30 May 2016

Cuban Turrones

Recipe from tasteofcuba.com

Ingredients
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 egg whites
Preparation
  • Blanch the almonds and remove the skins. Toast the almonds with hazelnuts in a pan. Stir constantly. Remove the peel from hazelnuts. Chop them fine. Beat the egg whites and add to nuts.
  • In the pan, mix the honey and sugar and melt over heat. Add the nut paste, mix and stir constantly for ten minutes and remove from heat.
  • Put in shallow dish lined with rice paper (See notes below). When cold, sprinkle cinnamon on top. Cut into small pieces when set.
Notes
Rice paper can be bought from supermarkets. Alternatively, it can be made at home. Recipe below:
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup rice flour 
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 to 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp oil
Preparation
  • Mix rice flour and tapioca flour in a bowl. Add in the corn starch and salt. Add 1 tbsp oil and water to mix it to make a thin batter.
  • Heat a pan and add the rest of the oil. Pour batter like a pancake and cover it with a lid for 30 seconds. 
  • Remove cover and put it on a greased cutting board to get the desired shape.

Cuban Arroz con Pollo (Rice and Chicken)

Recipe from tasteofcuba.com courtesy of Cocina Cubana Club

Serves 4 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup (150 grams) rice, washed thoroughly
For the marinade
  • 1/2 chicken, about 800 grams, cut into 6 pieces.
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar  
For Sofrito and broth
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 small yellow pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup water 
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup beer
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste (blanched and pureed tomato)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For Garnish
  • 1/2 cup green peas for garnish

Preparation
  • Wash the chicken and blot dry with paper towels. Mix the oregano, cumin, white pepper and vinegar in a large glass bowl. Add the chicken, turning the pieces to cover with the mixture. Let marinate at least 15 minutes.
  • Heat the oil in a large pan. Brown the chicken pieces all over, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a platter and pour out all but 2 tablespoons of the fat.
  • Add the onion, bell peppers and garlic to the oil in the casserole, cook over medium heat until soft but brown, about 1 or 2 minutes. Add the tomato and cook for one more minute. Return the chicken to the casserole with the sofrito and cook for about 1 or 2 more minutes.
  • Add the water, wine and beer, saffron, tomato paste and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. 
  • Bring chicken mixture to a boil once again, stir in the washed rice, reduce heat, cover and simmer until the rice is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. If it starts to dry out and rice is still al dente, add more liquid. If it gets too soupy, uncover during the last 10 or 15 minutes of cooking.
  • Just before it is done, stir in half of the peas. Garnish with the rest.
  • Serve immediately.



Cuban Huevos Habaneros - Havana Style Eggs

Recipe is from tasteofcuba.com taken from "Memories of a Cuban Kitchen" by Mary Urrutia Randelman

Serves 3

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped (Used instead of pimiento in the original recipe)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup tomatoes, blanched and chopped  
  • 2 tbsp white wine (Used instead of dry sherry)
  • 6 eggs
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • salt and fresh black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley to garnish

Preparation
  • In a medium-size skillet over low heat, heat the oil until it is fragrant, then cook the onion, bell peppers and garlic, stirring, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and white wine, cook until thickened, 15 minutes, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil 3 oven-proof dishes and divide the sauce among them. For each dish, break two eggs into a saucer, slide them on top of the tomato mixture, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon melted butter.
  • Bake until the whites are set and the yolks are still soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and parsley. 
  • Place each on a serving plate and serve immediately from the baking dishes. 

Cuban Red Snapper a la Santa Barbara

Recipe is from tasteofcuba.com, courtesy "A Taste of Cuba" by Beatriz Llamas

Serves 4

Ingredients
  • 250 grams red snapper fillets
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded fresh coconut
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • oil for deep frying
For the sauce
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 oz (28 grams) butter
  • 2/3 cup white wine
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon wheat flour
  • Pinch red kesari powder (Used instead of annatto powder in the original recipe)
Preparation

For the sauce

  • Saute the onion in two thirds of the butter for 3-4 minutes on a low heat without allowing it to brown. Add the wine and coconut milk and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. 
  • In a separate pan, fry the teaspoon of flour in the rest of the butter. Add this to the first mixture to thicken the sauce, add the red kesari powder, and cook for 5-7 minutes more on a low heat until all taste of flour is gone. Season with salt and pepper. 
  • Puree the sauce and set aside in a saucepan. The sauce should be light and not too thick.
For the fish fillet 
  • Place the flour in one bowl, the beaten eggs in another and the shredded coconut mixed with the chopped scallion and parsley in a third bowl. 
  • Season the fish fillets with salt, cover each fillet first with the flour, then the egg, and finally the coconut mixture. 
  • Heat the oil in a skillet to about 375 degrees F (oil should sizzle when a drop of batter is put in) and deep fry the fish until golden. Drain the fish on paper towels and serve immediately with the sauce handed separately. 



