Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Squid Thoran

I had some squid leftover and was craving for the typical kerela non-veg lunch  . This dish is very common in  Kerela and is made as an accompaniment with rice. It is very easy to make with just a few ingredients and by 10-15 min the dish is done so here goes.......


INGREDIENTS

500 gms squid
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 to 1 tsp red chilli powder
salt to taste
1/2 freshly grated coconut
2 inch piece fresh ginger
2-3 shallots
2 green chillies
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black peppercorns
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1-2 dried red chilllies
a few curry leaves
1 tbsp oil for tempering

METHOD

In a pan add the squid , turmeric ,salt and red chilli powder and 1/4 cup of water and bring it to a boil and then lower the heat and let it simmer till the squid is cooked through.
Meanwhile grind the coconut with the green chillies, shallots and ginger coarsely.
In another pan heat the oil for tempering and add the mustard seeds , when it starts to splutter add the curry leaves and the dried red chillies .
Add the ground coconut mix and the corinader powder and saute them for a min.
Then turn up the heat and add the water from the squid . Keep adding the water till it evapourates , this is done to give a flavour to the dish .
Then add in the squid and toss tem together . Finally add the ground peppercorns and serve hot.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Crispy Fried Chicken

Season's greetings to everybody , so now there goes 2010 with all the resolutions that was never kept , diets that were not followed through and promises that were broken, hopefully we don't have to make any new ones as we have the old ones  to follow through and hope this time it get's done so HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE  : D .
Today I have to decided to post a family favourite ,which is made very often in my house . Nobody seems to get tired of this one and it is always a permanent fixture at my parties . The best thing is it takes no time to make it at all and it is quite easy too, no need of marinating the chicken a few hours or anything , here the chicken is cooked in all the spices and then batter fried crisp so here goes..........



INGREDIENTS

500 gms small chicken drumsticks
1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp red chilli powder
2 tbsp ground coriander
salt to taste
approximately about half a cup of self-raising flour

METHOD

Remove the skin from the drumsticks and wash the chicken thoroughly .
In a deep pan add the chicken along with the salt and all the spices and about 1/2 cup of water and cook till the chicken is done .
Now remove the chicken pieces and add the self-raising flour in the liquid from the cooked chicken and make it into a thick and smooth batter. Add in more flour if necessary.
Now dip the drumsticks in this batter and deep fry them till golden.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hot and Sour Vegetable Soup

The best way to beat the winter blues is by having a  nice , hot and steaming bowl of soup . It is a wonderful pick -me-up if you are tired or simply under the weather.  This soup recipe is something I make very frequently in my house because it is very easy and very flavourful and light on your waist too. It is hot , spicy , tangy and you can feel all the flavours in your mouth . It is quite a spicy soup , so you can adjust the amount of chilli sauce you put in according to your taste , personally I like it quite spicy so here goes .............


INGREDIENTS

500 gms mushrooms , stalks removed and finely chopped
2 medium carrots peeled and finely chopped
6-8 garlic cloves finely chopped
5-6 spring onions finely chopped
4 cups chicken stock
3 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp chilli sauce
2 tbsp hot sauce
1 tbsp green chilli sauce
1 tbsp vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp cornflour mixed with 3 tbsp water
1 egg beaten

METHOD

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil or any vegetable oil in a deep saucepan .
Add the all the vegetables except the green part of the spring onions .
Saute it for a couple of minutes .
Add in the chicken stock and all the sauces and bring to a boil .
Simmer it for 10 - 15 min .
Add the cornflour mix and this will make the soup slightly thicker.
Add the beaten egg in a slow and steady stream to the soup simultaneously stirring the soup with a fork as this will give the ribbon effect to the egg in the soup .
Add salt and pepper to taste and the green part of the spring onions and serve hot.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Meatball Sandwich

Who doesn't love meatballs and it is even better in a sandwich with cheese oozing out of it . Mmmmmmm that is one mouthwatering sight for the eyes . My kids absolutely love them and it is very easy to make too . Whenever I make spaghetti and meatballs I freeze half of the meatballs and use it for sandwiches . Here too I have used the same recipe and stuff it in a baguette and top it with cheese and pop it under the broiler till the cheese melts , so here goes ..........





INGREDIENTS

1 recipe spaghetti with meatballs
baguette or hot dog rolls
provolone cheese or gouda cheese

METHOD

Halve the baguette or hot dog rolls
Fill in the sauce and the meatballs
Top it with cheese
Pop it under the broiler till the cheese melts or bake in a moderate hot oven till the cheese melts.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Butter Chicken

This is one most popular dish and it is absolutely delicious . Almost everyone orders it whenever in an Indian restaurant . There are many versions of it and here is mine , it is quick and easy , so here goes............



INGREDIENTS

500 gms chicken
1/2 cup yoghurt
4-6 cloves garlic
1 inch piece ginger
2 tsp red chilli powder
2 1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin powder
juice of half a lemon
salt to taste
200 gms canned tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 inch cinammon
2-3 tbsp cream
2-3 whole green chillies
1/2 tsp garam masala
Chopped coriander for garnish (optional)

METHOD

In a blender add the yoghurt , spice powders , ginger and garlic and blend it well.
Marinate the chicken in this mixture with salt for a minimum of 4 hours or preferably overnight.
In a deep pan heat a tbsp of oil or ghee and add the chicken with all it's marinade
Cook till the chicken is done , meanwhile in another saucepan add the canned tomatoes with all it's juices and a piece of cinammon stick and boil it till it becomes thick .
Now strain the tomatoes and add it to the chicken and add the ketchup .
On low heat add the green chillies and finally add the cream .
Serve hot with rice or roti.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Melting Moments

Just like it's name these biscuits just literally  melt- in- your- mouth . These biscuits taste really good and I mean really goooooddd. The biscuits are buttery and fluffy and crumbly and the filling is very fresh and lemony and the best thing is it is really easy to make and looks great too , so here goes...........






