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Thursday, 28 July 2016

SPINACH AND CHEESE SANDWICH



I love sandwiches in any form. I love burger with ketchup and cheese slices. The only thing that holds me back is, wondering what must have gone inside all those patties.



This time for post is a sandwich with cheese and spinach. I made a similar version for Ramadhan with Dill leaves instead of spinach and was loved by all.


This sandwich is really easy to make and serve as good breakfast or lunch box idea.


Over to the recipe,
Ingredients:

  • Spinach- a bunch
  • Triangle Cheese grated- 6-7 portions or cheese spread
  • Lime- 1/4
  • salt- a dash
  • Bread slices
  • Butter- to grease
Method:


  • Chop spinach finely and cook in a pan. Add some salt and keep stirring till water dries off completely.
  • Transfer the wilted spinach to a bowl.
  • To that add grated cheese, a squeeze of lime and mix well.
  • Now spread a spoonful of cheese- spinach mixture to one side of bread slices. Close the slice with another slice.
  • Now repeat the with remaining.
  • Now butter a pan or grill pan. Place the sandwich and fry till golden, flip it and fry other side same way. Cut diagonally. Serve warm or cold.


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Kunafa


Kunafa, i have not much words to describe this dessert. So addictively delicious is all i can say. Its a baked Arabic dessert with shredded Kunafa dough and cheese as filling, served warm with rose scented sugar syrup . Whenever I crave for one, I always beg my husband to get one from any of the local Arabic bakeries/restaurants, but it is only a limited portion i can enjoy as the price is too high for a small quantity. And with kids around, my cravings are never put to end. All i can do is sit back and drool over this heaven when my kids gobble it down.

My 6 year old pouring that sugar syrup and mehndi on her hands were done by me for Eid

This time i decided to give it a try, after drooling over a plethora of images and recipes on internet. Also after having one from one of the Arabic restaurants, and the deliciousness it had (OMG!! It was such a heaven, served straight from the oven, my husband and i couldn't wait it to cool down, we had the entire thing all by ourselves), i could not hold back my temptation any more from baking one right after 2-3 days. And i waited only so much days only because it was holiday in between and we were not at home.

This one over here is made of vermicelli crust rather than Kunafa dough, easily available in supermarkets, which is actually what it is supposed to be made of, as I said I did not have any patience to wait and hop over to supermarket to buy Kunafa dough. I made another one with Kunafa dough and it turned out to be equally good. But second time i tried with creamy filling rather than only cheese. Both the times it was equally delicious, though using Kunafa dough gave the right texture.
Also i did not add any food coloring to tint the crust as mentioned in most of the recipes. I love the golden shade of the crust and that is surely the most appealing one.


So here i will be sharing both the versions, where  used Kunafa dough and Pakistani vermicelli for the crust and also the creamy filling and cheese filling as filling.
So sorry for the poor picture quality, as i said i was too greedy to focus and capture patiently a good snap. I actually waited to post this recipe until I tried this recipe for the second time and shoot a decent picture. But, SIGH!! my greed only got worse and the picture was equally bad.


Over to the recipe:
Version 1: with Vermicelli crust

Ingredients

  • Pakistani vermicelli- 1 pack
  • Butter (melted)- 150 gms +a tablespoon for greasing

For filling:
  • Mozarella cheese- 200 gms
Sugar syrup:
  • Sugar- 1 cup
  • Water- 1/2 cup
  • Rose essence- 4 drops
  • Orange blossom water- 4 drops
For garnishing:
  • Pistachios- chopped or powdered
Method:

For the crust


  • Take a large bowl and put all the vermicelli and crush it with your hands to finer pieces. Mix in the melted butter.
Assembling:
  • Now grease a 9 inch round cake pan with butter. Add half of the vermicelli and press gently so that all of them stick together.
  • Now spread mozarella cheese on top of it.
  • Next spread the remaining vermicelli.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes at 180 C.
Sugar syrup:
  • Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for sugar syrup in a sauce pan and bring it to boil, simmer for few minutes. Take off the flame and keep aside to cool.
  • Take pan out of oven and let it cool for 10 minutes.
Serve:
  • Using an offset spatula, run through the sides of the pan to loosen the Kunafa and flip.
  • Pour the cooled sugar syrup over the hot Kunafa just enough to soak the dessert  evenly. Garnish with pistachios. Enjoy hot Kunafa.

