Thursday, December 31, 2015

Baingan Ka Salan / Stuffed Brinjal In Peanut Sauce





Yum


Ingredients:

10-12 Baby Eggplants
2 tbsp Oil

Stuffing powder:

½ heaped cup peanuts
2 heaped tbsp desiccated/fresh coconut
2 tbsp sesame seeds
¾ tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp fennel Seeds
4-5 Dry Red Chillies (Adjust to taste)
1 tsp Sugar
½ tsp Amchur/Dry Mango Powder
Salt to taste

Method:

Make a deep X slit at the back of the brinjals keeping the stems intact. Place these baby eggplants in a bowl filled with cold water.



Dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and dry red chillies together for 2 minutes on medium flame until you get a good aroma.

In a same pan, dry roast coconut till it turns light golden in colour, roast the sesame seeds then the peanuts seperatly.

Let the roasted spices and coconut cool completely before grinding them all with roasted peanuts to fine powder( use the pulse option in your blender to avoid releasing the oils from peanuts)

Add sugar, salt to taste and dry mango powder to ground powder and mix them well.

Now start stuffing the baby eggplants with the spice powder. Take care not to break the eggplant from its stem. Once you have stuffed all of the baby eggplants, you will still be left with the ground spice powder. Keep it aside.



Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan on high flame till it reaches smoking point and then lower the flame to medium-high.
Place the stuffed baby eggplants in one single layer and cover the pan with lid. Let it cook undisturbed for 3-4 mins. Now gently flip the baby eggplants on other side. Cover the lid again and let it cook for another 3 minutes. This will help in bringing the smoky flavour to the baby eggplants by charring their skin to dark brown color.

Now mix in the remaining ground powder with 1½ - 2 cups of water, pour the mixture over the cooking brinjal and mix them well and cover the lid. Let it cook for 7-10 minutes or until the brinjals are cooked well, stirring in between to make sure that the gravy doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add little more water if you find the gravy to be too thick.



 Notes:

The cooking time varies based on the size of baby eggplants used. So increase or decrease the cooking time based on how small or big the baby eggplant you use. I have used the purple coloured baby eggplants which can be replaced with the normal variety that is commonly available in any Asian stores. The peanut and coconut thickens the gravy as well as gives creamy base to this Stuffed Baby Eggplants.

Enjoy with Roti or Biryani...


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Sweet Potato Pancakes





Yum


If your a person who always keep looking out for healthy options in every single meal and dont want to compromise on the taste factor then this is your kind of recipe here...
The only possible way to get the sweet potatoes in to my daughter P's system is this pancakes...
You don't taste the sweet potato outright in these pancakes, so if you want a low-profile way to sneak some veggies into breakfast, this is your ticket. Make them shine even more by topping off your pancakes with some warm, sweet maple syrup and chopped nuts. Of course, a dollop of Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey also does the trick.
Lets get healthy...



Ingredients:

2 medium sweet potatoes (boiled & cubed)
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla essence/ cinnamon / nutmeg
2 tbsp oil
2 eggs
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 - 1.5 cup milk
3 tbsp coconut oil for smearing



Method:

Add all ingredients (except wheat flour and coconut oil) to the blender and blend till smooth.

Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and add the wheat flour and mix till combined.

Heat a pan lightly coated with coconut oil on medium heat. Drop heaping spoonfuls of batter onto the hot pan.

When pancakes start to bubble, flip and cook until golden.

Serve topped with powdered sugar or maple syrup... YUM!

You may also like:

Single Serve Wheat Pancake
Red Velvet Pancakes
Fluffy Pancake



Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Rawa Ladoo/ Sooji Ladoo





Yum


Rawa Ladoo's have always been on my favorite list...  Everytime I come to Chennai my granny used to get these ladoos from the "Grand Snacks" sweet shop...
If your from Chennai you ll surely know about this shop which makes great sweets and snacks...
I miss my granny...  She was such a wonderful person who gave a tremendous amount of love.
Most of my eating habits are an influence of her, as I spent most of my childhood with her at my village house...  Those days are nostalgic memories forever...

I think that's enough of my memories and childhood, let's get to the recipe.


