Monday, March 15, 2010

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

* Newyork style Cheese Cake

                                   This Cheese cake is pretty famous and this one is one of the basic basic cheesecakes.I got the recipe from a book which I borrowed from Library and made few modifications. The modification that I made to the original recipe was to add 1 part ricotta cheese to two parts cream cheese. I thanks the lady on the subway who gave me this tip when she saw me carrying two ready made graham cracker pie crust and as always got into talking about food and recipes :) She told 'my family always mixes 1part ricotta cheese with cream cheese and it comes out wonderful' and I truly agreed with her this statement when I tried on my own cheese cake. I made this cheese cake on valentine day. We always celebrate Valentines day with our friends and I thought of making this cheese cake. Try this wonderful cheese cake with few careful tips and it will be well appreciated.

So here goes the recipe :

Ingredients for the crust:

1. Graham cracker powder - 2 cups (You can buy the graham cracker and ground them too.This time I bough the ground Graham cracker from Superstore)
2. Unsalted butter(Melted) -1/4 cup

Ingredients for the cake batter:

1. Cream cheese - 500 gm(I used Philadelphia brand cream cheese-2 bricks)
2. Ricotta Cheese - 250 Gms
3. All purpose flour - 2 tb sp
4. Eggs - 4 whole eggs and 1 yolk
5. Sugar -1 cup
6.Vanilla essence - 1 tb spoon
7. Zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange - 1-2 Tb spoon(below is the picture how I get the citrus fruit zest)

Ingredients for garnishing :

You can use virtually any fruit.
I used Raspberries,but you can go for strawberries,kiwi or cherry filling.Endless options here.

Procedure for Crust:

1. Mix the ground graham crackers with melted butter well and press to the bottom of the cheese cake frame.For baking a cheese cake you either need a spring form pan or a frame that is available in market by the name cheese cake mould.Basically it is a frame where the cake can be lifted top side up words after .In case of a pound cake we usually flip the cake p side down for taking it out of the mould which won't work well for cheese cakes,,for the obvious reason.

2. After pressing the graham cracker mixture to the bottom of the frame freeze it for 30 minutes.You can just keep it in freeze and start working on the cake batter by the time your base sets in freeze your batter will be ready.

Procedure for cake batter:

1. Before you start the process bring your ingredients to room temp.If the cream cheese in frozen then just microwave for 15 secs and that should work.

2. pre heat the oven at 350 degrees.

3. In a bowl add the cream cheese bricks , ricotta cheese and sugar and beat well for 2-3 minutes.

4. Add the all purpose flour,orange zest, lemon zest and egg yolk to the cheese mixture and blend for 30 seconds.

5. Then pour in the three whole eggs to the mixture and blend well for about 1 minute and now add in the vanilla flavour and blend for about 3 more minutes or until you get a smooth batter as shown in the picture.

6. Now take out the crust from freeze and pour in the batter in to the cake frame and smoothing the top a little bit.

7. Bake for about 10 minutes at 250 degree C .Reduce the heat to 100 degree C untill the top is golden brown and the centre is almost set .This may take around 40-50 minutes.

8.Let it cool at least for 2 hours in the pan.Run the spatula around the cake frame, so that it will come out of the frame easily when it cools down completely.

9.Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving.

10.Garnish with some raspberries or strawberries or which ever fruits you like...and voila,,,there is ur newyork style cheese cake.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

* Palak Paneer(cottage cheese in spinach gravy)

Poooof,,after a long time I could post this.I apologize for all my blog visitors for this long break.But there is a good reason,too many things happened in a short period of time,had vacation to India,lost my camera and move to the new place..Everything took a lot of my time.Well now I'm on track and I will try my best to post new recipes regularly.

Palak paneer,,one of the most exotic vegan India dishes,,pretty popular in north india,,but rest parts also its well known.I love this dish because of the nutrition value of it and the fact that I love Paneer( firm cottage cheese).Spinach is rich in vitamin C, fiber and flavonoid that functions as antioxidant and anti-cancer agent.Along with that spinach is also a nutritional powerhouse. And ladies,, Spinach is an anti-aging vegetable,,so I like eating more of the stuff than buying antioxidant bottles :)

Here goes the recipe for the ever green Palak Paneer :


1. Spinach - 1 bunch
2. Paneer (Cottage Cheese) - 200 gms
3. Onion - 1 medium size chopped
4. Tomato - 1 medium size
5. Green chillies -1 or 2 (optional)
6. Ginger garlic paste - 1tbsp
7. Oil/Butter -1 tsp
8. Garlic - 1 clove(for blanching with spinach)
9. Ginger - 1/2 inch minced (for blanching with spinach)
10. Bay leaf - 1
11. Cloves -3
12. Cardamom -1
13. Cumin -1/2 Tsp
14. Nutmeg Powder -1/4 tsp
15. Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
16. Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
17. red chilly powder -1/4 tsp (optional)
18. sugar -1/2 tsp (optional,,you can ajust the hotness of red chillies with some sugar)
19. garam masala -1/4 tsp
20. Cream - 2 tb sp (optional for garnishing)


1. Cut paneer in to cubes(In toronto we get Nanak brand paneer in most south Asian stores. They are sold in 1 lb bricks so you need to cube them at home before cooking) and sauté in a non stick pan without adding any oil or butter,just saute it for a few minutes untill the paneer gets a a little browned.Keep it aside.

2. Wash the spinach bunch nicely and just blanch them with the garlic and ginger(The reason for adding some ginger and garlic,,My husband doesn't like the leafy smell in the palak paneer .That was one of the reason why he never used to like this dish).After 5 minutes of blanching the leaves with garlic and ginger.Bleand it very well and keep it aside.

3. Now you are ready to go,In a non-stick pan add 1 tsp Oil/butter.add the whole spices,cumin and green chillies.

4. Add chopped onion,sprinkle some salt.Once the onion is translucent add ginger garlic paste.

5. When you get the smell of cooked ginger garlic paste add chopped tomatoes.After tomatoes get a little softer add cumin powder,corriander powder,chilly powder.If required add a little water in order to avoid the spices to get burnt and cook for 3-4 minutes.

6. Now add the spinach paste you have blended before to the pan.Adjust the salt and if you like add some sugar.Taste and adjust to your taste and let it boil for 5-7 minutes.

7. Add the paneer(cubed and sauted cottage cheese) at this point.

8. Sprinkle soem garam masala,nutmeg powder and stirr in.

9. Garnish with some cream(optional,I didnt have cream today hence omitted that part) for richness and serve with roti/rice.