The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including gluten-free and vegan dishes.


Showing posts with label Valentine's Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Valentine's Day. Show all posts

February 14, 2013

~For My Sweet Valentine~

"It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends." I totally agree!

Happy Valentine's Day Mom and Dad!!
And to show my appreciation, here's a plate of Kalakand (also known as Milk Cake) in a shape of a heart just for you, mom and dad! Hope you like it; it's made with Ricotta cheese, so it's kind of healthy. 

What's everyone else up to this Valentine's Day? Feel free to chime in and share your "sweet" moments with us!

February 14, 2012

~Chocolate and Coffee Lovers Unite~

~Happy Valentine's Day~
Decadent Chocolate Espresso Bean Cookies
It's nice to try different things to spice up one's life. I love cooking Indian dishes with my mom because I feel it brings us closer together. However, lately I've been going on a baking binge...from gingerbread cookies, banana and walnut muffins to seasoned potatoes and carrots. I get inspiration from lots of places including what I see on TV and what I think would go well together. I think some of my mom's cooking skill rubbed off on me (in a good way)! Whenever an idea pops in my head, I have to follow through so I don't fuss over it too long.
Recently my mom brought home a bag of chocolate covered espresso beans that she received from one of her friends. My mom wasn't a coffee lover, but she knew my dad might like them. To her surprise, he didn't care too much about them either. So now we were stuck with a bag full of chocolate bitter beans.

What shall we do with them? I immediately Googled espresso beans and found my next baking adventure, thanks to 101cookbooks. I tweaked the recipe a bit by substituting some of their ingredients with the ones we had in our pantry. Below is the list of ingredients I used for my version. 

- 2½ cups All-Purpose Flour
- 2 tbsp Coffee powder, freshly ground
- ¾ tsp Baking Soda
- ¾ tsp Baking Powder
- ¾ tsp Salt
- ½ cup Cocoa Powder
- 1 cup Unsalted Butter
- 1½ cups Light Brown Sugar and ½ cup Dark Brown Sugar
- 2 Large Eggs
- 3 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ¾ cup Chocolate covered Almonds, chopped
- 6.75oz Chocolate covered espresso beans
- 1.25oz Chocolate covered candied ginger

Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Makes 2-3 dozen chunky, medium cookies.

The procedure is similar to what is listed on 101cookbooks. For your convenience, it's listed below:
1) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, coffee powder and cocoa powder. Set aside.
2) In a large bowl or electric mixer, beat the butter until it is fluffy and lightens a bit in color. Then beat in the sugar - it should have a thick frosting-like consistency. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, making sure the first egg gets incorporated before adding the next. Next add the vanilla and mix well.
3) Add the dry ingredients to the wet mix in about four waves. Stir a bit between each addition until the flour is incorporated well. At this point, you should have a moist brown dough that is uniform in color. Stir in the espresso beans, chocolate covered almonds and candied ginger by hand and mix only until they are evenly distributed through the dough. 
4) Use roughly one heaped tablespoonful for each cookie and place it onto the baking sheets. Don't worry about them being perfect.

I wasn't quite sure how the addition of the candied ginger would work in this recipe, but to my surprise, it was perfect. With each bite of this decadent cookie, you get a different taste: bitterness, spiciness, and sweetness; without overpowering either of those flavors. We are resisting the temptation of eating more than just one...however, we are still trying.

What are you doing for Valentine's Day? Staying in and cooking or dining out? Feel free to share your experiences with us.

February 16, 2011

A Lovely Valentine!

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Sugar is sweet 
And so are You
Will you be my Valentine?

Do you remember writing poems like the one above, when you were younger? I used to buy Valentine cards that have such sayings and give them out to my classmates in elementary and middle school.For my close friends, I included heart candies in the envelopes. It was easy to please your Valentine at that age. Now older and wiser, Valentine's Day is a bit more elaborate; it's all about wining and dining your date. How can you outdo the previous year's experience? I chose to lay low this year and had dinner with a friend over the weekend. We had a wonderful dinner followed by a couple of desserts. The first was carrot halwa which he made from scratch and didn't follow a recipe. It was pretty good for his first try. The second were cupcakes from Magnolia's Bakery from NYC. So many sweet celebrations! However, my Valentine's dining did not end there.  
Since I am now living with my parents, I wanted them to have a pleasant Valentine's too. At first I thought of sending the both off to a nice restaurant but Valentine's fell on a Monday and they both had to work the next day. So I hurried home after work, and prepped for an evening of cooking by none other than myself. Don't worry, I didn't poison them. I've had years of experience cooking for my sister when we were living together and she's never complained. I can cook a mean Chinese fried rice, mushroom risotto and curry puffs.
Anyways, I decided to keep it simple and make something right from our blog. Even though my parents love trying new cuisines, they always yearn for good ol' Indian cooking much much more.
I went the whole nine yards and made Aloo Parathas from scratch and we ate them with raita. My dad chipped in and helped me roll out the parathas and toast them on the pan. For dessert, I made chocolate covered strawberries which were served with dessert wine. Oh by the way, I forgot to mention that my dad surprised my mom with a exquisite Japanese Ikebana flower arrangement. 
Quite stunning and intricate, I must say!
 Overall, the evening turned out well and my parents enjoyed themselves. Dinner Accomplished, woohoo!