Chicken in yogurt gravy

My two girls are greatly fond of chicken curries – the more they get, the more they crave for it. Every time I buy chicken they ask for ‘curry with a difference’. Creative me – I never run out of ideas. This time, in the cold of winter when they wanted chicken curry, I came up with this recipe of ‘Chicken in yogurt gravy’ which is delicate and light. To my pleasant surprise it turned out delicious! So here we go with the recipe….

Ingredients:

Chicken drumsticks 500 g

Yogurt/curd 1 and 1/2 cup

Large onions 2, thinly sliced

Garlic paste 1 tsp

Ginger paste 1 tsp

Chili powder 1 – 2 tsp

Turmeric powder – 1 tsp

Garam masala – 1 tsp

Juice of 1/2 lime

Fresh coriander – 1 handful, washed and chopped

Salt to taste

Any cooking oil – 1 tbsp (I used mustard oil)

Instructions:

  • Mix yogurt with ginger-garlic paste, chili powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, salt and juice of lime.
  • Add chicken to this mixture and leave aside to marinade it for 15-20 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a pan and saute the sliced onions until golden brown.
  • Add marinated chicken and stir fry for 4-5 minutes.
  • Add rest of the yogurt mix and keep stirring every now and then.
  • Add chopped coriander and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until meat separates from the bone.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice.

 

Serves 4-5

 

 

Almond and Orange Cake

This new year’s eve, we were going to visit a friend in the neighborhood. As always happens, it strikes you at the last minute that you must take something after all it’s New year’s eve!  I had all the listed ingredients at home and what better way to enjoy citrus burst of the season along with the goodness of almonds! Needless to say I made this cake in a jiffy and my friends became its fan, so here we go with the recipe…

Ingredients:

Breadcrumbs – 45 g
Ground almonds – 100 g
Castor sugar – 200 g
Cooking oil – 200 ml
Baking powder – 1 & 1/2
Eggs, beaten – 4
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
Zest of 1/2 lime

For Syrup:

Juice of 1 orange

Juice of half a lime

Sugar – 2 tbsp

Cinnamon stick – 1/2 inch

Cloves – 5 to 6

Cointreau – 1tbsp, if you like!

Instructions:

  • Mix all the ingredients together and beat well.
  • Pour the mixture in a greased and lined cake tin.
  • Place it in the cold oven and start the oven (Yes, you put it in the cold oven!). Set the oven to 180 C and bake it for 40-45 mins until golden brown or skewer comes out clean.
  • In the meantime, to make the syrup put all the ingredients in a pan and bring it to boil on low flame/heat.
  • Simmering  for 3-4 minutes, turn off the heat and allow to cool.
  • Once cake is done, remove from tin, prick with fork and slowly pour the syrup over the cake using a spoon. You need to  evenly soak it in the syrup.

Enjoy with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Serves: 10-12

Pesto Pasta Impromptu

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Today, I had an urge to eat pasta, with pesto sauce. All I had was pasta and two handfuls of fresh basil from our little kitchen garden. No, no Olive oil, no Pine kernels and no Parmesan! So then, how on earth am I going to make a pesto?!

As usual, I improvised and believe me it was one of the best pasta I have ever made! Yum!

So here goes the recipe:

Ingredients:

Pasta spirals – 300g

French beans, cut into long pieces (1-2 inch long)  – 200g

Processed cheese, grated – a small block about 50-75g

Basil leaves – 2 handfuls

Almonds, blanched and skin removed – 8-10

Dry red chillies – 2-3

Cooking oil – 1 tbsp

Garlic – 2 cloves, crushed

Eggs, poached/ sunny side up – 4

Butter – 1 tbsp (small block)

Black Pepper – freshly pounded (to taste)

Salt to taste

Instructions:

  • Boil pasta with plenty of water and 2 tsp salt until it is tender and has a bite to it.
  • In the meantime blanch the cut beans or you can microwave, as I did, without any liquid in a glass bowl, covered for 3-4 minutes (on high power)
  • Make a paste of a handful of basil leaves, cheese and almonds with a tbsp water from pasta.
  • In a heavy base pan heat the butter and oil together, add crushed garlic and break dry chilies into it. Sauté for about a minute or until you get the smoky aroma of chilli and garlic.
  • Add drained pasta and cooked beans to the pan. Mix well.
  • Next add the pesto paste, mix well and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Finally break rest of the basil leaves with hands and add to the pasta.
  • Serve hot topped with poached eggs.  
  • And enjoy!

 

Serves: 4

Please try and post comments to encourage me to create more recipes.

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Rich Carrot Cake

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The winter season….. ahh! what I like most about it is lovely colourful vegetables. My little one is very fond of carrots, loves to eat red juicy carrots raw as snack, more than cooked. Moreover, in this part of Asia carrot is cooked, in fact simmered in milk for hours to make ‘Halwa’, a dessert! I grew up eating loads and loads of carrot halwa everyday during winters.