Cuban Banana Casserole

Recipe from tasteofcuba.com, courtesy Cocina Cubana Club

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 bananas - sliced lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, diced in small cubes
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans (You can substitute with almonds)
  • 1 tablespoon brandy (I left this out as I didn’t have any!)

Preparation
  • Butter the bottom of  a baking dish heavily and line it with half of the bananas. Sprinkle with brown sugar and dot with butter cubes.
  • Sprinkle with half of the raisins and pecans or almonds. Repeat layers until all ingredients are used. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. 
  • Let cool for 5 minutes and serve with vanilla ice cream.

29 May 2016

Cuban Garlic Soup (Sopa de Ajo)

Recipe from tasteofcuba.com courtesy Sonia Martinez from Cocina Cubana Club.

Serves 2

Ingredients
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 100 grams chicken mince, pressure cooked to one whistle (optional – if using this, you can use the chicken stock from pressure cooking it)
  • 10 to 12 large garlic cloves,  peeled and mashed
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • Salt and freshly ground white peppercorns to taste
  • 1 piece of bread, cubed and toasted per person
  • 1 raw egg per person (optional – I used it)

Cuban Garlic Soup with Chicken Mince (My addition)
Preparation

  • In a large saucepan, saute the mashed garlic and sliced onion slowly in the butter. Don't let the garlic turn brown or it will give a bitter taste. When onions are translucent, switch off and transfer to a blender. Add a small amount of stock and process until onion and garlic mix is all smooth. Return to saucepan and add the rest of the broth and seasonings. 
  • Place the toasted bread cubes in each bowl and break an egg over it. Ladle the soup over the egg and toast and serve with or without the chicken mince. 
Notes
The soup tasted better without the chicken mince!



Cuban Malanga Fritters (Colocasia Fritters)

Recipe from tasteofcuba.com by Pedro Hernandez. The malanga or taro root in Cuba is nothing but our colocasia (சேப்பங்கிழங்கு)

Serves 2

Ingredients
  • 150 grams colocasia
  • 1/2 egg, beaten well
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped (minced)
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp vinegar




Preparation
  • Wash and peel colocasia and grate it. Mix the rest of the ingredients into the grated colocasia.
  • Heat oil to 375 degrees F (oil should sizzle when batter is dropped in) and drop in by tablespoonful. Fry till golden brown, drain on paper towels and serve hot.

Frituras de Maiz Tierno (Cuban Corn Fritters)

Recipe from tasteofcuba.com courtesy Sonia Martinez from Cocina Cubana Club.

Serves 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels, ground to a pulp
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1/2 tsp aniseed, ground or pounded with mortar and pestle
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vinegar (added so the fritters do not absorb as much oil)
  • Oil for frying

Preparation
  • Mix all the ingredients. If too liquid, add a small amount of all-purpose flour (I used about 3 tbsp) and mix well. Drop in hot (375° F) oil a tablespoonful at a time and fry till golden brown. Dry on paper towels and serve hot.

24 May 2016

Platanos Maduros (Sweet Fried Plantain)

I happened to be watching the movie Chef yesterday and was so taken up by chef Casper and his food truck Cubanos. Every time Casper had his food truck stationed and his menu written on the chalk board, I was so drooling over it, especially the Platanos Maduros, that I immediately searched for authentic Cuban recipes and tried it out immediately from tasteofcuba.com. The plantain that is so easily available in Cuba is none other our Nendran or Yetham (Nendran is one of the four cultivars of banana that is known as plantain!) from the Kanyakumari - Kerala belt. And it was so easy to make! 