INGREDIENTS

125 gms butter softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup icing sugar
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup corn flour

For the filling

45 gms butter
1/4 cup icing sugar
1/4 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp lemon juice

METHOD

Beat the butter ,vanilla  and the sugar till light and fluffy
Mix the two flours together and add  them to the butter mix in two parts
Roll teaspoonfulls of dough and place them in the baking sheet 1 inch apart .
Lightly pat down the balls with floured fork .
Bake for about 15-20 min in a preheated 160 c oven.
Stand 5 min before lifting onto wire rack to cool
Now make the filling by mixing all the ingredients together in a smooth paste.
Sandwich the biscuits with the filling .
Dust with extra icing sugar before serving if you like.

TIP

Unfilled biscuits can be stored in an airtight container for a week .Filled biscuits can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days .

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Creamy Hot Chocolate

What better to have on a cold , wintery night than a cup of warm , comforting  and creamy hot chocolate and my kids and I really needed it last night .I saw this recipe a long time ago on Nigella's show and have been making it ever since . the creamy , sweet hot chocolate is complemented by the subtle hint of cinammon in it , it is the perfect comforting drink especially when you have a cold , so here goes.......


INGREDIENTS

1 cup of full cream milk
1 tsp light brown sugar
1 tsp honey
a pinch of cinammon powder
2 ounces of dark chocolate

METHOD

In a saucepan , mix all the ingredients together and bring it to a boil taking care to whisk it the whole time .
Top it  with marshmallows or chocolate shavings or even better whipped cream , yum!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

TIP

To make it a tad more spicy , you can add red chilli flakes , it tastes great , trust me .

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Moutabel / Eggplant Dip

This is a great alternative to the traditional hoummous dip . It is great to eat with hot pita bread or Pita crisps. It is usually made by grilling the eggplants but I have made them easier by using the microwave . This dip can be made in 10 min , so here goes ..........



INGREDIENTS

1 large eggplant
2-3 tbsp tahina paste
1 garlic clove minced
1/2 cup yoghurt
paprika powder to sprinkle
1 tbsp olive oil
juice of half a lemon
salt to taste
a handful of pomegrenate seeds

METHOD

Prick the eggplant with a fork .
Microwave on high for 2 min and then turn the eggplant and again microwave on high for another 2 min.
Cut the eggplant into half and scoop out the flesh .
In the blender add the eggplant, tahina , yoghurt , lemon juice and salt .
Transfer it into a bowl and add the paprika powder , olive oil and the pomegrenate seeds and serve chilled.

TIP

If you want a more chunkier dip you can mash it by hand . To get the smokey taste , after microwaving , split the eggplant in half and just fry the flesh side of the eggplants in a pan with a little olive oil.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

I love , love muffins because it is so light and yummy and above all very easy to make . I make these muffins almost all the time because everyone loves them in my house and it is a big hit with all the kids .It is very easy to whip up a batch of this , so here goes ...............








INGREDIENTS

1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 salt
2 tbsp sugar
2tbsp honey or maple syrup
1/2 cup yoghurt
1/4 cup water
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp melted butter
3 tbsp chocolate chips

METHOD

Mix all the dry ingredients together
Mix all the wet ingredients together and add it in the dry mix .
Next add in the chocolate chips .
Pour it in a greased  mini muffin tin till quarter full .
Add a few chocolate chips on top .
Bake it in a preheated oven at 180 c for about 10-12 min .

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Banana Bread

I had been waiting for the bananas to ripen to give banana bread a try .Finally they ripened but unfortunately one of them went missing , probably in my hubby's tummy ,so I hid the two that was left because I don't have the patience to buy bananas and wait for it to ripen again . I made this bread with only two bananas and was scared that the bread won't be moist but in the end I got a nice ,sweet , moist and flavourful bread and the best thing is it is super easy to make , no beating or whisking , just mix it all up that is all the work you have to do . After all the waiting I did for the bananas to ripen the bread was gone within seconds . It was quite a hit with my kids especially my son who is a very picky eater , I actually sprinkled chocolate chips for his benefit (chocolate is his weakness), so here goes...........



INGREDIENTS

2 very ripe bananas
50 gms butter room temp
90 gms sweetened condensed milk
a pinch of salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
a handful of chocolate chips (optional)

METHOD

Mash the bananas with the butter in a bowl with a wooden spoon
Add the sweetened condensed milk ,egg, salt , vanilla and baking soda and mix them .
Finally add in the flour and mix it all up and transfer the contents into a greased and floured small loaf tin .
Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top if using any .
You can also put all the ingredients in a food processor and give it a blitz.
Bake in an 180 c oven for 1 hr .
Cool on a wire rack .
NOTE

Use only really ripe bananas , the ones where brown spots have appeared on the outside ,these ones are really sweet and soft .

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cheese Rolls

My kids love the fried cheese stick you get from outside and I have tried making them but never succeeded because it turns into one hot gooey mess in the oil so I put the cheese in a spring roll wrapper and dip them in egg and breadcrumbs and fry them , adding salaami to it is something I learned from the food network channel and let me tell it takes these cheese rolls to a whole new level . This one is super easy to make and even more better to eat ,so here goes............