Ingredients:

Rawa - 1 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Ghee - 1/4 cup melted
Cardamom - 4
Chopped nuts - 2 tbsp (I used chopped pistachios)
Milk - 2 tbsp (optional)


Method:

Dry roast the rava in a pan till nice aroma comes. Take care not to brown them, turn off heat, keep aside and allow it to cool.

Add the sugar and cardamom in blender for powdering, once it's fine powder transfer it to a large mixing bowl.

Now grind the roasted rava to a fine powder and transfer it to the mixing bowl with the powder sugar and mix till combined.



Heat up ghee and roast the chopped nuts till golden brown add it to the sugar and rawa mixture.

Quickly mix everything and form them into rounds balls using your hands by pressing tight.

If the Ladoo's don't hold the shape, add 2 tbsp of warm milk or extra ghee.
*If using milk then the shelf life of the ladoos will reduce, consume within 2 days.

Store in an airtight container. The ghee ladoos stay good for a long time.

Enjoy...



Saturday, November 14, 2015

Chicken Sheek Kebab





Yum

Kebabs are R's and my favorite but i have never tried it at home and this time i came over my hesitation and gave this a try... To my surprise the results were simply yummilicious...

These kebabs are not only tasty but they are too easy to make and to store for long. I just love the comfort of these yummies...

Lets get to the recipe...


Ingredients

900 gms minced chicken ( I used blender to make the mince)
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
5 green chillies, chopped finely (adjust as per level of heat desired)
2 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
2 tbsp chopped mint
Salt to taste



Method

In a large bowl add the minced chicken with ginger, garlic, chillies, the spice powders, cilantro, mint and salt and mix till combined.

Take a handful of the mixture and using your fingers, slowly spread the mixture onto a bamboo or metal skewer to form a kebab-like shape.

*If the mixture is too dry and you have difficulty forming it into kebabs, beat an egg in a small bowl and add it to the mince mixture and combine well.

*If the mixture is too wet, add bread crumbs and mix well.

Repeat with the rest of the mixture to form more kebabs.

Cook the kebabs on the barbecue for about 5-6 minutes, turning regularly to ensure even cooking.
You can also grill them in a pre-heated oven for about 5-6 minutes at 200 C.
I used my Air fryer with the same temperature and timing as oven.



Remove onto plates and serve hot sprinkled with chat masala and a squeeze of lime.

Serve a small cup of pickled veggies and pita bread, which makes wonderful wraps.

You may also like

Chicken Tenders
Baked Chicken Tandoori
Teriyaki Sticky Chicken




Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Caramel Custard / Flan (pressure cooker & oven method)





Yum

This easy-to-make pudding is popular all over India but made especially well by the western India people and the Anglo-Indians. This is originated from the french cuisine where it is well known with the name Flan... It can be steamed in a pressure cooker or baked in the oven. Here i have provided both the methods of cooking.
Both the ways the recipe doesn't lose  the original taste and texture.
This is a healthy pudding too...


Recipe Adapted from Worldcafeforu & Twisted a Bit :)

For Caramel:

Sugar 1/4 cup
Water 2 tsp

Method:

In a non stick pan add the sugar for caramel with 2 tsp water and bring to boil and keep stirring till the sugar caramelizes and the syrup is golden in color.

Pour the caramel syrup in the bowl which your making the pudding and keep the bowl in freezer for 15 mins.


For Custard:

500 ml Milk
1/2  cup sugar
5 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence



Oven Method:

Preheat the oven to 180 C. (for stove top method check the NOTE below)

Bring the milk to room temperature.

In a bowl add the eggs, sugar and vanilla essence to it and mix well till the sugar has dissolved.

Add the milk to the egg mixture and mix well, Strain the mixture so that its smooth.

Pour this mixture in the caramel bowl and place it in a larger bowl and fill the bigger bowl halfway with boiling water.

Carefully place both bowls in the preheated oven for about 35 mins.

Remove from the oven and let it cool for sometime or keep it in fridge till completely cooled.

To unmold, run a knife around rim of cup and invert on a plate.

Enjoy



Pressure Cooker Method:

In the pressure cooker add water and let it start boiling,  now slowly keep the custard bowl in the cooker and close the cooker lid without whistle.

