Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dinner Rolls/ Bread Rolls

''Bread Rolls are pieces of bread, usually small and round and is commonly considered a side dish. Bread rolls are often used in the same way as sandwiches are—cut transversely, with fillings placed between the two halves. Depending on the slight variations Dinner rolls have a slightly crispy crust than normal bread rolls. 
These buns are so versatile and can be eaten with soups or filled with a filling of choice; spicy or sweet for breakfast or as a snack. This was my first attempt to make dinner rolls and they came up great!!! ''

Ingredients: Makes 12
3cups plain flour and extra for dusting
2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup milk
1 beaten egg
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt

Mix yeast with sugar and 1/4 cup water, give a stir and let it stand for 10-15 minutes until frothy.
Warm the milk to Luke warm and add in the butter and salt and mix for the butter to melt. Make sure that the milk is only Luke warm. NOT hot!!
Add the yeast mixture and milk mixture to a large wide bowl and mix to incorporate.
Add 1 cup of flour at a time and mix slowly to well incorporate with a metal spoon. The dough will be very sticky.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead. This is an important part of the procedure and make sure to lightly dust the hands and surface while kneading. Knead the dough for 10 minutes. The stickiness will now be replaced with elasticity while kneading. Once the kneading is done the dough should be soft but very lightly sticky.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl and cover with plastic wrap and cover with a kitchen cloth.
Place it in a warm humid place and allow to double in size. (for 3 hours)

Now again place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll in to a rectangular shape. Or used your hands to punch and shape it. Cut the dough now to equal parts of 12 square pieces. ( I did this procedure in two steps as I can only bake 6 rolls at a time)

Roll each square in your palm to form a round shape.
Place the balls side by side on a baking sheet allowing 1-2 inches apart. Keep the tray aside and allow the balls to double in size. They might stick to each other while doubling but that's okay.

Give the buns an egg wash but brushing lightly on top with a beaten egg. Do this just before placing in the oven.
Bake the rolls in a preheated oven of 180C for 25-30 minutes until golden on top.
Cool them on wire rack and serve warm or cold.


Serving Tips:
Make a curry or paste of your choice and cut the buns in half and fill in for a yummy snack.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Oven Fried Fish

500g fish steaks 
1 large Bombay onion sliced
6-8 whole cloves
olive oil
knorr fish cube 1/2
soy sauce

For marination:
Tamarind 5 pieces, de-seeded and dissolved in little water
ground black pepper 1/4 tsp
salt to taste
paprika 1/4tsp
1/4 tsp dry oregano

Coating 1: 1 cup plain flour seasoned with salt and pepper
Coating 2: 2 eggs beaten lightly and seasoned with salt and pepper
Coating 3: 1 cup bread crumbs or corn flake crumbs seasoned with salt, chili powder and pepper

Wash the fish well with some sea salt and turmeric, drain and pat dry with kitchen paper towel.
Marinate the fish with the marination ingredients and keep aside for 15-30 minutes.
Pre heat the oven to 200C.
Grease the baking tray with extra virgin olive oil.
Scatter the slice onions and cloves on the tray.
Now for the coating for the fish: Coat the fish in plain flour mixture, then with egg mixture and finally with breadcrumbs mixture well. Place the fish on the baking tray on top of scattered onions. Repeat the procedure till all the fish steaks are coated.
Now drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on top of the fish pieces. and pour 1-2 drops of soy sauce on top of fish steak. blend the knorr fish cube (1/2) with hand and scatter it on top of the fish pieces. If marinade is left, pour it to the tray as well.
Now place the tray in the oven and bake the fish for 25-30 minutes turning the fish once on half time. 
(Baking time and temperature will depend on the size of steaks. So reduce heat if necessary at last stages)
Take the fish out and cover with aluminum foil and keep aside for 15 minutes before serving.


