactly what it sounds like - gas stoves and pans set up outside in the garden. The kids played frisbee while the men cooked. It was a perfect summer evening.

One of my friends made the most amazing mushroom risotto. Who knew that risotto was so simple to make. I came back feeling completely inspired to make it at home the next evening. Thanks, Vedant, for showing me its easy to make risotto!

Vedant's Mushroom Risotto

For the Broth:
3 cups Mushrooms, try to use different types of mushrooms to get that depth of flavor
3-4 liters of water

To make the broth, cook the mushrooms in the water on low heat for about 20-30 minutes. Do not strain. Take off the heat. If using the next day, let the broth cool completely and store closed in the refrigerator.

For the Risotto:
1 cup Onions, chopped
3 cups Mushrooms, again, a variety of mushrooms would be a good idea. I had only button, so I went with that.
2 Green Chillies, chopped fine
Salt, to taste
1 1/2 cups Arborio Rice

Heat a pan with a tablespoon of oil. Add the mushrooms, and let cook until tender.

Add the onions and chillies. Keep stirring until onions are soft and well cooked. Now add the rice and let cook until slightly toasted and the water has been absorbed.

Now begin adding ladlefuls of the broth, one at a time, each time making sure the broth has been fully absorbed before adding the next. Keep adding until the rice is cooked but still has some bite, and is al dente.

Vedant pooh pooh-ed recipes. He cooks by instinct, so I have given approximate quantities here too.

Enjoy the risotto!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hara Bhara Kabab

I recently got a wonderful cookbook called Complete Book of Indian Cooking by Suneeta Vaswani. Its filled with 350 delicious recipes and beautiful photographs. This one was particularly good. And quite healthy too.

Hara Bhara Kabab
(Spinach and Potato Patties)

2 Russet or gold potatoes
2 cups Spinach, cooked and squeezed dry
1/4 cup Peas, cooked and coarsely mashed
1.5 tbsp Green Chillies, chopped
1 tbsp Ginger, finely chopped
3 tbsp Cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp Cornstarch
1 tbsp Chaat Masala
Salt, to taste
3 tbsp Oil

In a saucepan of boiling water, cook whole potatoes until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain, peel and mash.

In a bowl, mix together potatoes, spinach, peas, chillies, ginger, cilantro, chaat masala, cornstarch and salt, until well blended. Divide into 12 portions. Form into 2-inch round patties.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat 2 tbsp of the oil over medium heat. Add 6 patties at a time and pan fry on both sides until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot with chutney or ketchup.