Let this cook for around 30 to 40 mins like this.

You may also like:

Vanilla Panna Cotta
Chocolate Cups With Jello Mousse
Vanilla Pudding


Monday, November 9, 2015

Black Urad Dal Ladoo





Yum



Hello everyone, wish everyone a wonderful, colorful and safe Diwali...

Diwali is not only a festival of lights and colors but its also a festival of sweets...
When we think about Diwali automatically our mind brings the memories of sweets and lights...
Even though i was held up with some work for few days i couldn't resist making some sweets for Diwali...
Sorry for the delayed Diwali post...

Lets celebrate...


Ingredients

Urad dal with skin - 1 cup
Roasted gram dal - 3 tbsp
Powdered sugar - 3/4 cup
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
Ghee - 5 tbsp(without melting)



Method

Roast the Urad dal till brown and nice aroma comes out, set it aside to completely cool.

Once cooled, Blend it with the roasted gram dal to a fine powder in the blender.

Add the powder sugar, cardamom powder and mix well.

Add the ghee to the dry powder and mix well, start making Ladoo's out of the mixture.

If not able to form Ladoo then add little more of ghee.

Garnish with some nuts and relish.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Couscous with Grilled Chicken and Bechamel Sauce





Yum

Today i was playing around the plating stuff... I have always lacked in the plating skill... My friends Anita and Afroz (blogger @ Worldcafeforu ) have great skills in plating and recently i have started to learn the skills from them...
This dish was supposed to be prepared for yesterdays dinner but unfortunately couldn't make it up so i made it today which was a super duper hit... R and P loved the dish and they were so happy to see the plating...

Lets see the recipe...



*Couscous*

1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
Asparagus or any veggies cut into 1-inch
10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 tsp Ground Pepper
½ tsp Salt
2 cup Couscous
3 cups broth or water
1 tbsp chopped parsley

Method For Couscous:

In a large sauce pan over medium-high heat, combine chicken broth, butter.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer

Add veggie, tomatoes, 1 teaspoon pepper, salt to the boiling broth.

Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in couscous, cover and remove from heat.

Let stand 10 minutes. Fluff it up and add parsley, stir until combined.



*Chicken*

3 Chicken breasts
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 ½ tsp Ground Pepper
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp Garam masala
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp cumin powder

Method For the Chicken:

In a medium bowl combine chicken, olive oil, pepper, salt, Garam masala, Chilli powder, Coriander powder, Garlic powder, Cumin powder and marinate for 1 hour.

Place the marinated chicken in airfryer and cook for 15 minutes.
Or
Place chicken skin side up on baking sheet and bake in oven for 45 minutes.
Or
Shallow fry the chicken in a pan till done and the raw smell of the masala goes.



*Bechamel Sauce with Peas*

1 cup Cooked peas or any veggies of your choice
2 tbsp Butter
1.5 tbsp APF or wheat flour
1.5 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Method For sauce

Add butter to a pan and once melted add the APF or wheat flour to it and keep mixing for 1 minute.

Add the milk to the pan and mix well, (make sure there are no lumps) once it starts to boil add the salt and pepper to it and cook till the mixture has thickened.

Switch off the heat and add the peas to it and mix well.

*Plating*

Take a bowl and add the couscous to it and press firmly, now invert the bowl in the center of the plate and slowly remove the bowl.

Carefully pour the sauce around the molded couscous.

Slice the cooked chicken into strips and arrange it over the molded couscous.


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Simple Salmon Fry





Yum


Salmon is a staple ingredient at my place, if its fish fry then its surely salmon... we have so much love for salmon.
I normally use the traditional Indian masala for my fish fries but my neighbor sent me her fish fry which was really yummy and different in the taste. So i was unable to control myself from asking her for the recipe. As it was late night i didn't message her that day but the very next day morning i sent her the message asking for the recipe.
Trust me this recipe is a keeper and no going back to the traditional recipe after trying this coz this is that easy and simple. It is actually a time saver recipe as i normally make the marination powder in a large batch and have it in hand to make the process much much simpler...

