Friday, August 19, 2011

Pasta Salad with Eggs

Here's a healthy dinner Idea. Easy to make and low on carbs. I made this for dinner tonight and loved it.

Ingredients: Serve 1
1 egg ( use golden yolk eggs)
1/4 cup spiral pasta
1 small carrot
5 green beans
1/2 cup cauliflower florets
3 fresh spinach leaves
1 tbsp mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste

Peel the carrots and cut in to quarters. Break the edges and de-vein the green beans.
Boil pasta and egg in salted water and put a steamer on top and steam the vegs till bite tender but not mashy. Put the spinach at last for steaming. 
Keep the vegs and spinach aside to cool. Peel the shell off the egg and cut in half.
Make sure the pasta is boiled perfectly and soft. Drain the water and keep aside to cool.
Cut the vegs to desired pieces. Add in the pasta. Season with salt and pepper and add mayonnaise. Refrigerate to cool if desired. Place the halved egg on top and serve.

Puddina (Maltese Bread Pudding)

I found out about this pudding on a TV show called Food Safari and wanted to try it my own. I made several changes with dry fruit ingredients as I used things I had at home. The original recipes needs cherries and almonds and sultanas. 

1 loaf day-old bread
375g sugar
2 tbsp custard powder
2 tbsp cornflour
4 tbsp cocoa
2 eggs, beaten
200g mixed dried fruit (sulatanas, cashew, raisins, cherries, pea nuts etc)
Vanilla 2tsp
4 tbsp whiskey, brandy or sherry (optional)

Break bread into small pieces and soak in cold water for 15 minutes until soft.
Place the soaked bread in a colander and mash, draining liquid. Or you can do it by hand by pressing against a strainer to remove the water. Transfer the bread to a mixing bowl and add sugar, cocoa, corn flour and custard powder. Mix well. Add in the beaten eggs and mix well.
Add in the dry fruits and, vanilla and finally brandy (if preferred).
Butter an oven proof dish well and pour the bread mixture into this.
Bake in a moderate to low oven (180C) for some 40 to 50 minutes. You will know your puddina is ready when you can stick a skewer into the middle and it comes out clean.
Serve warm or cold.


Trifle is one of my favorite Desserts. Its easy is to make and would make perfect dinner party desert. There is no strict method to follow and the amounts of ingredients will differ according to the size of the bowl you are using.

Ingredients: 7'' diameter bowl
Sponge cake to line the base of the bowl
Strawberry jelly 1-2 packets
1 apple peeled cored and sliced to small pieces
Custard about 1 and 1/2 cups made according to the packet instructions
Whipped cream  or Cream Topping 
Shaves of Semi Sweet Chocolate

Line the base of the cake with Sponge cake.
Dissolve the Jelly packets in boiling water and pour over the sponge cake.
Lay the cut apples in a layer on top of it and refrigerate till set.
Make custards according to the packets instructions and allow to cool. Pour over the apple layer. and allow to set.
Whip the whipping cream to form stiff peaks with little icing sugar or Whip the cream topping to form stiff peaks according it the packets instructions.
Spread over the custard layer and top with Chocolate shavings. Chill covered in plastic wrap and serve Chilled.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sri Lankan Chicken Curry (Hot)

This is not a traditional dish but rather how i make simple chicken curry in Sri Lankan Style with simple ingredients at home. Its quite a hot curry and goes well with side dishes like pol sambal and dhal curry.

750g chicken cut in to pieces
1 medium onion chopped fine
2 clove garlic minced
1'' lemon grass cut in to 3 pieces
spring of fresh curry leaves 
2 green chilies roughly chopped
2 tsp roasted red chili powder
1 tsp roasted curry powder
2 cardamons
2 cloves
1 tsp of pepper
1tsp salt or to taste
2 tsp white vinegar
1tsp tamarind paste
1 cup coconut milk
2tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp brown sugar

Marinate the chicken with pepper, salt, vinegar and tamarind paste dissolved in 1/4 cup of hot water.Keep for 30 minutes.
Heat a pan with oil, add the onions, garlic, lemon grass, green chilies, cardamons, cloves, curry leaves and fry till the aroma goes off for a minute or two. 
Add in the chicken pieces (with out the marinade) and stir fry for a minute. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add the left over marinade and 1/2 cup water( depend on how much gravy is preferred) and cover and cook stirring occasionally till chicken is tender. Simmer for 40 minutes.
 Adjust seasoning and add coconut milk and cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
Take off heat and sprinkle sugar and mix well. 
Serve with plain rice.


