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Sunday, 29 September 2013

VERMICELLI HEARTS

Are you looking for something to pack of to your loved ones? Well this is one of the best options for edible gifts for someone close to your heart.. Easy to make and ready to serve in no time...
 Ingredients:
Pakistani vermicelli- 2 packets
condensed milk- 1 tin
butter- 1/3 stick
For garnishing:
dark chocolate- 1/2 cup
butter- 25 gms
chopped nuts
Note: I used only 1/4th of the quantity as mentioned above except for the garnishing part as too less of chocolate melting doesn't work properly.

Preparation.
Heat butter in a non stick pan on low medium heat and add broken vermicellis and fry till light brown. Off the flame and add condensed milk and mix well until well combined.
Grease a square tin (or you can use any favorite mold of yours) and spread the vermicelli evenly. Let cool till it becomes hard. Cut into 1x 1" rectangle shapes.
For chocolate garnishing:
Add chocolate chips or dark chocolate bars into a dry non stick pan and add butter. Put the pan on low flame till all melts very well. There should be no water in the pan. If the chocolate start getting burnt, Off the flame and add some more butter. Or you can also melt chocolate by double boiling method or in a microwave.
Dip your vermicelli hearts or cubes in chocolate and add some chopped nuts.
Linking this to Pramitha's first blog anniversary event

 

Thursday, 26 September 2013

HOME-MADE PIZZA SAUCE- my style



The very thought of mozzarella and olives laid beautifully on top of pizzas make me drool. After all there is something fascinating about the elastic cheese that just knows to melt and highlight the tastes of the vegetables over the pizza. I initially used to use only normal tomato sauce over pizza whenever I make one at home. The relative sweetness of the sauce brought a dislike in me towards Pizza. I then discovered to bring out the flavors of pizzas it has to have oreganos and needs some spice for the Indian in me.

 Last time when I decided to make Pizza, I cooked everything that has to be topped on a Pizza, as I don't like any raw tastes. I cooked the pizza sauce on stove, the vegetables and fried the chicken required for topping. I totally loved it and I couldn't believe when my hubby and mum-in-law finished one whole  large pizza, for some one who are not the kind of pizza loving people.
For now, I am just posting the recipe of pizza sauce alone. This can be made in advance and stored in refrigerator or freezer if you want it to last longer.
Have you been into the habit of freezing food stuffs?. Well nowadays, I store some of seasonal fruits in freezer like strawberries and  use it whenever I want. You can use it in the form of syrups, juices or purees. Seasonal fruits are lot cheaper than when you purchase it during other time of the year.



































Ingredients:
Tomatoes- 1 kg, chopped finally
Tomato paste- 3 tsp
Oregano- 4 tsp
pepper crushed coarsely- 4 tsp
garlic- 5 cloves minced
salt- to taste
Preparation:
Heat a pan, add oil. Add chopped tomatoes and other ingredients. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes, till all the water dries out and tomatoes get mashed into paste. Off the flame. Let the mixture cool. Grind the mixture to smooth paste. Store in refrigerator or freezer to last longer.
olive oil- 2 tbsp

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

MANGO LASSI- A Refreshment





























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What more is lovable to Indians more than Lassi. And specially if its of Mango, then the Indian inside you comes out.
 Lassi is an Indian flavoured yoghurt, originally from Punjab, and usually spiced with cumin or other spices and mixed with fruits or lime juice. Some of the Lassi's also use rosewater. There are many types of Lassi- traditional, sweet lassi and so on... Traditional Lassi however is savory drink with yoghurt, water, salt and ground cumin blended together. While sweet lassi uses fruits instead of spices...
Lately, my hubby and me have been trying with the Mango Lassi often at home, now for me its something I always want to have a go at. Its a refreshment to beat the heat. I love mangoes but yoghurts are something I keep aloof from, as  I don't much like its taste. But last Ramdan when my hubby prepared mango Lassi for me after dinner, I dint know that you can give yoghurt such a beautiful version. It tasted awesome and now often  I store mangoes and yoghurt at home just to make Lassis. Its so yum. Also such an easy thing to try at home, A handful of ingredients and blend it all together. Super easy, Isn't it?
Well usually Lassis also constitute some quantity of water. But I haven't added any water to my Lassi to make it as thick as possible it could be. Too much of greediness indeed.

Ingredients:
yoghurt- full cream- 4 cups
Ripe Mangoes - 1 full- medium sized or large one
sugar- 6 tsps.

Preparation:
Chop the Mangoes and add yoghurt with it in the blender, also add sugar to it.. Blend everything together. Serve it cold. Garnish with mint leaves.
 

