Coconut Chutney

Romeo-Juliet, Mr and Mrs Smith, Bridget Jones and a tub of Ice Cream. Just like that, Dosa and Chutney are a match in foodie heaven. Follow these steps for an easy no-fuss Chutney recipe.

What you will need:

  • 1/2 cup of fresh grated coconut.
  • 1 green Chilli
  • 1/2 inch of Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 2 dry Red Chillies
  • handful of Curry leaves (5 to 6 leaves)
  • 1 Tbs of Ghee (clarified butter) or any oil of your choice for tempering the seasoning.

How to Cook:

  1. Grind the coconut, ginger and chillies with a little bit of water and salt to taste. If it’s not grinding properly just add a little more water to help get it going. 
  2. Set aside in the bowl, preferrably the one you intende to serve it in.
  3. Prepare the tempering (Tadka). Place a small pan and add the ghee/ oil until it’s hot but you don’t want it to be smoking. This will burn all the seasoning ingredients. Now add the ingredients in the following order:
    – mustard seeds (once these start to pop)
    – Dry red chillies
    – Curry leaves
  4. Quickly take it off the heat and swirl it a bit then add it to the ground coconut mixture.

Mix it in and it’s ready! Happy cooking 🙂

Instant Moong Daal Dosas

Breakfasts should be easy. Plain and simple. Traditionally Dosas are a rice and lentil crepe that’s native to south of India but preferred and enjoyed as a breakfast staple or a snack by Indians around the world.

This recipe is actually one for Adai, which is kind of like a dosa but made only out of lentils. I lable this as an instant recipe because it doesn’t need to be left overnight for fermentation. It’s a simple soak, grind and rest for an hour and they’re ready to be spread!

What you will need:

  • 1/2 cup of white Urad Dal (see here)
  • 1/2 cup of Yellow Moong Dal (see here)
  • 1/2 inch of Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Hing (Asofoetida, see here)

How to cook:

  1. Wash the lentils a coupe of times, I prefer doing this and getting any powdery, grainy residue off them. Cover with just enough water to cover the lentils and set aside for an hour. Sometimes I do this the night before; drain the water before going to bed and leave the lentils in the fridge overnight.
  2. Peel and cut the ginger into smaller chunks that will grind easily with the lentils.
  3. Rest this batter for about an hour for it to come together and bind.
  4. Heat a skillet and spray with cooking oil and spread in a circular motion as you would do with a crepe.
  5. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on medium to high flame and then flip for another 2 mins.

Serve and enjoy with a coconut chutney recipe is here and happy cooking!! 🙂

(No Sugar) Strawberry Yogurt Tart

We have started on the slow, long journey of moving away from using refined sugar in desserts and cooking. Everyone in our house has a sweet tooth and with me cooking and baking so often it’s becoming harder to stay fit.

I thought of this because I was craving a cheesecake but was dreading the calories involved in the consumption of a good, bad ass creamy ‘real’ cheesecake. So for those who want some guilt free indulgence here’s what you need!

What you will need: 

  • 500 gm ripe strawberries cut lengthwise
  • 170 gm cream or 1 tin of Nestle Cream
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs Raw Organic Honey
  • 1 Tbs Lime juice
  • 1 1/12 cup Digestive biscuits crumbs
  • 1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup Almonds that are coarsely ground

How to cook: 

  1. Mix the biscuit crumbs and butter together and flatten it onto the pie plate to form a biscuit crumb base. Set aside in the fridge to firm up.
  2. Combine the greek yogurt and cream in a bowl and whisk till it feels slightly stiff and forms the smallest soft peaks. I used an electric whisk on the lowest setting being mindful not to over whip as the yogurt cream filling can split. 
  3. Add the honey and vanilla extract and fold this into the cream filling; set aside.
  4. Spread the ground almonds onto the biscuit base and save some for garnishing later.
  5. Pour this onto a firmed up biscuit pie base and set in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
  6.  Add the lime juice to strawberries and mix well. The cream filling should appear less runny than before and now you can place the strawberries on in any way you please.

Dust it with some of the ground almonds before serving and dig in!! 🙂 

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Image Credit: TeachMeHowToCurry

Savoury French Toast

Few things in life are as easy with huge rewards as this french toast recipe. For instance, dunking baguette in a spicy, cheesy, herby egg wash is a short and quick road to a full bellied, Sunday success.

I picked up a freshly baked baguette but this also works perfectly fine if you have some stale bread that needs using desperately.

