Monday, 30 January 2012

Let's Cook: Rice

Coriander is my the most favourite herb. In the US it is generally known by the Spanish word cilantro. Coriander leaves have an extremely pungent odour and flavour that lends itself well.

I have always been using coriander leaves to garnish most of my cooking. I was wondering if could use it in the cooking itself. I was inspired by a rice dish that I ate at my uncle's place. It was curry leaves rice. Curry leaves were ground into paste and rice was cooked with it. It was not rich but very spicy and garnished with fried peanuts.

I have used the idea of grinding coriander into paste and cook rice with it. I followed my mom's way of cooking ordinary ghee rice. I have used ghee and evaporated milk for the richness and vegetable stock to give it body.

The ratio of rice and liquid may vary from rice to rice. So, be cautious with the amount of liquid used. The ratio below is just a guide.

Coriander Rice

What do we need:

3 cups basmathi rice

Grind into paste
2 cm ginger
3 cloves garlic
1 green chilli
1 bunch coriander leaves

1 cinnamon bark
1 star anise
2 cloves
2 pods cardamom
1 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp ghee
salt to taste

How do we do it:

Wash and soak the rice for 15 minutes. Later, drain and set aside.

Heat ghee. Fry cinnamon, star anise, cloves and cardamom until fragrant. Pour the ground ingredients and fry until aromatic and the oil separates. In goes the rice. Fry the rice until well coated with all the ingredients. Pour in vegetable stock and milk. Season with salt to taste. Cook until the rice fluff up.

Serve hot with your favourite dishes.

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Monday, 23 January 2012

Blueberry Cheesecake

Hello everyone. After a long long gap I'm pleased to be back to the world of foodblogging. 2011 has been a hectic year for me with lots of changes in lifestyle and some significant achievements.

In conjuction with Chinese New Year and as a comeback gift I present my ever favourite blueberry cheesecake. This recipe was given to me by my brother who is a great baker.

Cheesecake is a luscious, rich dessert consisting of a topping made of soft, fresh cream cheese. A cheesecake may or may not have a crust or base. This crust is can be made from biscuit crumb, pastry or sponge cake. The filling is made by creaming the cheese and mixing it with eggs and sugar. A range of flavourings may be added to this mixture. It is then poured into a special springform pan and baked. After baking, the cheesecake is thoroughly chilled and generally topped with fresh fruit or with a sweetened fruit sauce, nuts, and/or chocolate.

Cheesecakes may be baked or unbaked. Uncooked cheesecake is made with a biscuit crumb base and a filling made of cream cheese enriched with eggs, flavoured and set with gelatine.

The texture of cheesecake can vary from light and airy to dense and rich to smooth and creamy. Unbaked cheesecake is lighter and creamier than the baked version.

What do we need:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

2 packages/8oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp plain flour
4 eggs
2 cups blueberry pie filling

How do we do it:

Combine crumbs, sugar and butter. Push mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.
Lightly stir the cream cheese until soft and creamy. Beat in sour cream, sugar, vanilla and flour. Add in eggs one at a time. Pour the mixture into the crumb lined pan. Bake in a preheated oven 165° C for 1 hour or until firm to the touch.

Cool the cake completely. Loosen the edges of the cake with a knife to removing the cake. Place blueberry pie filling on top of cake. Chill well before serving.


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