Ingredients
  • 2 ripe plantains (Nendran) (the more ripe and black the better - as in the second picture)
  • Oil for frying



Preparation
  • Cur off the edges, peel the bananas and slice them diagonally about 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick.
  • Heat oil in a pan to about 350 degree F (the oil must sizzle when a drop of water is added.
  • Drop the slices in the oil and fry till the bottom is golden and then turn them over and fry till the top side is golden. The edges must be slightly darker and caramelized.
Notes
  • You could fry them a little longer so that the sides are darker than golden brown. They actually taste much sweeter and more delicious than the golden brown ones as the sugars caramelize very well.

23 May 2016

Chettinadu Aattu Kari Biryani (Chettinad Mutton Biryani)

I had this recipe written down in my recipe book. I have no recollection whatsoever of where I got it from, whether from a TV show or from the internet or by word of mouth. I searched the internet for this recipe and could not find anything even close to this. All I know now after making the biryani is that it tasted yummy on a Sunday afternoon and you could try it too and leave your comments for me!!!

Serves 4 
Ingredients 

  • 3 cups basmati rice, washed and soaked in water for 1/2 hour
  • 900 grams mutton (Tender male goat shoulder meat), marinated for 1/2 hour
  • 3 large tomotoes, diced
  • 4 large onions, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 bayleaves
  • 150 ml oil
To grind to a fine paste with water
  • 2 tbsp garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 3 green chili peppers
  • 1 cup mint leaves, tightly packed
To marinate
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric 
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp yogurt

Preparation
  • Heat oil in a cooker and add the spices. After spices splutter, add onion and saute till golden brown. Add ground paste and saute for 5 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes. Add marinated mutton and saute for 3 minutes.
  • Cover and cook for 3 minutes, then simmer for 5 minutes and switch off. (You can simmer for longer if meat is tough)
  • Boil water in a vessel adding 1 1/2 tbsp salt. Add rice and allow to come up about 10 minutes and about 80% cooked. Drain immediately. Keep the stock aside.
  • Add rice in layers to the gravy in the cooker or in a wider vessel. Add mint leaves (optional) over the layers and cook in dum for 15 minutes. (See notes below)
Notes
  • To cook in dum, you have to cover the lid with a wet cloth and place a pot or vessel with the hot rice stock covered over the lid. Alternatively, you could place red hot charcoal over the lid.
  • Long before gas stoves or even kerosene stoves, when charcoal and firewood were used for cooking, red hot charcoal or firewood would be placed on top of the lid of cooker or vessel to cook in dum.

21 May 2016

Nadar Mutton Varuval

I found this recipe on Star Vijay தினம் ஒரு சுவை. Not sure the about the Nadar connection! It does look authentic, though and taste delicious too!
Serves 3
Ingredients
  • 500 grams mutton (Tender male goat shoulder meat tastes very good!)
  • 2 large onions, chopped finely
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1 cup coconut, diced (about an inch in length)
  • 1/2 cup thick coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 3 tbsp coriander powder
  • chili powder to taste
  • 4 to 5 dry red chili pepper (குண்டு மிளகாய்)
  • Handful curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • Chopped coriander for garnish
Preparation

  • Pressure cook mutton with salt.
  • Heat coconut oil in a pan. Add fennel seeds, dry red chili peppers, curry leaves and diced coconut. Saute well and fry for about 4 minutes till coconut is browned.
  • Add onions, stir fry, add ginger garlic paste, mix well and add chopped tomatoes. Saute for a while.
  • Add boiled mutton, turmeric, coriander and chili powder. Add pepper powder and saute for a minute. 
  • Add coconut milk. Add salt and saute well. 
  • Add chopped coriander, switch off and serve with rice and sambar or rasam.


20 May 2016

French Fries

I found the perfect MacDonald French Fries recipe on Nicko's Kitchen. Purely vegetarian!

Serves 3

Ingredients
  • 500 grams potatoes
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup (recipe below)
  • Oil
  • Salt to taste
Corn Syrup
Yield 1 cup

Ingredients
  • 1 cup white sugar  
  • 3/8 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar (You can substitute with ¾ tsp lemon juice or vinegar)
  • 1 pinch salt
Preparation
  • Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to a simmer and put cover for 3 minutes to get sugar crystals off the sides of the pan. Uncover and simmer, stirring often, until it reaches the soft ball stage, about 25 minutes. Cool and store in a covered container at room temperature.
  • Syrup should keep for about 2 months.

