Thursday, November 28, 2013

Kesariya Mishti Doi (Saffrony Sweet Set Yogurt)

I was bemused, I was confused, sailing deep in some thoughts, I lost my stride, and now I finally see myself here, battling with words to pen down something that can make :P

Blogging for months and then resting for even more makes it so weird when you finally decide to pull your socks on and get back in the old world again. In a few days, perhaps I shall get my ebullience to write with power and grace back....fingers crossed! :)

Didn't know what to start with, was not able to settle on anything from my drafts, and the wintery weather of Amsterdam with almost no sun-light giving me the least zeal to capture even a single good click, I finally squared up on this simple fusion recipe. I am an ardent dahi/ yogurt lover and had been thinking for long to post something that could bring on the sugary sweet flavors from Bengal and some aroma and tinge from Rajasthan. The easiest recipe I could imagine of was this 'Kesariya Mishti Doi', set in a Bengali way and which still tasted like Rajasthani Shrikhand.

With no hanging up of the curd, with no hard work to cream it together, this was indeed the easiest, creamiest yogurt I tasted to my soul. Jumping on directly to the recipe, here I go....


Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Setting Time: 6 hrs - 12 hrs

Health Meter:
Yoghurt, got its name from the Turkish word “yogurur”, which means “long life” .
Not only does yogurt provide your body with active cultures, yogurt bacteria has shown to prevent yeast infections, osteoporosis, and urinary tract infections, relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and help reduce bloating. Yogurt is more than a delicious snack, it also contains ingredients that keep your body healthy!

1. Full Cream Milk: 500 ml
2. Sugar: 1 and a half tbs/ as per taste
3. Few saffron strands
4. 2 tbs yogurt culture/ curd

  1. Take 500 ml of full cream milk in a heavy pan/wok and take a boil. 
  2. Now let the milk simmer and keep on stirring in between to avoid any milk sticking to the bottom. Continue heating till the milk reduces to half. 
  3. During this process, the cream will start floating on the top. If you want to have clear, smooth yogurt, then keep removing the extra cream layer and save this in some box for other use. 
  4. If you like to have creamy, layered yogurt, then you may slide n stick the cream layers on the sides of the pan and top them over the milk at last, just before setting.
  5. When the milk has reduced to half, add sugar to it and give a quick stir.
  6. Let it rest and go luke-warm.
  7. Now take two small earthen pots/ bowls/ cups and pour the warm milk in them. 
  8. Add yogurt to these and give a stir. 
  9. Add the saffron strands and cover them.
  10. Keep these pots/bowls in a warm place for 6-12 hrs (Till the yogurt sets and water leaves the side of the pot/bowl.)
  11. If you like that sour tinge, then keep them for a longer while. 
  12. After the yogurt is properly set, refrigerate it for 2 hrs and serve chilled.

  1. If you are setting the yogurt in an earthen pot, then put slightly hot milk in it so as to make the vessel warm. After some time, when it becomes luke warm, add yogurt to it. If you directly put luke warm milk in an earthen vessel, the curd/yogurt might not set as the vessel remains colder.
  2. Never add yogurt to hot milk. It will cause curdling of the milk. Never add it to cold milk else the yogurt will not be formed and set. Temperature plays vital role in making yogurt.
  3.  Either keep the vessel in some warm place, or in a heated oven, or the best way is to keep it on another big vessel containing hot water/milk. This is my mum's trick. She always sets curd by keeping the bowl over hot milk pot/vessel. By the time the milk cools down, it gives enough heat to the yogurt bowl to set it. Her yogurt sets up in 3-4 hrs usually; mine takes a longer time. :)
  4. Never immerse the yogurt bowl in the vessel of hot water. Rather, cover the bigger hot water vessel with a flat lid/plate and put your covered yogurt bowl over it. 
  5. Don't be eager to touch the yogurt bowl every now and then to see if it got all set or not. Also, never move that pot/bowl here and there. Shifting and moving affect the setting process adversely. 
  6. The milk is already sweetened, hence the yogurt will be sweetened as well. No need to add sugar to it later, neither do you need to cream it up. Serve it as it is...creamy, sweet n yummy! :)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Corn n Cheese Bruschetta

