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Sunday, 21 September 2014

Just because you cant buy or don't have that particular ingredient in your kitchen cupboard, it does not mean you cant cook the recipe. I cook with what I have handy at my home. I really don't go about searching for ingredients which I seldom use or hard to find.  And this means I substitute alot very often. So I have shared with you a list of substitution for ingredients which are (sometimes / always) not available in the pantry of an amateur cook. Ingredients include both that are used in cooking and baking. I hope you will find this helpful.

All Spice
1 tsp
1/2 tsp Cinnamon Powder + 1/2 tsp Ginger Powder + 1/2 tsp Clove Powder

Almond Meal
1 Cup / 100 gms
To make your own almond meal. place 1 cup (100 grams) (240 ml) sliced (blanched (skins off) or natural (skins on)) almonds with 1 tablespoon (14 grams) granulated white sugar in a blender or food processor and process until finely ground.  Sugar or flour is added to the almonds to prevent clumping as it absorbs the oil exuded from the almonds.  Toasting the almonds first dries them which also helps to prevent clumping.
1 Cup / 100 gms
Almond Paste
1 1/3 cups

1 1/3 cups (320 ml) (300 grams)1 3/4 cups (175 grams) (420 ml) ground blanched almonds plus 1 1/2 cups (175 grams) (360 ml) powdered (confectioners or icing) sugar plus 1 large egg white (30 grams) plus 1 teaspoon almond extract plus 1/4 teaspoon salt


Arrowroot Starch
1 tbsp
Cornstarch / potato starch
1 tbsp

OR Plain Flour
2 tbsp
Baking Powder Double Acting
1 tsp for every 1 cup of flour
Single Acting Baking Powder
1.5 tsp
Baking Powder Single Acting
1 tsp
Double Acting Baking Powder
⅔ tsp
Brown Sugar
1 Cup Packed
1 Cup White Sugar + ¼ cup molasses and decrease liquid in recipe by ¼ cup

Bread Flour
1 Cup / 160 gms
All Purpose Flour
1 Cup / 130 gms
1 Cup
1 Cup Whole Milk + 1 tbsp Lemon Juice rest for 10 mins

OR ¼ Cup milk + ¾ cup of plain yogurt

Cake Flour
1 Cup / 120 gms
3/4th cup All purpose flour + 2 tbsp Cornstarch

Chocolate Unsweetened
30 gms
3 tbsp Natural Cocoa Powder + 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter / Vegetable Oil

Cocoa Powder Unsweetened
3 tbsp
3 tbsp Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder + ⅛ tsp Creme of Tartar / Vinegar / Lime Juice

Cocoa Powder Dutch Processed
3 tbsp
3tbsp Natural Cocoa Powder + ⅛ tsp Baking Powder

Cottage Cheese
1 Cup
Ricotta Cheese
1 Cup
Confectioner’s Sugar
1 Cup
1 Cup Granulated Sugar + 1 tbsp Cornstarch processed in a blender till fine and sifted

Corn Syrup
1 Cup
1 Cup
Cream Cheese
1 Cup
Pureed Cottage Cheese
1 Cup
Creme Fraiche
1 Cup
1 Cup Sour Cream / Mascarpone Cheese

OR 1 Cup Whipping Cream + 1 tbsp Buttermilk / Yogurt

OR ½ Cup Whipping Cream + ½ cup Sour Cream

Cream of Tartar
½ tsp
½ tsp white vinegar / lemon juice

Cream, Half & Half
1 Cup
⅞ cup (210ml) Full cream milk + 1 tbsp melted unsalted butter

Cream, Heavy
1 Cup
⅔ cup Whole milk + ⅓ cup (75gms) melted unsalted butter
Cream, Light Whipping
1 Cup
¾ cup whole milk + ¼ cup (57gms) melted unsalted butter

1 tbsp Granulated
Agar Agar
2 tsp
Greek Yogurt

1 Cup
1 Cup
Lemon Grass
2 Fresh Stalks
Lemon Zest
1 tbsp
1 Cup
¾ cup brown sugar + 1 tsp creme of tartar

Pastry Flour
2 Cups / 270 gms
1 ⅓ cup Plain Flour + ⅔ Cup cake flour

Potato Starch
1 tbsp
Corn Starch
1 tbsp
Red Wine
1 Cup
1 Cup Grape Juice / Pomegranate Juice / cranberry juice

Ricotta Cheese
1 Cup
Dry Cottage Cheese
1 Cup
Self Raising Flour
1 Cup / 130 gms
1 Cup flour + 1.5 tsp Baking Powder + ¼ tsp Salt

Sour Cream
1 Cup
1 Cup Plain Yogurt

OR 1 Cup Milk + 1 tbsp Lime juice / Vinegar and rest 10 mins

White Wine
1 Cup
1 Cup Apple Juice / White Grape Juice

1 Cup
1 Cup Chicken / Beef Broth

OR 1 Cup Fruit Juice + 2 tsp Vinegar

OR 1 Cup Water


Happy Cooking!