What you will need: 

  • A little more than half loaf of baguette (or any thick bread)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/2 a medium Onion; finely chopped
  • 3 Green chillies; finely chopped
  • Finely chopped coriander
  • Italian seasoning mixed herbs
  • 3/4 cup grated cheese of your choice (I used a mild cheddar)
  • Maggie Chilli Sauce to serve with

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How to cook:

  1. Slice the baguette into pieces of desired thickness and set aside.
  2. Prepare the egg dipping mixture by adding the onions, herbs, chillies, coriander, salt and pepper whisking it until fully incorporated.
  3. Add cheese and mix well.
  4. Dunk the bread in the egg mixture and thoroughly coat it ensuring that the onions ad chillies stick to the bread.
  5. Heat a pan with about 1 Tbs Olive oil and place the bread slices. Flip after about 2 mins of cooking on a medium flame and take off the heat when both sides are cooked and no egg mixture oozes out when you press down on the bread gently.
  6. Serve these up with some chilli sauce and hot cup of tea!

Happy cooking 🙂

 

Cheesy Cauliflower Paranthas

Gobi Cheese Chilli paranthas. This stuffed Indian flatbread was staple in my house growing up Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Different day, different filling.

What you will need: (to make 4 paranthas)

Cauliflower Stuffing

  • 1 cup grated cauliflower (I only grate the florets and not so much of the stalk)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 Tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 Tsp Cumin powder
  • 2 Tsp Coriander powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 green chillies chopped finely

Parantha dough

  • 1 1/2 cup of Roti atta
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup water (room temperature or slightly warm)
  • 1 Tbs olive oil

How to Cook:

First we prep the dough as this needs some time to rest.

  1. Mix the salt into the roti flour and I add a little bit of chopped coriander at this point.
  2. Create a well in the middle and start by adding a little bit of water and combining it with the flour each time.
  3. Go in with your hands as the dough starts to form, kneading it gently till it all comes together. At this point it should be soft and little sticky.
  4. Add the oil and continue kneading about 6 mins and leave it aside to rest while you work on the stuffing.

Cauliflower stuffing:

  1. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil on a hot pan and sauteé the onions for about 2 mins on medium to low heat.
  2. Add the grated cauliflower and mix well
  3. Now add the powdered spices, salt and mix well. You want to let the spices cook through a bit and also for some of the water in the cauliflower to evaporate. This makes it easier to work with when stuffing it in the dough.
  4. Cook the mixture until you feel it’s not wet anymore, a little moist and stodgy looking is alright.
  5. Now form equal sized balls from the rested dough and flatten these out enough for you to add the stuffing. Then pinch the sides inwards and secure the ball.
  6. Gently press down the ball with your hand to ensure that the stuffing spreads evenly. Then go over lightly with a rolling pin to spread into a circular shape about 2 cms thick.
  7. Place on a hot non stick pan and let it cook for about 3 to 4 mins then flip and added 1/2 tsp oil to each side.
  8. Serve with pickle of choice, butter and yogurt !

Happy cooking 🙂

Achari (Pickle) Spice Mix

A dry spice mix you can prepare and store in your pantry. To be used in curries, dry roasts or even tempering.

What you will need:

  • 1 Tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Fennel seeds
  • 1 Tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 Tsp Onion seeds
  • 3 small dry Red chillies
  • 1 Tsp Cumin seeds

How to Cook:

  1. Dry roast all spices in a pan stirring continuously to avoid burning.
  2. Transfer them to a motar and pestle or blender. I prefer to pound them by hand simply because I enjoy the experience of it. It also preserves more of the flavour as it’s gentler than an electric grinder.
  3. store it in an air tight container or use it; this should store well for upto a week and longer in the fridge!

Achari Stuffed Tava Bhindi

I love a good spice mix and the Achari (pickle) Masala is hands down one of my favourite combinations. It’s spicy, fragrant and sure to transform any vegetable. I went with a Bhindi (Okra) for this but add this mixture to fried potatoes, cauliflower or even paneer.

What you will need:

  • 1 1/2 Tbs Achari Spice mix (see here)
  • 2 Tbs Besan/ Chickpea flour
  • 100 gms Bhindi/ Okra slit lengthwise
  • Salt
  • 2 Tsp Olive oil

How to cook:

  1. Slit the Okra lengthwise and set aside.
  2. In a bowl prepare the “stuffing” by mixing the chickpea flour, Achari Spice mix and salt with oil.
  3. Adjust the consistency of the “stuffing” it should clump together and yet be slightly dry and crumbly. So add 1 Tsp of oil at a time till you reach this consistency.
    Note: If the filling ends up becoming runny just add a little more of the chickpea flour and spice mix in 1:2 ratio.
  4. Fill Okra with this mix and dab a little all around each piece as well.
  5. Heat a non stick pan with a little oil and place the okra on this when the pan is hot.
  6. Let the Okra cook slowly on a medium flame. Cooking it slowly over about 25 mins lets its crisp up on the outside while ensuring the stuffing is fully cooked too.