INGREDIENTS

10 spring roll wrappers 
a slice of salaami or mortadella for each wrapper 
1/2  cup grated mozarella 
1 egg mixed with 2 tbsp water
1 cup bread crumbs 
2 tbsp grated parmesan
a pinch of dried basil

METHOD

Beat the eggs with the water.
Brush the edges of a spring roll wrapper with the egg mix
Lay the salaami on the wrapper
Put a little of the grated mozarella on it
Roll the wrapper sealing the edges .
Mix the breadcrumbs with the parmesan and the dried basil .
Dip this roll in the egg mix first and then the breadcrumbs mix.
Deep fry the rolls and serve hot with ketchup or even better, marinara sauce.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Orange Rolls

This recipe is a nice alternative to the traditional cinammon roll. The subtle flavour of orange really balances out the rich , buttery dough . Be careful while making these because there is a tendency to gobble up the whole batch by yourself , it is simply irressistible with the rich , fluffy dough and the zesty orange filling that goes into it and especially the aroma of these rolls , so here goes ...........







INGREDIENTS

1 batch of  cinammon roll dough
Grated zest of 2 oranges
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup white sugar


METHOD

Mix the butter , sugar and the orange zest .
Roll out the dough into a rectangle .
Spread the orange butter onto the rolled out dough.
Roll up the dough along the long edge.
Cut the roll itno 1 inch slices and place it in a baking dish .
Leave it to rise for another hour .
Bake in a preheated 200 c oven for about 20 -25 min .

For the glaze

1/2 cup of icing sugar
2 tbsp orange juice

Mix the two ingredients into a paste and drizzle it over the rolls .

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Chicken Shawarma

Shawarma is one fast food which we won't be guilty of eating because it is quite healthy compared to the other fast foods and it is quite popular too world wide .I learned this trick from the foodnetwork channel on how to cut the meat just like the ones you can get from the shawarma vendors on the street . the chicken is first marinated and layered and baked in a dish and the pita  is coated with a nice tangy tahini sauce . Many type of fillings are used like pickles, green leafy veggies and even french fries , personally I don't like pickles so I omit them but traditioanlly pickles are served along with it ,so here goes my version........

INGREDIENTS

4 chicken breasts sliced into halves horizontally
3-4 garlic cloves minced
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1 tbsp vinegar
1/2 cup thick-set yoghurt
1/4 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste
4 pita breads
lettuce a bunch
3 cucumbers sliced
1/4 cup tahina paste
juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup yoghurt
salt to taste
2 garlic cloves minced
a dash of hot sauce for each sandwich (optional)

METHOD

Mix the yoghurt with the minced garlic cloves , paprika,vinegar ,cardamom powder,salt and pepper .
Marinate the chicken in this mixture and arrange the chicken pieces in a layer in a small baking dish for a min of 4 hours or preferably overnight.
Add 2 tbsp of olive oil on top of the chicken and bake it for 30-40 min in a 200 c oven.
After baking you get one big chunk of chicken . Remove this from the baking dish and slice them horizontally ,as you slice you get shavings of chicken just like you would at a shawarma stall.
Next make the tahina sauce by mixing the tahina paste,yoghurt,garlic ,lemon juice and salt to taste. If the sauce is too thick add a little more yoghurt.
Spread the tahina sauce on the pita bread , add the chicken shavings , lettuce and cucumber along with a dash of hot sauce of you like .
Roll up the pita bread and grill it or you can have it as it is.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rice and Semolina Pancakes

Here is yet another recipe from my mom's collection . I absolutely love this pancake and it is quite easy to make too , well not easy as the normal pancakes but the little work that you put in is worth it because it is a soft , slightly sour pancake which goes very well with spicy curries and also you can eat it with coconut milk and sugar sprinkled on it .It absolutely tastes delicious both ways. It is sort of like vellappam but in this one coconut is not used so the fat content is less, so here goes........






INGREDIENTS

2 cup basmati rice
1 tbsp urad dal or split black gram
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 cup semolina
2 cup water
1/4 cup warm milk
1/4 tsp baking soda
salt to taste

METHOD

Wash and soak the rice,fenugreek seeds and urad dal  overnight.
Add 1 cup water and grind it .
Heat the remaining water in a pan and add the semolina to it and cook it till it turns into a thick paste .
Add the semolina paste into the rice and mix it up in the blender again , if necessary use more water.
Add the baking soda and salt to taste and cover and keep it in a warm place to ferment for about 4-5 hrs .
Mix in the milk to make a smooth batter , add in more milk if the batter needs it but it should not be watery.It should be a fairly thick , fluffy batter.
Now heat the pan and pour a ladle of batter into it .
When small bubbles start appearing just cover it for a min and then your pancakes are done .

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Spaghetti With Meatballs

This is my kind of comfort food .Mmmmmmm....... moist meatballs in creamy ,tangy sauce.This is one dish which is a surefire hit with the kids as well as adults . This sauce can be served with any kind of pasta but I feel this works very well with the spaghetti because  the sauce just clings to the long strands of the spaghetti , ooooooooh just writing about this makes me want to have this dish all over again .Before I drool all over my keyboard here it is..........