So the other day I planned to make halwa ‘ for my kids and therefore grated about a kilogram of red juicy carrots. But my little one insisted on cake, any type of cake.

“Well then” I said “cake you must have for dessert!” I found this really easy recipe in my old notes (a diary where I have been making notes for past 19 years! Must admit it has torn apart but I still love to write in it…..it’s precious!!!)

What I like about this recipe is that it’s light and nutritious as you use whole meal flour and lots of dry fruits.

So here we go with the recipe:

Ingredients:

Grated carrot 200g

Whole-meal flour 200g

Sugar 175g

Sunflower oil (any cooking oil) 150 ml

Two large eggs, whisked

Grated coconut ½ cup

Chopped walnut ½ cup

Or/and chopped pistachios ½ cup

Sultanas ½ cup

Zest of one orange

Cinnamon powder 1 tsp

Baking powder 1 tsp

Baking soda 1tsp

Instructions:

  • Whisk sugar and oil together until it looks light and seems mixed thoroughly.
  • Separately mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon powder and sieve it to add in some air.
  • Into the liquid mixture now add beaten eggs slowly while whisking.
  • Next add in all the dry ingredients one by one and fold in well until it’s all mixed thoroughly.
  • Transfer the mixture into greased and lined baking tin and bake in pre-heated oven at 175oC for 40- 45 minutes or until cake leaves the side of the tin.
  • Remove from oven and let it rest for about five minutes before removing from the tin.

I believe it tastes much better the next day if one has patience to keep it for a day (or children allow it to rest!!!) with some whipped cream.

 

 

 

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Yorkshire Pudding recipe

Yorkshire Pudding Recipe:

Yorkshire Pudding

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Recipe of Yorkshire pudding is so easy that I wasn’t sure whether should I call it a recipe or not. Anyways as one needs to know how to cook it so certainly it is called a “recipe”. There are lots of good things about this recipe like very few ingredients, mostly available at home and one can prepare the mixture and leave it to be baked just before serving without much hassle.

Well then let me not keep you all waiting and open the magic recipe box!

Ingredients:

Eggs, four (measure them in a measuring cup or any cup)

Milk, same amount as eggs

Salt, a pinch

Ground black pepper, a pinch

Plain flour, almost the same measure

Cooking oil – 2 tbsp, for greasing

And that’s it!

Instructions:

  • Mix all the ingredients, accept flour, together with a whisker and leave it aside to stand until you are ready to serve (just about 20 minutes before serving you need to work with it)
  • Grease generously a muffin tray with cooking oil, slide it in the middle rack of the oven and pre-heat the oven to 270oC.
  • In the meanwhile mix plain four in the liquid mixture of eggs and milk, one spoonful at a time. The batter should be of the same consistency as that of crepes/ pancake and of course lumps-free!
  • When you can see the smoke coming out from the oil in the oven and/or smell the oil heating, whichever happens first, pull the tray out.
  • Using a ladle to spoon the mixture in each case about ¾ th level of the case. Put the tray back in the oven and allow it to bake for 18-20 minutes. (Note that you do not need paper muffin/cupcake cases)
  • They rise beautifully like muffins, you can see them oozing out of the case, when they turn slightly more than golden brown take the tray out.
  • Serve it with hot chocolate sauce as a warm dessert in cold winters, or with ice-cream topped with hot chocolate sauce.

My family likes to eat it with meat curries as well! You should try in various different ways and find a new combination for yourself. Happy cooking!

 

 

Japanese Cold Noodle Salad

Whenever I ask my kids what would they like to have for dinner, mostly I get a reply “something different” and if not that, then “pasta or noodles”. And every time I have made pasta or noodles so far I used to feel guilty that I was not giving them a wholesome diet. But things have changed tremendously ever since I have got my pasta machine.

I make egg noodles, spaghetti, and fettuccine all from scratch using best of ingredients …… simply eggs and whole wheat flour (atta)! I also love to create colorful pastas by mixing in pureed spinach, tomato, beetroot or carrots, which makes both the children happy as well as me too as I know that they are not missing out on goodness of veggies.

Let’s keep the colorful pasta recipe ideas for later and let me share the recipe of egg noodles and the cold salad made using these egg noodles.