Saturday, 20 September 2014

Amma's Recipe #18

This is one raita I love eating with Bisibelebath. They both complement each other beautifully without overpowering.  

You Will Need:
200ml Thick Plain yogurt
1/2 kg Ripe Tomatoes, Roughly Diced
3 Green Chillies, Finely Chopped
Some Curry Leaves
Some Chopped Coriander Leaves
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp Urad Dal
1/2 tsp Sugar
Salt to taste
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

The Cooking:

Heat a kadai with oil. Once hot crackle mustard seeds amd urad dal. Then add the curry leaves and chopped green chillies.  Saute few sec and throw in the chopped tomatoes and coriander leaves. Sprinkle salt and sugar.  Saute for 5 mins on medium heat. You dont want the tomatoes to go mushy. Then take off heat and mix in with beaten curd.

NOTE: Let the tomatoes cool a bit before adding to the curd to prevent splitting of the curd.

Happy Cooking!


Amma's Recipe #17

Bisibelebath or Bisi bele bath originates from the state of Karnataka and this is the best recipe, hands down. I have never tasted anything better than my mom's Bisibelebath anywhere. Bisi bele bath is basically sambar rice and what makes it different from an ordinary sambar rice is the freshly grounded spice powder.  

And the best accomplishments that we usually have with are Tempered Tomato Raita & Potato Chips. Its so rice and literally finger licking good. 

You will need:

2 cups Par Boiled Rice
1 cup Toor dal
1 Drumstick,  Chopped
2 Brinjals, Quartered
2 Carrots, Chopped
100g French Beans,  Chopped
100g Avaraikai / Broad Beans, Chopped
100g White Radish,  Chopped
100g White pumpkin, Chopped
150g Shallots, Skinned
3 Large tomatoes,  Chopped
Lime Sized Tamarind, Soaked in 1/4th cup water
2 tbsp Sambar Powder
Few Curry Leaves
Some fresh chopped coriander leaves
Salt to Taste

For The Masala powder:
1.5 tbsp Channa Dal
1.5 tbsp Coriander Seeds
1/2 tsp Fenugreek
2 Tbsp Grated Coconut
1/2 tsp Fennel
1 Cinnamon
1 Cardamom
1 Clove

For Tempering:
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp Urad dal
Few Curry Leaves
4 Dried Red Chillies,  Broken
1/2 tsp Hing
2 tbsp Gingelly Oil
100ml Ghee

The Cooking:

Step 1:
Preparing Rice and Dal:
Soak the rice and dal together for 15 mins. Then pressure cook with required salt, 1/4th tsp turmeric powder and 8 cups of water. Once done turn off heat and let the pressure drop on its own.

Step 2:
Making the masala:
Heat a kadai and dry roast the species SEPARATELY till they turn a golden brown. Let it cool and blend everything together to a fine powder. Keep aside.

NOTE: This can be stored in an air tight container in a freezer for a week.

Step 3:
Prep the Veggies:
Heat a kadai/deep vessel with required gingelly/vegetable oil. Once hot add the shallots and saute till they are pink and translucent. Then add all the veggies. Mix everything for few mins. Then add chopped tomatoes,  sambar powder and required salt. Saute on high for 5 mins till everything is mixed in well.

Then add 3 cups of water and let the Veggies half cook. Meanwhile,  mix the tamarind well that's been soaking in some water.  Strain the tamarind and discard the pulp. Now pour this into the Veggies and cook till the Veggies become tender. Now add the powdered masala and bring to a boil. Turn off heat.

NOTE: The mixture must be in sambar consistency.  Neither too thick nor too runny. Add water accordingly and if its runny let it simmer till reduced.

Step 4:
The final mix:
Heat a large vessel and mix in the cooker rice and dal with the prepared vegetable mixture. Simmer this for 5 mins.

Meanwhile heat a kadai with little oil and ghee. Crackle the mustard seeds, urad dal, dried red chillies,  curry leaves and hing. Pour this tadka into the simmering bisibelebath and mix well. Finally add some chopped coriander leaves and simmer for a min before taking off heat.

NOTE: Bisibelebath will thicken as it cools. So don't let the rice simmer too long.

Cheat's Version:

The masala can be stored in an air tight container in the freezer for a week. You can mix already made sambar with pre cooked / leftover rice and sprinkle the masala powder and simmer for few mins. I do this sometimes when am in  a hurry. But I have noticed a slight change in taste. The former version is just delish!  

Happy Cooking!  


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