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Swetha's Fusion
Where there is Fusion there is Creation!

Rocky Road Fudge

Sunday, November 26, 2017
Chocolate fudge recipe for Holiday season. Who does not like Rocky Road Fudge, or fudge in general. The well made once are expensive at stores (but worth it). But once I figured out how to make it, I never went to stores for it. Only down side is... you will end up with quite a bit of fudge at home.  Better to prepare for a party and love to share. May be prepared in different variations with walnuts, pistachios or cashews instead of marshmallows (in step-6).

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup - Sweetened evoprated Condensed Milk  
  • ¾ cup - Granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp - unsalted butter 
  • 2 cups - white mini marshmallows
  • 1¼  cups - Chocolate chips (I prefer dark chocolate)
  • 1 tsp - Vanilla essance
  • a pinch of salt.
Method:
  1. Generously grease an 7in cake pan and keep aside. 
  2. Mix the butter, sugar, evaporated milk and salt in a heavy cooking pan.
  3. Stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, then bring it to boil.
  4. Let it boil for 3-5 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring all the time. (until the mixture reaches 1160C/2400F) 
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the chocolate chips. 
  6. Once the chocolate blends in, beat in the marshmallows and vanilla essence. 
  7. Scrape the mixture into the prepared cake pan. Press the mixture in to the corners and spread it evenly with a flat spatula.
  8. If using, sprinkle the nuts over the fudge and press them into the surface so that it won't fall off.
  9. Cool, then score into squares. Chill, then cut them up to serve.
Try this easy method of making fudge and enjoy it with your family and friends.
Happy Holidays!

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~ Rocky Road Fudge ~
Posted by Swetha @ 11/26/2017 08:49:00 PM :: 0 comments

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Maple Pecan Pie

Thursday, November 23, 2017
Pies are made as desserts during holiday season. My favorite are pumpkin pie, apple pie and pecan pie.

Ingredients:
  • 1½ cup - pecan halves toasted 
  • 3 - eggs ( or  ¾ cup applesauce  for egg-less pie)  
  • ⅔ cup - Golden brown sugar, tightly packed
  • ⅔ cup - Pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp - corn syrup
  • 6 tbsp - unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ tsp - salt.
  • 1 unbaked - 9 inch ready piecrust (or prepare one at home. Recipe here)
Method:
  1. Position the rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat to 3500F
  2. Finely chop 1 cup of pecans.
  3. Whisk the eggs ( or applesauce), brown sugar, and salt until well blended in a medium bowl.
  4. Stir in both syrups and butter. 
  5. Add chopped pecans to the mixture.
  6. Pour the mixture into the unbaked piecrust. Spread the mixture evenly.
  7. Decorate rest of the pecan by arranging them on the top and press them slightly into the mixture.
  8. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is set. About 35 minutes, depends on the oven.
  9. Cool completely.
Note: For regular pecan pie, just skip the maple syrup and instead of 3 tbsp, add 1 cup of corn syrup .

Pie may be made a day ahead. Store at cool room temperature. 

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~ Maple Pecan Pie ~
Posted by Swetha @ 11/23/2017 04:00:00 AM :: 0 comments

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Coconut Ladoo with Condensed Milk - Quick and easy recipe