Japanese Cold Noodle Salad

Japanese Cold Noodle Salad

Ingredients for egg noodles:

Whole wheat flour – 300 g

Large eggs – 3

Sesame oil (or any other cooking oil)

Instructions:

  • Mix in all the ingredients together to bind it in dough.
  • Knead it until it all comes together well. Wrap it in a cling film and set aside for a while (8-10 minutes).
  • Put a large pan of water to boil with a tea-spoon of salt.
  • In the meantime, unwrap the dough and cut into three pieces. Wrap two parts back in the cling film so that dough doesn’t dry out and stretch the third one (or the first one!) on the pasta machine until you reach thickness or thinness of 7.
  • Pass the stretched sheets through noodle cutter and put in the boiling water straight away.
  • Allow it to boil for a minute or so, or until all noodles start floating (a sign that they are cooked)
  • Using a spaghetti fork or large strainer, scoop them out of boiling water and put them in cold water to stop cooking and retaining the texture.
  • Repeat the same with the remaining dough.

Ingredients for dressing:

Zest of one orange

Juice of an orange

Ginger juice 1 tsp

Sesame seeds, roasted – 2 tbsp

Orient seasoning salt – ½ tsp

Japanese seasoning – 2 tsp (I use Keya)

Sesame oil 2-3 tbsp

Rice vinegar – 1 tbsp

Brown sugar – 1tsp

Freshly ground black pepper – 1 tsp

Instructions:

  • Mix in all the ingredients together except sesame oil.
  • Add in the sesame oil slowly while whisking the dressing mixture until it all emulsifies together. Keep it aside.

Salad ingredients:

Cabbage, finely grated – ½ cup

French beans, diagonally sliced, ½ cup

Onion, finely sliced – ½ cup

Green pepper, finely sliced – ½ cup

Carrots, julienned – ½ cup

For garnish:

A thin 2 egg omelette flavored with ginger juice, grated ginger, chili powder and salt, cut into thin slices.

A mixture of red chili paste ( I still get my red chili paste from Sri Lanka, they are the best at making it, although they call it Chinese chili paste!!!) in 2 tsp soy sauce and 1 tsp rice vinegar.

Instructions:

  • Boil a large pan of water and blanch all the veggies together for about 2 minutes.
  • Strain through a colander and soak them in chilled water for 5-7 minutes. It helps retain the crunchiness and the color of the veggies.

To assemble the salad:

  • Mix the dressing and the blanched veggies together. Taste for seasoning and adjust according to your taste.
  • Next add the boiled, cold egg noodles and mix well. Use fingers to mix all the ingredients together and ensure noodles are well coated with dressing.
  • Plate it up and top up with omelette strips and red chili paste.

And there you go, once again a wholesome meal with everybody’s favorite ingredients in it. Enjoy!

Serves 4-6

 

Wholesome Chunky Vegetable Soup

My little one reminded me “Juice season is over Ma, it is the soup season now!” Well not exactly so but she is quite right as winter is here and so is the season of soups. Everyone in my family is fond of soups – chicken soup, mushroom soup, sea food soup, lentil soup, pea soup and the list goes on…  My most favorite one is the chunky vegetable soup, in which I use any and every vegetable in my refrigerator.  I chop the veggies in bite size chunks, roast a small cup of bulgur wheat and I am ready to fix a wholesome meal. It is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals and also is a good source of fiber and low in fat. A perfect dinner that one can enjoy, on a cold evening, in a cozy couch, in front of television!

Ingredients:

Carrots, chopped 2 cups

French beans, chopped 1 cup

Green peppers chopped 1 cup

Red Onion 1 large – chopped

Bulgur wheat / dahlia – ¾ cup

Tomato puree (I use Mutti Passata di pomodoro al basilico), 4 tbsp

Garlic – 4 cloves, crushed

Basil leaves 10-15, roughly torn with hands

Olive oil – 1 ½ tbsp (extra virgin preferably)

Black pepper 1 tsp, freshly ground

Parmesan, grated 2 tbsp

Vegetable or chicken stock (optional), 500 ml

Salt to taste

Any other vegetables of your choice

Instructions:

  • In a pan dry roast bulgur until it turns golden and a sweet aroma is given out.
  • Add about 500 ml of water to the pan, bring it to boil and then allow it to simmer for 5 minutes on low heat.
  • In another pan, heat oil and add crushed garlic, sauté for a minute or so.
  • Add chopped onion and sauté till onion gets golden color.
  • Next add the chopped veggies one by one and sauté for about 5 minutes on moderate heat.
  • Mix in the tomato puree, stir it in well, let it fry for 2 minutes. Add vegetable/ chicken stock.
  • Next add in the simmering bulgur along with all the water in which it is boiling. Stir it well and allow it to cook on moderate to low heat for 15 – 20 minutes until veggies are done and so is the bulgur (I use this time to either grate some cheese and/or asking kids again and again to lay the table! Which then doesn’t happen and finally we end up eating on that cozy couch in front of television).
  • Last but not the least season it with salt, pepper and torn basil. Sprinkle it with some grated Parmesan.

Serves: 4-6

Serve this nutritious soup hot with some garlic bread or dinner rolls. You can though avoid bread (as I do) because the bulgur in the soup provides carbs and proteins and minerals too.