Yonks passed and I felt asleep, intoxicated with dreams and memories of past, the childhood and the adolescence. With each passing day I grew lazier and my inner zeal happened to run on a vacation. Sometimes a break is so badly needed, actually needed for good. So guys, with no regrets, I just returned from one.
As vacations are dreamed to be reposeful, I inevitably had some. With ounces heaping on, especially to a person who essays hard to put on some weight and still can't manage to get by any way, this amplification was a bountiful achievement. :P

Since I am talking about calories and weight gain here, I had to undergo a rich diet n regime, wo bhi mumma ke haath ka swadisht khana and then resting, watching television and sleeping the day long. This was perhaps like going to gym for weight reduction for others, which is definitely not as easy as it sounds. For a person like me, who doesn't like to sit even and keep working the max of hours with a small kiddo who keeps you on toes the whole while, this resting phase was not an easy intruder. But gradually it picked up, and indeed so well that now it's so damn tough to get back to the old routine. :P
I cooked and baked seldom in the last three months and was a binge eater most of the time. But then here comes the most beautiful thing I baked ever: scrumptious, beauteous, cheesy Bruschetta that I made with home-baked bread in my newie loaf tin.
The aroma of freshly baked home breads is irresistible. Much easier than it ever sounded to me, baking is just another world of cooking. To most of the Indians, as far as I have understood and known, baking is a not-so-easy type of a thing. Possibly the reason behind is an attempt that never took place, because once you start doing it, it slides smoothly and converts you to a baker soon. Yes, there are blunders and mistakes that might happen while baking, but who said you can make chapathis or curries flawless all the time. It's all that is there in your mind that makes it simple or tough, whether it is dealing with life situations or baking/cooking. So guys, here I give you an idyllic glance of what came out of my oven:


Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Baking Time: 5-10 minutes (for the final toast/grill)
                     30 minutes (for baking the bread/base)
Makes 8 bruschettas

Bruschetta, from the Italian word "bruscare" meaning "to roast over coals" is made by toasting whole, wide slices of a rustic Italian or sourdough type bread. It is an antipasto from Italy whose origin dates to at least the 15th century. It consists of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with olive oil, salt and pepper. Variations may include toppings of tomato, vegetables, beans, cured meat, or cheese; the most popular recipe outside of Italy involves basil, fresh tomato, garlic and onion or mozzarella. Bruschetta is usually served as a snack or appetizer. In some countries, a topping of chopped tomato, olive oil and herbs is sold as bruschetta.

For the Base:
1. All Purpose Flour/Maida: 1 and 3/4 cup
2. Active Dry Yeast/ Instant Yeast: 1 tsp
4. Luke Warm Water: 1/4 cup
5. Butter/Olive Oil: 2 tbs
6. Warm Milk: 1/4 cup (use only if required) + 2 tbs for brushing
7. Baking Powder: 1/2 tsp
8. Curd/yogurt: 2 tbs
9. Salt: 1 tsp
10. Sugar: 1 tbs

For the Topping:
1. Sweet Corn Kernels: 1 cup
2. Capsicum/Bell Pepper: 1/2 (finely chopped)
3. Tomato: 1 (finely chopped)
4. Garlic Cloves: 5 (finely chopped)
5. Cheese (Mozarella/ Cheddar): 1 big cube
6. Olives: sliced
7. Olive oil/ Butter
8. Basil, dried herbs and oregano
9. Salt to taste
10. Ground Pepper
11. Chilli Flakes (optional)


