Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Semia / Vermicelli Upma

I have been keeping the recipe typed and the pictures of this post drafted for the past 4 days ever since amma made, back home and I had been wondering what to type for the intro part! Oh yeah, most of the times my mind gets blocked when it comes to this and badly want to proceed to the recipe directly..

So, this what amma made for breakfast in a jiffy and I loved the preparation though not a fan of regular upmas or even semia upmas. I had wanted to post the step by step for this one but was away for the morning walk and by the time I came back amma had arranged the food in the glass bowl asking me to take the picture :)

And now for the recipe part she had gotten ready with:

Roasted vermicelli- 200 gms or 3 cups +/-
Water- 500 ml
Salt- as needed

To Season

Oil- 3 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1/4 tsp
Urad dal- 1/2 tsp
Ginger, minced finely- 1/2 tsp
Green chillies- 3, slit lengthwise
Curry leaves - a sprig
Chopped coriander - to garnish
Freshly grated coconut - 2 tbsps (optional; tis the Kerala way)


Heat oil to season in a non stick kadai, splutter mustard seeds, brown the urad dal, followed by the minced ginger and the green chillies. Stir for a few seconds and throw in the curry leaves. Now pour the water. Bring it to boil, adding salt.Stir in the vermicelli  stirring to combine the whole ingredients taking care not to form any lumps and close the kadai with a lid. Reduce the flame and cook until done. The semia would have cooked soft absorbing the water and  see to it the strands aren't sticky and stay separate. Top the Upma with the freshly grated coconut ( which is purely optional), yes she used it, garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with coconut chutney.


You may add onions while seasoning. A large big onion sliced lengthwise will be apt for the mentioned amount of vermicelli. Saute the onion after ginger and green chillies and proceed...

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Banoffee Pie

I was more than excited the minute I came to know that my friend Swapna's recipe had been chosen as the month's recipe by the Sweet Punch team! I had wanted to try this when she posted the recipe but as always, never took the effort of making the same lazing out :).

  When the recipe was announced, I planned to make the dessert during Christmas, so that children would be around, but then with the cakes and cookies all flowing in I wasn't quite motivated. Moreover I had by hands unbelievably full during the hoildays.

Finally I got ready with the ingredients and started whipping up the dessert 2 days back..

For the Dulce le Lechey, I adapted David Lebovitz's method as I felt to be more convenient and safe. Unfortunately my glass dish placed on the water bath on a pan didn't sit inside my small sized oven and I was forced to make it poured in individual ramekins made to sit in the glass dish made as the hot water bath, in turn.
The Dulce was a bit over done for me as I left it more than the time mentioned, my carelessness :), and I diluted with a table spoon of warm milk and condensed milk to bring it to the right consistency. I forgot to add the salt as suggested but again it was fine.

Banoffee Pie
Source- Swapna's Cuisine
Quantity - Halved
Serves- a small family

Below is the complete recipe:-


Condensed Milk-1 can (400gm)
Bananas-3nos, large
Whipped Cream-2 cups
Digestive biscuits -200gms
Grated chocolate or Cocoa powder to decorate
Chocolate sauce to drizzle on top (optional)


To make Dulce the Leche (pronounced dulchay the laychay), put the can of condensed milk, unopened, in a large pan, cover with water, bring to boiling point and boil for 3 hours, topping up with boiling water from a kettle as needed. Ensure that the can remains covered in water, as otherwise there is a risk of the can bursting open. Remove and leave to cool completely. You can make this ahead of time or even boil several tins at one go and store the unopened cans in the fridge for several months. This is the traditional way of making Dulce the Leche.
Mix melted butter and powdered biscuit. Line a pie dish with this mixture and keep it in the fridge for some time. (For a crunchy biscuit base you can bake this for 10 minutes at 160 deg C. ).
Open the cooled can of condensed milk, which will have turned to toffee. Spread this over the layer of biscuit.
Peel and thinly slice the bananas, and arrange in a layer over the toffee.
Whip the cream until thick and stiff and spread over the bananas.
Finally, decorate with grated chocolate or dust the cocoa powder on top using a sieve. Drizzle with chocolate sauce (optional).


Chilling hardens the whipped cream. If you prefer such, have like wise!

Though Swapna had been assuring about the irresistible taste, being a weight watcher, at least for the time being, I was worried counting the high calories contained in the dessert!
Soon after the photography session I licked clean the spoon you see up in the first picture ;) and then was prompted to dig out more! two more..nah..three more and the bowl was packed off to the neighbourhood!

Verdict from the neighbour's family - Absolutely lovely dessert! looking forward to more! but more quantity for next time please! :)

That says it all! :)

If you need more feedback I would rate this as a rich, creamy, melt in the mouth dessert!
The combined flavour of the salt n sweet biscuit base, the creamy  rich dulce, the sweet sour ripe banana bits and the smooth cream topping compliments to the core and proves to be a high threat to the milk/sweet lovers! ;)

Author's note:

The caramel is not supposed to ooze out from the dessert as you see. I diluted the dulce a bit too much... the whole thing should stay firm as layers when sliced.
I avoided chocolate sauce as in the recipe, wanting to create a design of neat circles of chocolate powder dusted on top. I do have the circles and the chocolate powder dusted, but of course not neat as expected! Pardon :)

For the full recipe, I prefer to use an increased amount; 600 gms of digestive biscuits for the base, but cut down butter to 75 gms :). 
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