Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Grape Jam

Ingredients :

  1. Concord Grapes / Juice variety black grapes - 1 kg
  2. Sugar - 1/2 kg
  3. Salt - 2 pinches


Soak the grapes in a bucket or large pot filled with tap water and leave it for couple of hours or overnight ( Grapes are one of the fruits that are heavily dosed with pesticides , In this recipe we are using the skin - so wash and clean it well)
Keep a small steel container in the freezer ( to check the consistency of the jam)
Add the washed grapes and a cup of water into a large pan and start cooking it .
Once it comes to a boil , simmer for 5 minutes.
mash with the back of the spoon .
Strain this mixture through a wide mesh strainer (not very fine mesh , some pulp gives body to the jam)
Squeeze out all the solids from the pulp and skin - discard the left over seeds and skin .
Put the strained mixture back on the flame and add the sugar and bring to a simmer.
Keep stirring it - if you see any foam raise to the top ,skim and discard the froth.
cook until the mixture starts to thicken (mine took around 20 minutes)
Add the salt and stir .
Add a drop of jam on the frozen steel tumbler and run your finger through it - the trail should remain clean ,the jam should not flow back .that is the consistency you are looking for.
It will thicken well once it cools down.
Place a washed /dried glass bottle on a wooden surface and while the jam is still warm ,pour it into the bottle and close when it has cooled down to room temperature .
Store in the refrigerator.
We are not adding any preservative or the amount of sugar found in commercial jams (commercial jams use equal quantity of fruit :sugar ratio)  so ,it has to be stored in the refrigerator (remains good upto 2 months )

NOTE : you can increase the quantity of sugar ,depending on your preference . I like it less sweet so have used a littlr less than 1/2 quantity of sugar to fruit ratio.

Home made Puffs

Ingredients :
  1.     Maida - 250 gms
  2.     Dalda - 125 gm (50-75, divided)
  3.     Salt - 1/2 tsp
  4.     Sugar - 1/2 tsp
  5.     Water - About half cup to make dough.
  6.     Extra flour for dusting.

 For the filling :
  1. Beef - 250 grm chopped fine (use a steak cut ,else cook in pressure cooker and chop into tiny pieces)
  2. Onion - 1 chopped fine
  3. ginger - 1/2 tsp chopped
  4. garlic - 5 cloves chopped
  5. green chilly
  6. vinegar - 1/2 tsp
  7. coarsely crushed fresh black pepper - 1/4 tsp
  8. soy sauce - 2 tsp (low sodium) 
  9. corn flour - 1 tsp
  10. corriander powder - 1/2 tsp
  11. Cumin powder - a pinch
  12. Oil - 1 tsp


 Make the meat mixture and allow to cool while you prepare the puff pastry.
Add a tsp oil to a frying pan and add in the chopped ginger,garlic,onion,green chilly and saute well.
Add in the corriander powder and cumin powder and saute for a minute
Add in the chopped raw beef and stir well to form crumbles .
Allow the meat to cook for a minute
Add in the soy sauce, vinegar and pepper powder and mix well.
stirfry on medium heat until the beef is cooked (steak cuts only take 2-3 minutes to cook) 
The meat will give out enough juices and there will be some left after the meat gets cooked.
Add in the tsp of corn flour and mix well. This will thicken the juices and provide a sheen to the meat .It also keeps the mix from drying out while baking.
If you are adding cooked beef , you might have to add the juices that you get from the beef while cooking .
Taste for balance of flavour and keep aside to cool .

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Add flour into a large bowl. Add salt and 50 gms of dalda. 
Rub the shortening into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Make a well in the flour, add water slowly and knead into a soft dough.
Put the 75 gm of shortening in a small bowl and soften it nicely without any lumps. 
Then, divide this approximately into three parts.
Dust the counter with flour and roll out the dough into a rectangle of approximately (8x16).
Spoon one portion of the 75 gm shortening on the rolled out flour and spread it leaving 1/2inch off all 4 sides.
Now you need to fold the dough into a 3 layer fold.
Lay the rectangle in front of you and fold the end towards you half way and then fold the end near you over it. You get a square shape dough now .
Then again roll into a rectangle and repeat the same two more times with the remaining shortening. 
It is important not to thin out the dough and give much pressure, handle the dough when rolling gently.This is what creates the layers in the pastry . We are not giving the dough enough time to cool and rest , so to ensure that you get perfect layers ,the dough needs to be handled gently so that the layers between the flour and shortening stay as is.
Finally roll out into rectangle and cut into 8 neat squares or your preferred shape. 
Fill the pastry with the meat filling and slowly cover with the other end and bake until done.
Do not press the edges to flatten it  after you add the meat filling.
You should make puff immediately after the dough is ready , do not keep aside to rest.
Apply egg wash on top of the pastry and bake for 30 -45 minutes until the outside is a nice golden brown.

Instead of the beef mixture , you can use any filling , mixed veg ,boiled egg and masala , chicken etc.

NOTE : The recipe for the puff pastry sheet was made following the recipe on -

Cheese Stuffed Potato cutlet

Ingredients :

  1. Boiled Potato - 4
  2. Onion - 1 chopped fine
  3. Green chilly - 2 chopped fine
  4. Garlic - 2 cloves chopped fine
  5. Corriander leaves - 1 tsp chopped 
  6. Cheese - grated or cubes as required 
  7. turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  8. lime juice - 1/2 tsp
  9. Corn flour - 1 tbsp
  10. Oil - to shallow fry
  11. salt - to taste


Mash the potatoes to a fine paste
Heat 1 tsp oil in a fyring pan and saute the onion,garlic and green chillies .
Add turmeric powder and mix well.
Turn the flame off and add the mashed potatoes and corriander leaves.
Mix well and add salt to taste.
Divide this mixture into 8-10 equal balls .
flatten slightly and put a few cubes or1 tsp of grated cheese and roll into a ball again to enclose the cheese in the potato mixture.
Form into cutlet shapes , round, oval, heart shaped , squares ..
Heat oil in a flat nonstick pan .
Lightly dust the cutlets with cornflour and fry in hot oil until browned.
drain on paper towels and serve with tomato ketchup.

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