Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fabulous 5 for TastyCurryLeaf & White Chocolate Sherbet

"Everyday with You is a celebration
There is no need for a special Anniversary Day 
But Today is the day You came into my life 
And I have never looked back"

Today TastyCurryLeaf turns a fabulous five. The previous year has been a good one but yes, we (blog & author) have more cuisines and techniques to be conquered and definitely  more miles to go. We are satisfied with what we did and are definitely going in the right direction. We are also thankful to each and every reader who takes time to read the post, leave a comment and hopefully try the dish. 

To celebrate the blogversary, I present a white chocolate sherbet that I recently tried out. Its easy to make and tastes delicious.If you have an icecream maker then its all the more easy.Now what is a sherbet? Its not the sharbat drink that you get in India or Middle East,but similar to sorbet or icecream. Even the making is similar to icecream. 

The difference between sherbet and icecream lies in the fat content of the two. Sherbet is usually dairy(milk/cream) along with water + sugar + fruit juice/puree. Or rather sorbet with dairy ingredients is sherbet broadly speaking. But compared to the icecream the dairy is lesser in quantity in the sherbet.

I have made a simple white chocolate sherbet which I have tried from FoodNetwork. White chocolate is an ingredient rarely used by me. I prefer dark/milk/semi sweet but white used to put me off chocolate. Now thanks to blogging, I have slowly started enjoying it and in a frozen form it was delish. I am sure with the icecream maker you can have more glorious texture as well.I have followed David Lebovitz's post on 'How to make icecream without a machine' to make my sherbet.

White Chocolate: 3 oz or atleast  6 tbsp grated
Sugar: 4 tbsp +/- as per taste
Milk: 1.5 cups
Water: 3/4 cup
Vanilla: 1/2 tsp

Place all the ingredients in a bowl over hot water (double boiler) and stir until the chocolate melts and the mix turns smooth. 

Keep aside till room temperature and then transfer it to a freezable bowl and freeze it for 1-2 hours -till the edges are set.

Take it out and whisk/blend it thoroughly to break up any frozen parts and then return to the freezer. This has to be done few times or till you are really fed up and almost as soon as it starts freezing -roughly 30-45 minutes duration. I did it 4-5 times and then after a quick freeze, scooped it up.

A simple yet elegant dessert. If you have an icecream maker then chill the liquid chocolate mix and spin as per the instructions.

A fabulous Fifth Year Start and the journey continues.......

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Cranberry Pecan Short Scones

This is again from the book Bread Alone by Judith Ryan Hendricks. I had already posted my nutella scones  when the BookClub had chosen it. But while going through the book again, I wanted to try out the short scones with the recipe given there. I am not a scones person and I prefer to bake a sweeter shortbread rather than scone. But recently I wanted to try this and thus simply tried it out. 

I am not sure of what the term 'short' in the scone means. May be the author turned it into small sized scones ! They are just sweet or  not overtly sweet, a tad unse mix.weet we can say if you have a very sweet tooth, but it came out good and were easy to make especially when u think of baking something in the hot summer sun!. Anyway I paired them with chocolatey desserts and they were good to go.


All Purpose Flour: 3 cups
Sugar: 1/2 cup + as needed
Baking Powder: 5 tsp
Salt: 1 tsp

Butter: 1 cup or 200 g or 2 sticks chilled and cubed

Dried Cranberry (Craisins) : 1/2 cup soaked in orange juice (I used sweetened juice)
Pecans: 1/2 cup toasted and chopped

Milk: 1/2 cup
Egg or Egg Replacer Egg: 1 (1.5 pkd tsp of Ener G + 2 tbsp of water whipped together to make an egg)
Zest of an orange


Combine flour,sugar, baking powder and salt in a big bowl.Cut in chilled cubes of butter and pinch and fluff till you get pea sized crumbs of dough. Drain cranberries and add in to the dough along with pecans.

In another small bowl, whisk together zest,milk and egg. Add the wet mix to the dough and mix until just combine and the dough comes together as a ball.

Roll out on a dusted surface into 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick and cut into desired shapes.

Now here I found that the dough was lightly sticky and could not be rolled out without tearing. So I put the entire dough on a lined baking sheet and patted it into a rough circle and with a pizza cutter cut the dough into wedges and left them as such without changing the place/position.