Version 2 with Kunafa dough:
Kunafa made using Kunafa dough
Ingredients:

  • Kunafa dough- 250 gms
  • Butter- melted- 200 gms+ 1 tbsp for greasing
For filling:
  • Milk- 2 cups
  • Cornstarch- 4 tbsp
  • Whipping cream/ nestle cream- 1/3 cup
  • Sugar- 1/4 cup
  • Rose essence- few drops
  • Mozarella cheese- a handful
Sugar syrup:
  • Sugar- 1 cup
  • Water- 1/2 cup
  • Rose essence- 4 drops
  • Orange blossom water- 4 drops
For garnishing:
  • Pistachios- chopped or powdered
Method:

For the filling:
  • Mix milk, cream and cornflour till no lumps in a sauce pan and bring to boil. Simmer for a while and keep stirring.
  • Add in rose essence. And stir till the milk is thick. Off the flame. Keep aside to cool. Cover with a cling wrap while cooling to prevent formation of crust or keep whisking at regular intervals. It takes about an hour to cool completely. Once cool the filling gets more thick.
For the crust:
  • Follow the instructions as mentioned on the pack before using Kunafa dough.
  • Take a large bowl and put Kunafa dough and shred it. Mix in the melted butter.
Assembling:
  • Now grease a 9 inch round cake pan with butter. Add half of the dough and press gently so that all of them stick together.
  • Now spread cream filling on top of it. 
  • Sprinkle Mozarella cheese on top.
  • Next spread the remaining Kunafa dough.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes at 180 C.
Sugar syrup:
  • Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for sugar syrup in a sauce pan and bring it to boil, simmer for few minutes. Take off the flame and keep aside to cool.
  • Take pan out of oven and let it cool for 10 minutes.
Serve:
  • Using an offset spatula, run through the sides of the pan to loosen the Kunafa and flip.
  • Pour the cooled sugar syrup over the hot Kunafa just enough to soak the dessert  evenly. Garnish with pistachios. Serve hot and enjoy yummy Kunafa!!

Sunday, 24 July 2016

KHASTHA KACHORI



Many a times i sweep through recipes from a cookbook of my mother's, I always stop by this recipe of Khasta Kachori to see how it is made. The snack looks appealing but the ingredient listed in the recipe, that is, moong dal, stops my temptation to try it. I am not a great fan of lentils and especially when it comes to snack J am least fan of veggie snacks.

So one day I was urged to try something for snacking, and I convinced myself that this would taste a lot tastier than it actually is, if served with tamarind chutney as listed in the recipe.

And when I went through Tamarind chutney recipe it sounded like, chatpata (spicy hot and sour) type. And I decided to make another chutney to go along with it, which is pudina chutney or mint dip. The whole thing turned out to be really roller coaster ride for my taste buds with the hot kachori served with cold chatpata chutneys and oh God! why I stayed away so long from trying it. It did not seem like I was eating lentils as it was all mushed up, though the recipe said the grains has to stay separate.
And as for monsoons in India, this snack is perfect to have for tea times


Over to the recipe,
Ingredients:
For filling:

  • Mung dal- 1 1/2 cups, soaked for two hours and drained
  • Salt- 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
  • water- 1/4 cup
  • Oil- 3 tbsp
  • Asafoetida- 1/8 tsp
  • Kashmiri chilli powder- 1 tbsp
  • Coriander powder- 1 tbsp
  • Fennel seeds- 1 tsp
  • Sugar- 1 tsp
  • Garam masala powder- 1 tsp
  • Desiccated coconut- 2 tbsp
  • Dry mango powder- 1 1/2 tbsp

