Thursday, February 25, 2010

Coriander Mint Bakes with Cheese Dip

Savoury muffins and other such stuff are always a big hit with me and my family - especially when they go with lots of yummy dips.

Coriander leaves are my all time favourite herb, and I use tons of it per week - and have a big problem if my refrigerator runs out of the fresh green coriander leaves. It combines well with mint for a variety of recipes - coriander and mint, I feel, enhance each other's flavours and produce something unique in combination.



Ingredients

140 grams - whole wheat flour
1/2 tbsp - baking powder
1/4 tsp - red chilli flakes (adjust according to your taste)
7 tbsp - low fat yogurt
3 tbsp - olive oil
1/3 cup - coriander leaves and mint leaves, finely chopped
5 tbsp - water (its an approx measurement, may need more or less)
2 tbsp - pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp - ginger, peeled and grated
2 - low fat cheese slice
salt to taste

Method 
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degree C and grease a sqare 20 cm pan.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, red chilli falkes, cheese slice, mint-coriander leaves and salt.
  3. In another bowl, mix together yogurt, olive oil and water.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add in the liquid mixture and mix lightly with a wooden spoon so that everything just comes together. (add 1 tbsp of water at a time if required)
  5. Spoon the batter in the greased pan and sprinkle the pumpkin seeds over it.
  6. Place the pan in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for approx 20- 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. When cool, cut into squares and serve with a dip of your choice.
Cheese Dip

2 - low fat cheese slice
1/3 cup - low fat milk
a pinch of cinnamon powder
salt and pepper to taste

Method 
  1. Place everything in a pan and cook, stirring continously, until the cheese melts. 




My husband spontaneously made a cheese dip to go with the bakes, and it turned out to be really amazing as well. 



Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pineapple Tapioca Sandwich

Winter is the season of snow and lots of good food, but also, unfortunately, of sniffles and germs. So, after a short unwanted break, its back to the blogging world.

Tapioca pearls is a very versatile product which can be used for snacks, dessrts and everything in between. Tapioca is used the world over in a wide vareity of recipes.

Pineapple was one of my favourite fruits as a kid - my uncle lived on the outskirts of a town in the middle of a pineapple growing region, and whenever we visited him during pineapple season, everything imaginable (and some unimaginable things as well!) were made out of pineapple.



Ingredients 


1/3 cup - tapioca pearls (sabudana)
1 cup - coconut milk
8 - pineapple slices
2 tbsp - honey (adjust according to your taste)
1 tbsp - almonds, blanched and thinly sliced
1 1/2 tbsp - pistachio, blanched and chopped
a few strands of saffron + a few more to garnish
a generous pinch of cardamom powder


Method 

  1. Soak tapioca pearls in the coconut milk for 3-4 hours.
  2. Transfer the soaked tapioca pearls in a heavy bottomed pan. Add cardamom powder, almonds, honey and saffron and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring continously or until the mixture thickens.
  3. Arrange the pineapple pieces in a serving dish, spoon the cooked tapioca over it and put another pineapple slice over it. Sprinkle the pistachio and saffron. Serve warm or chilled.


The combination of pineapple and tapioca turned out to be a good match - both optically as well as for the taste buds.




Enjoy!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Avatar Aubergines

It was just coincidence that all the right coloured ingredients for this recipe came together the day after we had watched Avatar. My husband wanted something with a green curry. It might have been something subliminal. Or not. So, in keeping with his good taste in food and bad taste in names, christened these Avatar Aubergines. 


The first time I had aubergine curry was at my best friend Sweta's place. The colours looked more "normal" at her place, and the taste was amazing. So I'm thinking of her and of all the number of times I had yummy aubergine curry at her place and hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 




Ingredients 


6 - baby aubergines
1 tsp - sunflower oil + 1/4 tsp salt + 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, to be mixed together


1/2 tbsp - sunflower oil, (you may increase the amount of oil/ghee)
1/4 cup - coconut milk
1/2 cup - water , (may need more)
1/2 tsp - garam masala powder
1/4 tsp - cumin seeds
a pinch of sugar
salt to taste