For The Bread:
  1. Add the yeast and sugar to luke warm water (1/4 cup) and let it stand for 10 minutes till it starts frothing.
  2. Sieve the maida/all purpose flour; add salt and baking powder to it.
  3. Now add 1 tbs butter/oil and yogurt to the flour and mix well. Make a well in the center of the flour and slowly pour in the yeast water mix. Keep on kneading and adding slowly till a sticky soft dough is formed. If you find that the water is not enough, then add in some warm milk slowly. The dough will be as soft as the dough we make for naan/chapathi.
  4. Knead it well after greasing your hands with some oil, till the dough becomes pliable and soft (I did that for around 10 minutes). 
  5. Now grease the outer dough with little oil to avoid drying and keep it covered with a wet clean cloth/cling wrap in a warm place for about an hour or more (till it doubles up in size).
  6. After one hour, when it's doubled, deflate it gently with your palms and shape it into an elongated roll so as to fit in a bread loaf/mini french loaf tin.
  7. Place the dough in the greased loaf tin.
  8. Brush it with milk on the top.
  9. Cover this with a wet, clean cloth/cling wrap and keep covered for almost 30-40 minutes (better an hour) for rising again. It should double up in size again and look well puffed.
  10. Pre-heat the oven at 160 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes. 
  11. Now transfer the loaf/cake tin on a baking tray and take off the cover/cloth/wrap. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius till the top turns light golden brown.
  12. Once it is baked, place it on a wire rack to cool.
  13. On cooling, slice the loaf into 8 big pieces. The loaf will be crusty and hard on top but soft within. You can wrap it in a cling film and keep for some time to make it softer.
  14. These bread slices can be used in multiple ways. You could make some fresh garlic breads, bruschetta, or just relish them with butter. 
  1. For Bruschetta, drizzle some olive oil on top, dress up with garlic, and some grated cheese. Embellish further with olives, corn, bell pepper and tomato. Sprinkle basil, herbs, oregano, salt and pepper. 
  2. Toast/grill for 4-5 minutes. If you want them crispier, increase the toasting time.
  3. Also, you could go the other way. Toast the slices first till they turn crisp n light brown. Then spread some olive oil and follow with the toppings and serve as it is (without grilling/baking the topping). 
  4. Traditionally, bruschetta are toasted over the embers of a fire, then rubbed with a clove of garlic and drizzled with your best extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with salt. This is a great way of letting the true flavors of a fresh, golden-hued olive oil shine through. Also, it lends itself to a myriad of fresh and marinated toppings too, you are likely to find it generously topped with either chopped, ripe tomatoes and basil, a purée of fresh fava beans and garlic, sun dried tomato spreads, or whatever vegetables are in season at the time.
  1. If you are using instant yeast, use the same amount.
  2. There's another way of making the dough in which all the ingredients are mixed together and dough is formed; no separate frothing of yeast in water is required. This is good when you are using instant yeast. Although I prefer the original method.
  3. If the dough is not rising because of the temperature (i.e. it's not warm), you can place the dish containing the dough over a vessel filled with warm water (and not dipping in the warm water). This will help providing the right temperature for rising.
  4. I kept the dough in the closed oven for rising, with the light on. This gave the perfect temperature and environment for rising, and it puffed up double in just 45 minutes. You can also keep it in sun-light which is warm enough to ferment it.
  5. Baking timings vary according to different ovens, but this cannot be baked in a microwave oven without convection mode.  
  6. I prefer to brush the dough with milk before keeping it for rising again. Don't touch the dough after it has risen, whether to shift, or out of curiosity. It will deflate it, and then it won't puff again and will sink in. If you want to brush it after rising, make sure you do it very softly, so as not to deflate it.
  7. The risen dough looks well puffed, also it sticks to the neighboring balls, but don't try to separate that. Just transfer the whole tin to the oven and cut the baked loaf into slices once it has cooled down . 
  8. If you wish to use eggs, you can skip the baking powder and curd/yogurt to the dough.
  9. Bake the loaf only till the top turns light golden. If you bake it further, the upper crust will harden.
  10. While toasting the bruschetta, make sure you do not over-toast else the base will over-char and go hard.
  11. The toppings can change with the waves of creativity your brain forms. From spinach bruschetta to mushroom bruschetta, from mint leaves to thyme, just anything can empower it with its distinctive flavor.