Preparation
  • Peel and cut potatoes into 1 cm x 1 cm thick matchsticks.
  • Put it in a bowl of ice cold water for 5 minutes to remove the excess starch.
  • In another bowl, pour boiling water. Add powdered sugar and corn syrup. Remove the potatoes from the cold water bowl and put it in this bowl for 10 minutes. 
  • Remove and dry on paper towels on a plate. Leave the plate in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  • Heat oil to 375 degrees F. Put the potatoes in a big steel basket (I used a big steel strainer) and place it in the hot oil for 2 minutes. 
  • Remove and drain on paper towels. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
  • Heat oil to 375 degrees F again. Put the potatoes back in the strainer and into the hot oil for about 4 to 5 minutes or till golden brown.
  • Remove and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle salt and serve.

19 May 2016

Traditional British Fish and Chips

After having tasted Fish and Chips in Manhattan Fish Market, Chennai, I wanted to try the dish at home. Came out pretty well, I should say! Recipe courtesy - Grant MacNaughton from Mac's Fish and Chip Shop, Santa Barbara, CA taken from www.foodnetwork.com

Serves 2

Ingredients

For Fish
  • 350 grams boneless, white fish fillets
  • Oil for frying
Seasoned Flour 
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Batter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp paprika (chili powder)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup beer
For Chips
  • 500 grams potatoes

Preparation
  • Peel and cut potatoes into 1 cm x 1 cm thick matchsticks.
  • Put it in a bowl of ice cold water for 5 minutes to remove the excess starch.
  • Heat oil in a pan to 275 degrees F. Put the potatoes in a big steel basket (I used a big steel strainer) and fry it in the hot oil for 10 minutes. 
  • Remove and drain on paper towels. Keep it overnight in the refrigerator. (I left it in the freezer for about 30 minutes
  • When ready to serve, heat oil to 375 degrees F. Put the potatoes back in the strainer and into the hot oil till golden brown and crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Remove and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
  • Mix all the ingredients for the seasoned flour in a large bowl.
  • For the batter, mix thoroughly flour, paprika and salt in another large bowl. 
  • While whisking constantly, add beer to stiffen up the mix. While still whisking, add cold water until the mixture reaches full cram consistency and there are no lumps.
  • Heat oil in a pan to 375 degrees F.
  • Dip the fish in seasoned flour, shake off excess, dip into the batter, briefly allow batter to drain off and gently place the fish in the hot oil. Cook till golden brown and trying to float, about 5 to 7 minutes. Continue the same way with the other fillets. 
  • Serve on a bed of chips and dipping sauce.

Kongunadu Aattu Kari Biryani (Kongunadu Mutton Biryani)

Tried this Kongunadu biryani for the first time and it turned out pretty well! Recipe from www.sashirecipes.com.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups basmati / jeera samba rice

To Marinate

  • 500 grams mutton (Tender, male goat shoulder meat)
  • 3 tbsp yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric 
  • 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
To Grind
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cardamom
  • 3 cloves
  • 4 black pepper corns
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 8 large garlic cloves
  • 2 green chili peppers
  • 2 red chili peppers (dry)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 3 stalks coriander leaves
  • 2 stalks mint leaves
To Pressure Cook
  • 3 tsp oil
  • 1 clove
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp black stone flower (கல்பாசி)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 tbsp coriander leaves
  • 3 tbsp mint leaves
  • 1 medium onion, slit lengthwise
  • 2 tomotoes, diced
  • 4 green chili peppers
  • 5 cashew
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp rose water
Preparation
  • Clean mutton and marinate for an hour. 
  • Soak basmati rice for about 10 minutes.
  • Heat oil in cooker, add spices and onion. Saute till golden brown. Add ground paste and saute till raw smell goes. Add tomatoes, green chili peppers, mutton, salt, coriander and mint leaves and pressure cook for 1 whistle. 
  • After pressure is released, add water and bring to boil. Add rice and taste for salt. Add rose water and cashews and pressure cook again for 2 whistles.
  • Serve hot with raitha


Chettinad Style Mutton Chukka (உப்பு கறி)

This recipe is an authentic Chettinad dish.