INGREDIENTS

For the meatballs
500 gms minced beef
1 medium onion finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves minced
a pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp dried basil
1 egg
2 slices bread soaked in 1/4 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce

2 cans whole tomatoes
2 medium onion chopped
4-5 garlic cloves minced
2 tbsp ketchup
3 tbsp fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste

400 gms spaghetti

METHOD

Heat a tbsp oil in a pan and add the onions and garlic for the meatballs and saute them till onions turn soft .
In a bowl mix the rest of the ingredients for the meatballs including the sauteed onion and garlic and roll them into small balls .
Fry them till all the sides are browned and set them aside .
Now for the sauce ,in a saucepan heat  a tbsp of oil used for frying the meatballs .
Add the chopped onions and garlic and fry them till they turn soft .
Add the canned tomatoes and bring it to a boil stirring it constantly .
Add the freshly chopped basil leaves and season with salt and pepper .
Puree this mixture and pour it back in the saucepan again .
Add the meatballs to the sauce and cook it in the sauce for about 5- 10 min .
Cook the spaghetti  till al dente .
Toss the spaghetti in the sauce and serve with some freshly grated parmesan.

NOTES

This meatball sauce can also be used as a sandwich filling , just top it off with some cheese and grill it till it melts .

Monday, November 8, 2010

Spicy Fried Chicken Drumsticks in Coconut Gravy

This is a typical South Indian malabar stew but with a twist , usually the meat is cooked raw in the gravy but here the chicken is marinated and fried and then put in the gravy . The chicken is spicy and crispy and the sweetness of the coconut is well balanced because of it . All the flavours blend together very well . It goes very well with steamed rice, appams , chappathis and even crusty breads, so here goes ..........







INGREDIENTS

12-15 chicken drumsticks
10-12 small shallots or sambhar onions
3-4 garlic cloves
1 inch pc ginger
5-6 green chillies
5-6 dried red chillies
1 tbsp vinegar
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
6-8 whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 inch pc cinammon stick
4-6 green cardamom
3-5 cloves
10-15 curry leaves
2 medium onions sliced
2 green chillies split lengthwise
1 tomato chopped
2 cups hot water
4 tbsp coconut milk powder
1 tbspn coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
oil
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

METHOD

Grind the sambhar onions/shallots,green chillies , red chillies ,ginger, garlic ,vinegar into a paste and add the turmeric powder and salt to taste and add this mix to the chicken and marinate it for 2-4 hours .
Deep fry the chicken pieces and set aside .
In a deep pan , heat a tbsp of  oil and add the whole spices .
Add the curry leaves, sliced onion and split green chillies and saute them till the onion turns soft.
Add the chopped tomatoes and the reserve mixture if any and fry them till the tomatoes turns soft .
Add the fried chicken and mix it all together.
Dissolve the coconut milk powder in the warm water and add  it to the chicken and heat it till it  boils .
Add the coarsely ground peppercorns and garam masala
Lower the heat and simmer  for about 10 - 15 min till the gravy turns slightly thick .
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot .

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Scrambled eggs with crisps

I always make this dish when I have leftover chappathis . It is perfect for breakfast and also good for a light lunch or dinner . It is very simple and easy to make and you can also experiment with it by adding leftover chicken or veggies . Here I have made it with a   simple , spicy srambled egg mixture , so here goes.........







INGREDIENTS

2-3 chappathis or tortillas
2-3 eggs lightly beaten
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 green chillies finely chopped
5-10 curry leaves
salt & pepper to taste
Chopped coriander leaves (optional)

METHOD

Roll the chappathi into a cigar and cut into thin strips .
Fry these strips till they become crisp and set aside .
Heat oil in another pan and add the curry leaves , then add the chopped onion and green chilles and fry them for a few min.
Add the beaten egg and stir it with a wooden spoon till the egg is done and turn off the heat .
Toss the chappathi strips into the egg mixture .
Garnish with chopped corinader leaves and serve hot .

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

This cookie is just chocolate heaven ,yummmm!!!!!!! When you bite into this cookie , it is so rich and the chocolate chips just melts into your mouth .This cookie is perfect for all those chocoholics out there because you get a double dose of chocolate. My kids absolutely love them and it is super easy to make . You can freeze the dough for later use too. It tastes absolutely heavenly right out of the oven , so here goes ............



INGREDIENTS

200 gm butter
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
50 gm melted dark chocolate
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp baking soda
1 and 1/2 cup chocolate chips

METHOD

Mix the flour , cocoa powder,salt and baking soda and set aside.
In a large bowl  cream the butter and the sugars till light and fluffy .
Add in the egg , the vanilla extract and the melted chocolate.
Add in the flour mix a little at a time .
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Put the dough in the fridge for a few minutes .
Roll the dough into 2 inch balls and place them apart in a baking sheet .
Bake in a preheated oven 180 c for 22 min for a softer cookie and 25 min for a crispier one .

NOTES

To make the cookies more decadent you can add 1 tsp of grated orange zest and add chopped almonds or pecans .For another variation you can add a tsp of espresso powder.
Before baking the cookies just stick the dough in the fridge for a few min .

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cauliflower Manchurian

If there are veggie dishes like these then who needs meat because frankly I think this one tastes much better than it's non-veg counterpart. The cauliflower in this recipe is batter fried to make it crispy and tossed in a spicy , tangy and sweet sauce , so here goes...........








INGREDIENTS

1 meduim sized cauliflower
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 black pepper powder
salt to taste
1/2 cup self- raising flour
1 bunch spring onions chopped
2 tbsp celery chopped
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 green chillies chopped
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp soy sauce
1and 1/2 tbsp green chilli sauce
1and 1/2 tbsp chilli sauce
oil for frying

METHOD

Cut the cauliflower into small florets and soak it in hot salted water for half an hour.
Drain the cauliflower and marinate it with the chilli powder, pepper and salt .
Mix water in the self-raising flour and make it into a thick batter.
Dip the cauliflower in this batter and deep fry it till it turns golden .
In another pan add a little oil , add the ginger garlic paste, spring onion , green chillies and celery and saute on high heat for a min.
Add all the sauces and fry them for a few min.
Toss the fried cauliflower in the sauce mix and serve immediately.
Garnish with spring onion.