For dough:

  • Flour- 3 cups
  • Milk- 1 cup
  • Oil- 6 tbsp
  • salt- 1 tsp
  • For frying:
  • Oil- for deep frying

Tamarind Cutney:

  • Tamarind Puree- 1/2 cup
  • Coriander leaves- chopped- 1/2 cup
  • Kasmiri Chilli powder- 1 tsp
  • Salt- 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder- 1 tsp
  • Ginger paste- 1 tsp
  • Green chilli-  1
  • Honey/ sugar - 1 tbsp


Mint Chutney:

  • Mint leaves- chopped- 1/4 cup
  • Coriander leaves- 1/4 cup chopped
  • Green chilly- 1 
  • Yogurt- 2 tbsp
  • Honey/ sugar- 1 tbsp
  • salt- 1 tsp


Method:

  • Combine mung dal, salt, turmeric powder and water.\Bring to boil. cook, covered on low heat for 15 minutes, or till the dal is cooked but the grains are still separate. Dry liquid if any.
  • Heat 3 tbsp oil. Add asafoetida. Add the rest of ingredients for filling and the cooked dal. Cook on low heat, stirring continously with a fork. Keep aside to cool.
  • Combine flour milk, oil and salt to make the dough. Knead it for 5 minutes, or till the dough is smooth. Divide into 16 portions and form smooth balls. roll each ball into 10 cm circles. Place a spoonful of dal mixture in the middle drawing up the sides to enfold the filling. Seal the edges. Gently roll between the palmsto form smooth balls. Press lightly to flatten the Kachoris.
  • Heat oil. Reduce heat. Fry Kachoris, a few at a time, on low heat till light brown and crisp. Drain. Serve with tamarind chutney and mint chutney.


Tamarind chutney:

  • Combine all the ingredients in an electric mixer and blend. Keep chilled

Mint Chutney:

  • Combine all the ingredients in an electric mixer and blend. Keep chilled


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

UMM ALI


Greatly obsessed with Arabic sweets these days, I browse crazily through recipes. And UmmAli was  never in my to do list until I tasted one during our stay at a dessert during one of the public holidays. We had  astay in dessert for one night with entertainment programs. It was complete different experience, and if not for the hot weather, it would have been a complete beautiful experience. There was camel ride and we slept in a tent with no lights or fans, with only small brightness from a lamp. And the night seemed long, as i felt it was due to the lack of Internet and i realised why people these days say "time flies". 
Regarding the Umm Ali, I shamelessly kept on feeding myself that day, over and over. Oh it was too yumm and I was trying to figure out the contents in it that contributed to the deliciousness of it.



 I first tried this recipe from a popular site, but the texture turned out hard as i baked for extra long time. The second time i tried this recipe from a cookbook and baked exactly same time as mentioned. We had guests the same day and they  were really impressed with this treat.


Over to the recipe:
Ingredients:

  • Puff Pastry- 400 gms
  • Pistachio nuts- 1/4 cup, chopped
  • Almonds- slivered and blanched- 1/4 cup
  • Raisins- 1/4 cup
  • Evaporated milk- 2 cups
  • Sugar- 1/2 cup
  • cardamom powder- 1 tsp
  • Rose essence- 4 drops
  • Double cream- 1 cup
  • Brown sugar- 1 1/2 tbsp


Method:

  • Preheat oven to 190 C.
  • Bake puff pastry sheets according to manufacturer's instructions, till golden brown and crisp.
  • Cool. Crumble into large pieces. Add nuts and raisins. Stir transfer the mixture into a 9 inch square baking pan.
  • Combine Evaporated milk with sugar. Bring to boil on medium high heat, stirring continuously. Lower heat. Simmer uncovered, for 4 minutes or till the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat.
  • Add cardamom and rose essence.
  • Pour milk mixture over the pastry mixture. Let stand for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 200 C.
  • Whip cream and pour on top of milkand pastry mixture. Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar. Bake, uncovered, on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Monday, 18 July 2016

LAZEEZ MURGH TIKKA MASALA


I have been very lazy in experimenting main course meals lately. In earlier days of marriage I used to try every single way to impress my husband and cook for him. A once experimented dish hardly was repeated especially during dinners and I used to keep experimenting new ones. As kids came into our lives, my schedule gradually got hectic and so the time I spent to cook.


