Swiss Meringue / Valentine Rose Meringue / Crispy & Chewy Swiss Meringue Flavored With Rose Water!!


Hello Guys !!

I wishing you all a very Happy Valentine’s day. Today my husband surprised with lovely Daisy flower bouquet (ran out of roses🙂 !!!) , wether its rose or daisy I love my husband more than anything.. Last year Valentine’s, he brought me rose bouquet, I dried & preserved those flowers in glass jar and kept as decorative.

So here is my surprise Swiss Meringue flavored with rose water.. He really enjoyed & loved it !! I am very happy to share my recipe with you all !!

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Valentine’s day special Swiss Meringue. I am not a good baker, but I am really trying to be perfect. This is my second attempt meringue. Baking meringue isn’t a easy thing, this time I got perfect texture like crispy outer & chewy inside, but my meringue got lightly discolored. I baked to 200 degree, but my meringue start to get change its color, so I reduced to 180 – 190 degree F. So always bake meringue under 200 degree F.

Meringue is a type of dessert, often associated with French, Swiss, and Italian cuisine. It is made from whipped egg whites and sugar, and occasionally an acid such as cream of tartar or a small amount of vinegar or lemon juice are added. In meringue, cornstarch or gelatin may also be added as a binding agent. The addition of confectionery sugar is good enough, which usually contains corn starch.

Meringues are often flavored with vanilla and a small amount of almond or coconut extract, although these extracts are based on an oil infusion, an excess of fat from the oil may inhibit the egg whites from forming a foam. They are light, airy and sweet confections.

Homemade meringues are often chewy and soft with a crisp exterior.

Swiss meringue is prepared by gently beating egg whites and sugar in a pan that sits above boiling water, without touching it. When the mixture reaches 120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit and the sugar is completely dissolved, the mixture is pulled off the heat and beaten vigorously to increase and attain full volume and then at a lower speed until cool and very stiff. Swiss meringue is smoother, silkier, and somewhat denser than French meringue and is often used as a base for buttercream frostings (cooksillustrated.com).

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Ingredients:

Egg whites (room temperature) – 3 nos. (large)

Granulated sugar – 3/4 cup

Salt – 1/4 tsp

Cream of tatar – 1/4 tsp

Rose water – 1 tsp

Red food color – few drops

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Method:

  • Preheat the oven 190 degree F. Line the baking sheet with silicon mat or wax papper
  • Whisk together the egg whites and sugar in a medium sized heatproof bowl.
  • Now place the bowl over a small pan with simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl.
  • Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 3 1/2 minutes (test by rubbing between your fingers; the mixture shouldn’t feel grainy).
  • Now add cream of tartar & salt to the mixture.
  • Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whip, starting on low speed, gradually increasing to high until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes.
  • Add rose water, food color and mix until combined.
  • Bake the meringues for app. 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours by rotating the baking sheet from front to back (about half way through) to ensure even baking.
  • Serve & enjoy with berries & fresh cream !!

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Hints:

  • Use always room temperature eggs. Be careful while separating whites & yolks. There shouldn’t be any trace of yolk.
  • Always use heavy weight or thick baking sheet.
  • This meringue works well for piping shapes and baking them until crisp.
  • Once meringues are done when they are pale in color, fairly crisp & it will release easily from parchment paper.
  • Turn off the oven, open the door and leave the meringues in the oven to finish drying several hours or overnight.
  • Meringues can be covered and stored at room temperature for several days.
  • It can be rewhipped if necessary.

Spicy & Tangy Dal with Tomatoes / Tomato pappu !!


Tomato pappu is one of the mouth watering recipe in South Part of India. This is one of my favorite too. I love the tanginess & sweet of the tomatoes. This is really a very simple & easy dish, perfectly goes well with pappadam (Rice vadam) or pickles (Tomato pickle, Gongura pickle, Mint pickle, Andra style tomato pickles, Brinjal/ eggplant pickle, Lemon pickle).

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Ingredients:

Pressure cook;

Tomatoes – 2 nos. (big wine tomatoes) roughly chopped

Toor dal – 1/2 cup

Onions – 1 no. roughly chopped

Green chilies – 3 -4 nos.