To be coarsely ground together 


1 1/2 tbsp heaped - fenugreek leaves
3 1/2 tbsp heaped - coriander leaves
1 - green chilli (adjust according to your taste)
1 tbsp - roasted peanuts
1 medium size - onion, roughly chopped
1/2 tbsp - dessicated coconut
1 tbsp - ginger, roughly chopped
2 - 3 cloves - garlic


Method 

  1. Wash baby aubergines and make slits along the length taking care that they are held together at the stem.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200 degree C
  3. Apply oil, salt and turmeric to the slit aubergines and place them on a baking tray.
  4. Place the baking tray in the center of the preheated oven and bake the aubergines for apprx 30 minutes.
  5. Add oil in a non stick pan, add the cumin seeds and when the seeds splutter, add the ground paste and cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the coconut milk, water and cook again for a couple of minutes. Add the baked brinjals, salt, garam masala and sugar and cook again for a couple of minutes. 
  7. Serve hot. (Correct the consistency of the gravy by adding a little water if required )

Dont judge a book by its cover - or a curry by its colour. Just have it - and then you'll know what I mean.




Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Awards!

Jisha of Jisha's Kitchen, Nithu of Nithu's Kitchen and Devi of Devi's Blog has passed on this smart award to me:) Its really thoughtful of you all and thanks a lot!


BeenaShylesh of My Kitchen has passed on these beautiful awards to me:) Thanks a ton!






Devi and Sara have also passed on this award to me. Thanks!




Thanks a lot girls! 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dark Chocolate Suckao

I first tasted Chocolate Suckao at the Harrods Chocolate Bar in London - we had had a hard day of window shopping through the streets of London, and were pretty tired. Harrods was the last planned stop of the day, and somewhere in the middle of the third floor, we came accross this chocolate bar. It was love at first sight - or rather, love at first sip. Be it the dark chocolate suckao I tried or the white one my husband did, the taste was out of this world.


In fact, years later, we still make sure that every time we are in London, we take a quick pit stop at the Harrods Chocolate Bar. If there is a bigger choc-fanatic than me, its my brother-in-law. So whenever we are in the Harrods Chocolate Bar, I always miss him and hope he would be there with us.


Suckao- a concentrated chocolate shot is made up of two words. Suck + Cacao. It is drunk through a metal straw which also serves as a stirring spoon.

 I have tried to create my own version of the Harrods Suckao, dedicated to my BIL...hope you enjoy it as much as we did. 




Ingredients 


50 gram - dark chocolate 70 % , roughly chopped 
1 tbsp - condensed milk, sweetened
6 tbsp - water
1/2 tbsp - vanilla sugar (adjust according to your taste)


Method 

  1. Melt the chocolate on a double boiler, stirring continuously.
  2. Remove from the heat and let the melted chocolate cool for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the condensed milk and mix. 
  3. Retransfer to the heat(on a double boiler), add water and sugar and mix, stirring continuously for a minute. Everything should be properly mixed and the chocolate should have a falling consistency.
  4. Remove from the heat and serve in a small glass/pots/cups and enjoy.
Makes




    You can make the suckao from white chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate...any chocolate:)

    Its almost pure melted chocolate...need I say more about the taste? 





    Enjoy! 

    Monday, February 8, 2010

    Multi Grain Cumin Bread

    I have had this recipe for quite some time now on my "drafts" folder.

    The idea came when I opened up my kitchen cabinet, took out all the different types of flour I had in stock, and mixed them into the dough. And I was going through an oat phase at that time - so of course I took some oat flakes, grinded them to flour in the mixer and added them to the mix. And some add-on flavour is never bad, so in came the cumin seeds.

    Best served hot, with the smell of freshly baked bread still wafting through thte apartment - but the sandwiches on the next day turned out to be as good.