Usually these days when I decide chicken for our menu, I cook up regular easy version of chicken curry and do not take the trouble to browse through Internets. After a long while I felt the urge to cook something different and I happened to stumble over this recipe of Sanjeev Kapoor's. I tried it the same day and it turned out to be delicious with all the richness and spice loaded cream based thick gravy. It is perfect to go with rotis and obviously rice was not the perfect combo, as I made rice as I was in short of time to prepare roti before hubby arrived.  I felt the khoya in this recipe added richness to the gravy and prepared khoya just for the gravy as per the instructions given by a chef in one of the youtube videos. Click here to find out how. Not saying much, lets hop over to the recipe.
Ingredients:
 For Murgh (chicken) tikka:

  • Boneless chicken cut into cubes- 400-500 gms
  • Ginger garlic paste- 2 tsp
  • Kashmiri chilli powder- 2 tsp
  • Garam masala powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 trsp
  • Salt- to taste
  • Lime juice- half lime
  • Yoghurt- 2 tbsp 
  • Oil- 3 tbsp


For Gravy:

  • Oil- 5 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
  • Onion- 1, cut into cubes
  • Tomatoes- deseeded, Cut into cubes
  • Capsicum- 1 medium sized, cut into cubes
  • Onion- 2 chopped
  • Ginger garlic paste- 1 tbsp
  • Tomatoes - 2
  • Kashmiri chilli powder- 2 tbsp
  • Garam masala powder- 1/2 tbsp
  • Kasoori methi- 1/2 tsp
  • Cardamom powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Khoya, grated - 1/4 cup
  • Cream- 2 tbsp
  • Honey-2 tsp

 Method:

  • Marinate chicken pieces in the given ingredients except oil and let it sit for atleast half an hour.
  • Then heat a skillet with oil and fry the pieces till cooked well. I closed the lid so that chicken gets cooked well inside too.
  • In same pan, discard burnt particles if any, heat 3 tbsp oil and add cumin seeds.
  • Once its color changes, Add 2 onion, ginger garlic paste and saute for a while.
  • Add in the spice powders and kasoori methi. Mix in for a while.
  • Then puree 2 tomatoes in a blender and add into the gravy mixture. Cook till raw smell disappears.
  • Now add the grated khoya and mix. 
  • Add the fried chicken pieces, mix and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Finally add cream and honey, and let it boil for about a minute and off the flame.
  • In another pan, heat remaining oil and saute onion, tomatoes and capsicum till soft. Add these cooked veggies to the gravy. Serve hot and enjoy with BattooraCeylon wheat parotta etc.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Kayiyum muttayum


I am sure once this post makes way to blog, some of my friends will atleast be rolling their eyes. I know this is one of the simplest recipes we prepare at home. But at the same time there are many who are not aware of it much, especially outside Kannur. No matter how simple it is, Kayiyum Muttayum (plantain bananas with sweet scrambled egg) never ceases to trigger our greediness towards it.
Also  I need to keep a collection of all the Malabar delicacies we make at home to share it with all those are not aware of it.



As most of my readers are from Kerala, I need not explain what Kayiyum Muttayum means. This is perfect for tea time and easiest snack to make whenever an unexpected guest visits. This is surely the first thing in my list whenever I have such guests.


Ingredients:
Plantain bananas : 3 big
Oil for deep frying
Eggs - 2 large
Sugar- 6 tsp
Cardamom powder- 1/4 tsp
Ghee- 1-2 tbsp.