Sunday, 15 September 2013

PANEER IN CREAMY GRAVY


Paneer in creamy gravy, is a vegetarian dish, as you all know, my point here being, this  is one of the rare vegetarian dishes I try at home. My hubby is a bit reluctant in eating veggies, veg curries and legumes. So I wanted to try something with paneer with its gravy tasting similar to chicken gravies...
And hence this dish. I used some of the similar steps that I used to prepare my admirable kind of chicken curries, giving it the rich creaminess using cashew milk and my favorite seasoning with kasoori methi. Also instead of using whole tomatoes, I used tomato ketchup to impart thickness to the gravy...Here goes the recipe...

Ingredients:
  • Panner - 200 gms
  • ghee- 3 tbsp. to fry paneer+ 3 tbsp. for the gravy
  • onion- 1 medium
  • ginger garlic paste- 11/2 tsp
  • tomato ketchup-2 tbsp.
  • tomato paste-1  tsp
  • chilli- 1 or 2
  • Kashmiri chilli powder- 1 tsp
  • turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
  • kasoori methi- 1/2 tsp
  • garam masala powder- 1/2 tsp
  • pepper powder- 1/2 tsp, or less if you want less spicy
  • cashew nuts soaked in hot water  for 10 mins- 25 gms
Preparation:
Drain off water from soaked cashews ,and grind to smooth paste in 1/4 cup water. Keep aside.
Heat ghee in a deep bottomed pan on low medium heat and fry the paneer till all the sides are nice and golden brown. Meanwhile mix tomato ketchup and tomato paste in a small bowl and keep aside. Take offthe paneer  from pan and add 2 tbsp. ghee from 3 tbsps. to the same pan and sauté onions. Cook till soft, add ginger garlic paste and chillies. Saute till raw smell disappears. Add chilli powder, turmeric powder, kasoori methi, garam masala powder and pepper powder. Be careful you don't burn the spice powders so keep the flame relatively low. Add tomato ketchup and salt. Add 1/2 cup water or little more and let the mixture boil. Don't make the gravy too watery as it looses its texture. Once the gravy starts to boil add cashew paste and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. I actually wasn't pleased with the taste of the gravy as it all tasted raw. But I simmered gravy for 15- 20 minutes and the raw taste of tomato paste and cashew disappeared and loved it just like any other chicken curry. Once the gravy is all set add in the fried paneer and simmer for 2 minutes. Do not add the panner first and then let the mixthure to boil for so long and the paneer can get powdered into the gravy. For the final touch add ghee and coriander leaves and kasoori methi and serve hot with battoora, paratha or naan. Enjoy.
Also I would like to mark my participation in Guru's cooking giveaway hosted by +guru wadhwa of Guru's cooking.... Lovely event with only vegan recipes.
 
 ALso linking this to Healthy Breakfast Event
 

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

CHICKEN & EGG CLUB SANDWICH- Happy tummy, happy you


If you wake me from mid sleep and ask me , What is the one thing in the world that you like to have for breakfast, my answer would be a sandwich. I love sandwiches and I like to just assemble some available stuffs at home and wrap them all inside a pita bread or any other breads. And for me, anything would be exciting if served with a mayo spread. I love mayo spread and sometimes I just love to have simple egg and bread sandwich with mayo spread. Lately I have been coming across recipes with guacamole spread, which is new to me, but sounds healthy and have been tempted to try at home...
But to my surprise, my hubby don't enjoy much of sandwiches... I think he is the one and only thing in the world God created from exactly opposite of myself... well opposites attract... If he would enjoy sandwiches, my daily breakfast menu would've been different varieties of sandwiches and by now I would've been a sandwich expert. I think I should try to transform my kids' taste to the taste of mine and encourage them to enjoy my kind food concepts.

Lately I came to know that its back to school season in U.A.E. (well I am not aware of it as my kids are not to school yet) and some blogger friends are making arrangements for 'BACK TO SCHOOL ' special posts to be posted on their blogs.. To add my helping hand, I too decided to participate.
I think sandwiches make perfect lunch box idea and places a good answer for all the confused moms pondering over what should be packed to school for lunch. Whether to office or to school or to have by yourself at home, sandwiches make make perfect choices as they provide yum, tummy filling and easy to pack solutions...
Club sandwiches, also known as Clubhouse sandwiches are usually made of toasted  sandwich bread and served in quarters...
You can use anything available at home... I made a layer with chicken sandwich, and second layer with omelette along with some assorted veggies... But its  upto you want you want to eat...
Ingredients:

