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

  • 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.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Kerala style Green Peas curry

This is the time of the year when I cook and indulge. I really don’t care about going a size up at this time of the year. There is always a tomorrow to work out and loose those extra pounds right? After repeatedly eating cereals on weekdays many weeks I am pampering myself with cooked kerala breakfast now. I am a bit worried that I might get used to it and going back to cereals won’t be a smooth transition. But I would like not to think about it now and enjoy the food now.

I was never a breakfast person until I got married, there was a time when I used to eat half dosa or half idly but on the other hand my other half believes in eating a heavy breakfast and got me into that habit too. Now I don’t think I will be able to function if I skip or eat light breakfast. Even if its cereals, I top it up with an extra cup of smoothie and it helps to keep me going until lunch time without snacking.

Back home we only used to get dry green peas and I never saw or ate fresh peas until I went to Pune. I was only used to dry green peas  and my mum used to make a curry with  dry green pea often for breakfast . I still prefer dry green pea over fresh ones. I  guess it’s all about what you grow up eating with !

 I usually serve this curry  with  Idiyappam or Appam and they make a good breakfast combination !

Dry green peas – 1 cup
Onion – 3 small
Tomato – 2 small
Ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp
Chilli powder – ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Chicken masala powder – 1 tsp
Garam masala- ½ tsp( optional)
Green chillies – 2 ( split lengthwise)
Curry leaves – few
Coriander leaves – few
Coconut milk – ½ cup ( I dissolved ¼ cup Maggie  coconut milk powder in hot water)
Water ( as required)

  • Soak dry green peas overnight in hot water and cook with enough water for 4-5 whistles.
  • In a saucepan add oil and sauté the chopped onions until soft and light brown
  • Add curry leaves, green chillies, ginger garlic paste and cook till raw smell of ginger garlic paste goes.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and cook for another few minutes until tomatoes are a bit mushy.
  • Add all the spice powder expect garam masala and cook for few minutes until the raw smell of masalas goes off.
  • Add the cooked green pea, salt, enough water and boil for 5-10 minutes.
  • Finally add  coconut milk, garam masala and when its starts to boil remove from fire and add chopped coriander leaves.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Fish Kolambu/ Meen Kolambu

I cannot stress myself how much I am missing blogging and cooking these days. Since its Christmas holidays here I am at my own liberty now and I have been telling myself that I should make an extra effort to seize this opportunity and update the blog as much as possible and I am with the a spicy fish curry I have been cooking over and over again for a long time.

I was introduced to this fish kolambu   many years ago from Chennai. I went there for a short trip and food was definitely the best thing I enjoyed the most.  I went crazy exploring the cuisine and one thing which I loved the most was this fish kolambu. I remember trying to recreate it after the trip and in spite of being novice the kolambu tasted great, but back then I was not a blogger and like many other recipes I didn’t save the recipe anywhere and completely forgot about it and never made it again. Couple of month’s back I was in the mood to make a different fish curry and I came across this fish kolambu in vahrehvah. The recipe was quite simple and I had all the ingredients handy and after many moons I made it again and I have to say it brought back all those reminiscence of Chennai! I have been making this curry for quite some time now and every time I postpone clicking the picture for next time. Even today was not a great day to click it, it’s so dark outside and lighting was so poor but now I don’t fuss much about photography, lighting or styling. In fact I have lost touch in styling it and the making it presentable too, but I promise whenever possible I will take an effort to update the recipes with better pictures!

Fish – 500 gm
Onion – 2 medium ( make a paste )
Tomato - 2 Small (blanched and pureed)
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
Garlic pods (crushed) – 4- 5
Green chillies (slit ) – 2
Mustard seeds – 2 tsp
Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – ¾ tsp
Fenugreek seeds – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – few
Cumin powder – ½ tsp
Red chilli powder – ¾ tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Coriander powder – 1 ½ tsp
Tamarind (gooseberry size) – soaked in  ¼ cup hot water
Sesame oil – 2 tbsp
  • In a chatti/ claypot or saucepan add sesame oil and sputter mustard seeds
  • Add cumin, fenugreek, fennel seeds and crushed garlic.
  • Once garlic becomes golden brown add slit green chillies and curry leaves.
  • Add onion paste and saute for 10 minutes.
  • Add ginger garlic paste and when the raw smell goes add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder and saute for a minute or so.
  • Add tomato puree and finally add tamarind water, water, salt and bring the sauce to boil.
  • Simmer the sauce for 25 minutes until oil separates.
  • Add fish to the sauce and cook for 5- 10 minutes. 
Enjoy ! 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Rocky Road Bars

Hope you all are gearing up for Christmas and New Year.  Do you have the tradition of exchanging Christmas gifts to you near and dear ones? Well, I didn’t actually until I moved to U.K. The only time I exchanged gifts was when we played the game of Christmas friend/ secret Santa in school and college and that was the most exciting bit for me during those days. Now exchanging gifts is like a tradition for me especially for my close friends. This year we kicked of our Christmas ritual a bit early. BY “WE” I meant my fun gal gang, Nisha( My kitchenantics),Gayatri ( mummyandme ) and Suchi (Kitchen karma). We met for a Sunday brunch to exchange gifts in a cosy place!

We were all so excited about the whole gift thing and couldn’t wait for it. I have to say I was really gobsmacked to see all gifts ! They were all home- made and they were all packed and wrapped with so much love! Perfect gifts in all sense .. Gayatri took a lot of effort by giving us a  basket full of homemade goodies. Homemade panettone, chocolates, mulling syrup, garam masala salt and stolen! That was the first time I ate  stolen and panettone ever and I couldn’t stop eating it!

Picture courtsey - Gayatri
Suchi’s homemade body scrub and lip balm came in cute bottles with personalised label and I just couldn’t stop admiring them. I took my lip balm to work and showed it off to my work mates and they all went cooing and awing seeing it! Suchi also gave a bag of cookies which were bursting with flavours…I took it to work and shared it with my friends and they couldn’t stop with just one.

Nisha gifted us  home made candles in a pretty vintage cup along with some bath bombs in three diffrent flavours! I am saving those cuties for Christmas holidays to have a spa day!

My spa gifts from Nisha and Suchi !
And now coming to my gift … was a small  bag of rocky roads and  I packed them in a vintage kind of tins J . Due to time  constraint that’s all I could do this year but next year I am going to be super organised and plan ahead. If you would like to surprise someone with some homemade edible gifts try these rocky roads, they are so easy to make and tatses yumm too :) 

Here goes the recipe ..

 (Recipe adapted from Nigella )
Ingredients( makes 24 bars)
Rich tea biscuits – 200 gm
Marshmallows – 100 gm
Dark chocolate (70 % cocoa) – 300 gm
Butter ( unsalted) – 125 gm
Golden syrup – 3 tbs
Cashewnut chopped -2 tbs
Raisins – 2 tbs
Icing sugar (for dusting)

  • Place the biscuits in a plastic bag and bash them with a rolling pin taking care to leave enough biscuit pieces to bite too.
  • Melt butter, chocolate and golden syrup in a saucepan.
  • Measure and save ½ cup or 125 ml of the melted mixture for later.
  • Add marshmallows to the saucepan and mix.
  • Add in the biscuit crumbs and pieces together with cashewnuts and raisins and fold in.
  • Transfer it into a 9 inch square foil tray and spread it evenly as possible.
  • Pour the reserved melted chocolate on top and smoothen it.
  • Refrigerate for few hours or overnight.
  • Dust it with icing sugar and cut them into pieces.