Sunday, July 31, 2011

Aloo Gobhi

Aloo Gobhi means Potato Cauliflower. This is a very popular Indo Pakistani vegetarian dish which is dry and yellowish in color. It can be served with rice, rotis or naan

Serve 4
1 medium cauliflower 
2 potatoes
1 onion sliced fine
2 green chilies chopped
spring of curry leaves
3 gloves of garlic minced
1/2 inch ginger grated fine
1 tomato quarterd
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4tsp turmeric 
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1tsp coriander powder
1/2tsp cumin powder
2 tbsp sunflower oil
salt to taste

Peel and cut the potatoes in to 1 inch cubes. Wash and cut the cauliflower in to florets. Season both with some salt.
Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pan and fry the onion,green chili, curry leaves till the onions turn translucent. Add in garlic and ginger. Fry till the raw smell goes off. Add in the potatoes, all the powders apart from the garam masala, and stir for 30 seconds. add a little bit of water, cover the pot and cook the potatoes till the potatoes are almost cooked. You can test by inserting a fork, if it penetrates but with some difficulty, its time to add in the cauliflower.
Add in the cauliflower and tomato, Check for seasoning. Cover and cook until the cauliflower is soft. 
Make sure there is no gravy left, otherwise keep lid off and cook till the gravy drys out.
Now sprinkle with garam masala. mix well.

Crispy Mushrooms with Carrot Ribbon Salad

Mushrooms are a low calorie food rich with B vitamins. I used Oyster mushrooms for this recipe as button mushrooms are hard to find around here. The crispy fried mushrooms along with the citracy flavored carrot ribbon salad would make an ideal appetizer or even as a side dish for a South Asian cuisine.

Ingredients: Serve 4
Mushrooms 250g
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp of melted butter
1/2cup plain flour
1/3 cup corn flour
about 2/3cup of water
salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

Make the batter by mixing baking powder, plain flour, corn flour, melted butter and salt along with water. Beat with a whisk to mix well. 
Heat oil for deep frying. (But make sure NOT to heat it till smoke comes )
Dip a mushroom on the batter and to test whether the oil is ready; put one mushroom to the oil.If it sizzles immediately the oil is ready for frying.
Dip the mushrooms in the batter by batches and deep fry till golden and crisp.
Transfer to kitchen paper towel to absorb excess oil. 
Serve in a serving plate along with carrot salad or plain.

To make carrot salad:
2 carrots washed and skin peeled off.
2 green chillies chopped fine
1 medium size onion sliced
1 tsp rice vinegar
lime juice to taste
salt to taste
pepper to taste
extra virgin olive oil to drizzle

Make ribbons by peeling lengthwise of the carrot. Mix the ribbons with the other ingredients and adjust the taste to your liking. drizzle olive oil and serve long with the crispy mushrooms. Enjoy!!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Guacamole is a Mexican originated avocado based dip which can be served with nachos, crackers or basically with anything you like. It can also used as a spread with toasts. Its very easy to make, very healthy and best served chilled. The tip to avoid Guacamole turning brown is to store it in a air tight container and keep the seed of the avocado in the middle of the dip!! Also keep in mind that its all about the taste, do your experiments with ingredients to your liking!! 

3 ripe Avocados
1 ripe tomato chopped
small bunch of fresh coriander leaves chopped finely
1 white onion chopped finely
1 tbp of jalapenos ( or 2 green chillies chopped)
1 fresh lime juice
2 cloves of garlic minced 
salt and pepper to taste

Cut the avocados in half, remove the seed and scoop the flesh in to a bowl. Mash the Avocados well with a fork.
Add in the chopped ingredients, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste and mix well and mash all together to form the dip.
Serve chilled or at room temperature.
If storing, keep the dip in an air tight container or cover the bowl with cling film. Keep one seed of the avocado in the middle of the dip, to avoid the dip from turning brown. Keep refrigerated.
Serve with chips, nachos or crackers of your choice. Enjoy!!!

Here's Guacamole served with Cream Crackers.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cuttle Fish with Murunga Leaves

Cuttle Fish is a nice delicacy with a high nutritional value. This curry is cooked to a silky coconut gravy with Murunga / Moringa leaves and ideal to serve with rice or string hoppers.