NOTES

If you don't have self- raising flour then make a batter with 1/2 cup all purpose flour and 2 tbsp cornflour and add a 1/4 tsp of baking soda but it is much crispier with the self-raising flour.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chilli Beef Baked Pasta

I always love my Pasta dishes to be a bit spicy and flavourful and this dish isjust that ,it has a light tomato sauce spiked with dried red chillies and it is topped with a nice creamy cheese sauce which balances the heat from the chillies . This one is a favourite among my family and I always get requests to make this one so here goes..................



INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup olive oil
400 gm beef cut into small cubes
3 cloves galic chopped
5 small dried red chillies
1 bay leaf
1 can of tomatoes
1 chicken stock cube
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
400 gm penne pasta

Cheese Topping

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups milk
100 gm mild cheddar cheese grated
2 eggs lightly beaten
1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs

METHOD

Heat oil in a pan and add the beef and cook on high heat for about 5 min. or until well browned.
Add garlic , chillies, bay leaf, tomatoes, stock and soy sauce and bring to boil.
Add basil and simmer for about 15-20 min.
Remove from heat and discard the bay leaf.
Cook pasta ina large pan of boiling water till just tender and drain.
Combine the pasta with the chilli beef sauce and spoon into a deep baking dish .
Top with the cheese sauce , sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and bake in a 180-200 c oven for about 30 min or until golden .

For the cheese sauce .

Heat butter and add the flour and stir it for a min till the raw smell dissappears.
Gradually Blend in the milk , stir until the mixture is free of lumps and the sauce boils and thickens .
Turn off the heat and add the beaten eggs and cheese to it .

TIPS

For a variation You can make this with prawns instead of beef . If you cannot find fresh basil leaves you can use the dried one but be careful while using dried herbs because the flavour is strong in dried herbs so only use a little.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wholemeal and Oats bread

I just love the smell of freshly baked bread and you do not get that when you buy bread from outside and believe me when I tell you this it is super easy to make bread at home and the best part is you know what goes into the bread . The only work involved is in waiting for it to rise and to knead , which you have to do a couple of times but it is worth the work you put in and frankly it is a good excercise for your arms , so here goes.......

              
INGREDIENTS 

2and 3/4 cup wholemeal flour 
1 cup white bread flour 
1/2 cup oats 
1 tsp salt 
1 and 1/2 tsp instant yeast 
2 tbsp sugar 
2 tbsp olive oil 
1 and 1/2 cup warm water 

METHOD

Mix up all the dry ingredients together first ,just whisk it to mix it all up 
Add the water and oil and make a dough (it will be sticky)
put the dough in a greased pan and leave to rise for about an hour 
After it has risen ,knock it back again and leave to rise 
Again knock back the dough and flour a flat surface and flatten it with a rolling pin .
Roll it like you would roll a swiss roll cake and put it in a loaf tin and leave to rise again 
Bake in a 200 degree c oven for 30 min -40 min .

NOTES

To get a light and fluffy bread , the dough should be a bit wet because the more moisture it has the lighter the bread will be . This is quite a dense bread because of the wholemeal and the oats .

Monday, October 25, 2010

Easy Peasy Chocolate Cake

 There is nothing more satisfying then having a slice of rich , gooey  melt in your mouth chocolate cake and this recipe exactly delivers it .It is so easy to make and there is absolutely no work involved at all , no beating , sifting or whisking , just mix up all the ingredients together and bake it, so here goes.........


    

INGREDIENTS

1and1/2cups  all purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened good quality cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
1 cup chocolate chips .
2 tsp vanilla extract


METHOD

Mix all the dry ingredients together and just stir it with a whisk to break the lumps ,it's much more easier than sifting it .
Mix all the wet ingredients together and pour it in the dry ingredients and mix it well .
Transfer the contents in a baking dish .
Add the chocolate chips on top of the cake mix and bake it in a preheated oven at 170-180 c for 30-40 min. or till a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Top the cooled cake with the chocolate ganache and leave it to set .

For the gananche .
250 ml whipping cream or single cream
250 gm dark cooking chocolate grated.

Heat the cream in a pan and add the grated chocolate and stir it till the chocolate melts and you get a nice shiny smooth gananche .

NOTES

Oven temprature might vary due to some size or model . If you have a fan enforced oven then you have to lower the temperature because it gets too hot .

                                                                                                            


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Chocolate Ice cream with Pralines

Yummmmmmm!!!!!! Icecreams, who doesn't like them and that too chocolate .  I had recently invested in an ice cream maker and have tried making various types of chocolate ice cream but this recipe turned out the best , it is a very rich , creamy , chocolatey , smooth ice cream and the best part is if you don't have an ice cream maker you can just freeze it and  whisk it once in the process of freezing and that too turns out great , so here goes


INGREDIENTS

6 egg yolks
120gm caster sugar
300 ml milk
300 ml single cream or whipping cream
225 gm dark chocolate grated
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

METHOD 

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar till the mixture becomes pale .
Whisk in the milk followed by the cream
Cook this mixture in a heavy saucepan over a low heat stirring constantly until it is thick enough too coat the back of a wooden spoon .
Remove it from the heat .
Stir in the chocolate into the hot custard and add the vanilla .
Cover and set the custard aside to cool .
Freeze in an ice cream maker ,following the manufacturer's instructions or freeze it in a flat bottomed container and whisk it once during the process of freezing .