Cucumber Curry

1 Cucumber ( 300g)
1 medium Bombay onion sliced
2 green chili sliced
spring of curry leaves
1/4 turmeric
1/2 tsp Maldive fish
1/2 tsp roasted chili powder
1/4 tsp roasted curry powder
1/4tsp fenugreek seeds
1 cardamom and 1 clove
1/2inch cinnamon stick 
2 cups thin coconut milk
1 cup thick coconut milk

Peel and cut and remove the middle part and cut cucumber into small(1 1/2inch)pieces. 
Mix all ingredients together expect thick coconut milk and cook covered in a pan till the gravy is reduced and the cucumber pieces are cooked. (They should be able to break in half with a spoon)
Add the thick coconut milk and bring the curry to boil for 5 minutes.
Curry is done. Use it as a side dish with rice.

Carrot Poriyal (carrot stir fry)

''This is a South Indian dish which is quick and easy to make and would go as a side dish with rice.''

4 big carrots
3 tbsp grated fresh coconut
2 slit green chili or 3 whole kochchi
1 small onion chopped finely 
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
3-5 curry leaves
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt or to taste
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Wash, Peel and grate the carrots.
Heat a pan with oil and put mustard seeds when they start to splutter add in the curry leaves, 2 slit green chillies and onions. Stir for 30 seconds. 
Now put the grated carrots and keep the flame in medium, add salt and pepper and cover with lid and cook till carrot is well cooked for few minutes. 
Add 3 tsp of grated coconut and mix well and remove from fire.
Enjoy as a side dish.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

'' Simple and easy recipe to make yummy chocolate chip cookies. This is a must try''

Makes 27 

Butter 100g (salted)
Castor Sugar 50g
Egg 1
Self raising flour 150g
(or plain flour 150g + 1 1/4tsp baking powder)
Chocolate polka dots 175g
(or Milk Chocolate cut in to 5cm cubes)

Preheat the oven to 180C.
Grease the baking trays lightly.
Cream the butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well again.
Sift in the flour (and baking powder) and fold in to the mixture. Fold in the chocolate pieces. 
Get a full teaspoon of the mixture in the hand and lightly press to make shape of flatten rounds. Keep on the greased baking sheet, leaving space between each cookie and bake for 15-20 minutes. 

Lift with a palette knife and cool on wire rack completely before storing them in air tight container.

Button Mushroom Curry

'' I like button mushrooms because of its unique taste''

Button mushrooms 250g
Mustard seeds 1/2tsp
Red dried chilies 2
Curry leaves few
Garlic 5-6 pieces crushed
Small onion sliced thin
Turmeric powder pinch
Chillie powder 1/2 tsp
Coriader powder 3/4tsp
Chicken/ meat masala powder 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Extra virgin olive oil

Mke sure not to wash the mushrooms. Just wipe them with a kitchen tissue.
Cut each mushroom in to quarters.
Heat 2tbsp oil in a wok. Once the oil is heated put in the mustard seeds and let it splatter. Add in the curry leaves and red chilies. Fry for a second and add the crushed garlic. Fry until its golden. Add the sliced onions and fryuntil its turns golden brown.
Add in the mushrooms and fry for 4-5 minutes. Add bit of oil if required. 
Cover the pan and cook on low flame for 2-3 minutes. Saute and add turmeric, chilie powder, corinder powder, chicken masala powder and salt. 
Fry till the smell from spices goes off. Add a cup of water, cover and cook on medium heat until mushrooms are cooked and the gravy is thick and oil oozes out to the gravy.
Enjoy with rice or bread.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Rice Pudding

''I always wanted to try out a nice rice pudding. But to be honest I never thought it would be this delicious. I adapted this recipe from DedeMeds. This pudding is very creamy tastse great.''