Chop the plantain in medium small cubes.
Deep fry in hot oil in a wok till golden brown. You may fry in 3-4 batches. make sure you do not burn it. Transfer the fried plantains into a plate.
Now beat eggs lightly with sugar and cardamom powder using a fork. Keep aside.
Now heat a pan with ghee. You may add cashews and raisins if you want.
Now to the hot ghee, pour the lightly beaten eggs and scramble using a wooden spoon.
Throw in the fried plantains and mix everything together.
Serve hot.

Monday, 11 July 2016

CURRIED SHRIMP SPAGHETTI



The biggest picky eater in my house is my husband. He eats without complaining much, but he eats very less, i feel my efforts have gone in vain. And when it comes to something continental, he is least fan of it. Though my favorites too are Malabari dishes, i also am in awe with most of foreign dishes, especially due to very less effort and time that goes into making one.


My mother is a great cook, and i grew up eating all the best of Malabar delicacies, so there is no way I do not love them, especially when Umma cooks. But being a good chef, my Umma also like to experiment new dishes  and jots down almost all the recipes that are telecasted in television cookery shows.
So as a kid I was lucky enough to gobble all her delicious experiments. There was no way possibly any recipe could go wrong, especially when she cooks and adjusts a recipe according to her taste. There is really some magic in her hands.



Today's post is Shrimp spaghetti.
I am a great fan of something cheesy and white sauces when it comes to pasta and spaghetti. Whereas the only way my hubby would eat it is when loaded with spices. So I was forced to give this a Malabari twist. My kids love Spaghetti and was begging since ages to make one. As I said, my hubby do not fancy it in any sort, i pushed this away from my food routine to make space for even more Malabar dishes he like.
To put an end to my kids' cravings, I decided to make one at the same time to make my hubby eat the same without much fuss.


 So I prepared a shrimp curried sauce for this spaghetti, with all the spice powders that would be added usually in an Indian style curry. I first cooked the shrimps for a while rather than frying as i feel that would be more flavorsome than the fried version.



Over to the recipe,
Ingredients:

  • Spaghetti- 300 gms
  • Shrimp - 250 gms (deveined and deshelled and cooked in water with turmeric powder and salt)
  • Oil- 2 tbsp
  • Onion -1 medium
  • Tomatoes- 2
  • Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
  • Carrot- 1/2, sliced thin
  • Bell pepper- 1/2, sliced thin
  • Kashmiri chilli powder- 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder- 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Garam masala powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Tomato Ketchup - 2 tbsp
  • Worcestershire sauce/soy sauce- 1 tsp
  • Salt- to taste
  • Coriander leaves to garnish.



Method:

Lets cook shrimp first.

  • Cook the shrimps in water with turmeric powder and salt. Reserve 1 tbsp water and let the rest dry off completely.
Let's prepare the shrimp sauce.
  • In a deep bottomed pan, heat 2 tbsp oil, Add onions, saute till translucent.
  • Add ginger garlic paste and saute till raw smell disappears.
  • Now add in the tomatoes and cook it till soft and mushy.
  • Add bell peppers and carrot. Cook for few minutes.
  • Add in spice powders and saute.
  • Add in the ketchup and sauce.
  • Finally add shrimps, its stock, coriander and mix well off the flame.
  • In a huge pan of boiling water, pour some oil and salt.
Let's cook pasta.
  • Let the water boil thoroughly, Throw in a pack of spaghetti. Let it cook perfectly.
  • Drain off the excess water.
Final mixing.
  • Now heat the pan with shrimp sauce and throw in the spaghetti. Mix everything till well incorporated.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve hot.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Dry Fruits Smoothie

Last post too was a drink. The only difference this time is that, it is a smoothie and that too a dry fruit smoothie. We consume a lot of dry fruits during Ramadhan, and this time hubby purchased a lot of it and it seemed that it was not going to be over before Ramadhan ends. As Ramadhan drew close to its end, we decided to prepare this smoothie and it turned out to be a hit for both of us adults, being it a filling and healthy drink to have during Iftar.


All that you needs is to plan ahead, as dry fruits needs to be soaked for half an hour and milk needs to be frozen till it start to get solid.
Add in more or less sweetener as per your wish. Mine I felt was little extra sweet. But I feel it really depends on the quantity and quality of dates and dried figs you use.