Lets get simple... lol


Ingredients

Cumin powder 1 tbsp
Chilli powder 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Dried coriander 2 tbsp
Dried red chillies  4 large
Caraway seeds 1/4th tsp
Salt

Ginger Garlic paste 1 tsp
Lemon juice 1 tbsp
Oil 1 tbsp
Fish fillet 3 - 4

Method

Add the dry ingredients (cumin powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder, dry chilli, dry coriander seeds, caraway seeds) to a blender and crush them coarsely but make sure you don't make a fine powder.
I make a large batch and store in air tight container.


Add the ginger garlic paste, lemon juice and oil and enough water to the powder and make a thick paste out of it.

Marinate the fish with the above masala and let it sit for an hour.


I use my air fryer for frying the fish(200 C for 8-10 mins), but it can also be shallow fried in a tawa till done.

Serve hot with onion rings and lemon wedges.



Lemon Grass Planting





Yum


Lemon Grass is a very aromatic herb which has a wonderful lemony flavor and makes the dishes the best when combined with the correct spices. I have always had the love for lemon grass but was unable to fine them here in Doha. My hunt for them never ended, i even asked my friends who shop at different outlets, but none of them were able to get me the answer.

Finally last year when i went to India for vacations i ordered thru Amazon. I was very excited to plant them and get hold of this wonderful plant. I don't have a very big gardening space and all, and the climate here is scorching... but even though all these factors i managed to grow them successfully and now i have a big bush of them.

I have to mention that i don't use any kind of fertilizers in my garden and the only nutrition that my plants get are the kitchen waste compost. I use a large tin and keep adding the kitchen waste with soil layered alternatively. I keep watering the tin every alternate days and once the tin is filled with the layers i keep mixing them often for the waste to get mixed with the soil. So i think i can mention my garden as an organic.


The above picture is the close up of the lemon grass seeds. They are much smaller than they look in the picture. For example they look smaller than the cumin seeds. So its really hard to plant single seeds.

I am not a professional gardener but somehow i get my garden be successful. Maybe i have a green thumb as my friend Afroz said...

What you have to do is just take a pinch of the seeds and a handful of mud, mix both gently and then spread it in a pot of soil and mix lightly so the seeds don't fly away in the wind.

Make sure the soil is loose enough to get drained well. You will start seeing small needle like leaves in 7 - 10 days, wait till the leaves grow nicely and they resemble a thick grass plant. (Don't be tempted to cut the leaf and smell it for the aroma, i did it and it smelled just like plain grass and no lemony smell at all)

Now its time to transfer them to the ground, gently lift the plant with the a spoon near the root so that you don't damage the roots. Make a small hole in the ground and place the plant with the soil and cover it firmly.

Now comes the tricky part... watering yes you heard it correct... Watering is tricky till the plant grows into a stiff one coz the leaves and the plant gets damaged if the water is poured with force so make sure you water them with a cup and pour them directly near the roots.

Slowly the plant starts growing into a big bush and at this time you may need to provide them some support as they tend to break due to the winds.



The plant you see above is just from 3 small ones. They tend to grow side plants alot. As i don't add any fertilizers it took almost an year to reach this stage and they still will be growing more and the stalks will be thickening more to hold more flavor in them, but its ok to start using it now.

For harvesting just use a sharp knife to cut the stalk leaving the root and 1 inch of the stalk, this will grow back again giving new leaves. A lemon grass plant can be harvested 3 times.

I recently made some Lemon Grass Tea and the recipe was so simple yet the aroma and flavor was refreshing.

Hope i have covered all the points, if any doubts please do feel free to ask in the comments section.


Saturday, October 31, 2015

Lemon Grass Tea





Yum
Lemon grass is a very aromatic herb, mostly used in Thai cuisine. This beautiful herb has many health benefits too...
Last year I got some lemon grass seeds thru Amazon and planted them... This year they have grown in to a large bush and am trying out few recipes with lemon grass...
Recently I tried this refreshing tea made with fresh lemon grass from my garden... You won't believe,  how beautiful the aroma was and how refreshing the taste was...

Let's get refreshed...



