Thursday, February 19, 2015

Chilli Tofu and Happy Chinese New Year


Happy Chinese New Year to all. I knew that Chinese New Year was this week but wasn’t aware that it was today until I checked my twitter. I felt like eating some Chinese today but since there is  no descent Chinese near our place and I had to satisfy with my comfort food, rice and dal instead!! Anyway since its Chinese New Year I am here with a recipe which was in my drafts and which  may fall into a Indo Chinese category perhaps?

I cannot really say Tofu is a delicious thing, it’s quite bland and the first few times I cooked with Tofu it was a disaster. I gave up on Tofu in spite of its health benefits until I came across my friend’s recipe. Nupur was confident that I will like it and gave me few tips to enhance the flavour too. It was so yummy like she said and Tofu started coming with me often in my shopping bag!  I started adding baby corn to it and  liked it even more as it gave a crunch to the recipe.  This is a healthy alternative when you crave for some Manjurian and it’s quite quick to make too.

Ingredients
Tofu (extra firm) – 300 gm
Baby corn – 200 gm ( cut )
Capsicum/pepper – 1
Corn flour – 1 ½ tbs for Tofu + 1 1/2 for baby corn
Plain flour/ Maida – 3 tbs
Ginger garlic paste-  1 tsp
Salt
Pepper
Water – 1/8-1/4 cup
Oil for shallow frying

For the sauce
Onion -2 medium
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
Ginger minced – 1tsp
Garlic minced – 1 tsp
Green chillies- 2 (cut diagonally)
Tomato sauce/ tomato ketchup - 3 tbs
Soya sauce - 2 tbs
Chilly garlic sauce - 2  tbs
Cornflour - 1 tbs
Water - 3 tbs
 Sesame seeds – 1 ½ tbs (roasted)

Method

  • Take the extra firm tofu and gently squeeze the water and then remove the excess water with a kitchen tissue.cut them into cubes and dust them with 1 ½ tbs corn flour, salt and pepper.
  • In other add1 ½ tbs corn flour, 3 tbs plain flour, salt, pepper, ginger garlic paste. Add some water and make a batter ( not too thin) . Add the cut baby corns and coat in well in the batter.
  • In a pan add some oil and shallow fry both tofu and baby corns flipping the sides until they are golden brown. Drain it and transfer into a plate with kitchen tissue.
  • In the same pan add minced ginger, minced garlic and fry for 1-2 minutes.            
  • Add cubed onions and chopped green chillies and saute until onions are soft.     
  • Add tomato sauce, soya sauce, chilly garlic sauce and cook for few minutes until oil starts to separate.  
  • Add chopped capsicum and stir for 1-2 minutes.    
  • Now add the fried tofu cubes and baby corns and coat it in the sauces and cook it covered for 3- 5 minutes.
  • Finally dissolve 1 tbs of corn flour in 3 tbs of water and pour this to the paneer and mix well. Cook for another 1-2 minute and turn of the flame.      
  • Sprinkle with freshly roasted sesame seeds and serve hot.
 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Kerala Chicken Stew


Many many  years ago when I went for a Wedding reception in Kochi they served appam with a Kerala chicken stew. I was probably only 8 years then but when it involves food I have a photographic memory! There was karimeen fry, fish molly , pork ullarthu and lots of other yummy food. Now when I think about it seemed like a posh reception to be serving a buffet party that long ago! Any way the taste of that food is still lingering in my mouth and appam and chicken stew became my favourite food. I do make this stew a lot at home and my son loves it too. I usually makes the stew for dinner and pair it with appam and next morning I make some fresh idiyappam to eat the left over stew and I have to say those two combination are probably the match made in heaven !



Ingredients
Chicken with bones – 500gm

(Whole garam masala)
Fennel seeds/ പെരും ജീരകം  – 1 tsp
Cinnamon stick/പട്ട – 1 small stick
Cloves/ ഗ്രാമ്പു – 3-3
Cardamom/ഏലക്ക – 3-4
Star anise/ തകോളം - 1
Bay leaf / പട്ട ഇല – 2

Onion (medium) – 2 chopped + ½ thinly sliced
Ginger garlic paste – 1 ½ tsp
Potato – 2 small
Carrot – 1
Coconut milk – 1 cup ( ¾ cup thin milk + ¼ cup thick milk)
Green chillies – 2
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
Cashewnut – ¼ cup  soaked in water and ground to paste (optional)
Coriander powder- 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – pinch (optional)
  • Pepper powder- 1 tsp
  • Salt
  • Oil/Ghee
  • Water


Method
  • Marinate the chicken with salt and pepper and leave it aside.
  • In a saucepan/kadai/ ചീനചട്ടി  add oil and add the whole garam masala ingredients mentioned and when it starts to give a good aroma  add the chopped onions. Saute the onions until light brown in colour.
  • Add ginger garlic paste, green chillies, curry leaves and saute until raw smell goes off.
  • Add coriander powder, pinch of turmeric and fry for a few seconds.
  • Add the chicken, cubed potato and carrots and add the thin coconut milk too. Cover and cook until chicken is almost done.
  • Finally add the thick coconut milk, cashew paste and water as required and when it is about to boil remove from fire.
  • In a small pan add oil/ghee and add thinly sliced onions and fry till brown. Add the fried onion to the gravy.
  • Serve hot with Appam/Idiyappam /chapathi or Porotta!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Blueberry Pancakes for Pancake Day !


