Saturday, July 28, 2012

Barbecue Chicken

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Much awaited London 2012 Olympics finally had a colourful opening here yesterday night .The best bit I liked in the ceremony was Mr Beans performance and James bonds entry !! Hope you all watched the ceremony and enjoyed that bit :) Eventhough we havent won any tickets for olympics I am very excited about it.I still hasnt given up my hope for tickets and still checks for tickets for any event at a reasonable rate !
Coming to todays topic, now I can strike one thing off from my "things to do list "in summer, a barbecue !! Have been planning to do a barbecue with our friends since a long time,but like I mentioned in my post earlier rain spoiled all our plans,but finally we got few glorious days last week and we decided to do BBQ this weekend quickly before we leave for a 4 weeks vacation to India in 2 weeks time !I prepared two item for our BBQ, Tandoori chicken and this sweet and sour BBQ chicken.Tandoori chicken was obviously the best among the two but the BBQ chicken was a change from normal chicken recipes that I usually make,So give it a go if like a change from usual ones !

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Ingredients
Recipe adapted from here
Chicken breast - 500 gms
Paprika powder - 1 1/2 tbs
Honey - 3 tbs
Dijon Mustard - 1 1/2 tsp
Pepper - 1tsp
Tomato Ketchup - 3 tbs
Orange Zest - from 1 orange
Olive oil - 1tsp
Dried chilly flakes - 1tsp
Salt
Method
1.Dice the breast fillets into small cubes.
2.Marinate the diced chicken with all the ingredients and keep it aside for 1-2 hrs in fridge.
3.Insert the chicken on skewers and place them on BBQ flipping the sides in between until its cooked.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Strawberry Marshmallow Mousse

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Until last week there was no sign of summer in London or in U.K ,it rained and rained and the much hyped drought turned into flood in some parts ! We didnt do anything exciting this summer like last time.Picking Strawberry,doing barbaque,beach trips we had so much plan but the horrible weather spoiled all our plans..but finally sun is out and from 15-18 degree centigrade it jumped to 28-30 just in 2 days time !! Thats the U.K weather for u :)Anyway to celebrate the rare sun here I am posting a summery dessert for u all !! It can be made in a jiffy with few ingredients and its a perfect dessert for all strawberry lovers.This can be served as a dessert on its own or if you have some sponge cake serve it with some vanilla cake and its a lovely combination !

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Ingredients
(serves 2 bowls)

Recipe halved from here

Strawberry - 125 gm
Sugar - 2 tbs
Marshammlows - 70 gms
Double cream - 100 ml
Water - 50 ml

Method

1.Place the strawberries and suagar in a pan with water and cook until strawberries are soft.
2.Mash the strawberries with a fork
3.Add the marshammlows to the hot strawberry mixture and mix until marshamllows are melted.Allow it to cool.
4.Whip the double cream until peaks are formed.
5.Add the whipped cream to the strawberry mixture and fold in.
6.Spoon them into 2 bowls and chill for 2 hours.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Oats and Berries Milk shake !

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I have to thank Julie of Erivum Puliyum a lot for introducing this healthy breakfast drink to me, believe me its a regular in my home these days,I started stocking my freezer with frozen berries so that I never run out of them.S and me equally loves to have it every morning and its super healthy ! You can find the original recipe here which is a smoothie but I liked milkshake version better than smoothie so I always add milk and omit sugar as the fruits and milk makes is sweet enough for me !