Serves - 2 to 3 

Ingredients

  • 500 grams mutton (I use tender, male goat shoulder meat)
  • 250 grams shallots (pearl onion)
  • 1 tbsp pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 whole large garlic (cloves slit lengthwise)
  • Curry leaves, handful
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds, whole
  • 12 to 14 dry short, red chilli peppers (குண்டு மிளகாய்)
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil
Preparation
  • Clean mutton, marinate with yogurt, ginger garlic paste, pepper, turmeric, garam masala and salt for 1/2 hour.
  • Heat oil in cooker, add the marinade and saute for 5 minutes.
  • Add enough water to cover and pressure cook it. After pressure is released, simmer till liquid is absorbed.
  • In the meanwhile, heat oil in a pan, add fennel seeds, saute and add shallots. Stir and fry till golden brown.
  • Add curry leaves and garlic, dry red chilli peppers and fry well till aroma is released. Add the cooked mutton and stir fry in high heat for a while till well browned.
  • Serve hot with rice and sambar or dhal.

Thoothukudi Kozhi Chukka Varuval (Tuticorin Chicken Dry Roast)

This is an authentic dish from Thoothukudi, the land of V O Chidambaram Pillai (கப்பலோட்டிய தமிழன்)!

Serves 2 to 3

Ingredients

  • 500 grams boneless chicken, diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp chilli powder (add less if desired)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp clove powder
  • 2 large onions, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • Oil 
  • Salt to taste
  • Curry leaves, handful (optional)
Preparation
  • Heat oil in pan and saute onions till golden brown.
  • Add chicken, saute ans fry till cooked. Add a little more oil if required. Fry well.
  • Add chilli powder, garam masala and clove powder. Add ginger garlic paste and curry leaves. Blend well and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Switch off and serve with rice and sambar or kaarakuzhambu.

Madurai Mutton Chukka

An authentic dish from the seat of the Pandya Empire

Serves 2 to 3 

Ingredients 
Group I

  • 500 grams mutton (I always use tender, male goat shoulder meat)
  • 2 green chilli peppers
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
Group II
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp poppy seed - cashew paste
  • oil
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • salt to taste
To Grind
  • 4 dry red chilli peppers, long 
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 50 grams pearl shallots (pearl onions)

Preparation
  • Pressure cook mutton with ingredients from Group I and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add garam masala, pepper powder and 3 tbsp ground paste. 
  • Add pressure cooked mutton and yogurt and allow to boil till oil floats on top.
  • Add salt to taste and pressure cook mutton again.
  • After pressure is released, add poppy seed - cashew paste and boil again till liquid is absorbed and the mixture is dry.
  • Heat oil in another pan and shallow fry the mixture till well browned and roasted on all sides.
  • Switch off and serve hot with rice and sambar.




18 May 2016

Mango - Strawberry Green Smoothie with Spinach

Recipe from: http://www.incrediblesmoothies.com/recipes/mango-smoothie-recipes-and-nutrition/

Serves 1

Ingredients
  • 1 cup mango chunks
  • 1 cup strawberry, cored and diced
  • 2 large handfuls spinach
  • Sugar, sweetener or honey as required (My addition)
Preparation

  • Dunk spinach in boiled water for 30 seconds, drain and cool in ice water. (You could use raw spinach if you like the raw flavour. The taste is the same, though!)
  • Blend apple and strawberry in a mixer till smooth. Add spinach and pulse till smooth. Add the sugar and pulse till everything is blended. 
  • Pour in a glass and serve. 


Note: 
Calories - about 280 





Mango - Pomegranate Green Smoothie with Spinach

This recipe is my experiment from tweaking http://www.incrediblesmoothies.com/recipes/pomegranate-mango-green-smoothie-recipe-with-coconut/
Serves 1

Ingredients
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 cup mango chunks
  • 2 large handfuls spinach
  • Sugar, sweetener or honey as required (My addition)
Preparation
  • Dunk spinach in boiled water for 30 seconds, drain and cool in ice water. (You could use raw spinach if you like the raw flavour. The taste is the same, though!)
  • Blend pomegranate and mango in a mixer till smooth. Add spinach and pulse till smooth. Add the sugar and pulse till everything is blended. 
  • Pour in a glass and serve. 

