Babycorn Manchurian

2 Oct

Baby corn Manchurian

Does your child have a favourite vegetable ? My sons at the moment is baby corn – so of course we have to try lots of different recipes using it. So when I came across a new recipe that I could try – I had to give it a go. This dish has just the right amount of spice and balance of flavours.

15-16 baby corn, each cut diagonally into two

1 1/2 tbsps all-purpose flour

1 tbsp cornflour

1 tsp rice flour

1 tsp ginger-garlic-green chilli paste

few tbsps water

salt to taste

For sauce:

1 1/2 tbsps oil

1/4 cup spring onions, finely chopped,

1 capsicum, finely sliced

1/2 tbsp finely minced garlic

1/2 tsp finely minced ginger

1-2 finely chopped green chillis

1/2 tsp red chilli pwd

2 tsp soya sauce

6 tbsp chilli sauce

2 tbsps tomato sauce

1 tbsp cornflour

1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves

Heat oil for deep frying in a heavy bottomed vessel.
In a bowl, combine plain flour, cornflour, rice flour, salt, ginger-garlic-green chilli paste and water to make a thick paste. Dip the washed and dried baby corn into the batter such that its well coated. Deep fry on medium heat till the baby corn is almost cooked and it turns golden brown. Remove onto absorbent paper and keep aside.
Heat oil in a large wok and once the oil is hot, add the chopped capsicum and onion with garlic and stir fry for a few seconds. Add the green chillis and ginger and stir fry for a few seconds more.
Add the whites of spring onions and stir fry on high for 3-4 mins, constantly tossing them.
Reduce to medium heat and add the soya sauce, tomato ketchup and chilli sauce. Combine well and cook for 2 minutes. Add cornflour mixed in 1/4 cup of water and cook till sauce thickens.
Add the deep fried baby corn and toss on high flame for a couple of minutes till the sauce coats the corn and its all heated through. Garnish with the chopped spring onion greens and coriander leaves. Serve with rice.

Paneer Pakora

1 Oct

Paneer Pakoda

Pakoras are an indian starter or snack made by taking one or two ingredients and dipping them in a batter of gram flour and then deep-frying them. The most important part of making a good pakora is the batter. They should have a crispy outer covering and a soft center.

This version of paneer pakora is colourful and packed with flavour. It also has complementary textures and flavours that make them the tastiest you have ever had.

Batter

  • 11/3 cup gram flour (besan)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp chilli pwd
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 9 tbsp water ( to make batter )

Spicy Cilantro Filling

  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • 3 small hot green chillies
  • handful peanuts
  • 2-3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Other items needed

  • cottage cheese (paneer)
  • red capsicum
  • salt
  • chilli pwd
  • oil for deep frying

Method

  • Mix batter ingredients listed above to form a thick consistency batter.
  • Wash coriander thoroughly. Cut off the roots, and coarsely chop the leaves. Grind all ingredients for the filling in a food processor to form a paste. Note that the only liquid added to this is the lime juice.
  • Cut paneer into thick slices. Sprinkle piece of paneer with salt and chilli powder. Stuff coriander filling between 2 slices of Paneer. Top it off at both ends with red capsicum which is cut to same size as paneer. Use a toothpick to hold it all together.
  • Heat oil in a pan. The oil is ready when a drop of batter dropped in oil rises quickly to the top. Dip paneer in the besan batter. Use a spoon to coat the uncovered areas with batter. Slowly drop into the oil. Fry on medium heat till they are golden brown and crispy.
  • Cut into halves to reveal the beautiful cross section, and serve with coriander chutney.

Dabeli

1 Oct

Dabeli

I have only recently heard of this Indian snack. But when I tried it I was wondering how come it wasn’t more popular. So I have taken it upon myself to spread the word on how good this is and how easy it is to make. There are a long list of ingredients but it is very worth it.