Bake the scones in an preheated oven at 375F for about 25 minutes until golden brown.

Take out and let them cool for sometime before removing the wedges from the baking sheet. Serve warm as a tea time snack or pair with other confections like ice cream or chocolate sauce for a complete dessert platter.

They are just sweet as I said and its better you pair it up with chocolate or soething sweeter for a complete dessert.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Taco Salad

The last two posts dealt with Mexican cuisine,so I thought why not make it three in a row. Hence here I am with a simple taco salad. Now what is a taco salad?. Again there are two types of taco salads both involving fried tortillas or hard shell tacos. 

The first one has salad ingredients like shredded veggies,lettuce etc along with guacamole,salsa and  sour cream  served in a taco shell. The second one involves a salad in which we add crushed hard shell tacos or fried tortilla chips similar to nachos. I had tried this second version of taco salad and its very simple to make and very filling.


Rajma/ Red Kidney Beans: 1/2 cup pre soaked and cooked
Sweet Corn: 1/2 cup lightly steamed

Tomato: 1 big chopped and deseeded
Red Onion: 1 chopped finely
Garlic: 1 small clove finely minced
Fresh Cilantro: a small bunch finely chopped + more for garnish
Green Chilli: 1 -2 finely  chopped (optionally deseeded)

Salt:as per taste
Sugar: a pinch
Lemon Juice: as per taste

Baked Taco Shells: 1 or 2 broken into pieces 

I basically mixed together all the ingredients pico de gallo style. I chopped and deseeded tomatoes, placed them in a colander and let it sit for about 45 minutes. After 15 minutes, I tossed  in chopped onion,garlic,green chillies and cilantro and let it continue to sit . Then I tossed in drained kidney beans and steamed/cooked corn to this. Also added the salt, pinch of sugar and lemon juice and tossed everything well. Let it sit for atleast 15 minutes so that the flavours enhance.

Just before serving, toss in crushed taco shells and serve as a snack or side or even a light meal. You can even serve this canape style or whatever way you prefer. 

Simple and very filling salad and very healthy too. You can go for your own ingredients for the salad/salsa. Add more or less spices or seasonings.You can even go for taco chaats wherein you add crushed tacos to the regular chaats or Indian style street snacks. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Baked Taco Shells

Tacos are actually tortillas stuffed with vegetables. Now you may feel then what is a burrito or what is the difference between taco and burrito? Both enclose a filling.And burritos are actually tacos and are known as tacos de harina as traditionally they were made from corn/maize tortillas. The difference is in the way of folding the tortilla over filling. Burritos completely enclose the filling and are cylindrical in shape. Whereas tacos are tortillas simply folded in half around a filling, leaving a semicircular perimeter open.

There are generally two types of tacos. Hard shell tacos and soft shell tacos.Soft shell tacos are easier to make - prepare the filling, spoon in the middle of the corn/wheat/flour tortilla and fold over in half moon shape. Simple and quick meal. If you completely enclose the filling and roll it out in a cylindrical shape then you call it a burrito :). 

Hard shell tacos are actually tortillas 'u-shaped' and deep fried in oil.These are crispy crunchy tacos that retain the shape and can hold sizeable amount of filling and still retain the shape and crispiness over a period of time. These came in  the taco kits that I was familiar with while in NJ.I used to wonder what were in the box like packages that were boldly advertised containing taco seasoning kit. I wanted to prepare them at home but was clueless on getting the u shape. Then I simply forgot about them. :)

Then when I recently made flour tortillas, I wanted to make these. But this time I had found an excellent recipe for baked tacos shells in the EatingWell Site.The recipe is nothing much and if you have an oven with a rack then  its very easy.

Tortillas : flour / Whole Wheat : few 
Oil/ Oil Spray

You can lightly warm the tortillas in the steamer or in the microwave for a few minutes or else use room temp tortillas.

Coat both sides of a tortilla with oil or using an oil spray. You can even sprinkle few spices and seasonings on one side of the tortilla.

Carefully drape each tortilla over two/three bars of the oven wire rack.