Serves: 4-6

2 cups raw long grain rice
4 cups non-fat milk
2 cups water
1 cup fresh cream
1 cup sugar (or to taste)
3 tbs corn starch dissolved in 3 tbs of water
1 tbs vanilla
Raisins 1/2 cup
Toppings: cinnamon, ground roasted nuts of your choice, toasted coconut, raisins

In a large pot or pan, on medium/low heat, add the rice, milk and water and cover let cook until for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until the rice has absorbed most of the of the liquid and rice is almost cooked. If necessary add more milk if the rice has dried out while cooking (depending on the rice used)
Next add the cream, sugar and vanilla, stir in well and let cook for another 10 minutes.  Next, while on low heat, stir in the dissolved corn starch and let cook for another 5 minutes.  Add the raisins. 
Let pudding sit for 5 minutes before pouring in to serving bowl .  I topped my pudding with raisins and with toasted grated coconuts. 
Let the pudding cool completely before serving. You can serve at room temperature or cold.  You can make this ahead of time and store in the refrigerator, make sure to cover with plastic wrap, keep for up to 1 week.
I prefer the pudding served cold. :) 

Pita Bread

''I've have tasted Pita while I was in UK although its rare to find it here in Sri Lanka. I think its a very versatile bread which can be eaten in many ways; with currys for dinner or even can be filled up as a healthy burger. Pita bread is from Mediterranean cuisine.  I found this great recipe at DedeMed and the Pita bread came out perfect. Its time consuming to make but so worth the try. ''

Serves: 4-6

3 cups plain flour + 1 cup flour for kneading and dusting
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1 packet yeast (7 grams)
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water
olive oil

In a small bowl mix yeast, sugar and 1/2 cup warm water and let sit for 10-15 minutes. The yeast should be  frothy now.
In a large bowl mix 3 cups flour with salt and make a well in the middle.  Slowly stir in yeast mix and 1 cup warm water until well combined.  
In another large bowl add 1 tbsp olive oil and spread all over to keep dough from sticking, place dough in oiled bowl, cover with cling film and a kitchen cloth on top and let sit for 3 hours in a warm place. 


After 3 hours and dough has risen, add flour on to table surface and dust the fingers with flour and knead dough for 10 minutes. If the dough is sticky add more flour to the surface and hands. Knead until till soft and elastic but not sticky. 
Form dough into small balls and let sit in a plate dusted with flour for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 250Cdegrees with the baking sheet in the oven.
Roll out balls to 1/8 inch thick using a roll pin. ( I usually flatten them with the hands first on the work top and then roll them out between two lunch sheets dusted with flour)

 Place the flatten dough on the heated  flat cookie sheet or pan, cook for 3-4 minutes each side or until lightly brown and dough puffed up.
If the dough does not puff up all the time, that is ok, you'll still have a pita pocket.

Beef Curry (Indian)

'' I like meat cooked with potatoes and this a recipe idea i got after reading some Indian recipes. The meat in the curry is tender and the gravy is very delicious''


450g stewing beef
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp vinegar
2 medium red onions
2 medium chilies
6 -8 medium garlic cloves
2 inch stick ginger
2 small tomatoes blended to a puree
2 medium potatoes cut in the 1'' pieces.
olive oil

Wash, drain and dry the beef. 
Marinate the beef with salt, black pepper, coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder and vinegar with the stewing beef.
Mix well and leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
Chop the red onions, green chilies, ginger and the garlic finely.
Heat a little oil in a pan.  Add the marinated beef and brown the pieces on all sides. Add water to the beef and Cover the pan and simmer the beef for 45 minutes to 1 hour till the beef becomes tender. (Make sure the water does not run dry as the meat will get harder if is too dry.) Half way through the simmering add the potatoes.

In a separate pan, heat some oil. Add the chopped red onions and saute till golden brown.
Add the green chilies, ginger and garlic. Saute till the onions get very soft. Add a splash of water if needed to avoid the onions getting burned.

When the onions are soft and browned add the cooked beef with the potatoes.Mix well. add water and pureed tomatoes to create gravy.
Cook another 10 minutes in low heat until the gravy is thick. Adjust seasoning. Serve hot.