Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Caramel Celebrations!!!

Folks there have been many changes and all good with the cookers in the past one week and thus there have been no updates on Ambrosia.

Since all the news are happy news - the second post on Wine that was mentioned in the last post - it can wait. First sharing the good news -

Vrij and Mrs. Vrij have a new entrant in their life - a cute baby boy :)
D'Sinner got selected to a course to Punjab University as was her dream.
Gunj has got a new job and has moved to a new city.
Princess Mia is looking forward to her vacation to Goa with her friend.
Anindita is looking forward to her vacation.
and as for me Ceedy I am simply celebrating life and new online friends.

Congratulations to one an all!!!!!!!

So to celebrate each of our changes and of any changes of any readers of this blog, I am sharing this easy recipe of Caramel Walnut Brownies by Sanjeev Kapoor of Khana Khazana fame.

I have baked this many a times and it is simple and has been appreciated by all.

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

Cooking Time: 40 Minutes

1/2 cup Sugar
Oil to grease
250 grams Chocolate
8 tablespoons Butter
4 Eggs
2-3 Drops Vanilla essence
1/2 Cup Powdered sugar
1 cup Refined flour (maida)
1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
A pinch Salt
1/2 cup Walnut kernels, crushed lightly

Method of preparaion:
- Preheat oven to 180° C. Grease a baking sheet with oil.
1) Preparing Caramel
- Combine sugar and two tablespoons of water in a pan and bring it to a boil. Cook, stirring all the time, until the mixture is deep brown in colour. Set it aside and keep it warm on a pan of hot water.
(If you want you can skip the caramel part and simply call it Chocolate Brownies)

2)Preparing the Batter for the Brownies
-Combine chocolate and butter in a pan. To melt this mixture, put some water in a bigger vessel and place the bowl with the chocolate in it and cook till it is smooth and even. Or you can microwave it for a minute at a time till both melt enough to be mixed smooth and even.
-Remove from heat and allow to cool.
-Beat eggs with vanilla essence until frothy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating well till all the sugar has been used up.
-Sift refined flour, baking powder and salt.
-Add to the egg mixture, little at a time, folding into it carefully and lightly without losing much aeration.
-Blend in the cooled chocolate mixture. Spread half of this batter onto a prepared baking sheet. Bake for around six minutes.
-Remove from the oven and spread caramel carefully over the baked layer. Stir in walnuts into the remaining chocolate batter and spread over the caramel layer. Bake for twenty minutes.
(As an option you can also add chocolate chips at this stage with walnuts)
-Take it out of the oven and cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate before cutting into bars or squares.

The brownies can be had on their own or can also be served with a twist.

Once cut into squares before serving warm the brownies a little and serve it with Vanilla Icecream and chocolate syrup smeared on it. I prefer using the Vanilla Bean Icecream instead. Has a richer taste.

Hope you enjoy it!!!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Wine -1 (Updates)

Updated the post (in red) under Sparkling Wine and Fortified Wine sections as per inputs from Carolinagal - Thanks
A couple of months back Preethi posted an interesting post on different types of wines. Adding to her input, presenting this two part series on Wines. This post will be an elaboration of what she had mentioned in her post with certain additional information.

In the next post I will talk more about Wine Selection, Grading Process, the Different Types of Wine Glasses and other relevant information.
Wine grapes mostly grow between the 30th and the 50th degree of latitude, in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. (Link to major Wine growing regions of the world) Grapes will sometimes grow beyond this range and minor amounts of wine are made in some very unexpected places. The types of grapes used to make a wine are the most important factor in the taste of the wine. However, the flavors are also affected other factors such as soil, exposure to sunlight, climate, how the grapes are handled and fermented, types of yeast used, whether the wine is aged in wood, etc. Because of this, the same type of wine can be produced in several different regions, but various factors result in wines which taste different. Half the fun of experiencing wine is the incredible array of flavors available.