  • bread slices-6
  • chicken- 100gms boiled with salt &shredded
  • mayonnaise- 3 tbsp
  • pepper -3 tsp crushed coarsely
  • egg -1
  • lettuce leaves- sliced thinly
  • cucumber- sliced thinly
  • tomato- sliced thinly
  • tomato ketchup- 2 tsp
  • grated cheese- 2 tbsp
  • salt - to taste
Preparation:
Shred the boiled chicken and mix with mayo and 2 tsp crushed pepper.keep aside.
Beat egg with 1 tsp crushed pepper and salt. In a teaspoon of oil, make omelette in a frying pan. Fry both sides. 
Assembling:
Place half omelette over 1 slice, and then place tomato slices, cucumber slices, lettuce. Then place second slice, spread with a teaspoon of ketchup on one side , over the first layer, and top the slice with chicken filling, cucumber slices,  1 tbsp grated cheese and lettuce.
Place third bread slice on top. Finish by cutting the crust of bread from all 4 sides.. And finally cut diagonally. Serve with tomato ketchup and potato chips. Enjoy.
Linking this to Back 2 School Event hosted by me

Monday, 9 September 2013

Restaurant style MUTTON CURRY

Even though I love cooking, in a way its passion and hobby for me I must admit that, daily cooking routine and same repated menu is something which I really don't enjoy and tiring at times, the worst part being cleaning the post-cooking kitchen mess. Once a while, to add twist to my normal boring routine,I make excuses, and pamper my hubby to agree to enjoy restaurant meals, the best part being not having to wash plates and wipe messy table.
We have this weird habit of visiting every new restaurant that we come to hear and experimenting typical malabari dishes... Though I do not recommend having restaurant food on daily basis, due to the unhealthy food style and hygienic issues, once a while it is ok to forget about all the demerits involved. And lately, we discovered a restaurant in our neighborhood, actually quite far, but we don't mind in taking the trouble to drive to our favourite restaurant, which restaurant I think serves the best Malabari food in the world...
Since 2 months I was aloof from cooking, as mom-in-law was staying with us and she took all the authority over the kitchen. Also as her great food put my confidence in cooking down, I dint even bother to interrupt her way of cooking. For a change, and to give her a little break, and to introduce her our favourite restaurant, we decided to have a grand dinner in this favourite Malabari restaurant of ours. And to our delight, she was more impressed than we used to be...
As we placed our order for any mutton dish, as we were just bored of chicken and beef, we just couldn't imagine that we were on the verge of tasting the best mutton curry we have ever tasted. Though it did not look appealing to my hubby's eye (anything red in color is always the only appealing dish in his eyes), the tempered glazing dried red chillies and curry leaves topped over the curry looked just so inviting to me. As it was served hot, I cannot tell you how beautifully the aroma spread around.
Once we had this dish, we studied what ingredient and method of cooking imparted this taste to it, and what could be done to try this at home whenever you feel like you need to enjoy it...
As the weekend approached, not allowing to put down our usual weekend routine, mom-in-law was all set to give the dish a try, and started her mission. Though I did not want to spoil the dish and lay my hands on it, this dish was prepared in my presence, and I observed her steps of cooking. It involved cooking of meat with onions, tomatoes, ginger garlic paste and spice powders until tender and then sauteeing onion in oil in a hot wok and then drying the water in the gravy of cooked mutton to semi thick gravy. A handful of pearl onions, sautéed and ground to smooth paste was added to the semi thick gravy. Also coconut milk was added. To give it a final touch, it was served with tempered dried chillies and curry leaves. And when it came to the tasting part, I think mom-in-law was nearly just close to what we tasted in the restaurant.
Ingredients:
  • Mutton- 1/2 kg
  • onion- sliced thinly-1
  • tomato-chopped- 1
  • ginger garlic paste- 1 tbsp.
  • green chillies- 2
  • crushed pepper- 2 tsp
  • coriander powder- 3-4 tsp
  • turmeric powder -1/4 tsp
  • garam masala powder- 1/2 tsp
  • salt to taste.
  • coconut oil-1 tbsp+ 1 tbsp
  • onion- 1 extra sliced thinly
  • pearl onion/small onions- a handful
  • thick coconut milk- 1/2 cup
For tempering:
  • dried red chillies- a few
  • curry leaves a few
  • coconut oil-1 tbsp

Preparation:
Cook mutton with 1 onion, tomatoes, green chillies, ginger garlic paste, coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, salt and 1 cup water in a pressure cooker for about 15 minutes. Saute sliced pearl onions in a tbsp coconut oil till light brown. Turn off the flame. Let cool and grind to a smooth paste, add water if necessary to get the perfect smoothness.
In a wok, heat a tablespoon of oil, add one sliced onion, sauté till golden brown, add the mutton and its gravy, and boil the gravy to semi thickness. Add the onion paste and mix well. Cook for about five minutes. Add in the coconut milk. bring it to just boil. Do not over boil or the coconut milk will separate. Off the flame. In a small pan, add oil, and add curry leaves and dried chillies when the oil gets hot. Take off from heat, and add the tempered chillies and curry leaves on top of served curry.
Serve hot and enjoy with battoora, ceylon paratha or rice.