If you are not a person who eats a kings breakfast I guess just this drink should be enough for you,but for S and me our main meal is breakfast ,so we always fill up the gap with some cereals :) Eating Indian breakfast 7 days a week is something that we gave up long time back for eating healthy atleast 5 days a week .Eating cereals doesnt mean healthy does it ? but we eat sugarless,saltless muesli and S find that its much more filling than our Dosha/idly/upmav etc so he always prefer to eat muesli during weekdays and if on one day I cook something he complains that he gets hungry by 11.30 !! So thats another reason for not cooking breakfast during weekdays,but still during weekends we both love to have our elaborate Indian breakfast ! But during weekdays this drink and a small bowl cereals makes my day :) So if you are a person who doesnt have time to eat breakfast during weekdays this one is for you :)

Ingredients (serves 2 glass)
Oats - 2/3 cup
Banana - 2
Strawberries - 10 nos
Blueberries - 15 nos
Milk - 1/2 cup

Method
1.Blend all the ingredients into a smooth milkshake.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fish Biriyani

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Just when I thought I am blogging a lot these days that phase is slowly coming down again,has lost interst in cooking and blogging and I am enjoying the free time watching movies and TV ! I watched quite a few mallu movies the past few nights like 22 female Kottayam, Ordinary, Chappa kurushu, Indian Rupee etc. There was a time when use to watch all the new mallu movies online,but after having my boy I kind of lost the track of new movies, and my film were restricted to the english movies that comes on T.V. Now I am quite happy to catch up with the movies which I missed last few years ! Same is the story with Hindi movies,I watched few of the hit movies which I missed , Zindagi na mile dubarah and 3 idiots were the best among the hindi movies I watched rescently.

Coming back to todays recipe,7 years ago when I came to U.K for the first time,I was surving only on the basic cooking and slowly the cooking bug bit me and I started experimenting the complicated items with my amma's help over the phone :) One day I had a craving to eat some fish biriyani and I had some frozen king fish in the freezer ,the time was too late to call my amma in India , thats when I got exposed to the blogging world for the first time ! when I googled for fish biriyani I came across so many blogs and I was super thrilled ! I tried fish biriyani recipe from one of the blogs 7 years ago and my hubby dear was so impressed .Years passed but still for fish biriyani I am following the same recipe as I love the recipe ,but I m sorry I cant find that recipe on her blog (Priyas Kitchen) anymore but since I wrote down the recipe in a book I still have the recipe with me. Its a shame that many of the wonderful blogs which I came across that time are inactive now :(

Ingredients

Ghee - 2 tsp
Bay leaves - 2
Cardamom - 2-3
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
cinnamon sticks -2
Star anise - 2
Cloves -4
pepper - 1tsp
Onion - 1 + 3
Basmati rice - 2 cups
Boiling water - 3 3/4 - 4 cup
lemon juice - 1/2 of a lime
Coriander -mint - curry leaves paste - 2 tsp
Ginger garlic green chilly paste - 2 tsp
Toamto - 2
Yogurt - 1 tsp
Coconut milk - 1/4 cup
for marination
King fish - 500 g
Chilly powder - 2-3 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Pepper powder - 1 tsp
Salt
for garnishing
Cashwenuts - 1-2 tbs
Sultanas/raisins - 2 tbs
Ghee - 1 tsp
Method
1.Soak the basmathi rice in water for 30 mins and drain the water .
2.Marinate the fish with the ingredients mentioned and keep it aside for 30 minutes.
3.In a pan add ghee and add the whole garam maslas ans saute for 1- 2 minutes.
4 Add the thinly sliced onion (one) and saute till brown.
5.Add the soaked rice ,lemon juice,salt and add boiling water and cook till done.
6.shallow fry the marinated fish in a pan adding little oil and the place them in paper towels.
7.In the same pan add the sliced onions (3),saute till brown.
8.Add ginger garlic green chilly paste, leaves paste and fry for sometime.
9.Add chopped tomatoes and cook till toamtoes are mashed.
10.Add yogurt,coconut milk and salt and stir for 2-3 minutes.
11.Finally add fried fish to this gravy and cook till gravy thickens for another 3-5 minutes.
12.Layer the rice and fish masala in a oven proof dish and cook it a preheated oven at 180 degree centigrade for 10 minutes.
13.Finally fry some cashewnuts and raisins separetely in ghee and garnish the biriyani !