Ingredients: Serve 4
Cuttle fish cleaned and cut in to pieces 250g
1 small onion minced
2 cloves of garlic chopped
2 green chillies slit in half
spring of curry leaves
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp roasted curry powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tomato quarted
dash of corn flour
Coconut milk 400ml
murunga leaves bunch
salt to taste 
2 tbsp olive oil

 Marinate the cuttle fish with turmeric, chili powder, pepper, dash of corn flour and salt.
Heat a pan with olive oil, add in the onions, curry leaves, garlic and green chili. Fry till onions are golden and translucent.
Add the cuttle fish and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add in coconut milk, fenugreek seeds, roasted curry powder and tomato. Bring to boil and simmer till the curry cuttle fish is cooked. When the curry is done turn off the heat and add in the murunga leaves. The heat from the curry will wilt away the leaves. 
Serve with rice.

Sea Food Pasta

Although I'm not a very big fan of pasta, once in awhile I enjoy Italian Food. Got the inspiration for this recipe from Jamie Oliver.

Ingredients: Serve 4-5
Macaroni 400g
300g prawns 
100g cuttle fish
2 Carrots
1 stalk of Celery
5 leaves of Cabbage
1 onion minced
3 cloves garlic minced
4 ripe large tomatoes 
1 red bell pepper
1 Chicken cube dissolved in 1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
Olive oil
dash of corn flour

First to make the pasta sauce:
Clean the sea food. Remove head of the prawns and de-vein. Remove shell if preferred. Clean, wash and cut the cuttle fish in to small pieces. Season the prawns and cuttle fish with salt and pepper. Add a dash of corn flour to cuttle fish.
Mince carrot, celery and cabbage in a food processor. Mix with Worcestershire sauce, fennel seeds, oregano and vinegar.Cut the red pepper in the strips.
Put the tomatoes in to boiled water for a minute and put a cross at the bottom with a knife and peel away the skins. Liquidize the tomatoes in a food processor and keep aside.

Heat a large pan with 3 tbsp olive oil. Fry the prawns till they turn orange color. Remove and keep aside. 
Then fry the cuttle fish till they curl for 1-2 minutes and keep aside.
Now add the garlic and onions and fry till they turn golden. Add in the minced vegs and fry till almost turning golden. Add in the chicken cube dissolved in hot water, red pepper strips, and liquidized tomatoes. Mix well. Add in the prawns and cuttle fish and cook on low heat. Season the sauce. (If the sauce seems dry add some boiling water from the paste to the sauce.)

Cook pasta according to the packet instructions. Make sure to salt the boiling water. Once cooked drain the pasta and add in to the Sauce and mix well. 
Serve Warm!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chicken Piri Piri Style

Got the inspiration for this dish from Jamie Oliver. I was lovely but next time I would like to make the chicken bit more crispier by using the chicken with the skin for baking! :D

Ingredients: Serve 4
4 large chicken thighs/ legs
1 yellow or red pepper
1/2tsp thyme

For sauce 
1  red onion
2 cloves of garlic
3 green chillies
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp chilie flakes
1lemon (I added zest of lime and juice)
2 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
A bunch of fresh parsley
salt and pepper
Olive oil 1tbsp

Method: Put the chicken thighs on a chopping board and slash the meat on each side few times. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Then put on the griddle pan that is heating up.Cook until golden on each side. 

Make Piri Piri sauce: Peel and roughly chop the red onion  and add to the liquidizer with 2 peeled cloves of garlic. Add the chillies (stalks removed), 1 tablespoon of paprika, the zest of 1 lemon and juice of ½ a lemon. Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, a good pinch of salt and pepper, the bunch of parsley and a swig of water. Blitz until smooth. 
When the chicken is golden brown,pour the piri piri sauce into a snug-fitting roasting tray.  Add the chicken to the roasting tray with the sauce. Scatter over the thyme, then put the tray on top shelve of oven. Bake in a 210C oven for 10minutes.
  Slice the peppers into strips and add to the griddle pan. Turn the heat down to medium and keep moving the peppers around till gets soft and brown patches occurs. 
Serve chicken on a serving plate with the sauce from the bottom of baking tray spooned over the chicken and with grilled peppers. 

Chicken Piri Piri Style on Foodista

Greek Lemon Chicken with Potato

This is a simple yet a delicious one pot dish. But I had to use lime instead of lemon for the baking as I didn't have any lemon at home, yet the dish was very delicious. 