Bake in a preheated oven at 375 F/ 190 C for 7-10 minutes.Mine was done by 7th minute. Keep an eye from 5th minute onwards. 

You can make the shells few days prior to using them. There is no need to refrigerate (I didn't), but you can if you want and then warm them in the oven. You can use any type of tortilla -flour,corn,wheat - to make these and depending on how thick the tortillas are the oven time might vary for a minute or so. 

You can start with one or two tortillas which might not turn out nicely,but you might get a hang if it the second/third time onwards.

I simply stuffed them with some lime rice,pico de gallo, refried beans and dollops of thick yogurt.

Mine does not look machine made, but it was perfect in taste and health.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Flour Tortillas

Tortillas have become a common feature here as well. I too love  the whole wheat tortilla which has become a regular in my house. But the tortillas I see in supermarkets here are thin and obviously made of all purpose flour. So I too tried the thin flour tortilla at home and has adapted the excellent recipe from the Pioneer Woman and made them as thin as possible.

All Purpose Flour: 2.5 cups
Baking Powder: 2.5 tsp
Salt: 1 tsp 

Vegetable shortening /Vanaspati:8-10 tbsp

Hot/Very Warm Water: 1 cup

In big bowl, mix together flour,baking powder and salt. Add spoonfuls of  shortening to the flour mixture and combine to get pea sized crumbs.You can start with 2 tbsp and then slowly add in the remaining 8 tbsp of shortening. 

Add in hot/very warm water and then knead to form a moist but non sticky dough.Cover the dough with a towel or plastic wrap and rest  for an hour atleast. 

Pinch handfuls of dough pieces and roll into small circular balls. Place them on a tray/baking sheet and let them rest for atleast 20 minutes.

Roll out each ball into a circle making it as thin as possible.Repeat the process with other dough balls.

Meanwhile heat a griddle/tawa/ comal (as it is called in Mexico) on medium-high and one by one cook cook the tortillas on it. Cook each side 20-30 seconds, making sure it is just browned and a bit soft. We do not want too crispy or too brown tortillas.

Stack the tortillas on on top of the other and cover with a tea towel when still warm.

Serve immediately with choice of accompaniment or cool and refrigerate /freeze. You can steam them when needed in a steamer or warm them in the oven wrapped in aluminium foil.

Simple and easy to make. You can turn these into tortilla chips or taco shells as well. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mango Lassi - Indian Mango Smoothie

When I first heard the term smoothie, I wondered was it not same as lassi?. You blend fruit and yogurt with occasional milk and make lassi. The same goes for smoothie ofcourse, which makes them same.What you call smoothie in US and other parts,its called lassi here in India. Anyways come mango season, we get to see the mango lassies or smoothies or whatever you call. Its typically a part of North Indian and Punjabi culture (FYI, Punjab is a state in North West India). South India has more savoury lassies or chhaas or sambharam or 'neer mor' or in plain English the spiced buttermilk. I prefer savoury buttermilk and and had once considered the fruit yogurt combo as a dangerous one- thats another story. But an occasional glass of sweet mango lassi does not hurt.

Mango :chopped : 1.5 cups (preferably alphonso)
Yogurt: 1.5 cups or more as needed (preferably thick and not too sour)
Milk: 4-6 tbsp as needed
Sugar: 2+ tbsp as per taste

Cardamom: powdered : 1or more pinch
Saffron: few strands dry roasted and mixed with milk
Mint leaves: few
Nuts: cashew /pista: handful 

Garnish: chopped nuts/mint/saffron/your choice

Blend all the ingredients to a smooth puree, adding more or less milk/yoghurt to adjust the thickness and smoothness or tang and sugar according to taste.

Serve in glasses/cups optionally garnished.

You can add any one or more of the optional ingredients to enhance the taste. Mango and cardamom is an excellent and traditional combo. Mango and mint add a refreshing taste as well. When using mint leaves, if needed you can strain to obtain a leaf free lassi/smoothie.

Not much of a recipe and though I can describe it as tasty, the proof of the drink is in this pic.My daughter laps up mango but is choosy with her yogurt based dishes!. But definitely the picture says a thousand beautiful words.:)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Spicy Churmuri -Puffed Rice Snack

I love chaats and can enjoy them an time of the day. But if you think chaats are a speciality of North India, then you are wrong. South India also makes several chaats or mixtures or whatever name we call them. Though roasted peanuts are traditionally found in every South Indian states during evenings especially beaches and such places, puffed rice also remains a traditional favourite and seconds peanuts. 