Saturday, October 21, 2017

When short on time during festivals, I reach for Condensed-Milk. Always have a stock of   condensed-milk cans in my pantry. This is one of such festive-sweet recipe, which turns out very delicious and just melts in your mouth. If you have all the ingredients, it takes less than half an hour to make these yummy ladoos. Remember the ratio is 2:1, that is, for 2 cups of Coconut, you need 1 cup of condensed milk.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup - tightly packed fresh grated coconut
  • ½ cup - Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • ½ tsp - Ghee 
  • 1/2 tsp - Elachi/cardamom - freshly crushed powder.
  • 2 tbsp - Cashew nut - chopped into pieces 
  • 2 tbsp - grated dry(or fresh) coconut 
Method:
  1. On low heat  add ¼ tsp of ghee to a wide fry-pan. 
  2. And chopped cashew nuts and slightly roast them.
  3. Transfer the roasted cashew to a plate and keep aside.
  4. To the same pan add freshly grated coconut and turn the heat up to medium. Saute it to remove excess moisture. Do not let it brown. This may take about 2 to 3 minutes depending on how tender the coconut is.
  5. Add the condensed milk and mix it well on medium heat for about 3 to 4 minutes until the mixture thickens. 
  6. Lower the heat, add  ghee, cardamom pdr and roasted cashew-nuts.  Mix them all and keep stiring
  7. When you notice that the mixture does not stick to the pan any more, turn-off the heat.
  8.  On a flat plate spread the grated dry coconut for rolling the ladoos.
  9. You need to work while the mixture is still warm. Apply ghee on your palm, so that the mixture won't stick to your palm or burn. Pinch out the coconut mixture and by rolling your palms together form small lemon sized balls.
  10. Roll the ball in the dry coconut and place it on a tray or a container line with parchment paper.
  11. Repeat the steps 9 and 10 with rest of the cooked coconut mixture.
  12. This should yield about 20 ladoos.  (small lemon sized)  
  13. Store the ladoos in refrigerator. Should last for 3 to 4 days. 

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~ Coconut Ladoo with Condensed Milk - Quick and easy recipe ~
Posted by Swetha @ 10/21/2017 03:03:00 PM :: 0 comments

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Kosambari

Sunday, October 15, 2017
Kosambari is a Karnataka dish. It is salad made with Hesaru-bele/Moong-dhal/Split-Green-gram. It is offered to god as Naivedyam during festivals especially for Rama Navami, also served as side dish during functions. 

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup - Hesaru-bele/Moong-dhal/Split-Green-gram
  • ½ cup - Fresh Grated coconut
  • ½ cup - Cucumber - finely cut (optional)
  • ¼ cup - Carrot grated (optional)
  • ¼ cup - Fresh coriander/cilantro leaves - chopped
  • 2 - Green chillies (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp - Lemon juice
  • Salt - to taste
  • For Tempering (optional)
    • ½ tsp - Mustard seeds
    • 2 springs - curry leaves
    • Pinch - Asafoetida
    • 1 tsp - Oil
Method:
  1. Preparation: Soak moong dhal in enough water for at least 2 hours.
  2. Drain the soaked moong dal and place in a colander for a few minutes. Once the water is fully drained, place the moong dal in a large bowl.
  3. Add the chopped cucumber, grated coconut, grated carrots, slit/cut green chillies and half of the coriander leaves and mix well. 
  4. Add salt and lemon juice. Note: if cucumber is used mix salt just before serving as cucumber leaves water.
  5. Optional tempering: Heat oil in a small pan. Once it turns hot, add the mustard seeds and allow to splutter. Add the asafoetida and curry leaves and saute for a few secs. Turn off the heat. Pour this seasoning over the moong dal and mix well. 
  6. Garnish with rest of the coriander leaves and serve.

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~ Kosambari ~
Posted by Swetha @ 10/15/2017 07:09:00 PM :: 0 comments

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Mangalore Buns

Saturday, October 14, 2017
 Mangalore Buns are one of my favorite evening snacks my mom used to make. These are not baked but deep fried instead. They are fluffy sweet pooris(puris).  There are prepared as breakfast dish or evening snacks. This is one of the snack you could make when you have really ripe bananas at home which no one wants to eat. In my case, I will let the banana ripe to make this dish.

