Monday, August 31, 2015

Aloo Tikkis

Aloo(Potato) Kebabs/Tikkis, I simply love potatoes, this bonding makes me try something with them; new or recreate. Got this idea from the regional cookery show aired on TV and also inspired by dear friends non stop potato recipe updates.


Aloo kebabs are crispy, soft and spongy and melt in the mouth. Yes, I have made them spicy with addition of green chilly you can omit it; it's completely up to you.

Wrap them up in Parathas/pita bread with some fresh salad for a filling meal or serve as is for evening snack. Needless to say, it makes a great starter for parties. Serve paired with Veg Pulao and raita to sparkle the usual boring breakfast.













Ingredients:

3 Large potatoes (500 gm)
3 slices sandwich bread
2-3 tbsp rice flour (or cornflour)
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 green chillies, finely chopped
1 medium onion (optional)
1 small carrot
1 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp garam masala
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying


Method:

Step 1: Boil potatoes with salt and cool,peel and mash, set aside. Cut onions into very small pieces or grate it. Peel and grate the carrot.

Step 2: Soak break in a cup of water just immerse and strain out the water and crush using your hand and put it in a large mixing bowl.

Step 3: Combine everything well in a large bowl, adjust seasoning. Take about tablespoon of mixture and give them a patty/tikkis shape and repeat with rest of the mixture.

Step 4: Heat oil in a wok, Fry them in medium to low heat, flip over until golden brown on outside and transfer to kitchen towel to strain excess oil.

Note:
As I always say spices can be adjusted according to your spice level
About a tbsp of lemon juice and cumin powder can be added for intense flavors.





Monday, August 24, 2015

Chicken Fried Rice

Bored of same old Biriyani? Want to make something with rice and it has to be chicken and quick yet no compromise on taste. Yes! I have a solution it is quick, easy and delicious rice dish with chicken.




This Indochinese recipe is very popular in South Asia and much loved street food in my home country. My vegetarian friends can savour the dish by substituting chicken with tofu or veggies (Beans, carrots, broccoli). This fine range of fried rice is sure to impress the royal table, vary the seasoning to suit your palate.


Fried rice is always served hot, reheating spoils the fun. Serve with tomato sauce and hot chilli sauce, if you have an extra help in kitchen think of Manchurian to go with it.


Ingredients:

2 Cups rice
1 cup of chicken breast pieces
2 tbsp oil
2 eggs
1 big onion, cut lengthwise
2 green chillies, slit
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp black pepper powder
1 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp soya sauce
1 tsp chili sauce (optional)
Salt to taste

Directions:

Step 1: Cut chicken into about two inch thin strips. Mix with ½ tsp each chili and pepper powder and pinch of salt and set aside.

Step 2: Pressure cook rice for 2 whistles with a little less water than the cooking instructions on rice packet. (I used about 3.5 cups water: 2cups rice). Once the pressure is released spread rice on a plate and set aside.

Step 3: Heat oil in a wok, add onions, green chillies, ginger garlic paste and saute in high heat. Use long handle ladle. Sauté till aroma vanish. Add chicken and stir fry for 2 minutes or till it changes color.

Step 4: Break eggs into wok, add salt, remaining pepper and chilli powder. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add chili sauce, soya sauce and stir.

Step 5: Add rice, and continue high heat stirring for 2-3 minutes. Turn off and garnish with onion greens/chillies












Note:

As I always say adjust spices according to your taste.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Mixed nuts cake

These soft cakes come to rescue for a quick breakfast, dessert or when you feel urge to munch on something, best served with a cup of tea. Add loads of mixed nuts-almonds, walnuts, Pistachios, cashews or of your choice to boost proteins and nutrients. I recommend using almonds with skin as its rich ‘flavonoids’ is full of heart protecting compounds.


 
As I started to explore I realized baking is really fun and versatile. Cooking or any work is fun as long as we love and enjoy making it and cooking is something that can be made interesting and a key to win hearts of loved ones.



Coming to the recipe it is a simple, no fail recipe any beginner could blindly try. Cake is soft, crunchy, crumbly and aromatic with vanilla flavor. Oh, I love the aroma it spreads in kitchen hope you like it too. Happy cooking!