I still remember the evenings during my childhood when peanut-cart vendors used to pass through my neighbourhood and can still hear the sound of his ladle/spoon hitting the hot pan roasting the peanuts. But let me tell you a secret, I am no great fan of peanuts. I use them ofcourse but as a snack I definitely prefer the churmuri or the puffed rice. We used to get 2 varieties of puffed rice and one was common during the Navaratri time or October onwards.A lady used to bring basketful of puffed rice and go through each house in the neighbourhood. 

Coming to Bangalore, I rarely relished them, but had found a very tasty churmuri /puffed rice recipe in Nagashree's blog Sattva. with whom I am paired with this BlogHop Wednesday Week 17, an event by Radhika.  A perfect snack for me and healthy too. Correction, its actually an all time snack.

Puffed Rice: 4-5 cups
Peanuts: dry roasted and dehusked: 1/2 cup +

Red Onion: finely chopped :1 medium sized
Carrots: 1-2 finely grated
Fresh Cilantro/coriander: handful
Green Chillies: 1-2 ground to a fine paste or Green Chilli paste: 1/4 tsp +/-
Lemon Juice: 1 small lemon
Cooking Oil: 1 tbsp

Mix all the ingredients except peanuts and puffed rice. You can do the taste test and adjust salt and spiciness. It should be spicy or as per your taste.

At the time of serving, mix in puffed rice and peanuts and serve immediately preferably in papercones .

Simple, easy to make, and flexible snack. You can add green mangoes (adjust lemon juice), fried green chillies, crushed crispy and small puris- thattai or nippattu- to this to give it a South Indian cousin of bhelpuri. You can actually ground together green chilies,few onion pieces, and cilantro and add that paste to the ingredients.

Papercones ensure the traditionality of the snack and also absorb the excess oil, ad of course no washing plates ordeal. :)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mexican Paletas for a Cool Summer

Paletas are nothing but simple ice pops made using fruit juice. You freeze the fruit juice in appropriate molds and you get an easy summer dessert. You can even add dairy ingredients to obtain creamier paletas. Most of the paletas or ice pops are sweet except for the cucumber paleta or the pepino con chile y limon which has the heat of the fresh green chilly in it. I have tried my hand to make the spicy cucumber paleta and the sweeter rose paleta (using rose syrup).Recipe is based on this post in Myrecipes and also referenced this post in NYTimes.

Cucumber Paleta:

Cucumber: peeled,seeded and chopped 3/4 cup
Sugar: 2-3 tbsp
Salt: a pinch
Lemon Juice: 2 tsp +/-
Green Chilly: 1 small or medium optionally deseeded as per preference
Water: 1/4 cup +/-

Blend together all the ingredients to a smooth puree. Strain the puree using a fine seive or a cheese cloth. Do the taste test and adjust the sugar. Freeze by pouring in molds overnight or atleast 3 hours. 

On tasting the sugar is one that touches the tongue first, but then the heat of the chile takes over and you will definitely feel the spice along with iciness.

Rose Paleta:

This is a very simple and easiest and tasty ice pop or paleta. You mix in 3-4 tsp of rose syrup into a cup of water and then freeze overnight by pouring in appropriate molds. 

For releasing the ice pop from the molds, hold the molds under warm water for  few seconds and you can see them releasing from the sides.