Ingredients

6 soft rolls /buns
4 potatoes boiled ,peeled and mashed,
2 tblspns each of coriander and cumin powder, 2 tblspns of garam masala, 1 tblspn of chilly powder,
Salt to taste
Date and Tamarind Chutney, (soak 100g of seedless dates overnight. Add just enough water to cover the dates. Grind to a smooth paste and add 2 tbsp tamarind concentrate. Add salt and chilli powder to taste)
Red chilly and garlic chutney (blend red chillies, garlic, salt, lemon juice and sugar together in a blender with a little water)

For the garnish:
Seeds of one or two pomegranate,
Sev,
2 finely chopped onion,
roasted and salted cashew nuts
Finely chopped coriander

Method:

  • In a pan heat 4 tbslpns of oil , add the mashed potatoes and all of the spice powders with the salt and mix it well. Your filling is ready.
  • Split a bun in half and spoon both the chutneys in it first, then put about 4 tblspnfuls of potato filling evenly on top  and garnish generously with all the garnishings.
  • Top again with date and tamarind chutney and close with the top part of the bun.
  • Butter the bun on both sides and brown it nicely on a nonstick pan.
  • Serve hot.

Orange and Coconut Icebox cookies

28 Sep

Toasted coconut and Orange Icebox cookies

Orange and chocolate is a match made in heaven but the addition of coconut just takes these cookies to a new level. They are crisp and just the right amount of sweet. Besides the taste these cookies are great because you can make the dough and refrigerate them till you ready to make them. This means fresh cookies on demand. I also like to freeze half so that if friends or family drop by at short notice you can still have something ready at the drop of a hat.

Toasted coconut and Orange Icebox cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons packed orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for rolling cookies
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup toasted coconut
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped

Directions

Heat oven to 160°C.

Combine the flour, zest, and salt in a large bowl and whisk until evenly combined.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat together butter and sugars over high speed until light and airy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy and the mixture looks like wet sand, about 2 more minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until just combined.

Reduce the speed to medium and add the flour mixture and coconut and beat until just evenly combined. Lay 2 large pieces of plastic wrap on a clean work surface and put half of the dough along the center of each piece. Shape the dough into 2 logs measuring about 1 1/2-inches in diameter and 10-inches long. Roll logs up in the plastic and secure tightly. Refrigerate the logs for 1 hour or up to several weeks.

Cut the logs into 1/2-inch slices. Roll the cookies in sugar to coat and shake off excess. Arrange on a baking sheet, leaving 1/2-inch between the cookies. Bake until set and golden on the edges, about 15 to 18 minutes. Remove to cooling racks to cool completely.

When cookies are cool, melt the chocolate . Dip half of each cookie into the chocolate, scrape off excess, and set on a cooling rack. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to set up before serving.

Enjoy !!

Creamy Pesto Pasta

26 Sep

Its fast, its easy and who doesn’t love it. Its loved by both adults and kids alike. Pasta is always a favourite in our house. There are literally thousands of different ways to make and serve pasta. This is one of my new favourite recipes.

My inspiration for this dish came from a ‘specials of the day’ board at one of our local resturants. A gnocchi with creamy pesto and pine nuts caught my eye. I am gonna try that …. sounds yummy. So I came home had a look online for some recipes and ideas…. I am vegetarian and most parmesans’ are not so was wondering how I was going to make the pesto. Then I saw  a few recipes suggesting sun-dried tomatoes – personally I find them too dry and chewy and prefer the semi-dried variety. And I love mushrooms in pasta. Put them all together and presto !!

What you will need to try this :

Pasta of your choice

8 mushrooms

8 pieces semi-dried tomatoes

1/2 cup pesto, more if you like

3T cream

pine nuts

Boil pasta according to package instructions. Drain and keep some of the liquid for the sauce you may need it later. Slice the mushrooms and cook them till soft in some olive oil and garlic. Season with salt and chilli. Cut the semi-dried tomatoes in half.