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp

Fennel seeds – 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Tempering:

Oil – 2 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Cumin / jeera – 1 tsp

urad dal – 1 tsp

Tomato – 1 nos chopped

Turmeric – 1 tsp

Hing / asafoetida – a pinch

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Method:

  • In a pressure cooker, add toor dal, onion, tomatoes, jeera, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, green chilies, add 1 1/2 cup water & cook the dal mixture on medium flame for 2 -4 whistle (depends on pressure cooker).
  • Once the pressure released, opened the cover, add salt & mix it thoroughly.
  • Now keep seasoning kadai on very low flame, add oil, splutter mustard seeds, jeera, urad dal & hing.
  • And then add finely chopped tomatoes, turmeric & cook it until mushy.
  • Now add the tempered mixture to the dal & mix it well.
  • Cook the dal mixture for 5 more minutes & garnish with cilantro.
  • Serve it hot & enjoy with cooked rice and pappad / pickle.

Creamy Hummus with Home Made Tahini Sauce


Today’s recipe is one of the most famous & widely popular dip, Hummus, originated from Middle Eastern cuisine, it’s is the recipe with lots of healthy & nutritious benefits. This dip is mostly served with Pita bread (Middle eastern bread), vegetables, falafel (my favorite), vegetables, grilled chicken or meat.

Hummus is the best recipe for weight losers.  It is rich in iron, vitamin C, folate and vitamin B6.  It is also an excellent source of amino acids, fibers and proteins.

I used ginelly oil/sesame oil, because I love the flavor and its healthy too. The measurements of ingredients can be used as per your taste. Just keep on eye, while adding sesame oil it shouldn’t be overwhelming.


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Ingredients:

Boiled channa / chickpeas / garbanzo  – 1 cup

Garlic cloves – 2 n0s.

Sesame oil – 1/4 cup

Cumin / jeera powder – 1 tsp

Tahini paste (Homemade)  –  3 tbsp (as per taste)

Lemon juice – 2 tbsp

Pepper powder (freshly grounded) – 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Method:

  • First soak the chickpea for overnight.
  • Rinse & drain the water, keep boil the water on medium heat, add the chickpeas cover & boil it for 1 hour or until it get soft in texture.
  • Once it boiled, drain & cool it (reserve some boiled water).
  • Now add the chickpeas, tahini paste, oil, salt, lemon juice, pepper powder, cumin powder in a food processor. Process until smooth.
  • Add some of the reserved cooking water, a little at a time, as needed until the desired consistency is achieved.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Before serving, spoon the mixture into serving bowl or plate, make a swirl and on the top drizzle some oil & sprinkle paprika over it.
  • Serve & enjoy with pita wedges, vegetables or crackers etc.,

Hints:

  • Instead of sesame oil, you can also use olive oil.
  • Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Home Made Tahini / Sesame Paste


Tahini is the paste made from sesame seeds used in Middle Eastern’s Cuisine. Tahini is served as a dip on its own or as a major component of hummus.

Tahini-based sauces are common in Middle Eastern restaurants as a side dish or as a garnish, usually including lemon juice, salt and garlic, and thinned with water. Tahini sauce is also a popular topping for meat and vegetables in Middle Eastern cuisine.

Tahini can be stored in refrigerator for more than a month.

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Ingredients:

Sesame seeds – 1/2 cup

Sesame (gingelly) / olive oil – 1/4 cup

Garlic – 1 no.

Water – 2 tbsp

Salt as required

Method:

  • First heat a clean pan over medium heat and add the sesame seeds.
  • Toast the sesame seeds until golden brown (without burning).
  • Once they’re toasted, let them cool a few minutes.
  • Now add toasted sesame seeds, oil, salt, water to a food mixer/processor.
  • Process the mixture into a paste, scraping down the sides.
Hints:
  • Be careful by adding oil & water , add both ingredients as per required.
  • The consistency may be thick or thin as per wish.
  • Instead sesame oil, you can also use olive oil.
  • Check the amount of sesame oil, it should not overwhelmed the taste of tahini.

South Indian Style Crab Curry / Gravy / Masala !!


After my last visit to India, I was so badly longing for the crab curry. Most of the time I won’t get fresh crabs, yesterday I found nice & fresh blue crab in Asian market near by our place . So I thought to make my home style Crab curry, this recipe I learned from my chithi (my mom’s younger sister). My aunt really cooks very well, especially the sea foods. She is the one, who taught me to clean crab, fish & prawns. I always enjoyed watching her technique and delicate handling in cooking the seafoods.

Today’s recipes really easy & tasty dish from Southern Part of India.