 Ingredients:

1 ½ cup All-purpose flour
¾ cup caster sugar
½ cup nuts, coarsely chopped
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
4 tbsp vegetable oil
¾ cup yogurt, slightly beaten (or laban)
2 large eggs

  
Method:

Step1: Sift all dry ingredients to a bowl and mix well, set aside. Mix the nuts with about 2 tsp flour and set aside.

Step 2: Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl, add oil, yogurt and whisk.

Step 3: Fold in the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, cut and fold in until just combined. Add nuts and fold in.

Step 4: Grease and dust the loaf tin/cake pan. Pour the batter to the pan and bake for 15-18 minutes in preheated oven at 180 c or till the tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

Step 5: Let it cool for 5 minutes in cake pan then invert it on wire rack and allow it to cool completely.

















Note:
Cut the cake into slices while it’s still warm.
It can be served warm
Mixing fruits or nuts in flour prevents it from sinking to the bottom of the cake.
Mixed nuts & fruits- almonds, cashews, raisins



Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Pepper Mutton/Chicken



Spicy dishes are simply welcome anytime at home. This one is from list of family favorites. Boneless mutton pieces are preferred for easy bites, but you may also add with bone as long you keep the pieces small.

This is a super easy recipe is intended for a busy weekday dinner meal with the ingredients which is usually up there in pantry. The succulent pieces of mutton are coated in thick spicy sauce and cooked to perfection. Enjoy this as starter or serve as side with piping hot steamed rice and mutton sambar as I did, yes onion rings and lemon wedges ofcourse.





Ingredients:

500 gm Mutton
1 small onion, chopped lengthwise(optional)
2-3 tbsp oil
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
3 red chillies, broken
½ tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp black pepper powder
Salt to taste

Directions:

Step 1: Heat oil in a frying pan in medium low. Add garlic, red chillies, onion, and sauté for less than one minute.

Step 2: Add mutton pieces, turmeric, salt and sauté for 2 minutes and cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Check in between to avoid burning.

Step 3: Add pepper and coriander powder, stir and simmer for 18-20 minutes and turn off. Serve with lemon wedges and ENjoy!






Note: 

As I always say, adjust spices according to your spice level

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Vegetable Soup

Vegetable Soup with egg drops



 “The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.”- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Welcome the Monsoon with cup of warm soup, how romantic is that to sip through the soup sitting at window side watching those droplets of rain touch the ground and enjoy earthy scent of rain. Oh! I would love to dance in rain, poor me it’s still summer here.

   It started to rain back home this recipe is dedicated to welcome monsoon which has just blossomed at my home country. It reminds me of the days I danced with cousins on terrace, locked up by mom, got reproved and and fell sick. But nothing like be a kid again and dance with joy forgetting everything for a while isn’t something everybody can do as it’s said, some people can feel the rain others just get wet.




  Coming to recipe it is very simple, vegetable stock/broth is all you need to have in hand. Simmer and cook any of your stocked veggies in refrigerator stems of herbs/broccoli can also be used. Season the stock and add lightly beaten egg, that’s it done. Happy cooking!





Ingredients

2 cups vegetable stock
3 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 tsp olive oil/veg oil
1 tsp black pepper powder
2 tbsp corn starch
Coriander leaves
1 large egg
½ lime juice (about 1 tsp)
Salt to taste

 Directions:

Step 1: Beat the egg slightly, dilute corn starch and set aside.

Step 2: Heat oil in a sauce pan, saute garlic in low heat. Add stock, salt, pepper powder and bring it to boil.

Step 3: Add cornstarch, stir and cook to desired consistency. Add slightly beaten egg stirring continuously and let it boil for 2 minutes and turn off.

Step 4: Garnish with coriander and black pepper powder, serve!





Note:  

  • Adjust seasoning according to taste.
  • For vegetarian and vegan version skip egg, serve with croutons


For stock I pressure cooked stems of coriander and broccoli, beans, carrots, green peas with two pinches chili powder and pinch of salt. Used stock without discarding carrots.


Friday, July 24, 2015

Kompot/Plum fruit juice

Kompot-Refreshing cold drink for a hot day


With summer all around we need lot of refreshing drinks to beat the heat. Here in Middle East with temperature of 42-45 C all day which continues for month’s fresh fruit drink is a must to keep hydrated. Saying so, I don’t say no to fresh fruits/drink anytime of the year. Rejuvenate your body with this simple homemade Plum fruit drink/Kompot.



