Curd Rice with Garlic Pepper Roasted Broccoli

Curd Rice is the dish I grew up eating almost everyday and I still haven't had enough. We make it very often, especially in the summers to beat the heat and every time we need something that is totally hassle free. There is really no recipe as such to be followed, just dump all the ingredients in approximate quantities into a bowl and mix well, stir in the tempering and you have a bowl full of a creamy, spicy, and very comforting meal. You can stir in a whole lot of finely chopped or grated vegetables, it looks colorful and its a great way to include raw vegetables into your meal.
I like to have a spicy roasted vegetable on the side and this time Manoj offered to make a broccoli dish. Of late he has started taking an interest in cooking, I honestly don't know whats gotten into him, but I'm happy for the occasional break. It was peppery and garlicky and delicious!

Curd Rice

3 cups cooked rice, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups yogurt
1/2 cup water
salt to taste
1 tbs oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 1/2 tsp urad dal
2 dry red chilies
pinch of asafoetida/ hing
1 tbs ginger, finely chopped
2 green chilies, finely chopped
1 sprig curry leaves
handful of cilantro, finely chopped

Mix the rice, yogurt, water and salt together.
Heat the oil and add mustard seeds. When they splutter add the urad dal, red chilies and and hing. When the urad dal turns a golden brown add the ginger, green chilies and curry leaves. Fry for a few seconds and then pour over the prepared rice and curd mixture. Mix well and stir in the chopped cilantro.
Serve as is or you can even cool it in the fridge. The longer it sits the thicker it gets, so you can add some more yogurt just before serving to make the consistency right.

Garlic Pepper Roasted Broccoli

2 heads of broccoli, trimmed into florets
1/2 to 1 tsp fresh pepper powder
2 big cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tsps oil
salt to taste.

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a pan with foil.
Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix until well combined.
Put the florets on the lined pan in a single layer and roast in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until done.

Dulce de Leche Cake

A few years back I accidentally bought a can of dulce de leche instead of condensed milk. I didn't even know what it was at the time. When I opened the can and saw the color I was actually confused, only then did I read the label. I tasted it right away and kept tasting it over and over again, it is sinfully delicious!!

I have used it to make a bundt cake a few times, then I saw this cake in the book Sky High and it has been on my mind ever since. Finally made it for a friends birthday last month and it was as expected, heavenly! Dulce de Leche is definitely one of my top flavors currently.

I followed the cake recipe exactly from the book, but made a few changes in the frosting. I increased the dulce de leche and used some gelatin to stabilize the whipped frosting. Definitely made it easier to work with.

Dulce de Leche Cake

8 eggs
1 1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
1 2/3 cups cake flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon (I used only 1/2 tsp cinnamon)
3 tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm
Rum Syrup (recipe below)
Dulce de leche cream (recipe below)

Preheat the oven to 350F/ 180C. Line the bottoms of three 8" round pans with parchment but do not grease the pans.
In large heatproof bowl, beat the eggs lightly. Gradually whisk in the brown sugar. Set over a pot of boiling water ansd whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture warms to body temperature.
Remove from heat and beat on medium speed with an electric mixer, until the mixture holds slowly dissolving ribbons when the beaters are lifted.
Whisk together the flour and cinnamon. Sift about a third of the flour over the eggs. Gently fold in.
Repeat two more times with remaining flour, folding gently only until mixed with no trace of flour.
Drizzle the melted butter over the batter and fold in gently, taking care not to deflate the batter ot to leave pockets of butter not folded in.
Divide the batter among the three pans.
Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool completely in the pans.
Run a blunt knife around the edges of the pan and turn out onto a wire rack and peel off the paper.

To Assemble the Cake:
Place one cake layer, flat side up, on a cake board or plate. Brush the top and sides of the cake layer with about a third of the rum syrup to moisten evenly. Spread a little more than 1 cup of the dulce de leche cream on top evenly. Repeat with the second layer. Top with the third layer and moisten it evenly with the remaining syrup. Frost the sides and top of the cake with the cream and decorate as desired.

Rum Syrup:
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup rum

Boil the sugar and water over medium heat until the mixture reduces to 1/2 cup. Take of heat and add the rum. Let cool before using.

Dulce de leche cream:
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup dulce de leche
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsps gelatin
3 tbs water

Sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a small bowl and let it soak for 5 minutes. Microwave for a few seconds until transparent. Keep aside until cool.
Chill a large bowl and the beaters. Take the cream, dulce de leche and vanilla extract in the chilled bowl and beat on low speed to combine and dissolve the dulce de leche. Raise the speed to high and whip until it just starts forming stiff peaks. Add the gelatin with the mixer still on and whip until it holds peaks. Frost the cake immediately.