Ingredients: Serve 4
700g skinless chicken cut in to pieces
Potatoes 300g cut in to quarters/ cubed
Chicken broth 1/2 cup (chicken cube dissolved in 1/2 cup hot water)
Oregano 1 tsp
lemon juice ( I used juice of 1 lime) 1/2 cup
olive oil 1/4 cup
salt and pepper
10 cloves of garlic cloves with shells

Season chicken with salt and pepper and keep for 1/2 hour.
Arrange baking tray with chicken, potato and garlic. Mix together chicken broth, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano.
Drizzle over the chicken and potato.
Bake in a pre heated oven of 210C  for 40 minutes or until chicken are cooked through and golden brown and potatoes are tender, basting occasionally with pan juice.

Gyoza ( Chinese Dumplings)

Saw a cooking programme in NHK and I thought of trying out this dish. It required dumpling wrappers and since its not readily available here, I had to make them from scratch. The original recipe had minced pork but I used canned Macarel instead. I strongly recommend eating Gyoza with a soya sauce based sauce; I made my own twists. :D

Here's the recipe for the dumpling wrappers:

Makes about 30-35
2 cups of plain flour
2/3cups of hot water
1/4tsp salt

In a large bowl, add in the flour and salt. add hot water 1/2 cup and mix with a fork at the beginning and then knead by hand. Gradually add in remaining hot water and gather the flour to make a ball. Knead lightly. (Add a little more water if required as the water amount needed can be varied)The dough should be able to handle by hand and non sticky.

Cover the bowl with a wet cloth and keep aside for 1 hour. 
Knead the dough slightly and on a on a lightly floured surface roll the dough in to a roll shape with diameter of about 2 inches. 
Cut slices of the dough. Roll and flatten them with help of rolling pin in about 2mm-3mm thickness. (make sure to dust the work surface and rolling pin with flour to avoid sticking) 
Roll them in to 3'' or 3 and 3 1/2'' inch rounds or roll them in to a square like shape and cut rounds with a cookie cutter or with a rim of a glass.

Stack the wrappers made on top of each other and cover with cling film. Store in refrigerator, if wanted to be used later on.

Here's the recipe for the Gyoza:

Ingredients (Serves 4)
100g cabbage finely chopped
100g Chinese cabbage finely chopped
1 onion finely chopped
1/4 red pepper finely chopped
1 tbsp garlic minced
150g minced pork (I used flaked canned macarel fish)
1/2 tbsp minced ginger
1/2 tbsp Chinese soya sauce
1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Chinese chille paste
sesame oil
16dumpling wrappers (round type)
1/2 cup / 100ml water
1 tsp plain flour
sunflower oil

Sprinkle salt on the Chinese cabbage and cabbage in the bowl, mix them lightly, and let them stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Squeeze water out of the vegetables.
Put the sesame oil in a frying-pan, and fry the chopped garlic, ginger and onion lightly.
Put the flaked fish, Chinese cabbage, cabbage, garlic chives, and Japanese leek, ginger in the bowl, add Chinese soya sauce, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp Chinese chille paste mix them together. Add the salt, pepper, and the fried garlic, and mix them until they become paste like.
Scoop the mixture onto a pastry skin with a spoon. Put the mixture on each pastry skin and fold it over. 
Press the edged to stick together and seal. (run a fingertip damped with water around the inside of the wrapper to act as a glue and then pinch the edges together to stick and can even press by the back of a fork to seal)
Lay the prepared dumplings on a lightly floured tray.

Put the sunflower oil in the heated frying-pan, and put the dumplings in a circle. Pour the flour dissolved in water, (1tsp of lour dissolved in 1/2 cup of water)and place the lid on. Keep the flame low. When the water has almost evaporated, pour a little sunflower oil around the dumplings, place the lid on, and turn the heat high. Cook the
gyoza until the bottom gets crisp and brown on one side. And turn over to a plate and brown the other side.

Serve hot with soya sauce based sauce.

Hint: mix Soya sauce with tomato ketchup and minced ginger and finely chopped green chili to your taste.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rava Dosa

''I wanted to try out a quick dosa and found this easy to make healthy dosa made with semolina. Since I don't have a griddle or tawa, I made these small sized dosas on a non stick pan.''