    Kompot is alcoholic free cold drink made of fresh fruits. It is popular in Russia, Originated in Eastern Europe. I simply love this rustic drink for the luscious color it gets from boiling plums! Yes, it’s 100 percent natural- no added colors, no fermentation. Boil the plums with double the quantity of water simply (1:2) and add sugar according to taste. Chill and serve.



Ingredients:

1 litre water
500 gm Plums
4-5 tbsp sugar


Directions:

Step 1: Wash plums, cut into slices, discard the pits.

Step 2: Bring water to boil.

Step 3: Add Plums and cook for 10 minutes in medium low.

Step 4: Add sugar and simmer for 10 minutes. Switch off and allow it to cool.

Step 5: Once cooled, chill in refrigerator for 4 hours or more. Strain and serve or as is. Enjoy!





Note: 

Blueberries can be added for rich color.
Serve with ice cubes (optional)


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Chilli Prawns/Shrimps

I was inspired by a friend who had this recently on her birthday at restaurant and she described the taste so well that I actually felt the taste in my mouth. After a little online research and considering hubby’s opinion, who is a big fan of sea food prepared this dish and it was beyond heaven! Ah, those Spicy, Crunchy bites disappeared in no time and we both loved eating it.
       


      It's easy to prepare gets done in less than 20 minutes. Sea food lovers must try this. Though am not big on sea food loved these bites. Recipe is sure to please kids and grown ups. So let’s get cooking, hope you will enjoy!


Ingredients:


For frying
250 gm shrimps/Prawns (peeled and deveined)
1 tbsp rice flour
Oil for deep fry

1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic minced
2 green chillies, slit
1 medium onion, cubed
½ tsp pepper powder
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tbsp soya sauce
2 tsp corn starch
Coriander leaves
Salt to taste



Directions:

Step 1: Heat oil in small wok for deep frying. In a bowl mix rice flour, 2 pinches salt, ½ tsp chilli powder and deep fry until crispy (3-4 minutes in medium heat) and set aside. Mix cornstarch with ¼ cup of water.

Step 2: Heat 1tbsp oil in a pan or you can use same pan transferring excess oil, add minced garlic and saute. Add green chillies, onion and sauté for 2 minutes. 

Step 3: Add pepper powder, chilli powder, salt, soya sauce sauté it. Add corn starch, shrimps and sauté until well coated in sauce and turn off. Garnish with coriander and serve with lemon wedges.






Note: 

  • This can be served also with noodles
  • As I always say spices can be adjusted based on your spice level
  • Garnish with coriander leaves/spring onion
  • Green bell pepper can be added, add along with onions.
  • Make salt adjustment carefully as it is used twice and soya sauce is also used







Sunday, July 12, 2015

Egg dum Biriyani


Ingredients:

4 tbsp oil
2 tsp ghee (clarified butter)
2 medium size onions, chopped lengthwise
2 green chilies, roughly chopped
2 tsp garlic paste, 1 tsp ginger paste
3 tbsp tomato sauce
¼ cup coconut milk
Whole spices (3 green cardamom, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 star anise, 3 coves, ¾ tsp cumin,)
2 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
Few saffron strands (soak in tbsp milk)
Salt to taste

For rice
2 cups basmati rice
1 bay leaf
1 large potato, cubed


For Marinating
4 hardboiled eggs
2 tsp lemon juice (1/2 lime)
2 pinches turmeric




















Directions:

Step 1: Cook rice with 6 cups water in a pot with salt, potatoes and bay leaf until 70 percent done and strain, spread on a plate and set aside potatoes separately. Soak saffron in 1-2 tbsp warm milk for few minutes.

Step 2: Shell out eggs, make slits, apply salt, turmeric, lemon and set aside. 

Step 3: Heat oil in a thick bottom wok, add whole spices let it splutter, add chopped onions and fry till translucent, add green chillies, ginger garlic paste, sauté till raw aroma vanish.

Step 4: Add chili powder, coriander powder, eggs, potatoes and sauté until well coated. Add tomato sauce, coconut milk saute, cover and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add garam masala and adjust salt and switch off.

