Monday, November 23, 2015

Tomato Thokku

My mom makes this thokku for us every time she comes to Singapore, and it lasts for a long time even after she has returned to India. So recently I started to make this tomato thokku for my hubby every time I go to India on long vacations.  This is a quick and easy to make, and goes well with almost everything like rice, chapathi, dosai, idly, etc. I have made this so many times now, that hubby claims my recipe is better than my mom’s J  The trick is to make it really spicy and add more oil ;) 

Tomato Thokku
5 tomatoes - chopped finely.
1 teaspoon - red chilli powder,
2 teaspoon - sambar powder,
1 teaspoon - ginger garlic paste,
1/2 teaspoon - turmeric,
1 teaspoon- fenugreek powder,
2 teaspoon – salt (or as required)

  • In a kadai, temper - mustard seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida.
  • Add the tomatoes along with the rest of the ingredients. Let the mixture boil for 5 minutes, keep stirring.
  • Then reduce flame and let it cook until oil oozes out. Stir at constant intervals to avoid burning.
  • Store in a dry container, after cooling completely.
NOTE: The thokku keeps well for 4 weeks if refrigerated. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Brownies - Eggless

I made this recipe for one of our Deepavali get together. I had to make dessert for almost 60 people, and these brownies seemed like a good idea. I made fondant toppers and stamped them with alphabet stamps.

These brownies where a crowd pleaser! The best part of it was the colorful fondant toppers. This recipe has been adapted from Food for 7 Stages of Life.
Milk + Vinegar resting for 10 minutes
Beating together - Oil, Mil + vinegar mixture, vanilla, coffee 
Chocolate chips tossed with
coco powder or plain flour
Batter in the pan, ready to go into the oven
Baked brownie,  out of the oven and cut into 25 squares.
Brownies – Eggless
Yields: One 8x8 square pan, 25 small pieces.

For the brownies:
Plain Flour – 1 cup
Cocoa Powder – 6 tablespoons (I used Valrhona Cocoa Powder)
Icing Sugar – 1 Cup
Baking Soda – 1 teaspoon
Salt – a pinch
Oil – 1/3 Cup (I used sunflower oil)
Milk – 1 1/2Cup
Vinegar – 1 teaspoon
Instant coffee powder – ½ teaspoon
Vanilla essence – ½ teaspoon
Chocolate Chips – ½ cup
Walnuts – ¼ cup, chopped and roasted (Optional)

For the fondant toppers:
Chocolate Icing – …. (I used Betty Crocker’s icing)
Readymade Fondant – 1 pack, white color
Food coloring- in different shades

To make the brownies:
  • Line a 8x8 square baking pan with baking sheet. Pre-heat oven to 180C.
  • Mix the vinegar with room-temperature milk and set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Sift together the flour, icing sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt.
  • In a bowl, beat together the oil and vinegar + milk mixture. To this add the vanilla essence and instant coffee powder and mix well.
  • Now add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 additions, gently fold in the mixture. Do not over beat.
  • In a separate bowl toss the chocochips and walnuts with some cocoa powder, this is to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the tray while baking.
  • Fold the chocochips and walnuts into the batter.
  • Now pour the batter into the baking pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the brownie comes out with crumbs.
  • Remove from pan and let it cool. Cut into small squares.

 To make the icing and fondant toppers: (Optional)
  • Chill the chocolate icing for about 20 minutes. Then fill a piping bag with the icing and frost the brownies.
  • Take a small ball of the white fondant, and knead in the required food colouring.
  • Use icing sugar for dusting and then roll out the fondant to desired thickness.
  • Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes.
  • Place the fondant shapes onto the frosted brownies.

  • You can add chocolate chips, caramel chips, chocolate chunks, other nuts to change up the flavor of the brownies.
  • You can replace the chocolate icing with chocolate ganache. Click here for the chocolate ganache recipe.
  • The fondant toppers can be made a day in advance, store in a cool dry place.
  • Do not refrigerate the fondant. 
The cut out fondant toppers, layed out on baking paper to dry overnight.