For the pralines .

55 gm blanched almonds
100 gm caster sugar
4 tbsp water

Toast the almonds until they are lightly browned. Spread them on a lightly oiled surface.
Heat the sugar with the water until it dissolves , then boil it to deep golden brown .
Pour immediately over the nuts and leave until cold before crushing them in an electric coffee grinder or  with a pestle and mortar.You can store this mix in an airtight container .


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Simple and Lite Veggie Lasagne

This is a wonderful recipe for all those who want to watch their weight and still eat the delicious stuff without feeling the guilt .When you think of lasgne you think of the white sauce , cheese and the meat sauce , well this recipe has no meat and no white sauce but it still tastes really great , you can trust me on it because even I think that if anything is  delicious then it MUST be bad for you , but this is one such dish  where you can eat it and enjoy it and not worry about your waistline so here goes ............



INGREDIENTS

2-3 medium eggplants
salt
1 large onion chopped finely
4 cloves garlic minced
1 can whole tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium leeks chopped rinely
2 tbsp sugar
200 gm lasagne sheets
1 cup grated low-fat cheddar cheese

METHOD

Cut eggplants lengthwise into 1 cm slices , sprinkle salt and place in the colander to drain for about 30 min.
Rinse slices under cold water and drain on absorbent paper .
Grill the eggplant in a grill pan with little oil till they  become soft and brown on both sides , this takes approximately 3 min each side .
In a pan cook onions and half the garlic till onion softens .
Add in the canned tomatoes , tomato paste and basil ,simmer uncovered for about 20 min .
Blend or process  tomato mixture until just combined .
Heat the olive oil in the same pan ad leek and remaining garlic and the sugar and cook , stirring for about 5 min until the leeks are soft and browned .
In a baking dish add about 2 tbsp of the tomato mix and then cover with the lasagne sheets ,place in position .
Top with 1/4 of the eggplant,1/4 of the leeks ,1/4 of the tomato mix and 1/4 of the cheese .
Repeat 3 layers ,ending with cheese .
Bake uncovered at 180-200 c oven for about 50 min .


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls

 Warm , comforting, delicious , aromatic, I could go on and on and on about cinnamon rolls , they are like getting a big warm hug from someone you love .  The scent of  freshly baked cinnamon rolls will waft  through the house inviting you to just gobble it all up as soon as it is out of the oven , it is like you see in cartoons where the scent will literally draw you towards it  . In this recipe the rolls are made to rise in a warm gooey caramel and then it is baked and all the caramel will just bubble up and make you drool like anything , so here goes ...........




INGREDIENTS 

3 cups bread flour
1 cup warm water
1 tsp dried active yeast
1/4 cup caster sugar
75 gms butter( room temperature )
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar

For the caramel
1/2 cup vanilla icecream
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar

METHOD

Make a dough with water,egg,flour,caster sugar,butter,salt and yeast .
Melt the ingredients for the caramel and pour it into the bottom of the baking tin .
Roll the dough into a rectangle and spread the melted butter and sprinkle the cinnamon powder amd spread the brown sugar evenly everywhere.
Roll it up like you would a swiss roll cake and seal the ends .
Cut into 12 rolls and place them in the baking tin where the caramel has been poured .
Wait for the dough to rise double in size .
Bake at 175-200 degrees celsius for 20-25 min.

TIPS

You can make it with regular all purpose flour , it turns out great as well but with the bread flour it does make a difference in texture and tatse . You can add nuts as well .

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Indian Bread Pudding/ Shahi Tukda

This is an Indian style bread pudding , it is a very rich ,exotic and flavourful dish . I make this whenever I want an easy dessert  , so here goes.............



INGREDIENTS

6-8 white bread cut diagonally 
450 gm sugar 
600 ml water
a pinch of cardamom powder
oil for frying 
2-3 tbsp rose water 
4 cups milk 
1 can of sweetened condensed milk 
2-3 tbsp all purpose flour 
4 tbspn milk 
1/4 toasted chopped almonds

METHOD

In a deep pan boil the water and sugar till all the sugar dissolves and add the cardamom powder to it .
Deep fry the bread pieces till it turns golden brown and drain on absorbent paper.
Soak the fried bread in the sugar syrup for a few sec , do not soak it in for long as the bread will come apart .
Arrange the soaked bread in the bottom of a serving dish and just sprinkle some more of the syrup on it . 
Sprinkle the rose water on the bread peices and set aside .
In another pan bring the milk and condensed milk to a boil .
Mix the flour and the 4 tbsp milk into a paste and stir it in the boiling milk and cook it on low flame till the mixture thickens .
Pour this mixture on top of the bread and top it with the toasted almonds and chill and serve .







Sunday, October 10, 2010

Spicy Tuna Pasta

Who doesn't love pasta ? It is easy ,delicious and sometimes healthy  . I simply love pasta and always like to experiment with it .The recipe I am posting today is spicy , tangy and very easy to make . Everyone in my family loves it and I make it all the time , so here goes.........





INGREDIENTS

400 gms pasta ( any kind like penne or fusilli )
1 can of tuna drained
1/2 tspn chilli powder
1/4 tspn turmeric powder
1 small onion chopped
1 tbspn ginger and garlic paste
1 small green capsicum chopped
250 gm button mushrooms quartered
1 large carrot chopped
1 can whole tomatoes
1 tbspn ketchup
1 tspn soy sauce
1 tspn chilli sauce
a pinch of dried basil,dried oregano and dried thyme
5-6 fresh basil leaves
2-3 tbspn oil

METHOD

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water till al dente.
In a large pan heat oil and add the tuna , chilli powder and turmeric powder and fry it ,stirring constantly .
Then add the onions and the capsicum and fry it for a few min. till the onions turn soft .
Add in the rest of the vegetables and saute them for a few min.
Add the tomatoes along with the ketchup and the chilli sauce and the soy sauce and cook it till the tomatoes soften .
Add in the dry spices and the cooked pasta and toss it all together.
Garnish with chopped fresh basil and grated fresh parmesan .