It’s pancake day/Shrove Tuesday again and I can’t believe in about 1 ½ months’ time it will be Easter! I wasn’t aware of this day until a friend of mine invited me for a Pancake picnic few years back.  I didn’t even know how to make pancakes then and thanks to my friend for introducing pancakes to me.

 I make pancakes quite often now and that’s why you don’t see many pancake recipes in my blog. Things that I make often usually never finds its way to my blog as I postpone clicking pictures every time. But I knew that Pancake Day was coming soon and it seemed like a good time to post it. I have never been so organised in my life before, I actually drafted a post ready for today and was waiting for a good day to shoot pancakes to add the pictures but unfortunately that didn’t happen and I forgot all about it until the gals mentioned about the Pancake Day. I didn’t want to wait another year for posting this, so believe it or not, I did the shoot this morning. I even did a photo set up the last night and all I did  today was  I made the pancakes, shifted them to a plate and clicked them even before my son was up!





Recipe source-here
Ingredients
Plain flour/ Maida – 2 cup+ 2 tbs( for tossing blueberries)
Eggs -2
Buttermilk -2 cup (if not mix 1 cup milk with 1 cup yogurt)
Granulated sugar – 2tbs
Baking powder – 2tsp
Baking soda- ½ tsp
Blueberries- 1 cup + 1/2 cup ( for serving)
Cinnamon powder – ½ tsp(optional)
Vanilla extract – ½ tsp( optional)
Salt – a pinch
Unsalted butter/oil for frying

Method
  • In a bowl add  flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder salt and mix.
  • Beat egg, vanilla and buttermilk until combined.
  • Toss the 200 gms blueberries in 2 tbs flour and keep it aside.
  • Add the egg mixture to dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  • Finally add the tossed blueberries and fold in gently. Let the batter stand for 10 minutes.
  • Heat a pan and spray /brush with some oil or butter and pour 2 tbs of batter. Cook for 2 minutes on one side, flip it over and cook the other side for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Serve with some fresh blueberries and maple syrup

Monday, February 16, 2015

Chicken and spinach Quesadilla


For the last few years I have been celebrating and hosting Newyear party at my place with my friends and the last two year happened to be with my bloggers gals. It was a potluck party this year and we all decided to try something new. After a bit of brain storming Suchi suggested Mexican and we all nodded and agreed. Till then I have only eaten Mexican and was not a big fan too.  It was a total experiment and I couldn’t wait to find out the outcome. I prepared Mexican rice and some Mexican Buffalo wings, Suchi got some pork stew and Nachos and Nisha got us this chicken quesadilla and Tresleche cake. Unlike Indian food I didn’t have to spend hours in Kitchen to whip up those two things. That was the same case with others too. Our Mexican themed party was a success in every way and my liking and outlook towards Mexican food changed. The fact that it only takes less time to make them was the best part for me. I have been making Mexican a lot ever since and this Quesadilla is our favourite now. This recipe is from Nisha, I have only changed the spice powder used. Do try this to fix a quick dinner on a lazy day.

Ingredients
Tortilla wraps – 10
Chicken thighs (boneless) – 500 gm (cut into small pieces)
Spinach – 200 gm
Onion (chopped) – 1 medium
Mexican cheese (grated) – 150 gm (I used Cheddar cheese with jalapeno pepper)
Garlic – 2 cloves (minced)
Fajita mix – 1 packet or 4 tbsp (replace with some chicken masala if you don’t get it)

Method
  • Marinate the chicken with Fajita mix for 30 mins.
  • In a pan add some oil and sauté onions until soft
  • Add minced garlic and fry until raw smell goes.
  • Add Chicken and spinach and cook until chicken is cooked. It should be dry.
  • Place the tortilla wrap on a pan and spread the chicken on top of it.
  • Sprinkle some cheese on top and place another wrap on top of it. Cheese will melt and the wraps will stick to each other. Flip it once until the wraps are slightly brown and crispy.
  • Transfer it into a plate and cut into four slices. Serve hot.

 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Seekh Kebab


Once you take a break it’s really difficult to get back into that mood of blogging…I wonder whether it’s ever going to come back now…I really wish it does though as I miss blogging !