Note: 

Calories - about 280 

Pomegranate - Apple Green Smoothie with Pear and Spinach

This recipe is my experiment with http://www.incrediblesmoothies.com/
Serves 1

Ingredients
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 pear, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 large handful spinach
  • Sugar, sweetener or honey as required (My addition)


Preparation
  • Dunk spinach in boiled water for 30 seconds, drain and cool in ice water. (You could use raw spinach if you like the raw flavour. The taste is the same, though!)
  • Blend pomegranate, apple and pear in a mixer till smooth. Add spinach and pulse till smooth. Add the sugar and pulse till everything is blended. 
  • Pour in a glass and serve. 
Note: 
Calories - about 335 

17 May 2016

Shrimp with Chinese Greens (Bok Choy) Stir Fry with Mushrooms

Found this on chinesefood.about.com

Serves 2

Ingredients
  • 1/2 lb (about 250g) shrimp
  • 1 tbsp rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 lb (about 250g) bok choy
  • 4 oz (about 100g) mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 thin slices ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tsp water

Preparation
  • Clean shrimp and pat dry with paper towels. In a bowl add the rice wine or sherry, 1/2 tsp salt and cornstarch with shrimp and stir to marinate the shrimp. 
  • Chop the bok choy stalks diagonally and the leaves across into 1 inch pieces. Wipe mushrooms with a cloth and cut into thin slices.
  • Heat a pan and add 2 tbsp oil. Add ginger and stir fry for about 30 seconds, until aromatic, then add the shrimp. Stir-fry until pink and remove from pan.
  • Add some more oil about 1 1/2 tbsp in the pan. Add the bok choy, mushrooms and 1/4 tsp salt. Stir-fry for 1 minute Add a small amount of water or rice wine if the vegetables are a bit dry. Add the chicken broth, cover and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Add the shrimp back into the pan and add sugar, soy sauce and pepper. Give the cornstarch mixture a quick restir and add in the middle, stirring to thicken.
  • Cook, stirring for another minute and serve hot.

Oriental Clear Soup with Chinese Greens (Bok choy), Mushrooms and Shrimp

Finding bok choy for the fist time in Chennai at the Kovai Pazhamudhir Nilayam, I browsed through the internet for some soup recipes with bok choy and found this simple, straight forward recipe at myrecipes.com and getmecooking.com.

Serves 4

Ingredients
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 oz (about 80 g) mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 cups chicken broth, fat-free, low-sodium
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 cups bok choy, coarsely chopped (You can substitute spinach or napa cabbage)
  • 2 tbsp green onions, (spring onions) sliced 
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro (coriander)
  • 1 lb (450 g) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice

Preparation

  • Heat oil in a large pan over medium high heat; saute mushrooms and ginger about 5 minutes or until liquid evaporates and mushrooms darken.
  • Add broth, water and soy sauce and bring to boil. Stir in bok choy and green onions, cilantro and shrimp. Cover and reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until shrimp is done. 
  • Stir in lime juice just before serving.




Shrimp in Mushroom Wine Sauce (Prawn Water Dore)

We had this dish at the Shaack, Anna Nagar. It was called Prawn Waterdore. After hunting for the recipe on the internet, I found it as Shrimp in Mushroom Wine Sauce at The Crab Place.

Serves 2

Ingredients
  • 250 grams shrimp, peeled and deveined 
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped shallots
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch white pepper
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

Preparation
  • Heat half of the butter in a pan. Saute shrimp 1½ minutes over medium high heat. Remove from pan with set aside.
  • Add remaining butter to pan. Add shallots and mushrooms and saute 2 to 3 minutes, or until shallots are softened.
  • Stir in wine and mustard. Cook over moderately high heat until liquid is reduced by half. Stir in cream, salt and pepper. Return shrimp to sauce and continue cooking for about 2 minutes over medium high heat, or until shrimp is completely cooked and sauce has thickened slightly.
  • Serve immediately with rice or mashed potatoes

16 May 2016

Kaju (Cashew) Pista Roll

Ingredients
For Kaju Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups cashew, dry roasted lightly, about a minute and powdered
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp warm water
For Pista Dough
  • 1 cup pistachio, dry roasted lightly, about a minute and powdered
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 to 3 drops pista essence
  • 1 tbsp water

Preparation
  • Lightly warm sugar for a minute.
  • Mix the cashew powder and sugar in a bowl. Add the warm water, one tsp at a time. Mix well to make a thick cashew ball.
  • Mix the pistachio powder and sugar in another bowl. Add the pista essence and warm water and mix well to make a pistachio ball.
  • Place the cashew dough on a grease aluminium foil and roll it into a rectangular sheet. 
  • Then make a pistachio roll of about 1 inch diameter and equal length as the cashew sheet.
  • Place the pistachio roll on the cashew sheet and roll so that the cashew sheet will cover the pistachio roll. Using a sharp knife, cut into pieces of desired length.

