Saturday, June 16, 2007

Apple crumble and vanilla custard

My sister has been asking me to make this homely dessert and I decided to indulge her craving this weekend. Hope you will enjoy it too....

Apple Crumble

3 Granny smith apples
3 red cox apples
1 1/2 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
pinch of salt

Core and cut the apples into large cubes.
In a pan add all of the ingredients and bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Take off heat and place in an ovenproof dish

For the crumble:

80g of almond, place into food processor till crumb like consistency.
80g chilled butter
180g self-raising flour
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
110g brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Added chilled butter to flour and rub it in, till it resembles breadcrumbs add the remaining ingredients and continue to maintain the same consistency. Do not over rub as butter may melt.

Top the cooked apples (which were placed in an oven proof dish) with the crumble mixture and pat it in firmly.

Bake for 35 minutes in oven. Serve with vanilla custard.

Vanilla custard

300ml of milk
3 teaspoon of vanilla extract
3 egg yolks
3 teaspoon cornflour
40 g sugar

Heat milk and vanilla extract and keep it on simmer.

Meanwhile whisk egg yolks, cornflour and sugar till the mixture turns light yellow and light. Pour a little of the milk into the egg mixture continuing to whisk while doing so. Keep whisking and gradually adding all the milk. Keep whisking to avoid getting the eggs from curdling. Now pour back the mixture into the milk pot and stir with wooden spoon till you reach a custard consistency. Do not take your eyes away from it even for a sec as the consistency changes from liquid to cream like in a split second. Keep stirring. Take off the heat once you reach this custard consistency.

Serve and enjoy with any dessert.

Vegetable Dum Briyani and accompaning cool salad

Vegetable Dum Briyani

For the Vegetable portion you will need:
3 tablespoon vegetable oil and 2 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
2 onions slices fine
some curry leaves
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 stalk of celery chopped fine
3 green chillis deseeded
1 cup of each of any 6 types of vegetables of your choice.
I used the following:
Potatoes, carrots, green pepper, courgettes, french beans and cauliflower chopped into cubes.

Dry roast the following then grind into powder.
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon black cumin (shajeera)
1 piece of cinnamon stick
3 green cardamoms
1 large cardomom
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 piece of mace
Sieve the ground mix and keep 2 teaspoon of the recipe and refrigerate the remainder to be used in other recipes:

2 large tomatoes chopped
¼ cup water
½ cup yogurt
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon chilli powder
Handful fresh coriander and mint leaves.
Salt to taste

For the rice
3 cups of basmati rice cleaned and soaking in water at least for half and hour
1 Bayleaf
4 cloves and 3 green cardamom pods
¼ cup milk
Sufficient water to boil the rice

Infuse a few strands of saffron in 3 tablespoon milk. Do this before you start any prep for the briyani dish, giving them sufficient time to release the color and fragrance.
2 Onions thinly sliced and fried till golden brown.
3 tablespoon of pistachios dry roasted.

To begin we will prepare the vegetable masala:

Heat the oil and ghee in a large heavy based pan, add cumin, and curry leaves. Once they splutter add celery, green chilli and sliced onions. Fry till fragrant and translucent.

Now add the all the vegetables. Do not add water keep flame on medium and cover pot for 10 minutes. Do give a stir to make sure they are not sticking to the pot.

Now add tomatoes, water, yogurt, cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilli powder.

Cook covered for 15 minutes. Keep giving a quick stir to help the ingredients come together. Add the ground spice kept aside. The fragrance will start filling the room. Add coriander and mint leaves. You should have a thickish gravy consistency (not watery).

Meanwhile add all ingredients for the rice above and bring to boil. Drain the water, once the rice is half cooked. Spread and let them cool on a tea towel. This will ensure all the water is dried up and make sure the grains are separate. Do the rice while the vegetables are cooking.

Now start to assemble !

Place half the vegetable masala in the base of a heavy pan, next top with half the cooled rice. Sprinkle half the fried onions and pistachios. Repeat the process. Now sprinkle the infuse milk/saffron on the top and cover tightly with a lid.

Do use a heavy weight to make sure no steam escape from the inside of the pot (This is called keeping it on DUM). Leave it on medium flame for 3-5 minutes them reduce flame to slow and keep on DUM for further 10 minutes.

Vegetable Briyani ready to serve

As this dish is not overly spicy…my kids love it…Serve with a yogurt salad or my favorite cucumber and red onion salad . See below for the recipe.

Cucumber and red onion salad

A lovely summer salad I remember my mom making. I always thought it was probably complicated to do. But alas…it did not take more than 5 – 10 minutes.

You will need
1 cucumber sliced into rings
1 large red onion sliced into rings
2 red chillis deseeded and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the vinaigrette

3 tablespoon white vinegar (any will do, try your favorites)
1 tablespoon fine sugar

Mix the ingredients for the vinaigrette and leave aside for 5 minutes in the refrigerator.

Mix sliced cucumber in some salt, leave aside for 5 minutes. Then squeeze out the excess water. Now assemble dish

Add onion cucumber and red chilli. Keep chilled till serving…

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sumi's debut

Hi ! I am Sumi and welcome to Bayleaf. Bayleaf is my personal blog or online recipe book created and inspired by my love for food and cooking.

My collection has recipes that were handed down to my mother from her mother and grandmother. Most of the recipes here are old family recipes or created by my mother, my sister and me. Many of my lovely aunts and friends have also contributed their specialities to this web page. I have also adapted and tweaked many recipes from cookbooks and cooking shows over the years. When doing so, I try to attribute that source where I can.

I happen to live in a very cosmopolitan part of the world where new world and old world fuse sumptuously. This is reflected in my recipe collection too.

Technology has enabled me to share some of my ideas and dishes with you. So I cordially invite you to join me at Bayleaf !


I would love to hear from you, but please be patient with me if I do not reply… excuse……three toddlers at home !!!!!!

I would also request of you to restrict your views to the topic being discussed for the benefit of those who are reading this blog.

About Sumi

My name is Sumi Saad and I am currently working and living in Singapore. I derived an interest in cooking when I was living in London. Eating out was so expensive and since I did not have the palate to eat beans on toast daily, I learned to cook. I have learned and experimented. I have laughed at my delights and agonised over my disasters. But hey , that is what cooking is all about.
Come visit me at Bayleaf soon !!!!