Simple and delish paletas are apt for summer and also for Cinco de Mayo which is celebrated today in US and Mexico.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Pasta with Tomatoes, Olives, Capers & Bread Crumbs

Sometimes a little twist here and there in a recipe gives you good results. This is exactly what I got when a simple garnish of bread crumbs was added to tomatoey pasta which was our lunch one hot day. I had used the recipe from NYTimes and the dish was quick to put together.Simple and fuss free

Spaghetti : 1/2 packet or as needed

Olive Oil: 1-2 tbsp
Garlic: 3 small cloves: 2sliced , 1 minced
Tomatoes: 3 big juicy ones : almost 1 cup + when chopped
Olives: handful
Capers: 1/2-1 tbsp depending on how tangy you need the pasta
Red Chilli Flakes: 1/2 tsp +/-

Bread Crumbs: 1/2 cup +/- as needed I used panko bread crumbs

Fresh Parsley: for garnish
Parmesan: for garnish


Prepare the spaghetti al dente or as per your taste using the instructions from the packet.
While he pasta is being cooked, prepare the sauce.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a deep pan on medium heat and add the sliced garlic to it and saute till  the garlic starts to brown. Remove and keep aside. This process flavours the oil and makes it garlicky. To this oil, add in the bread crumbs and saute till crisp. The garlic flavours the breadcrumbs as well. Remove the crumbs and keep aside.

Add more oil to the pan if needed and return to heat.Add in the minced garlic and chili flakes. Saute for few second and then add chopped tomatoes, capers, little salt and olives. Reduce to a simmer and let it cook till the tomatoes turn pulpy and cooked and a chunky sauce is formed. Season with salt and pepper. 

Toss the pasta  in this sauce along with half of the bread crumbs saving the rest for garnish.

Serve in bowls/plates garnished with fresh parsley and more bread crumbs an if not a  vegan then with parmesan cheese.

A simple tangy pasta with a unique twist.Fuss free lunch/dinner with the chunky soft pasta and garlicky crisoy bread crumbs. Vegan friendly or complete vegan if avoiding the parmesan garnish.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Shrikhand is a traditional Indian sweet made using hung yogurt or yogurt cheese. It is originally from Gujarathi and Marathi (Western Indian) cuisine but its equally popular in other states as well. There are several variations or flavours available these days and the one I made is traditional. Shrikhand is also eaten as a side dish with rotis and puris similar to shrikarani, but is actually thicker than the latter.In fact the mango version in Maharashtra is called Amrakhand. Shrikhand is also called matho in some places as well.

Hung yogurt : 1.5 cup almost

Powdered Sugar: 2 tbsp + as per taste

Warm Milk: 1 tbsp
Saffron: Few strands almost 1/4 tsp

Cardamom: powdered: 1/4 tsp + as per your taste
Nutmeg: a pinch

Saffron strands: few (optional)
Pistachios or Other nuts: chopped : 1-2 tbsp

I had hung homemade yogurt to obtain the hung yogurt or yogurt cheese or 'chakka'  as it is also known. I had not measured/weighed the yogurt but the chakka came to around 1.5 cups which I had entirely used for the dessert.

Mix together warm milk and saffron and you can see a yellowy milk forming. Keep aside.Rather you can heat the saffron strands in a spoon by holding it above the gas flame and then mixing with milk.

Mix together powdered sugar and hung yogurt.Do this with a spoon or a whisk. Add sugar little by little and whisk in completely before adding more. You can actually do this process by rubbing the yogurt and sugar through the cheese cloth so that the sweetened yogurt falls through the cheese cloth smoothly without lumps. A bit time consuming, but worth the dessert that we will be having.Else you can go whisk whisk whisk ... till you get a smooth sweet yogurt.

To this whisk in the saffron milk mixture and the powdered cardamom and pinch nutmeg to obtain a smooth creamy yellow dessert/side.

Serve chilled garnished with chopped pistachios and saffron strands.

Simple and sweet and cooling.A perfect dessert in summer. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Island, Bangalore

Passing through the hot dusty lanes of Indiranagar, if you come across a nice,cool inviting green place, be sure you are at the right place, The Island, the newest casual dining lounge in Bangalore. Few days back I had the opportunity to dine there thanks to Avian Media. It was a wonderful experience and I also got to catch up with fellow bloggers Suma Rowjee and Aliena Varghese. 

What strikes you the first and foremost is the excellent ambience. Cool with small  waterfalls, tree house like extensions,hammocks all make the open air seating  most wanted in the hot climate.Its especially charming at night. The seating is very casual with low tables and small candles.All in all a very casual, friendly ambience that is very inviting and refreshing.

We started with the mocktails. The verry berry colada was verry true to its name Berrylicious with hint of pineapple. The bartender special, the fruit punch and the island special were sweet,refreshing and inviting. But I definitely felt a bubble gummy flavour was slightly predominant in the first sip,but later on enjoyed it.