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Spicy Fried Prawns

This is another one of the many favourites that my mom makes . It is the most delicious ,aromatic prawn dish that I have ever tasted and I absolutely love anything to do with prawns. This is quite a spicy dish but you can control the level of hotness by using less chillies . The spiciness and the tanginess of the sauce brings out the sweetness of the prawns .



INGREDIENTS

1 kg prawns
1/2 cup thick set yoghurt
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
5-6 green chillies split in half
8-10 curry leaves
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
25 gms butter
1 tspn oil
Oil for frying

METHOD

Clean and devein the prawns .
Marinate the prawns with chilli powder, turmeric powder,coriander powder, yoghurt ,salt ,ginger and garlic paste for 1 hr.
Heat oil in a pan and deep fry the marinated prawns , reserve the marinade.
In another pan melt the butter with 1 tspn oil and add the curry leaves and the split green chillies .
Add the tomato ketchup and mix it all up .
Add the fried prawns and the reserve marinade and keep on low heat for 5-10 min.
Serve hot .

TIPS

You can make this dish in chicken too , only marinate the chicken atleast 4 hours or overnight .

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Vegetable Pulao

This is a very simple , light and delicious dish  . It goes very well with spicy and creamy curries . I have made it with fresh veggies but you can also make it with frozen veggies too , so here goes .....





INGREDIENTS

3 cups good quality basmati rice washed and drained .
1 bay leaf 
2-3 cloves 
8-10 whole peppercorns
3-4 green cardamom
1 tbspn cumin seeds
1tbspn oil 
1 tbspn clarified butter or ghee
200 gms french beans chopped 
1 medium potato cut into cubes 
1 large carrot cut into cubes 
1 medium onion sliced 
1/2 cup frozen peas 
6 cups hot water 
1 tbspn rose water (optional)


METHOD

In a deep pan ,heat the oil and the ghee , add the cumin seeds , when it starts to crackle add in the rest of the whole spices and fry for a few sec taking care not to burn it .
Add in the onions and saute it till it turns pale .
Add in the rest of the vegetables except the frozen peas and saute for a few minutes .
Add in the rice and saute that for a few minutes .
Add the 6 cups of hot water ,rose water ,peas and salt to taste . 
Bring the water to the boil and simmer it and cover and cook till all the water has evapourated .
Gently mix the rice and veggies with a fork as a spoon can break the rice .

TIPS

While cooking rice make sure the water is a tad more saltier ,the salt in the rice will be perfect .For a light fluffy rice gently prick the cooked rice with a fork .

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Chicken sauce curry

Today I am going to post a recipe which is one of my many favourites that my mom makes . She used to make this almost all weekends and the aroma of this dish is just droolicious  . My sister and I used to fight for the leftovers and now my kids too love it as much as we do .It is spicy ,sweet and sour and you can feel all the flavours .This dish works very well with a vegetable pulao or just steamed rice is fine too, so here goes.....






INGREDIENTS 

1 kg chicken skinned and cut into pieces
3-4 cloves garlic
1 inch pc ginger
5-6 green chillies
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
3-4 dried red chillies
1 tbspn cumin seeds
1 1/2 tbspn coriander seeds
1 cup yoghurt
1 cup tomato ketchup
1 tbspn oil

METHOD

Grind the ginger, garlic and green chillies coarsely
In a deep pan add the chicken , turmeric ,salt to taste and the ground mixture with a little water and bring to boil and cook till the chicken is almost done .
In another pan dry roast the spices till it gives off a nice aroma and grind it .
In a saucepan heat the oil and add in the yoghurt and the ketchup and whisk it really well , add the ground spices ( add the ground spices depending upon the level of hotness you want ) and salt to taste . When it starts to bubble , take it off the heat and add it to the chicken and mix it well .
Bake in a 200 c oven for about 45-50 min.
Garnish it with fried onions and chopped coriander leaves (optional).

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chicken and Vegetable stir-fry

For a change I thought I will post something different today , something spicy  . This dish is very easy to prepare and requires very little time . Everything is done at a high heat , only get all the ingredients ready and the only work required is to throw it all in a pan . The aroma of the dish itself is very mouthwatering ,so here goes .............


INGREDIENTS

500 gms boneless chicken cut into strips
1 tsp soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbspns vegetable oil
250 gms french beans cut lengthwise
1 large carrot julienned
1 large capsicum julienned
250 gms button mushrooms quartered
3 spring onions chopped
3-4 garlic cloves minced
2 tbspn tomato ketchup
a dash of hot sauce
1 tbspn green chilli sauce
1 tspn soy sauce
1 maggie chicken stock cube
1 tbspn sesame oil (optional)
a bunch of coriander leaves chopped  (optional)

METHOD

Marinate the chicken in 1 tspn soy sauce and salt and pepper for 15 min.
In a large pan heat 1 tbspn oil and saute the marinated chicken till done , remove the chicken from the pan .
In the same pan add the rest of the oil and then add white part of the spring onion and minced garlic and saute it for a few seconds , then add the rest of the vegetables .Take care not to over cook it , the vegetable should be crisp .
Then add in the sauces and the chicken stock cube and fry them for a few minutes.
Add in the chicken and toss it with all the vegetables .
Drizzle the sesame oil on top and garnish it with the green part of the spring onions and the coriander and serve hot .