Friday, July 13, 2012

Spinach Cannelloni

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During our holidays in Barcelona while me and S were enjoying the Spanish Paella to the core my boy didnt want to even give it a try as it looked so red and to him red means spicy ! But luckily all the Spanish restaurants had some Italian menu as well but all in Spanich though.I went through the menu and saw some thing written Cannelloni espinacho,I guessed it could be sometthing with spinach and cannelloni pasta and we ordered that for him.It took a while for the our order to come thorough but the wait was all worth,Lil A loved it and ate almost 3/4 th of it .I was happy that he didnt finish all of it so that I could taste it as well :) It was a melt in mouth kind of dish...I lovvvved it,we ordered the same dish for him everyday atleast once a day during those 5 days and he never complained ! When I came back I searched for the recipes online and saw a quite a lot and even the cannaloni pasta I got had a recipe on the packet, after going through all of it I came up with one which is not completely adpated from anywhere.I recreated almost the same taste at home and we all love it.I make this often now especially on days when he not in a mood to eat as he never say no to this.

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Ingredients (serves 2 -3 )

Cannelloni tubes - 8
Spinach - 1 packet( 250 gm)
Riccotta cheese - 1 tub(250gm) ( Dont worry its not a rich cheese )
Parmasan cheese - 1/2 cup (grated)
Soft cheese - 2-3 tbs( I used low fat Philadelphia)
Onion -1 large
Tomato - 2 large
Oregano -1 tbs
Basil powder - 1 tsp
Garlic - 1 tbs (minced)
Salt
Pepper
Olive oil

Method
1.Boil the tomatoes ,remove the skin ,make puree and keep it aside.
2. In a pan add olive oil and saute onions till soft and brown.
3.Add minced garlic and fry for 1-2 minutes.
4.Add tomato puree,salt,pepper,oragano,basil powder and cook for 2-3 minutes.
5.Finally add soft cheese and when it starts to boil turn off the heat.
6.Pour half of this sauce on the bottom of a baking dish .
6.In another pan wilt the roughly chopped spinach for 1-2 minutes.
7.When it is cool squeeze the water out of it and mix it with riccotta cheese.
8.Fill the precooked cannaloni tubes with Spinach riccotta mixture and place the tubes on top of sauce in baking dish.
9.Pour the rest of sauce and finally sprinkle the grated paramsan cheese on top of it.
10.Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degree centigarde for 20 minutes.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Gobi Manjurian(Dry version)

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Well if you know me I have never been so active in updating my blog this frequently..These days I am so in the mood of cooking something elaborate and the summer has made it easier to click whatever I cook for dinner as we have daylight till 9-9.30 p.m .Cant really call it summer though as this time it rained so badly here and we hardly got hot sunny days :( weather is such an unpredicatable thing in U.K ,will tell u about today...when I left home to pick my boy from nursery it was shining so brightly so I deliberately didnt take my umbrella.After I walked for 1-2 minutes the sky became dark and wind started blowing ..it looked as if its going to rain cats and dogs ! Luckily I reached the nursery before rain and then it started to pour...one of the mum kindly lended me her umbrella and since there was no sign of rain stopping we started walking back home.Even the umbrella couldnt help much as it was too windy ,somehow we reached home,and the moment we reached home the sun was out shining brightly ! Its always like this here ,we cant really trust the sun when we go out .

Coming back to todays post..its a dry version of gobi manjurian,I have posted another version before which is not a dry one,you can find here.