Chocolate Milk Roll

Recipe is my experiment from Chocolate Pista Roll recipe!

Ingredients
  • 1 cup khoya (mawa), recipe below
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 drop rose essence
  • 1 tbsp Cocoa powder
Recipe for Instant Khoya
Ingredients
  • 1 cup full fat milk powder (I used Amul Dairy Whitener)
  • 1/2 tbsp ghee (Clarified butter) 
  • 1/4 cup milk 
Preparation
  • Take milk powder in a bowl.
  • Heat milk and ghee in a small pan till it comes to a boil.
  • Add this hot milk-ghee mixture to the milk powder. Mix it with spoon. It should look like crumbled khoya. If it still looks dry you can add more milk 1 teaspoon of milk at a time.
  • You can shape it while it is warm. As it cools it will hold that shape and it will harden. After that it can be grated or crumbled as needed.


Preparation
  • Take khoya and sugar in a pan. Turn the heat on medium and stir continuously till the sugar is dissolved and all the moisture goes. Switch off after the mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan. Divide the mixture into two equal parts.
  • Add two drops of rose essence to one part. (This step is optional - you can use any essence of your choice)
  • Add cocoa powder to another part.
  • Mix each part well.
  • Shape them while it is warm. (If the mixture cools completely, it will be hard to give them a shape. Grease your hands with a little ghee or oil and place the cocoa mixture on an aluminium foil. With a rolling pin make an even rectangle of 6 inches x 3 inches. Next make a mawa-rose essence roll of 6 inches long and 1 inch diameter.
  • Then place the mawa roll on the cocoa sheet and roll so that the cocoa sheet will cover the mawa roll evenly from all the sides.
  • Now roll it back and forth with your hand to seal the joints and to make the roll tight. Then cover it with aluminium foil and chill in the refrigerator till it becomes firm (about 20 minutes).
  • Then using the sharp knife cut into pieces. (Clean the knife in between to make clear cuts.)
Note:
The cocoa sheet must be at least 1/2 inch thick.


Chocolate Pista Roll

Ingredients
  • 1 cup khoya (mawa), recipe below
  • 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 2 tbsp pistachios, chopped
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder 
Recipe for Instant Khoya
Ingredients
  • 1 cup full fat milk powder (I used Amul Dairy Whitener)
  • 1/2 tbsp ghee (Clarified butter) 
  • 1/4 milk
Preparation
  • Take milk powder in a bowl.
  • Heat milk and ghee in a small pan till it comes to a boil.
  • Add this hot milk-ghee mixture to the milk powder. Mix it with spoon. It should look like crumbled khoya. If it still looks dry you can add more milk 1 teaspoon at a time.
  • You can shape it while it is warm. As it cools it will hold that shape and it will harden. After that it can be grated or crumbled as needed.

Preparation
  • Take khoya and sugar in a pan. Turn the heat on medium and stir continuously till the sugar is dissolved and all the moisture goes. Switch off after the mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan. Divide the mixture into two equal parts.
  • Add chopped pistachios to one part. (I also added two drops of pistachio essence and green food colour - optional)
  • Add cocoa powder to another part.
  • Mix each part well.
  • Shape them while it is warm. (If the mixture cools completely, it will be hard to give them a shape. Grease your hands with a little ghee or oil and place the cocoa mixture on an aluminium foil. With a rolling pin make an even rectangle of 6 inches x 3 inches. Next make a pista roll of 6 inches long and 1 inch diameter.
  • Then place the pista roll on the cocoa sheet and roll so that the cocoa sheet covers the pista roll evenly from all the sides.
  • Now roll it back and forth with your hand to seal the joints and to make the roll tight. Then cover it with aluminium foil and chill in the refrigerator till it becomes firm (about 20 minutes).
  • Then using the sharp knife cut into pieces. (Clean the knife in between to make clear cuts.)
Note:
The cocoa sheet must be at least 1/2 inch thick or it might break.