Ingredients:

Lemon grass 1 stalk
Water 2.5 cups
Honey 2 tbsp

Wash and Chop the lemon grass stalk and leaves and add them to the pan.

Add water to it and let it boil vigorously so that the flavors comes out well.

Switch off the flame.
Close the pan with lid and let it sit for 15 mins.

Strain the mixture into the tea cups and add honey to taste.

Enjoy.


Ragi/Finger Miller & Coconut Milk Halwa





Yum

Yay.... Its My 175th Recipe here and feel like its time for some healthy celebration...


Ragi is also known as Finger millet... this is a great source of calcium and fiber, No other cereal comes close to ragi when it comes to calcium content...

This recipe was made by my sister, watched by my mom and passed on to me a few months back, i was very much interested in the recipe as the ingredients were very healthy but didn't get time to make it, finally yesterday night i soaked the ragi and went to sleep. Today the first thing i did was making this in the morning, and i am very happy about the outcome and the taste was simply awesome for the simplicity of this recipe.

You wont believe that even my sweet little picky eater asked me for a seconds...

Lets get to the recipe...


Ingredients

Ragi - 1 cup
Coconut milk - 1 cup (i used the store bought coconut milk powder)
Sugar or Jaggery - 1 cup
Cashew ( fried ) - 5 (optional)
Cardamom powder - 1/4th tsp
Ghee - 2 tbsp + for greasing the plate


Method

Soak ragi overnight.
Grind ragi with 2 cups of water and extract milk.
In a thick bottomed pan add Ghee, ragi milk, coconut milk, sugar and cook. 
Keep stirring continuously.
When contents thicken and starts leaving the sides remove pan from the stove..
Add cashew, cardamom powder, stir well and transfer to a greased plate.
Cut into desired shapes when cool.




Thursday, October 29, 2015

Creamy Corn





Yum


Corn has always been a staple dish in my pantry as Prashe my princess loves them a lot, but unfortunately we don't get the corn on cob here in Doha so most of the time i get the canned or frozen and have it in hand so i can make them for her to enjoy.

She loves to have them the Indian way which we make with chilli powder and butter... the spicy one. This time i wanted to give the regular corn an Italian twist, i had some parsley so i became creative with this one and you know what... it was a super duper hit with the big time corn lover.

The dinner was served with some Airfried Chicken Tenders, this creamy corn and french baguette.



So i don't want to keep you all waiting for the recipe... here we go...

Ingredients:

250 gms of corn ( fresh or thawed)
1 tbsp butter
100 gms cream cheese
1 tbsp garlic powder
3 tbsp chopped parsley

Method:

In a pan combine  corn, butter, garlic powder and cream cheese.
When it is heated through and cream cheese is melted and combined well season with pepper (optional) and chopped parsley.
Enjoy



Very simple and easy to make but once you try this you will surely make it again...


Monday, October 26, 2015

Airfried Chicken Tenders





Yum


Are you a fan of chicken tenders? Do you visit KFC and other outlets just for these crispy and juicy chicken tenders? I do coz i am a crazy fan of these culprits... lol

The crispy texture and the soft juiciness of the chicken makes me crave for more and more... But i was worried about the deep frying thing... if you are a follower of my blog you will know about me and my health consciousness...

I literally have a BIG BIG aversion towards the deep frying stuff, but i have the love for them so there came the saver in the form of Airfryer... Yes the make the food taste just like deep fried but without the oil.

Here is the recipe of Chicken Tenders...

Ingredients

3 chicken breasts cut into strips
For Marination:

1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin powder
salt to taste
juice of half lemon
1 tsp oil

For Coating

1 egg beaten
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup bread crumbs


Method:

Mix all the ingredients with water except chicken strips to make a paste.
Once everything is well combined add the chicken strips and marinate it for an hour.

Preheat the airfryer @ 200 for 5 mins (i used Philips Airfryer)
Keep the flour, bread crumbs and beaten egg in separate flat bowls.
Take a marinated chicken strip and coat it in the flour then egg then in the bread crumb.
Place the breaded chicken strips in the airfryer and fry for 12 - 15 mins... Tadaaaaa.... out comes the crispy and juicy chicken tenders just like the deep fried ones.
Enjoy...