Heat the cream and stir in the pesto. If the sauce is thick use the water reserved from the pasta to thin it a little. Stir in the tomatoes and mushrooms. When the sauce is well combined and warm add the pasta and stir to coat the pasta with the sauce. Serve with a sprinkling of pine nuts.

For the Pesto

1 bunch basil

1/2 tsp round garlic

3/4 cup olive oil

1/3 cup almonds

1 chilli or 1 tablespoon chilli sauce

Grind the basil, garlic, chilli and some oil in the blender. Then pour in the remaining oil as u blend till you get the desired consistency.

Royal Creams

23 Sep

Royal Creams

Are you one of those people that love your afternoon cuppa? And can’t resist a bikkie with it? If you are you gotta try these cookies. As the name suggests they are so yummy they fit for royalty. Its quick, easy and very tasty.

Royal Creams

Royal Creams

250g margarine, softened and at room temperature

caster sugar

1/2 tsp almond essence

2 cups plain flour

1/2 cup cornflour

Cream the margarine and sugar with the essence. Add the flour and form a soft dough. if it is very soft n sticky put the dough into the fridge for 20 minutes.

Roll pieces of the dough into balls and press down with a fork.

Bake at 160°C  for 15 minutes. Cool and sandwich with almond icing.

For the Icing

2 tablespoons icing sugar

1 cup icing sugar

a few drops almond essence

Cream all the ingridients together.

Fried Rice

20 Sep

Fried rice

Quick, easy and a dish by itself ; fried rice is also a healthy one pot dish. Its also a great way to use up leftover rice. For me the best thing about this dish is that it is so versatile – you could put any vegetables you may have in, leave out anything you don’t have and it will still turn out fabulous. The smells, colours and flavours makes this dish very appealing.

Here is what u need:

2 cups leftover rice
3 tbsp oil
1/2 onions
chilli as per your taste
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup carrot
1/2 cup tofu
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tbsp cashews optional
6 spring rolls
1/2 pineapple or as per your taste

  1. Prepare spring rolls according to packaging.
  2. Mix 1 Tbsp. oil with the rice, using your fingers to separate any chunks into grains. Set aside.
  3. In a cup, stir the soy sauce together with the sweet chilli sauce.
  4. Drizzle remaining oil in a wok/large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onions, ginger, garlic and chili, stir-frying until fragrant (1 minute).
  5. Add the carrot, peas, cashews.
  6. Now add the rice, tofu and pineapple chunks with any pineapple juice. Drizzle the soy sauce mix over and gently stir-fry to combine over medium-high to high heat until heated through.
  7. Remove from heat. Do a taste-test for saltiness, adding a few shakes of salt or more soy sauce, as needed. (If you happen to over-salt the dish, add a squeeze or two of lime juice.)
  8. To serve, scoop rice onto a serving platter (or in a carved-out pineapple).
  9. Slice spring rolls into 3 pieces. Top rice with spring rolls and coriander, and ENJOY!

The Best Carrot Muffins Ever

19 Sep

Carrot Muffins

This is a recipe of the best carrot muffins that I have ever eaten. They are super moist and tasty !!! I suppose u could put some cream cheese frosting on them and “cake” them up. Plus they have carrots in them so they healthy right ?!

CARROT MUFFINS

You will need 3 medium bowls to mix

3 cups finely grated carrots

1 1/4cup applesauce

2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 1/2 cups of sugar

1 cups of oil

1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

1 cup of raisins

Preheat the oven to 150°C. Butter and flour a large muffin tin.

In bowl 1, mix the grated carrots, walnuts and raisins together.

In bowl 2, mix the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together.

In bowl 3, mix the sugar and the oil together. Then add in the applesauce to the sugar and oil mixture and mix for about 30 seconds.

Add flour mixture to this and stir until blended.

Finally add in the carrot mixture and mix until blended.

Divide the batter into the muffin tins.

Bake cakes or muffins until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. About 20 minutes.

Make sure to cool the muffins in the pans for at least 15 minutes. Enjoy!


Update : I made these muffins again and added the rind and juice of an orange – they were really really good.