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Ingredients
For frying
Cauliflower - 1 medium
Flour/Maida - 8 tbs
Cornflour - 4 tbs
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbs
Salt
Pepper - 1/2 tsp
Oil

For sauce
Onion - 1
Minced ginger -garlic - 1 1/2 tbs
Tomato Sauce - 6 -8 tbs
Soya sauce - 2 tbs
Chilly garlic sauce - 4 tbs
Salt
Capsicum/Pepper- 1
Spring onions - 2-3

Method
1. Make a thick batter with flour,cornflour by adding ginger garlic paste ,salt and
pepper by adding little water.
2.Dip the clauliflower florets in the batter and deep fry them until golden brown.
3.Take few tbs of the same oil and saute the chopped onions till soft.
4.Add minced ginger and garlic and fry for 1-2 minutes.
5.Add all the sauces and cook till oil separates.
6.Add whites of spring onions,chopped capsicum and saute for another 1-2 minutes.
7.Finally add the deep fried cauliflower florets and mix them well until it is well coated in the sauce.
8.Garnish with some chopped spring onions.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Red Cabbage & Prawns Thoran/ Stir fry

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Eventhough red cabbage is supposed to be a healthier one than the white cabbage I always prefered to pick either white or any other green variaties just because I liked the taste of later better.But I changed my mind set when I first tasted an amazing red cabbage salad with some dressing which came with my kebab from my favourite kebab shop round the corner where we live.The Kebab he serves itself is so delicious and on top of that he serves some amazing veggie salad with loads of red cabbage,white cabbage ,cucumber,tomato,carrot with some garlic sauce ! I am not a salad person really,never enjoyed salads but the kebab shop converted me ..slowly I am appreciating home made salads but not in the raw form though , I bought a jar of salad dressing which makes salad so delicious ! Last week I even picked up a whole red cabbage and enjoyed half of it as salad and with the other half I prepared this thoran..Adding prawns to veggies which are not my fav is a trick that I have been practicing from sometime now and it worked with red cabbage too..I liked the combination and hopefully I might pick another red cabbage soon :)

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Ingredients

Red Cabbage - 1/2 of a big whole cabbage

Onion - 1

Cooked Prawns - 100 gms

Green chillies - 2-3

Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp

Salt

Curry leaves

Grated coconut/Dessicated coconut - 2 tbs

Mustard seeds - 1 tsp

Oil - 2-3 Tbs

Method

1.In a saucepan add some oil and sputter mustard seeds.

2.Add chopped onions and saute for 1-2 minutes.

3.Add chopped cabbage,sliced green chillies,turmeric and salt and mix well.Cook covered.

4.When it is almost cooked add prawns and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

5.Finally add grated coconut and curry leaves and stir for 1 minute and turn off the flame.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Apple Popover

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Do u remember my Apple pie post ?? Well when I baked it I got a whole packet of Granny smith Apples .Two of those apples were left behibd after I was done with my Apple pie , I didnt want to eat it as it is a tangy apple. So after doing a little googling I came across this recipe here in Joy of baking and tried it the same day as my apples were getting older and older :) The outcome was really nice pancake sort of a thing and I liked it.That day when I went to pick lil A from nursery I packed this up in his snack box for him and his friends to devour after Nursery.Kids loved it and finished all of it while they were playing in the park.

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Ingredients
Granny smith apples( peeled, cored and sliced) - 2
Brown sugar - 1 tbs
Unsalted Butter - 1 tbs
Cinnamon powder - 1/4 tsp
For the batter
Flour/Maida - 1/2 cup
Eggs - 2
Milk - 1/2 cup
Butter (salted or unsalted ) - 2 tbs
Vanilla extract - 1tsp
Salt - pinch ( dont use if u r using salted butter )
Sugar - 2 tbs
Method
1. In a non stick pan melt some unsalted butter and saute the sliced apples by adding brown sugar and cinnamon until soft and tender.
2. In a bowl add all ingredients for batter and beat it until they are mixed.
3.Place the sauted apples in any baking dish and pour the batter on top of it.
4.Bake them in a preheated oven at 220 degree centigrade for 18 -20 minutes until popover is puffed and golden brown.
5.Dust some icing sugar on top and serve it with whipped cream.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Brown Masoor Dal curry and Wimbledon Championship pics !