Ingredients:

  • Walnuts- 6-7
  • Dried figs- 6-7
  • Dates- 6-7
  • Almonds- 6-7
  • Condensed milk- 1 tbsp(optional)
  • Honey- 2 tbsp
  • Milk- 1 1/2 cups (chilled in the freezer for 1 hour)
  • Vanilla icecream- 2 scoops+ 2 small scoops for garnishing
  • Vanilla essence- 1 tsp
  • Chocolate sauce - to garnish
  • Nuts - to garnish

Method:

  • Soak dry fruits and nuts in hot water for half an hour.
  • Peel the skin of almonds and keep aside.
  • Now in a mixer jar, put all the soaked dry fruits and nuts and grind to form a paste. It is ok to have a few chunks. Add some milk while making the paste if required.
  • In a juicer jar, add in the milk,condensed milk, honey, iceecream, vanilla essence and dry fruit paste.
  • Blend everything well.
  • Pour in 2 serving glasses.
  • Put 1 small scoop of icecream on top in each glass.
  • Pour some chocolate sauce and garnish with nuts.
  • Serve cold and enjoy!

Saturday, 9 July 2016

ICED MINT TEA




Feeling refreshed and energetic after a long and well spent weekend and holidays of Eid. Had wonderful Eid, which began with early morning Eid prayers. Though the climate was hot and humid with friends around it seemed perfect. After returning home, prepared Eid special breakfast and a cake to be cut at my Mother's place to have after lunch after Umma's special mutton biryani. After the Biryani a nap was very much needed without which the biryani hangover and previous nights very little sleep would have left us tired and drowsy.


After the tea time we had a series of visiting to various places, like cafes, restaurants, Al Qudra lake and very long and satisfying drive to Delma Island which marked the end of Eid holidays with a crazy gang of friends. In the end of the day all that needed was a good tight sleep to compensate all the sleepless tiring nights we had during during our journey.


To feel refreshed an Iced tea is surely a perfect choice. It is very much easy to make except we need to be a little patient until it cools and chills.


Over to the recipe,
Ingredients:
  • Mint flavored tea- 2 tea bags
  • Water- 3 cups
  • Sugar- 6 tbsp.
  • Mint leaves- a stem
  • Lime- 1
Method:

  • Boil water and tea bags to boiling water and turn off heat,
  • Add mint immediately and keep the tea covered for a while till it cools.
  • Stir in sugar with a spoon till it dissolves.
  • Refrigerate tea till it is cold or add ice cubes. If adding Ice cubes the tea will get further mild than strong.
  • Finally squeeze in lime and serve cold in a serving glass with mint leaves and a slice of lime.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Peach and Strawberry Yogurt Parfait


If you are looking for something healthy and refreshing to feed yourself after long hours of fasting, then this one go-to recipes. Its pretty simple to make and I used peach to make the sour fruit consumable in parfait form. I tossed the fruits I had in hand in a bowl with some honey.


I will not be posting the quantity of any ingredient here, as I myself did not use any measurement.
Feel free to use your favorite fruits or any other fruit that can not be consumed as it is.


Ingredients:
  • Peach - cut into cubes
  • Mango- cut into cubes
  • Strawberry- Cut into cubes
  • Honey- just enough to coat all the fruits
  • Yogurt
  • Condensed milk- half the quantity of yogurt or as much sweet you want
  • Vanilla- a teaspoon
  • Corn flakes- to top
  • Strawberry, Peach and mint- to garnish

Method:
  • Toss all the fruits in a big bowl with honey.
  • Lay the fruits in the bottom of individual bowls.
  • In another big bowl, combine yogurt and condensed milk. Add vanilla.
  • Now spoon a few spoons over the fruits.
  • Refrigerate.
  • Top a generous amount of cornflakes just the moment before serving else it will lose its crispiness.
  • Garnish with peach, strawberry and mint. Serve cold and enjoy.