Thursday, October 27, 2016

Coffee is a brewed drink prepared from roasted coffee beans. The taste and aroma of the coffee is beyond words. I am a coffee lover the aroma just mesmerize me whenever i get the flavour. I stop and enjoy the flavour of coffee whenever i cross a coffee chop. Even i smell the brewed coffee grounds before i discard it. I like my coffee slightly bitter and mildly sweetened. Creating great coffee is an art that takes time and skill to perfect.

People are always in a hurry. For many office goers, waiting five minutes for coffee to brew is too long. We are currently experiencing a new wave of innovation as the electronics is catching up with coffee machines. There are fully automated, push button espresso machines which grind and make a fresh shot or cup in one touch.

They do a better job than poorly trained people, but not as good as the best trained baristas. The current espresso-making technique was developed in Italy, where espresso is cheap and regarded as the equivalent of take-out coffee.
Espresso making using french press
Espresso as we know it is coffee brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans. Espresso is generally thicker than coffee brewed by other methods. Espresso is also the base for other drinks such as a caffè latte, cappuccino, etc.,

Espresso has more caffeine per unit volume than most coffee beverages, but because the usual serving size is much smaller, the total caffeine content is less than a mug of standard brewed coffee, contrary to a common belief.

The French press, is a cylinder-shaped beaker in glass, with a plunger. The piston of the plunger is of mesh, allowing fluid to flow through it but not coffee grounds.

French Press image or coffee plunger

The French press, also called the cafetiere (or) coffee press (or) coffee plunger.

french press, coffee plunger image

Coffee brewing in general is in three steps: wet, dissipate & diffuse
The first step is wetting, it is fully saturating the coffee grounds.
The second step, dissipation, is all about dissolving the solids that will make up the coffee-part of our beverage with our solvent, hot water.
The final step diffusion, is the movement of that coffee-water concentrate out of the grounds into the liquid.

ingredients to make espresso

  • Measure and grind the coffee seeds to medium coarse texture; make sure you use very dark beans or espresso beans for the process. Ideally the proportion is between 60-75 grams of coffee seeds for a liter of water.
coffee beans and powdered coffee image

  • Get water to boil around 195 degrees in a kettle on the stove. Rinse the french press with boiling hot water and discard it.
  • Now add the freshly ground coffee powder.
espresso making steps

  • Pour about half of your hot water evenly over the grounds. This step is called the bloom. Give the coffee and water mix with a spoon if desired and wait for 30 seconds.(i skip this step quite often and pour the whole lot of water and allow to steep)
steps in espresso making

  • Now pour the remaining half of your hot water over the coffee. Place the lid on your French press with the plunger pulled all the way up.
coffee blooming process

  • Allow to steep and brew for a good 4 to 6 minutes to get the most out of the unique qualities of the French press. If you prefer your espresso stronger, let it steep for longer.
  • Once the brewing is done, plunge gently. If you find the plunger getting tight, back it up an inch or two and resume plunging slowly but steadily. You're done!
coffee plunger espresso making

  • Transfer the mix right after plunging. Viola espresso brewing made simple.
  • Add sweetener if desired and serve!!!
  • Or else add milk and milk foam to make caffè latte, cappuccino..etc and enjoy the creamy coffee delicacies!!!
coffee making

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Kasi Halwa Recipe or Kashi Halwa or White Pumpkin Halwa is a sweet served generally at weddings or prepared at home during festivals. Its is a famous sweet of Karnataka. It is very popular sweet of Udupi Cuisine. I was planning to make this halwa and buy ash gourd and finally ended up making some curries to finish it off. Usually i make Poosanikai mor kuzhambu| moru curry with this ash gourd.
Talking about the taste of this halwa the taste of the halwa is very similar to other halwas. But the texture is slightly different. It has a slight crunchy texture from the ash gourd. That is very peculiar in this dish. I have seen Venkatesh Bhat's program in television and in that he was mentioning about the importance of the texture.

Kasi Halwa recipe

Ash gourd- 2 kg
Sugar- 1 and 1/2 cups
Salt- pinch
Lemon juice- 1 teaspoon
Ghee- 2 teaspoons+ 1 teaspoon
Saffron- pinch (or) red food colour- pinch
Cashews- 10 nos
Raisins- 8 nos
Cardamom powder-1/2 teaspoon
Nutmeg- pinch (optional)
Cooking Camphor- pinch (optional)


  • Peel and remove the pith and seeds from ash gourd and cut into pieces.
  • Grate the ash gourd pieces using carrot garter.
  • Now take a clean cotton cloth or muslin cloth and strain the water from the ash gourd. You could use metal strainer too for this process but squeeze the water well from the gourd.
  • Measure the squeezed pumpkin and take equal quantity of sugar for the halwa. I got 1 and half cups of ash gourd after squeezing so i took 1 and half cups of sugar.
  • Keep a heavy bottom vessel or nonstick pan on top of stove and add the ash gourd water.These steps are essential for retaining the texture of the halwa.
  • Bring it to boil. Once it is boiling add the squeezed ash gourd and mix well and close with a lid and allow to cook.
  • Cook till almost the water evaporates and the ash gourd is half cooked and become translucent.
  • Now open the lid and add the sugar and a pinch of salt; mix well and allow the sugar to melt.
  • Add the lemon juice to prevent the sugar from crystallization.
  • Add a pinch of saffron of red food colour and mix well.
  • Once the sugar get absorbed by ash gourd, add 2-3 teaspoons of ghee. I used very less ghee as i have prepared halwa in a nonstick pan.
  • Allow the halwa to cook inside the ghee for some time. Now the halwa starts to leave the pan and bubble at the edges. Keep the flame to low.
  • Meanwhile heat a teaspoon of ghee on a pan and fry the cashews and raisins.
  • Now sprinkle cardamom powder on top of halwa. Sprinkle a pinch grated nutmeg and cooking camphor if you wish.
  • Finally add the ghee with fried cashews and raisins and mix well and switch off the gas.

Kashi Halwa recipe

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