Semolina 1 cup
Rice flour 1 cup
Plain Flour 1/4 cup
2 green chillies cut finely
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/8tsp pepper
1/4tsp chopped ginger
salt to taste
water to  make a thin watery batter
1 onion chopped.
melted butter or ghee

Mix all ingredients above except butter/ghee in to a thin batter. Keep for 10 minutes.
Heat hot griddle/ tawa or non stick pan. If using a non stick pan. grease the pan lightly with oil and wipe with a piece of cloth or tissue.
When its heated well sprinkle some onion pieces on to the pan and then sprinkle the thin batter with the help of hand on to the pan, in a way that it makes net like dosa. Allow to cook till its golden underneath and crisp. Drizzle little ghee on top.
It will take a minute or two to be golden and be careful while checking underneath as it will tend to break on the early stages of cooking.
Fold the dosa in half and take off heat.
Repeat process till the batter runs out.
Serve dosa with chutney or Curry.

Carrot and Cheese Sticks

''This is an easy to make snack. Make them and keep them in an air tight container if you like something to munch on in your free times''

1 carrot 
100g flour
1/4tsp baking powder
1 tbsp grated cheese
1 1/2 to 2 tbsp of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients above in a bowl with the hand. Knead the dough till the mixture comes together. Add little more oil if needed. Form the mixture in to a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature for 15 minutes. 

Roll the dough (I rolled them between 2 lunch sheets/ plastic wrap) 2mm thick on a flat board. Cut 10cm long and 3mm wide strips out of the dough. 
Pre- heat the oven to 200C. Bake the sticks for 15-20minutes until golden and crisp. Allow to cool completely and store in an air tight container. Enjoy!!!

Chicken Herb Roll

This recipe is from the Sri Lankan Cookery Programme Rasa Saraniya. They were good but I found the roll to be bit hard, the reason i think being I reduced the risen time after putting the filling inside. So I recommend, to follow the recipe exact and see. The rolls has a very mild next time I will be making them bit more spicy so sure.

Ingredients: Make 12
For Dough:
Plain flour 500g
Instant dry yeast 10g
Sugar 10g
Salt 1 1/2 tsp
Pepper 1/2 tsp
Parsley chopped 2 tbsp
Herbs 1/2 tsp
Chopped garlic 1/2 tsp
Olive oil 3 tbsp
Water 375ml - 400ml

Cheese 50g

Put flour in a large bowl, add yeast, sugar and mix wit a wooden spoon.
Add water little by little and mix. Add till about 400ml of water.
Add 3tbsp oil and keep mixing. Add salt, chop parsley, pepper, herbs and knead the dough by hand.
Put little flour on the worktop/ board and transfer dough on to it and knead well for 6-7 minutes. This is improve its elasticity. The dough will become non sticky by the end of this stage. 
Grease the hands lightly and make the dough in to ball shape and place back in the bowl to allow to double in size. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep in a warm place for 25 minutes.

At this stage make the chicken filling. The recipe is shown below.

When the dough has doubled in size, grease hands lightly and make 12 balls out of the dough. Shape each ball by rolling them tightly on top of the worktop/ board until smooth shaped small balls formed. Keep them in a lightly greased baking tray. Caver with plastic wrap and allow 10 minutes to rise again. 

Now with help of lightly greased knife make 'cross' shaped slit on top of each bun. Open the slit with the help of greased fingers to make an opening and a space for the chicken filling to be placed in.
Fill each bun with the chicken filling. Top the filling with grated cheese, bit of pepper and herbs. I topped mine with some chopped capsicum as well.
Now allow 20 minutes to rest again. (I allowed only 10 minutes or so and the rolls came out bit hard)

Now bake on a preheated oven of 210C for 15-20 minutes.
(pre heat the oven to 220C then once the rolls are placed in for baking, reduce the heat to 210C)

Serve with Ketchup. Enjoy!!!

Chicken Filling
minced chicken 250g
finely chopped onions 1tbsp
finely chopped garlic 1tsp
Oil 3 tbsp
Plain flour 2tbsp
Milk 3tbsp
Grated cheese 2tbsp
little herbs, pepper and salt to taste

Heat oil in a non stick pan, add in the garlic and onion and stir for a minute. Add in the minced chicken and stir fry. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook till the chicken is done. 
Add plain flour and cook for 2 minutes till the flour is cooked. Add in milk and cheese. Cook till the mixture is dry/ all the moisture is evaporated. 
Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before filling in the buns. (keep in the fridge to cool in a hurry)