Profiteroles are simply choux pastry balls. They can be made to a delicious dessert by filling up with whip cream, pastry cream or even ice cream. I made mine filled with Chantilly cream filling which is basically whipped cream.  Profiteroles are often dusted with icing sugar or topped with chocolate sauce. Here is the recipe for this heavenly dessert.

Ingredients: Makes about 12
60g butter cut in to cubes
150ml water
75g self raising flour (or plain flour)
2 eggs lightly beaten

Put water and butter in a heavy bottom pan and heat over medium heat until butter melts taking string occasionally. Bring it the mixture to a boil, take the pan off heat and immediately add the flour stirring vigorously with a  wooden spoon. Stir until it forms a soft ball. 

Leave it to cool before adding the eggs. (if the mixture is hot the eggs tends to cook and form strings)
Add the eggs gradually and stir to combine to form a smooth, shiny paste.

Grease the baking trays and lightly sprinkle with water. Put 12 tablespoons of pastry on the tray. (Alternatively use a pasty bag and pipe in the dough without a cap, on to the baking trays. )

Bake in a preheated oven of 220C for 10 minutes and reduce the heat to 190C and bake further 20 minutes or until profiteroles are golden in color.

Allow to cool. Slit the profiteroles and fill in with Chantilly cream. Dust the profiteroles with icing sugar on top. Serve!!!

Chantilly Cream:
150ml whipping cream
1 tbsp icing sugar
1/2tsp vanilla essence

With an electric beater whip everything together until it forms stiff peaks.

Chocolate sauce:
50g semi sweet chocolate/ dark chocolate chopped
7.5g butter
3/4  tbsp clear bee honey
30ml full fat milk

Mix everything together in a bowl and microwave on high for 30secs or melt the chocolate on top of a double boiler and stir to mix to make chocolate sauce.
Allow to cool to room temperature and  drizzle over the profiteroles.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Chinese Style Green Beans

''I wanted to make something Chinese today and found Green beans in my kitchen. So here's a very quick and popular way to make Green beans the Chinese way.''

Ingredients: serve 4
Green  Beans 250g
1tsp fresh minced ginger
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp water
1 tsp corn flour
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/2tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soya sauce
1/2tsp red chili flakes
2 tbsp sunflower oil
salt to taste

Pick the edges, string and wash the Green beans.
Steam the Green beans until tender but not too soft. Dump the green beans in cold water to cool off. Drain the water and wipe each bean with kitchen towel.
Cut to desired pieces if preferred or keep as it is.
Heat a wok with sunflower oil, add in the minced garlic and ginger. Fry till the raw smell goes off. Add in the Green beans and fry for 5 minutes. 
Mix all other ingredients together to make a sauce and pour over the green beans and toss to mix well. Fry for a minute and take off heat. Season with salt to taste
Serve with fried rice.

Canned Mackerel Stir Fry

''This is an easy and favorite dish of mine frequently made at home with little variations. We, Sri Lankans calls it as 'Saman Thel Dala' even though the its not really Salmon. Canned Mackerels are quick to cook and goes very well with rice, bread or roti.''

Ingredients: Serve 4-6
1 can Mackerel in brine
1 large onion sliced finely
1 tomato cut in to cubes
2 green chilies slit
1 garlic clove minced
1cm ginger grated fine
1 spring of curry leaves
1tsp red chili flakes
1tsp soya sauce
1/4 tsp pepper
salt to taste
1/2 a lime juice
sunflower oil 2tbsp

Drain mackerel off brine and break in to pieces. Heat oil in a non stick pan, add the onions and fry till translucent. Then add in the minced garlic, ginger, curry leaves and green chillies. Fry for a minute. Add in chili flakes stir. Add tomato and fry for a minute. add the Mackerel and season with soya sauce, salt and pepper. Fry for about 5 minutes till done and squeeze some lime juice to taste.