There are 5 basic types of wines namely:
Red Wine
White Wine
SparklingWine (in other words - Champagne)
Rosé Wine
Dessert or Fortified Wines

Red Wines - are made with red grapes. But the color does not actually come from the grape juice itself. Instead it comes from the grapes being fermented with skins still on. Names of the wine are based on the names of the grapes they are made from. There are about 40 important types of red wine grapes grown in the world today.
Some popular grapes and hence the red wines are:
Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, Merlot, Nebbiolo, Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese,
Syrah/Shiraz, Tempranillo and Zinfandel

White Wines - Almost every white wine is made with white grapes, though it is possible to make white wine using red grapes. This is because when white wine is made, the juice is separated from the skins before the fermentation process. The juice does not absorb the color of the skins. For the same reason, white wine has much less tannin than red. (Tannin - Wikipedia Link) There are 50 major white grapes grown in the world today, 24 in California alone.
Some popular grapes and hence the white wines are:
Chablis, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Gewruztraminer, Muscat, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling,
Sauvignon/Fume Blanc, Semillon and Viognier

Sparkling Wine - Many sparkling wines made after the style of Champagne, but only those made in that Champagne region in the north of France, according to the painstaking Méthode Champenoise, can rightfully be called Champagne. All others should be labeled as Sparkling Wine. Apparently how the fizziness in the wine is brought about determines the texture and the taste of this wine. They also make sparkling red wines namely Shiraz, Merlot etc.

Rosé wine- Rosé wines are made with red grapes, but are only allowed to stay in contact with the grape skins for a short time. This allows it to keep only some of the reddish color. The provide a perfect backdrop to many of summer's greatest food fare. Rosé wines are sometimes called blush wines. Sometimes they are even called white despite the obvious pink color. White Zinfandel is a rose wine, not a white.

Dessert/Fortified Wine: Also called dessert wines or liqueur wines, this type of wine has been "fortified" with extra alcohol. The Alcohol content of these wines will be over 14%.
Fortified wines are not generally served with a meal. These types of wines are often served after retiring from the dinner table. Although grape brandy is most commonly added to produce fortified wines, the additional alcohol may be derived from a variety of other sources including sugarcane, sugar beets, and even petroleum.
Some of the examples of Dessert Wines are:
Madeira, Port, Sherry and Vermouth

Sources : About.com, Wine Spectator, Virtual Wine Guide
Hope this will help you distinguish different kinds of wines available. - Ceedy

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Delectable Haleem

The Holy month of Ramzan brings to fore the ultimate delicacies of Hyderabad. For 30 days, the fast is broken with some mouth watering delicacies, mostly made with mutton. The Hyderabadi Biryani has spread its wings wide and is probably the most revered global delicacy along with the pasta and the dosa ! But mostly unseen during the normal days is one dish that will leave you begging for more... The Haleem.

No Ramzan is complete without the Haleem. It can be a snack, a side-dish, an accompliment or a full meal in itself. And all in just one avatar, unlike the 101 varieties of pasta or dosas or pizzas.

It might be a cumbersome to make, but then once you have made it, every drop of sweat spent will seem worthwhile. So lets get cooking for the Iftar party :)


1kg Boneless diced mutton
400gms Whole wheat
200gms Gram Lentils (Chana dal)
2 Cups Thick Curd
3 Large Onions
2 Cups Ghee / Vanaspati
2 Tsp Chilli powder
2 Tsp Turmeric powder
2 Tsp Coriander powder
1 Tsp Cardomom powder
2 Tbsp Ginger garlic paste
50gms crushed Cashews
50gms crushed Almonds
4 Green Chillis
4 Lemons
2 bunches Fresh Coriander
2 bunches Fresh Mint
2 Eggs
Salt to Taste

Lets get cooking:

Soak the wheat and gram lentils in water for 3-4 hours or overnight. To the curds, add the Chilli powder, Turmeric powder, Cardomom powder, coriander powder, Ginger-garlic paste, green chillis and salt to taste. Mix these into a paste and marinate the mutton in this and leave for 3-4 hours.

Drain the water from the wheat, dry the wheat in a cloth and pound it. Add the marinated meat mixture to this along with the cashews and almonds. Add a cup or so of water and cook the meat and wheat mixture till the meat becomes very tender. Use an old fashioned lentil masher to literally grind this into a uniform thick paste. You can use a blender too, but that will make the mix a very fine paste which is not ideal.

Take about a cup of Ghee/Vanaspati in a pan and heat it. Finely chop 2 onions and add to the ghee and fry till golden. Do not let them go brown. Add a pinch of salt to this too. Add the blended paste of meat and wheat to the pan and mix well. Add finely chopped coriander and squeeze a couple of lemons into this. Add some water and cook till the entire mix becomes very tender and pasty.

