Easy Homemade Cheats!

Peace Greetings!

I don't really have an array of recipes in my blog. I don't really intend to 'coz I want you to join me in my kitchen personally and thats where I want to share recipes. But I'd like to share these cheats one could do at home, instead of paying that extra few bucks at the supermarket. Will pile on as I get more: 

Cake Flour
Take a cup of All purpose flour, remove 2 tbsp of flour from it and add 2 tbsp of corn flour to it. Sieve it atleast 3 times. Sieving is very important to get air into the mix to make it lighter.

Self-raising flourAdd 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder to 1 cup of all purpose flour and sieve it 3 times atleast, again to make the flour lighter.

Corn Syrup
Boil 1/2 cup sugar with 1/4 cup water to make syrup.

Sour Cream
Whenever a recipe calls for sour cream, I mostly use yogurt instead. But the recipe is:Add 1 tbsp of Vinegar/Lemon juice into 1 cup of heavy cream and whisk until thick and creamy. There you have it! 

ButtermilkAdd 1 tbsp Vinegar/Lemon juice into 1 cup of full cream milk and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Don't stir it. It will split and curdle. Thats your buttermilk ready for use.

Mascarpone Cheese
You have to make it a day ahead you use it. You need:
2c Heavy cream, 1tbsp lemon juice.
Pour the heavy cream in a saucepan and bring it to a simmer, don't let it boil. Add the lemon juice when its simmering and then keep stirring continuously with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until its thicker and when you lift the spoon a wipe your finger through, it should separate. Make sure to scrape the bottom and sides while stirring. Now pour this mixture over a strainer lined with cheese cloth aligned over a bowl. Bring over the cheesecloth to cover the cheese and refrigerate for at least a day (24hrs). Next day your cheesecloth will have thick and creamy mascarpone cheese ready for your recipe.

Garam Masala
In a dry pan add 2 large sticks of cinnamon, around 10 pieces of cardamom, 5 peppercorns, 1 piece of nutmeg, 1/2t cumin, 5 pieces of cloves, 1 piece star anise (optional), 1/2t shahjeera or caraway seeds(optional). Dry roast this mix until it gets fragrant. toss it into a grinder and grind it until fine powder. Allow to cool and store in airtight container. This mix can be veried according to what you have on hand and what you like. The cinnamon and cardamom ratio is more compared to other ingredients. 

Taco Seasoning
Mix together 1T chilly powder, 1t garlic powder, 1t onion powder along with 1t paprika, 1/2t oregano, 1/2t coriander powder, 1/2t cornflour, 1/2t cumin powder 1/4t pepper powder. Mix well and store in an air tight container

Tortilla Chips
get a stack of corn / flour tortilla wraps, brush some oil on both sides of each wrap and stack them again. Now cut it into quarters and line them on a baking sheet one by one in a single layer. You might need a few baking sheets for this. Sprinkle some salt over the tortillas and bake in a 180degree preheated oven for 10 mins until brown on the sides and crispy. No frying required, healthy and super crispy. I like to sprinkle taco seasoning along with the salt for added flavour.

Alfredo Sauce (Basic full fat version)
4T Butter, 1c heavy cream, 1c Parmesan Cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Melt the butter (add garlic, chicken pieces or shrimps, vegetables, etc saute) pour in heavy cream and let it simmer until thick. Add herbs if desired. Mix in 200gms of cooked pasta of choice and add cheese. Toss together, cook for a minute or two for the flavours to marry. Serve.

Flavour your Rice
When you cook rice (esp long grain, basmati) add more depth of flavour to it by adding herbs like cilantro (in other words coriander leaves) or basil or dill. Add them just after all the water is absorbed, at the final few minutes of cooking. You still want to retain a bit of the texture from the leaves.  
Adding spices like a pinch of cumin seeds or turmeric or ginger/ garlic also give added health benefits to the rice.

Some terms: 

  • Malt powder is Horlicks. Chocolate Malt powder is Chocolate flavoured horlicks or any other brand. 
  • Heavy cream is the same as Double cream, whipping cream; basically cream that has high fat content which helps in thickening or whipping while adding air into it. Very versatile, can be used for sauces, soups, to make no machine ice cream, or simply whipped cream!
  • Vegetable shortening is the vegetable version of ghee, same as aseel vegetable ghee, crisco, etc. similar way of processing is adopted to make it white, thick and hard. When added to pastry dough, it gives that extra layer of flakyness than only butter. (but obviously shortening is worse than butter, healthwise)

Please let me know if you found this useful. I'll feel great. If you have anything to add on, comment below and I'll add it to my repertoire as well. Have a great time baking!!


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