 

That’s it serve with simple Daal and roti or eat it with Plain rice and tempered yogurt!

 

Happy cooking 🙂

Eggless BerryNana Pancakes

These pancakes are perfect for lazy Sunday mornings when you’re left with some overripe bananas from the week gone by and I happened to have some tart blueberries in my fridge that needed to used up.

Alright, I made these on a Tuesday morning but with the Chinese New Year Holidays everyday has felt like a Sunday and I am not complaining hah!

Instead of eggs this recipe uses mushed ripe bananas and baking soda to give the pancakes a slight fluffiness.

 

What you NEED:

To make about 6 large pancakes
– 2 ripe Bananas
– 100 gms Blueberries
– 1 1/2 cup Oats
– 1 Tsp Baking Soda
– 1 Tsp Vanilla extract
– 1/4 cup milk
– 3 to 4 Tbs of water (or as needed)

How to COOK:

  1. Measure out the oats and blitz in a blender until you have fine flour and set aside This becomes your Oat flour. I prefer not to buy this as it is unnecessarily pricey at my grocery stores in Hong Kong and not to forget loaded with preservatives and additives.
  2. Mash the Bananas until a runny almost liquid consistency and add the vanilla extract, mixing well.
  3. Now add the Oat Flour and Baking soda to the wet mixture and stir in until well combined.
  4. Add the Milk and water to achieve desired consistency; then add the blueberries or other toppings.
  5. Spoon onto a well greased pan (I prefer using a non stick pan) and spread into a circular shape. It’s ready to flip when the pancake starts to bubble. Give about 3- 4 minutes on each side on a medium to low flame.

Happy Cooking!!

 

Chilly weather CHILLI PANEER

With the temperatures fluctuating from pleasant 18 degrees to nippy 5 degrees celcius over the past week there has been only one constant. The craving for hot, spicy and comfort food. Indian Chinese food may not seem like the obvious choice for those needs but it is my comfort food.

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Photo: TeachMeHowToCurry

I can confidently trace this back to my childhood where Indian Chinese food was a coveted treat that more often than not had to be earned. For my mum to dial for delivery instead of cooking fresh at home meant two things either I had earned it or she had. I had showed up to work everyday, braved the temperamental temperatures and I surely deserved a satiating serving of chilli food. I refer to this as ‘chilli food’ because every dish in this fusion cuisine has a kick to it.

Now even though my Momma taught me well, I couldn’t dial for delivery in Hong Kong. No place here does good Chindian food let alone offers delivery for it! So, I made my own rendition of Chilli Paneer or however close I could get to it. It’s an easy recipe and is certainly quick; I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I am telling you if you want leftovers you’ll have to plan for it.

 

What you will NEED:

  • 6 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 Red chillies
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Oyster sauce
  • Quarter cup of chopped Red Onion
  • Quarter cup chopped Green Peppers
  • Quater cup chopped Green Spring onions
  • 250 gms Paneer (if using frozen just make sure to defrost it to room temperature)
  • 1 Tbs Olive Oil

 

How to COOK:

  1. Pan fry the paneer until lightly golden brown and set aside.
  2. Crush chillies and garlic together until coarsely crushed.
  3. Heat Oil in large skillet and add the crushed chillies and garlic when hot.
  4. Once lightly golden add the red onions  and paneer; continue to sauté
  5. Add the soy sauce and oyster sauce and stir until mixed well
  6. Now add the green peppers and spring onions and sauté for a few more minutes
  7. Season to taste and ready to serve

 

Happy Cooking 🙂

 

 

 

TOFFEE APPLE SAUCE PANCAKES

A lighter deconstructed version of a candy or toffee apple. This sauce is a great addition to spiced pancakes, French toasts and can even spruce up a plain old bowl of cereal.

What you will NEED:

  • Apples
  • 1 Tbs butter per 150 gms of apple
  • 1 ½ Tbs Raw or Demerara Sugar per 150 gms of apple
  • 1 Tsp ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ Tsp ground Nutmeg
  • ½ cup Water

 

How to Cook:

  1. Chop up the apples into small evenly sized pieces and set aside.
  2. Heat the butter, sugar and spices in a pan together.
  3. Add the apples and mix well to ensure that all of the apple pieces are evenly coated in the syrup.
  4. Once the mixture appears to be drying up add the water and let it simmer on low heat.
  5. You should be left with a sticky, toffee like sweet and tart apple sauce. Bottle it up and you’re good to go!