I went with  the knowledge that the portions served here were big and could be shared. But when Suma and myself ordered the cheesy corn soup we were warned that it could not be portioned. I actually wondered at this and was taken aback when I saw an elegantly plated yet small in quantity soup was placed before us. But to be honest, it was 'Awesome! in looks and taste. And a few spoonfuls and we were already feeling full. I am truly happy that we ordered only one as two or more would have left us with no space for the mains and desserts. Along with the soup came the Starter platter with beer battered onion rings, pao de quijo ( normally it means cheese rolls or cheese buns, but this was cheese stuffed bread fritters which was excellent , but collides with the name given atleast thats my opinion),spicy potato wedges etc.And not to forget the chef special salad with a lemony vinaigrette. The artichokes was listed as an ingredient in the salad, but I did not find any. Do check how tart you want it to be else it might turn a bit too lemony. They have several options in salads and soups and even a Vegan caesar salad. I feel the non veg options are more but the veg options are not disappointing either.

The nachos with guacamole and cheese was excellent. The nachos held their own and  were not soggy despite the veggies, cheese and guacamole with which they were combined. A homemade nacho chips, I presume. And yeah, dieting went out for a toss meanwhile. .. :)

Then came the mains. Actually we were thinking of skipping them -Aliena actually did skip them .She knows when to stop unlike me who wanted a taste of everything !?. Well, the mains were also served in good proportions -easily shared by 2 or 3 and we started with Thai red curry with rice crackers and steamed rice along with   Penne in alfredo with sun dried  tomatoes. Not to mention the sizzling Veg Sizzler with herbed rice. Here I have few suggestions.

The herbed rice was akin the fried rice of Indo Chinese cuisine and was awesomely tasty. The sizzler was awesome with skewered veggies and paneer but I could not do more of it as I was full(I have to stop somewhere before desserts). Red Curry was good and the flavours of lemon grass and galangal(ginger!?) and basil came out strongly.The colour I felt was a bit too green, but tastewise its got full marks even from my husband as well. Now the red curry need not be red in colour as the name is derived from the red chillies used while making the paste and the final curry will be in shades of yellow or even orange, but not too green.Apart from this colour defect, it was a complete meal. The taste of lemongrass still lingers and tickles the tastebuds.The penne alfredo was a bit dry with no traces of sundried tomatoes in the sauce or atleast in the portion I was served.

The desserts -the most awaited course - was excellent. We had sunken chocolate cake with creamy coffee sauce along with citrusy pudding and cheese cake textured mousse!. We were intimated the chef customizes the dessert as per the food taste and allergies of the customer. Now this is good as far as I am concerned. Most of the other lounges have a set menu which might not be suitable for all.

In a nutshell, the USP of the restaurant is its ambience. It is a casual lounge which wants its food to be talked about. You feel very relaxed and can even order cocktails from its excellent range of foreign and Indian liquors . The portions are big and can be easily shared by 2 and worth the prices that we pay. The service is quick,friendly and welcoming. The menu basically Continental, Mediterranean and European lists the ingredients so that we can make choices as per tastebuds. The dessert list is small but excellent. Valet Parking is available.

Buffet is priced at Rs. 299/-+ taxes  per person Monday through Saturday.

Sunday brunch is Rs. 800/- + taxes per person which includes, a live salad bar and lot more than what we saw.It comes in 3 packages ranging from Rs.800 - Rs.1400/- + taxes.  Sunday brunch is excellent for families with small and fussy kids- the kids can opt for a separate section with a live magic show and other fun activities as well.

We had the opportunity to meet the GM, Mr Vipul Khurana and also the co owner Mr Kay. An excellent 
evening spent at a perfect lounge with enjoying company. 

I wish I could add more pics of the dishes, but my camera is useless at night! The pics are courtesy Avian Media .

Will I be visiting the place again?- definitely yes, and looking forward to it.So if you are near Indiranagar, make sure you visit The Island.

The Island,#3, 80 ft Road, Indiranagar Bangalore- 560 038

Can Visit the FB page at The Island 

Thanks for visiting my Blog

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