Step 5: Take out 2/3 rd of egg masala, spread a layer of rice (half) to the same wok on the masala, then 1/3rd masala followed by rice(remaining rice) again finally with masala, add saffron, sprinkle saffron milk, ghee and seal. Transfer wok on to thick skillet and simmer for 5 minutes. Switch off and let stand for another 3 minutes. Enjoy!



Note: 
As I always say spices can be adjusted based on your spice level


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Puri for paani Puri


Puri is South Asian fried bread, There is a bit confusion between Poori and puri, they are completely different from each other and pronunciation also differs. Poori is soft thick bread made from all-purpose flour/wheat flour. These deep fried soft, fluffy and thick pooris are served with chutney (condiment) and curry.  
     Puri is also fried bread but it is crispy and very thin used for making of Chaats/snacks. Picture below is the puri made for Paani puri/golgappa/Masala puri(Indian street food).

For recipe of filling and paani click on the link Paani Puri





Ingredients:

½ cup semolina
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 pinch baking soda
1 tsp oil
¼ tsp Salt (adjust to taste)
Water as needed
Oil for deep frying



    

Method:

Step 1: Mix all the ingredients well except water.

Step 2: Slowly pour water little by little to make the soft firm dough. It is little softer than chapathi dough, knead for 2 to 3 minutes, cover with damp cloth and set aside for 10 minutes.

Step 3: Knead the dough again, divide into 4 equal parts and roll out into thin flat discs (like chapati but thinner than chapati) It can be done without dusting the work top with flour.

Step 4: Using cookie cutter cut them in small circles and again keep them covered until you fry.

Step 5: Heat oil in wok in medium high. Oil should be hot enough to puff up puri’s instantly. Check with one puri then fry in batches.

Step 6: Gently tap the puris in oil it helps to puff up then flip over and fry other side.
Transfer to kitchen towel, let it cool and enjoy with paani and potato filling.


Note:
 Keep the dough covered until it is fried.

Avoid using flour to roll out, the consistency of dough should be such that it shouldn’t stick to work top.



Sunday, July 5, 2015

Black Forest Cake

I thought cake is not my cup of coffee until I started baking. I tell you it is very simple if measurement and timings are carefully followed. Make cake at home at your convenience and surprise your loved ones with touch of your love then the store bought and what so good about it is fresh!
Prepare two cakes or bake one cake of about 3 inch then slice it carefully into two halves it can be done either way then sprinkle sugar syrup and assemble with whipping cream. For decoration I used grated dark chocolate and top it off with cherries. Soak the cake well in syrup to make it really wet and moist. I admit mine needed some more. Let’s make this heavenly cake so here it is,


Ingredients:

½ cup cake flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
½ cup caster sugar
3 large eggs
3 tbsp milk
2 tbsp butter (melted)
2 tsp vanilla

For syrup
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water
Cherries

For whipping cream
1 cup whipping cream
2 tsp sugar

Dark chocolate grated(optional)
    


Method:

Step 1: Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, vanilla and mix and set aside.

Step 2: Beat the eggs in a large bowl, add sugar, butter, milk, and whisk everything together using hand whisk till fluffy.

Step 3: Fold in the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and cut and fold until combined, don’t overdo, bubble in the mixture is the indication of good batter.

Step 4: Grease and dust the cake pan. Pour the batter to the pan and bake for 20 minutes in 180 c or till the tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

Step 5: Mean while lets prepare syrup, dissolve sugar in water (soak cherries in water for few hours or overnight) bring it to boil and turn off. Let it cool.

Step 6: Chill hand whisk and large bowl in refrigerator for 30 minutes or more. Pour the cream into the bowl and start to whisk in full speed until stiff peaks are formed.

Assembling
  1. Cut the cake horizontally into two equal halves.
  2. Place the flat one on top.
  3. Prick the cake gently with fork then sprinkle syrup all over on the other half (about 3 tbsp)
  4. Spread whipped cream on top of it .
  5. Place the divided cake, sprinkle syrup, spread cream and cover the sides and decorate with grated chocolates or chocolate swirls and cherries.
  6. Serve chilled. Enjoy!