Its break time for me here and I am off work for a week, which also means I get to take pictures of what I cook in day light. Spring is near our door steps now, days are getting longer and temperatures are slightly getting warmer.  I was looking forward to this break  and have kick started the fun today catching up with friends with a  long gals day out  which ended with an elaborate  lunch and  a movie! 

Whenever we go out eat out in Pakistani restaurants, kebabs is something we try a lot. Last year I tried making shami kebab with the help of a friend which  tasted absolutely delicious so here I am again with another favourite kebab of ours which is so easy to make.



Ingredients
Lamb mince – 500 gm
Onion – 1 medium
Egg – 1 small (beaten)
Cumin seeds – 1 ½ tbs
Corainder seeds – 2 tbs
Red chilli powder – ½ tsp
Garam masala – ½ tsp
Green chillies – 2
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
Coriander leaves – fistful
Salt

Method
  • Dry roast cumin and coriander seeds separately and powder it in a mixie/ coffee grinder
  • Crush onions in a mixie (not paste) and keep it aside.
  • Make a paste of green chillies and coriander and keep it aside.
  • In a bowl add the crushed onion, ginger garlic paste and green chilli- coriander paste.
  • Add salt, powdered cumin and coriander, red chilli powder and mix.
  • Add minced lamb, egg and mix.
  •  Refrigerate it for 1 hour.
  • Take wooden skewers and with a wet hand stick the minced mix on the skewers
  • Bake it in a preheated oven at 200 degree C for 25 minutes flipping the sides in between.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Mini English Breakfast and 7 years of blogging !


I am a bit late in doing the first post of the year and I have to admit I was not intending to do one today too until it struck me that it’s a special day for my blog today. It’s a great mile stone indeed..7 years of blogging! I owe it to you all for encouraging me  carry on this hobby which I started to kill boredom for 7 years. It has  helped me to become a better cook, good baker, to find a passion in food photography and most of all make new friends. Thanks a ton to you all for that.

It was some 9 years ago that I got to eat English breakfast first and I have to say, it was not a good experience for me back then. Coming from South India with a palate for spicy food, I found it too bland and fatty. I don’t want to go into the details of what they actually serve for a full course English breakfast here, as some of you may find it gross! I was brave enough back then and tried everything for the sake of trying it but not anymore, now I pick and eat only the things I like.  Few weeks back I made English breakfast at home and I have to say  there is nothing much to do to make  a mini breakfast like the one I did. Open a tin of baked beans and heat it, grill some sausages, make fried eggs or scrambled eggs and shallow fry some tomatoes and hash brown( made from potatoes) and voila..one mini English breakfast is ready to eat !


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Lemon and dry fruit biscotti


It was last year I got to eat  some home -made biscotti from Suchi,  ever since I have been  keen on   making it  at home but  like many other recipes I wanted to try  and lost track off , this one got forgotten too ! This year after making my some Christmas fruit cake, I had some left over mixed dry fruits and was looking for something to make with it and that’s when I saw a biscotti recipe in foodoclious pictured. It was a simple recipe and I had almost all ingredients handy. It seemed liked a perfect recipe to bake with my son.  I always bake with my boy during holidays and he is such a good helper apart from the mess he makes and extra cleaning up I have to do afterwards! Anyway I decided to choose this recipe to bake together and as usual he was super excited and he did most of the job except grating the lemon zest and cutting the biscotti diagonally..yes that’s how simple it is. He waited eagerly to get the biscotti out from the oven and was so happy to feed us his biscotti J. They are so addictive and we have been munching on them non -stop till it got finished!

Before I go to the recipe, let me all wish you a very Happy New year. I  will see you all  again in 2015 !!



Ingredients (makes 10 biscottis)
Plain flour / Maida – 1 ¼ cup
Baking Powder – ½ tsp
Salt – a pinch
Egg – 1
Sugar – 1/3 cup
Mixed dry fruits – ½ cup (Mine had  raisins , sultanas, cranberries etc)
Lemon zest – 1 ts( use unwaxed lemon)
Lemon extract – ½ tsp
Vanilla extract – ½ tsp
Olive oil – ¼ cup

Method
  • Sift flour, baking powder, salt and keep it aside.
  • In a bowl break one egg, add lemon zest, sugar, lemon and vanilla extract and beat until mixed.
  • Tip in the flour and dry fruits and knead to get a smooth dough.
  • Place the dough onto a floured surface and roll them into rectangle 10” * 3 “
  • Bake it in a preheated oven at 180 degree C for 30 minutes
  • Take it out and cool if for 15-20 minutes and then cut it diagonally into ½ inch slices and pop them back in the oven and bake for 12 -15 minutes flipping the sides in between.
  • Cool completely before storing them in a airtight container.

 



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