    Ingredients 


    60 gram - all purpose flour
    60 gram - whole wheat flour
    60 gram - rye flour
    60 gram - spelt flour
    60 gram - oat flakes (crushed to the consistency of semolina in a spice jar)
    2 tbsp - dried yeast
    3 tsp - sunflower oil
    1/2 tbsp - salt
    1/2 tbsp - cumin seeds
    210 ml - warm water
    oil to grease the bowl and bread form


    Method 

    1. Preheat the oven to 180 degree C and grease a bread form.
    2. Place the warm water, yeast in a bowl and leave in a warm place until frothy. (10 - 15 minutes)
    3. Sift the flour, slat and cumin seeds in another bowl, rub in the oil until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
    4. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and knead to form a dough. (add 1 tsp of whole wheat flour if the dough is too sticky, but avoid adding too much of flour)
    5. Place the dough in an oiled bowl (grease the bowl generously) and knead the dough in the oiled bowl for 2- 3 minutes. Cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place until double in size (approx 1 hour)
    6. Knead the dough again on a lightly floured surface for a minute and give it a rectangular shape and place it in the greased bread form, cover it with a plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place until double in size (approx 1 hour)
    7. Place the bread form in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 35 minutes.
    8. Allow the bread to cool on a wire rack completely and then  cut into slices. 




    Enjoy! 

    Awards!

    Aparna of Ladies Special Adukkala, Jyoti of The Veggie Hut and Neethu of Kitchen Express has bestowed these lovely awards on me. Thanks a lot girls!




    Thanks a lot dear!!!!

    Friday, February 5, 2010

    Hot and Spicy Coconut Soup

    When I think of tropical climes, warm sun and sandy beaches, the two tastes that come to my mind first are Coconuts and Limes.

    Lime leaves is currently on my top-3 of most used herbs / spices. Just discovered a chinese shop in Munich selling very good quality fresh aromatic lime leaves, and have, since then, been using them in every recipe possible (sometimes even when not possible!).

    So here is an all time favorite combining the two - along with tons of healthy vegetables and lots of spice (It was almost too spicy for me - but my husband just loved it!)


    Ingredients 


    400 ml - coconut milk
    1/4 cup - carrots, finely chopped and boiled
    1/4 cup - babycorns, finely chopped and boiled
    1/4 cup - onions and yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
    2 - red chilli, finely chopped (adjust according to taste)
    3 inch piece - ginger, thinly sliced
    1 stalk - lemon grass, thinly sliced
    4-5 - kaffir lime leaves
    1/2 - 3/4 cup - water 
    1/4 tsp - sunflower oil
    salt and pepper to taste


    To garnish 


    1 tbsp - coriander leaves, finely chopped
    a few walnuts, broken roughly
    a few chilli threads (see here)


    Method 

    1. Heat oil in a pan, add onions and yellow bell pepper and cook for a minute.
    2. Add the boiled vegetables, coconut milk, lime leaves, lemon grass, water, ginger and chillies and mix. Cook for 5-7 minutes
    3. Serve hot, garnished with coriander leaves, walnuts and chilli threads.
    Serves  2


      This recipe, apart from going to my Hubby's and my own tummy, goes also to Usha's Healthy Inspirations Event- Soups 



      Have a great weekend and enjoy!

      Wednesday, February 3, 2010

      Chocolate Tarts with Nutella Quark Filling

      This is a recipe for those who love chocolate and more chocolate. And its with lots of quark - so if you use the low-fat variety, its not too unhealthy, even though its still rich and creamy and yummm.

      Nutella is one of my favorite inventions of all time - I use it in a lot of recipes in addition to the usual on-the-toast or lick-directly-from-the-spoon variants. The combination of the three tastes - quark, chocolate and nutella turned out to be something really unputdownable. 




      For the chocolate tarts


      50 gram - melted dark chocolate 


      For the filling


      75 gram - low fat quark (curd cheese, for more details see here)
      2 - 3 tbsp - nutella
      1 tbsp - honey (adjust according to your taste)
      2 tsp - hazelnuts, finely crushed


      To garnish - a few silver pearls

      Method 

      1. Line the tart cases/ramekins with a foil.
      2. Brush the foil with the melted chocolate (approx 1tsp for each case) over the base and the sides and leave to set in the refrigerator. Repeat this step twice, chilling everytime.
      3. Meanwhile, to make the filling, mix all the ingredients of the filling in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
      4. Spoon the filling into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. 
      5. Carefully peel the foil of the chocolate tarts and pipe the filling into the tarts and chill.
      6. Sprinkle the silver pearls and serve.
      Serves - 3


        Wanna have a bite? :)

        Enjoy!

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