TIPS


To make this dish even more tastier you can batter fry the chicken .

Monday, September 27, 2010

mango and orange sorbet

This recipe is perfect for the summer , it is a wonderfully delicious and also very easy ( my favourite word ) to make , so here goes ........






INGREDIENTS


2 cups orange juice
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large mango cut in to cubes and chilled

METHOD

Mix everything in a blender and freeze in an icecream maker according to instructuctions or freeze it in a freezer and every hour just prick it with a fork.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

healthy dessert / breakfast

This is a wonderful , delicious and a guilt-free dessert , it can also be a wonderful breakfast , a great way to have the kids eat a good breakfast and the best thing about it is that it is super easy to make ,so here goes ..



INGREDIENTS

1 cup of any kind of fruits like berries , apple , banana , mango  chopped
1 cup of low-fat yoghurt ,whipped
1/2 cup rolled or instant oats
2 tbspn honey
1 cup blueberries fresh or frozen
2 tbspn maple syrup

METHOD

Toast the oats and add honey to it and stir it till it becomes crisp
Blend the blueberries with the maple syrup ( if using frozen thaw them )
In a glass layer it first with the tosted oats , chopped fruits, whipped yoghurt, blueberry syrup and again the toasted oats , layer it in this order .
You can make as many layers you want , finally top it off with the toasted oats .

TIPS

If you dont have blueberries then just use blueberry jam or you can use any variety of berries .

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Blueberry muffins

I just love blueberries and I absolutely love anything which has to do with blueberries , this muffin recipe is a very good recipe , it is a very moist and not overly sweet blueberry muffin and the best thing is it is super easy to make , my family just loves them and it is over as soon as I make it , so here goes ............


INGREDIENTS


1 cup or 240 ml low-fat yoghurt
1 large egg
1/4 cup canola or veg oil
1/2 tsp vanilla essence or extract
2 cups or 260 g all purpose flour
1/2 cup or 100gm granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup blueberries fresh or frozen

METHOD


Preheat oven to 375 f or 180 c .
In a large pan whisk together yoghurt ,egg , oil and vanilla .
In another pan mix all the dry ingredients . Remove 1 tbspn of the flour mix and toss it with the blueberries .
Fold the wet ingredients in the flour mix until combined .
Gently stir in the blueberries .
Spoon into a greased or paper lined muffin pan and bake 15-20 min or till u insert a toothpick and it comes out clean .


TIPS

If the mix seems a tad dry then add a couple of tsp of milk . You can also make with any kind of berries or chocolate chips .



Friday, September 24, 2010

No Bake Cheesecake

I stumbled upon this recipe a while ago and have been making it ever since and everytime it turns out perfect . it is a wonderful cheesecake very light and airy in texture and above all very easy to make . It is a big hit with my family so here goes ..............



  • 450 gm cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 200 ml double cream
  • 110 gm caster sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vannilla essence
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 10 digestive biscuits
  • fresh blueberries
  • icing sugar for dusting

  1. Crush the digestives into fine crumbs (use a food processor )
  2. Heat the butter ina large pan on low flame . Add the digestives and stir continuously until the crubs have absorbed the butter and you can a smell a nice roasted aroma .
  3. Remove from the heat and press down into a 10" or 9" inch loose base cake tin (spring form pan).Smooth over by using the base of a glass . Put in the freezer to cool .
  4. In a clean dry bowl whip the double cream until it forms soft peaks . Dont over whip ( it is all in the whipping ).
  5. In another bowl gently soften the cream cheese using a wooden spoon and add the lemon juice , vanilla and sugar .
  6. Next fold in the double cream . mix well .
  7. Pour the filling into the prepared cake tin . Arrange th blueberries on top and sprinkle with the icing sugar .
  8. Allow to set in the fridge for at least 2 hours . Serve with ice ceam, creme fraiche or additional fresh berries .
If you don't have fresh blueberries you can also top it with a chunky blueberry jam ,that works very well too.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

simply irressitible caramel eclairs

Ever since I  watched the movie simply irresistible starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and Sean Patrick Flannery , I have really, really wanted  to make those irresistible caramel eclairs , believe me those who have seen that movie will know what i am talking about and those who haven't , try watching it is a really cute movie . Finally after trying various recipes where some of them really flopped or some of them tasting very eggy I found a lovely recipe which is a very delicious , melt-in-your-mouth eclairs , so here goes .









Choux Paste :
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F or 200 degrees c 

1 cup water
1/2 cup butter (no substitutes)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
In a saucepan over medium heat, bring water and butter to a boil. Add flour and salt all at once.
 Stir until a smooth ball forms, and pulls away from the edges of the pan.
 Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes.
 Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until smooth.

It is better to wait the 5 minutes before adding the eggs. Adding immediately could cause the eggs to cook slightly and the dough won't rise well.

Put dough in a pastry tube with the large holed tip.Line of pastry should be about 1/2 to 1 inch. It will puff into a larger shell.

Pipe onto a greased baking sheet, in 3 to 5 inch strips.

Bake in preheated oven for about 15-20 min or until lightly brown 


Fill with vanilla pudding or instant pudding whatever you prefer .
Slice open the eclairs and fill in with a pastry tube , it is much neater .
Top them with the  caramel icing .

Caramel Icing 

1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoons butter
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar 


Melt everything together till it becomes a thick paste .