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Ingredients:

Blue crab – 2 lb / 4 nos. (cleaned)

Shallots – 10 nos. (grounded)

Tomato – 1 no. (grounded)

Ginger, garlic & green chili paste – 1 1/2 tbsp

Red chili powder – 1 tsp

Coriander powder – 1 1/2 tsp

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Freshly grounded pepper – 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Grind into Paste;

Fresh Coconut chopped – 1/2 cup

Fennel seeds / sombu – 1 1/2 tsp

Black Pepper – 1 tsp

Tempering;

Oil – 1 1/2 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Jeera / cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Shallots / small onion – 1/2 cup chopped

Garlic – 3 – 5 nos (sliced)

Method:

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  • First ground the onion, tomato individually & keep aside.
  • Keep the kadai on low flame, add oil & temper mustard & cumin seeds.
  • Now add very finely sliced garlic, shallots & saute it for 2 minutes.
  • Add the grounded shallots & saute it for 2 more minutes.
  • After that add the ginger garlic chili paste & cook until raw flavor goes off.
  • Now add the spices like turmeric, red chili, coriander powder & cook it by adding little water to the mixture (helps to not get burn the spices).
  • Once the spices get cooked, now add the tomato puree & saute it for a minute.
  • Add 1 cup of water & cook the mixture for 15 minutes with lid on (mean time, clean the crab).
  • Now add the cleaned crabs, cover it with lid & cook it for 10 minutes.
  • Now finely add the grounded coconut mixture to the curry, mix it well & cook it for 5 – 6 minutes.
  • Garnish with fried curry leaves & freshly grounded black pepper.
  • Serve it hot with cooked rice & enjoy !!!

Hints;

  • After cleaning the crabs, don’t let them stay long time on the counter top, it may looses it’s flavor & taste. So always clean the crab right before adding in to the curry.
  • Adding lots of pepper to the crab curry helps to clear throat infection, good digestion & helps to maintain the body temperature.

How to Clean the Crab?

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  • Remove the shell from back of the crab.
  • Clean & remove all intestinal parts.
  • Cut it into half for cooking.

Seppan Kizhangu Varuval ( Taro / Arbi Fry )


Simple South Indian style Seppan kizhangu fry (Hindi- Arbi; English- Taro). Taro is native to Southern India and Southeast Asia. It is a starchy root vegetable. Boiling is the best way to cook this vegetable, so that it is easy to peel the skin & helps to cook fast. It is really tasty dish with curd/ yogurt rice, sambar rice etc., This dish is one of my favorite recipe, were I inspired from mom.

Also refer; Plantain Fry / Vazhakkai Fry ; Potato Stir Fry ; Indian Spiced Hasselback Potato Fry

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Ingredients:

Taro / Seppan Kizhangu – 4 nos.

Red chili powder – 1 tsp

Jeera powder – 1 – 2tsp

Coriander powder – 1 tsp

Garam masala – 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste

Oil for pan fry

Method:

  • First boil the taro & remove the skin.
  • Mix all the spices & salt into the small bowl.

  • Add finely sliced taro to the mixture by sprinkle some water.

  • Marinate for 10 – 15 minutes in refrigerator (take out from the fridge before frying).

  • Add oil to the pan, add jeera & marinated taro by tossing for 5 – 10 minutes on low flame or until the masala gets brown.

  • Garnish with fried curry leaves on top.

  • Serve it hot & enjoy !!

Indian Style Fried rice !!


Today’s recipe is Indian style vegetable fried rice. It is really simple & less time consuming recipe. This fried rice is very tasty even without the sauce …

The best rice for fried is old cooked rice (leftover rice) or cooled rice. If u like to use old rice, follow this step – after adding old rice to veggie mixture sprinkle some water over it, this helps to give moisture to the rice.

The vegetables can be add as per wish. This fried rice would be good by also adding chicken, shrimp etc.,

The fried rice is topped with fried egg & avocado..
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Ingredients:

Mushrooms – 5 nos.(chopped )

Capsicum (orange color)– 1 no.

Carrot – 1 cup (julienne / cut lengthwise)

Sweet corn – 1/2 cup

Onion – 1 (finely chopped)

Olive oil – 3 tsp

Garlic – 1 clove (finely chopped)

Ginger – 1/2 tsp ( finely chopped)

Cooked Rice – 1 cups

Garam masala – 1 tsp

Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp

Red Chili flakes – as per taste / spice

Spring onions – finely chopped

Cilantro / coriander leaves – chopped

Salt to taste

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Method:

  • Heat the oil on the kadai, add garlic, ginger and saute it for 30 seconds.
  • Now add finely chopped onions, red chili flakes, salt & saute it for 2 minutes.
  • Add carrot, garam masala and saute it for 4 minutes or until tender. 
  • Now add sweet corns and saute it for a minute.
  • Add the other veggies mushroom, capsicum & saute it for 2 minutes.
  • Add the cooked rice & mix it completely with vegetable.
  • Finely add green onions, cilantro & mix it.
  • Serve the spicy fried vegetable rice topped with fried egg !!