While the above gets done, make thin slices of a large onion and fry in heated oil/ghee till golden brown. Hard boil two eggs and slice them into thin slices. Also heat one cup of Ghee/Vanaspati.

When the meat/wheat paste is completely cooked, take it into a serving dish and marinate it with hot ghee, mint leaves, fried onions and slices of boiled eggs. Squeeze lemons to taste.

Dig in and Enjoy !!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Brazilian Lemonade

This recipe is the quick one when you have guests at home and you want to serve them something other than the regular water/coke etc. It is quick to make and is always a delight with the friends! :D


* 2 Limes (Not lemons!!)
* 1/2 cup Sugar
* 3 tablespoons sweetened Condensed Milk
* 3 cups Water
* Ice


* Wash the limes thoroughly. Cut off the ends and squeeze out the juice.
* Take the juice and along with the sugar, water, condensed milk and ice; blend in a blender.
* Serve chilled!
Serves: 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes

Enjoy! Cheers.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Presented here is a simple Badam Pista Kulfi recipe. Kulfi is a flavoured frozen dessert that comes from the Indian subcontinent. Western icereams are whipped whereas the Kulfi is not whipped, resulting in a solid frozen dense desert.
The recipe for this delicious treat is provided by our first guest blogger Neeku.
From the entire Ambrosia team we thank you for your enthusiasm and participation.
Here is the recipe :
1 Can of store bought Condensed Milk
2 Cans of store bought Evaporated Milk
* Note the proportion is 1:2 whatever measurement you choose to take*
1/2 Cup of grated almonds (badaam)
1/2 Cup of graded pistachios (pista)
1 gram of Kesar (saffron)
1/3 cup of whipping cream (optional)
Take a bowl and add all the ingredients. Mix it well. Take sauce pan and pour the mixture and bring it to boil two times.

Let it cool and simmer and then pour the mixture into your kulfi moulds. Here we have used the muffin aluminium moulds.
Let it freeze...

to ENJOY it later.

The above recipe was tried and tested and cataloged by me. It was an awesome treat for the palate leaving everyone who tasted it wanting more of it. Also after discussing with the contributor - one can also add crushed Cardomom (Eliachi) to get some extra flavor.
Also I liked to rename this dessert as Muffis - combining the flavor of Kulfi into a mould of Muffin both real sweet treats.

Hope you guys enjoy this delicious treat.

Contributor - Neeku
Presented by - Ceedy

Friday, September 5, 2008

Kuch meetha ho jaye!! :)

I am sure most of you know that today we are celebrating the completion of 100 posts on “High on life”. It definitely is a nice feeling that the blog is getting older! Had it been me, I would have definitely been sad :P and not eaten any junk n tried to look young :P

But since its my dear blog, I sure wanna indulge in something sweet :D
So here I am, dedicating my favourite sweet somethings to each one of you on my blogroll!

GOOEY CHOCLATE WITH ICECREAM from “Market café” for the TALLI sexy naughty bitchy girl gang- Geet, Mia and crazy_neha . Love ya guys sooo much! Muah!
MANGO CHEESE CAKE from “Costa Coffee” for the dearestest ones- Mann, Tanuj, D_sinner_Neha, Echo, Sachi, Vivek, Hitesha, Girish, Rahul_in_the_dream_city, Rohit, Akash, Annu n last but not the least gonecase_sid!:P

CHOCOLATE CHESS PASTRY from “Breads & more” for the lovable girlies- Ayushi, Aditi_jiggs, Anindita, Aqua girl, Arti, Ash89, Bhai with chai, Bulbul, Monica, Crazy_adi, Divkiran, Divya, Elusive, Jane, Shatabdi, Keshi, Lemonade, Ne, Nidhi, Noelia, Pavi, Pooja, Ria, Sahefa, Solitaire, Somya, Vartika, Veens & Zee.

BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE from “Breads & more” for the extraordinary men- Ankur, Anurag, Abhishek_khanna, Aditya, Chacha_shek, Ceedy, Amit, Ataullah, Big_omi, Blogboy, Debashish, Durjoy, Gagan, Jeevy, Kalyan, Love_Joshi, Maverik, Marvin, Mayank, Mysterio, Nits, Nitu, Rushabh, MithuN_Scribbler, Vaibhav,Vrij,--xh-- & Vasanthan.

CHOCLATE CHIP MUFFINS for all the party crashers and others I might have missed out by any chance ;)

Love ya guys loads!!
Cheers :D