Note:
I used 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp butter in the recipe.
Cake has to be soaked with syrup well.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Chicken Nihari

                                                    
Chicken ‘Nihari’ derives its name from ‘Nahar’ which means early morning in Arabic. The recipe I followed says indulgent Nihari stew originated from Nawab’s culture of Delhi, India. In the ancient days stew was served early in the morning right after their prayers.
      I thank +maria nasir  for introducing me to this wonderful recipe. If you’d like to watch a video recipe of this kindly visit foodaholic.biz.  All you need to have is dry spice mix beforehand to make this stew super easy. Serve with steamed rice or Naan/rotis. I usually enjoy this rich, indulgent, spicy stew either for lunch or dinner. This is not the dish for weight watchers as the recipe has more ghee/oil, I highly recommend not to cut down oil as the taste differs.




Ingredients:

500 gm chicken (with bone)
3 tbsp vegetable oil/ghee (clarified butter)
Salt to taste
2 tbsp wheat flour/cornflour (mix flour with 3 tbsp water)

For Spice mix
4 dried red chillies (I used Kashmiri)
1 tbsp corinader seeds
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
1 dried bay leaf
1 ½ inch cinnamon
3 cloves
2 black cardamoms
1 star anise
1 nutmeg
Pinch of turmeric
Pinch for ginger powder

For tempering
3 tbsp ghee/oil
1 medium onion, chopped lengthwise
Julienned ginger






 








Method:

Step 1:  Heat the skillet, put all spices on it, dry roast for a minute and turn off. Let stand on for one more minute. Grind to fine spice mix.

Step 2:  Heat oil in a thick bottom pan/pot, add chicken pieces and fry for a minute until it’s browned in medium heat.

Step 3: Mix spice powder with half cup of water and pour into chicken and sauté for 2 minutes.

Step 4: Add 3 cups of water, cook covered for 12 to 15 minutes or till water is reduced to half in low heat.

Step 5: Now add wheat flour mix with constant stirring to ensure no lumps are formed. Cook covered for 2-3 minutes.

Step 6: For tempering, heat ghee in small pan, fry onions till light brown and pour it to the chicken nihari, quick stir and turn off. Garnish with julienned ginger and or cilantro. Enjoy!




Note:
Adjust the consistency by diluting with water if it is too thick.
Add some more water for reheating.
As I always say adjust spice according to your taste.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Teriyaki Chicken, Chicken stir-fry with Broccoli

Teriyaki is a cooking technique used in Japanese cuisine in which the meat is boiled or grilled and glazed with soya sauce, sugar and wine. The word ‘Teri’ stands for shine/glaze, ‘Yaki’ means Boiled/Grilled.
      Sauce is sweet, mildly sour and salty used to marinate the meat or directly in cooking. It does bring the glaze on food after boiled/grilled. In the recipe I’ve used minced garlic which is uncommon in traditional Japanese cuisine. The recipe is stir fried chicken with broccoli and corn starch is used to thicken the sauce. Serve it with hot steamed rice or take a fork, enjoy as it is. What are you looking for? Let's get cooking, Oh, YES! Within 20 minutes recipe :) Happy Cooking. 





Ingredients:

1 small head Broccoli, broken into florets
500 gm chicken (boneless)
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp grape wine/rice wine
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/3 cup soya sauce
Salt to taste

For Marinade
1 tsp corn starch
3-4 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp red chili powder
½ tsp black pepper powder (optional)


Method:

Step 1: Mix chicken with marinade in a bowl and keep aside for till other things are ready for about 10 to 15 minutes. In a bowl mix 2tsp corn starch with 2 tbsp water and set aside.

Step 2: Heat ½ tbsp oil in a frying pan and stir fry broccoli for a minute or two in high heat and transfer to plate.

Step 3: Bring the same pan to stove top and heat the remaining oil, add marinated chicken, salt and stir fry, ‘Stir’ and ‘Fry’ for 3 to 4 minutes in medium heat as chicken tends to change color, add soya sauce, corn starch mix, sugar, wine and stir until sauce thickens to desired consistency. Add broccoli, stir till well coated in sauce and turn off. Serve with steamed rice and ENjoy!



Note:
  • For alcohol free version, substitute wine with 4 tbsp pineapple juice and 1 tbsp vinegar.
  • Authentic Japanese recipe doesn’t use chilli. You may omit for sweet version.