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After living so close to wimbledon for almost 3 years we thought that its a shame if we still dont go and see wimbledon tennis atleast this year.We didnt have any pre booked tickets or anything so despite of hearing from news and from friends about the long queues we still wanted to of tryour luck and guess what? it was the luckiest day in our life.There was no queue and we could just walk in and even got a half priced ticket ! Leander Paes was the only desi playing yesterday so we decided to see his prequater of mixed doubles and got inside the court.The match was quite exciting as Leander was doing so well and he made all Indians proud by winning the match with his Russian partner Vesnina !

Below you can see pics I clicked yesterday.

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Coming back to todays recipe..its nothing special just a normal dal curry which we all love !

Ingredients

Onions -3
Tomato - 2
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbs
Cumin seeds - 1tsp
Brown Masoor -1/4 - 1/2 cup
Redchilly powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Salt
Coriander leaves


Method
1.Soak brown masoor for 2-3 hours and pressure cook it by adding little water.
2. Add oil in saucepan and sputter cumin seeds.
3.Add chopped onions and saute till light brown and soft
4.Add ginger garlic paste and fry till raw smell goes and its slighly fried.
5.Add chopped tomatoes and all the spice powders and cook till tomatoes are all mashed up .
6.Add Cooked dal to the masala and boil it for few minutes or pressure cook it for 1 whistle.
7.Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cheese twists from scratch !

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It was last week that I went to volunteer in lil A's nursery again and this time a mini mobile zoo was visiting his nursery . I didnt had any idea why they called parents for, as it was just something coming to school ,usually parents are called when they go outside . But since my afternoons are free I always volunteer whenever they ask parents help.when I went in that day to my surprise I was asked to do some baking with kids .Their plan was dividing kids into 4-5 batches and while few of them went to see animals kept in a hall, some of them were left for playing and some for baking with me and some for face painting ! They gave me some pastry sheets,cheese,pesto sauce ,few rolling pins and a bunch of kids ! I was asked to help them bake cheese twists or straws and the the kids have do everything expect the oven part !

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It was fun baking with them.I divided the pastry dough into small balls and gave each of them a small one,they rolled it,spread pesto ,sprinkled cheese and then twisted it. Batch by batch all 24 of them did it .I popped it in the oven for them and they all ate what they cooked and they loved it.

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Since my boy loved it a lot I thought I will make this at home for him as well. These days since we come home after his nursery very late,I always take something to nibble for him and his friends while playing . I baked this yesterday afternoon, by the time i finished baking it ,it was 3 and I had only 10 minutes to take them out and click it before I pack them in a snack box ...phew ! Somehow I managed to click few pics and before I went :)
Like I mentioned in the title I made puff pastry from scratch.I watched the youtube video here for puff pastry recipe and it came out really well.In the picture above you can see how flaky it is.Here I easily get a readymade puff pastry sheet from supermarkets ,I just wanted to try it one time to see how it turns out :)

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Ingredients

For pastry

Plain flour/maida - 125 gm

Butter - 125 gm

Salt - a pinch

Water - 100 ml

Beaten egg - for egg wash

For filling

Parmasan cheese grated - 1/2 cup

Bacon slices -3 (optional)

Pesto sauce/dijon mustard - to spread (optional)

Salt and Pepper

Method

1.Melt 20 gms of butter in a saucepan.

2.Sift the flour and add pinch of salt.Add melted butter,water and make it a smooth dough.

3.Roll the dough into a rectangle and place the butter in the middle and roll out gently to a sheet.

4.Fold the sheet one time and refrigerate for 10- 20 minutesand repeat the process atleast 6 times.(watch the video)

5.Sprinkle the cheese on the sheet and gently press it down.

6.Spread pesto sauce and cut into stripes.

7.If using bacon cut them into strips and place on top of the pastry stripes.

8 .Twist the stripes and place them in a baking tray and give it an egg wash.

9.Bake them in preheated oven at 200 degree centigrade for 20 - 25 mintes until the pastry is golden brown.

Note - Adding bacon slices and dejon mustard is adapted from a TV show

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