Ingredients:
Method:
  1. Peel and slice the bananas. Add them into a mixer/blender along with salt and sugar. Blend them into a fine paste. You may mash all these in a bowl using your hands.
  2. Transfer the banana paste into a mixing bowl, mix-in the curds, and baking powder.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp dalda/vanaspati or ghee or cooking oil in a tempering pan and keep it aside.
  4. Add maida/plain flour to the mixture in the bowl little by little and knead it into a soft dough. When you have a sticky dough, add in the melted dalda and knead well.
  5. Add in more flour if needed to make a nice dough that doesn't stick to your fingers completely. But we don't need a hard dough. We need a wet, soft, sticky, rubbery dough. (softer than chapathi dough). Note: Do not add any water while kneading the dough. Sugar when mixed with banana and curds gives out enough water to knead this dough. If needed add more curds or buttermilk.
  6. Spread bit of oil over the dough to keep it moist and prevents drying of the outer layer of the dough.
  7. Wet a thin cloth or paper-towel, squeeze out all the excess water, cover the dough completely with this damp cloth and allow it to rest at room temperature for 7-8 hours. The wet cloth helps retain moisture during rising of the dough. Make sure the cloth isn't too wet and is just damp enough.
  8. After at least 6 hours, lightly knead the dough before you role them out. Make tiny lemon sized balls of the dough, roll it out a little using flour to dust. Don't flatten the balls too much, keep them thick. This dough does not roll into round shapes so I use one of my glass bowls to press it into all even round shapes. You may use a cookie cutter too.
  9. Heat oil for deep frying, test if the oil is rolling hot by dropping a small piece of dough. If the dough emerges on top of the oil, that means the oil is hot enough. Lower the flame to medium heat.
  10. Dust excess flour off the rolled pooris and fry them one at a time on medium flame. As soon as you drop the pooris into the oil they puff up beautifully, flip them over, keep them pressed under the oil for few seconds, that helps the puri puff up more.
  11. Once they are cooked on both the sides and are golden brown, remove the poori from the hot oil and place it in a bowl lined with paper towel to drain out extra oil.
  12. Mangalore Buns will last for few days in air tight container. Difference between regular poori and Mangalore Buns is soft fluff inside which resembles a bread -see picture below.

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~ Mangalore Buns ~
Posted by Swetha @ 10/14/2017 05:33:00 PM :: 0 comments

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Weekend Beading



 


The above beads used for making the earrings, I first painted with nail enamel over black beads to make them unique. I propped the beads on a Styrofoam board with toothpicks for painting.







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~ Weekend Beading ~
Posted by Swetha @ 10/14/2017 04:39:00 PM :: 0 comments

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Weekend Beading with Wooden beads

Monday, October 09, 2017
  This is first time I am working with wooden colorful beads. 
I am happy that I can turn them into ethnic designs.





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~ Weekend Beading with Wooden beads ~
Posted by Swetha @ 10/09/2017 04:22:00 PM :: 0 comments

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Karela Bhaja/Fry

Monday, October 02, 2017

Karela Bhaja or Bitter Gourd fry is a Bengali side dish commonly eaten at the beginning of a meal mixed with rice. Here is the recipe I learned from my mother-in-law with bit of my own twist.

Ingredients:
  • 2 - Bitter gourd / Karela / Hāgala kai
  • ½ tsp - turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp - funnel seeds / Saunf 
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp - red chili powder or black pepper powder (optional) 
  • Salt - to taste
  • 2 tsp - Oil
Method:
  1. Wash and cut the bitter gourds into thin round slices.
  2. Mix in turmeric powder and salt with the cut bitter gourd. keep aside for 5 to 10 minutes
  3. In a flat fry pan, add the oil and turn the heat to medium.
  4. To the hot oil, add funnel seeds and cinnamon piece. May also add a red chili for this tempering.
  5. Once the seeds splutters, add the bitter gourd. I usually spread the pieces flat on the pan and cover it for 3 to 4 minutes, then turn the pieces around to cook on the other side. You may also saute until it is cooked. 
  6. Serve hot with rice. The best way to eat it is to squeeze the cooked bitter gourd and mix it with rice and eat at the beginning of the meal to get all the health benefits of bitter gourd.

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~ Karela Bhaja/Fry ~
Posted by Swetha @ 10/02/2017 08:14:00 PM :: 0 comments

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