Monday 31 January 2011

Greek Salad

Greek Salad
Cucumber - ½
Plum Tomatoes-3
Red bell pepper- ½
Yellow bell pepper-1/2
Green bell pepper-1/2
Red Onion-1/2
Lettuce-1/4 (optional)
Olives-60gm (2 ½ oz)
Feta Cheese- 50gm (2oz), diced
Olive oil-4 tbsp
Chopped Parsley-1 tbsp
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dried Oregano-1 tsp

  • Cut the cucumber, tomatoes, red, yellow and green peppers and lettuce into 1-2 cm pieces and put them in a large bowl. Finely slice the red onion and add to the bowl with olives.
  • Make the dressing by whisking the oil, parsley and oregano. Season to taste with salt and peppers.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss carefully. Transfer to serving bowls, scatter some feta cheese evenly over each bowl and serve.

Sending this salad to the 'Only' Salads event hosted by Prathibha ,which is started by Pari of Foodelicious.

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Wednesday 26 January 2011

Tuna Cutlets

A n easy and tasty Appetizer J 

Tuna Cutlets
Canned tuna - 2 cans, I used the one in water (drain and flake it with a fork)
Boiled and mashed Potatoes-2 medium
Onion-2 medium, chopped fine
Ginger-2 tsp, chopped fine
Garlic-1 tsp, chopped fine
Green Chillies-2, chopped fine
Kashmeri Red chilly powder-1/2 tsp (adjust according to your taste)
Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
Pepper powder- 1 tsp
Garam Masala powder-1 tsp
Coriander leaves-3 tbsp, chopped fine
Mint Leaves-1 tbsp (optional)
Chopped Curry leaves – few
Salt to taste
Egg whites-2
Bread Crumbs- as required

  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a non stick pan, sauté chopped onion, ginger, garlic, green chillies and curry leaves until golden brown.
  • Add chilly powder, turmeric powder, pepper powder and sauté for a minute or two.
  • Add flaked tuna and sauté until tuna turns light brown.
  • Add garam masala, chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves and mix well. Turn off the heat and keep aside for 5 to 10 minutes to cool down slightly.
  • Add mashed potatoes. Mix well with hand.
  • Form the mixture into desired shape.
  • Beat the egg whites slightly with a fork adding 1 tbsp of water.
  • Dip the cutlets in beaten egg and then roll them in breadcrumbs.
  • Deep fry the cutlets in oil, until golden brown.
  • Serve hot as an appetizer with tomato ketchup or as a side dish for chapathi, rice or even with bread slices.
  • Makes about 20-25 cutlets.

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Sunday 23 January 2011

Easy Oreo Truffles

nother truffle to add to my recipe collection! The moment I saw this recipe in a Kraft foods newsletter, I knew that my truffle loving family would love it...Oreo cookies are my son’s new found liking and he really liked these truffles. These are one of the easiest truffles I have ever made... Unlike other truffles this one is very easy to handle, you can easily shape it in to nice balls or even cut it with small cookie cutters. I have tried these truffles twice first with Kiri cream cheese (a brand of cream cheese available in the Middle East) and the second time with Homemade Mascarpone Cheese…. I liked the Mascarpone cheese one more... Try these decadent truffles; I am sure you will like it :)

Easy Oreo Truffles
(Recipe adapted from Kraft Foods)
1 package (8 oz.) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened / Homemade Mascarpone Cheese
1 package Oreo Cookies, finely crushed 
2 packages (8 squares each) Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted (I used dark chocolate)

  • In a large bowl, mix cream cheese and cookie crumbs until combined.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt chocolate in a metal bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough or cut into desired shapes with 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter and place on the prepared baking sheet. Insert a wooden toothpick into each ball. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. 
  • Dip into melted chocolate Return to wax paper and remove toothpick. Repeat with remaining balls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set. Drizzle with white chocolate if desired.

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Tuesday 18 January 2011

Kappalanga (Omakka) Achaar / Raw Papaya Pickle

 Part-2 of my Papaya/ Kappalanga/Omakka Series J

Kappalanga (Omakka) Achaar  / Raw Papaya Pickle

Kappalanga/Omakka (RawPapaya) -1 cup, chopped
Ginger-1 tbsp, chopped
Garlic-1 tbsp, chopped
Kashmeri Red Chilly Powder / Piriyan mulagu podi -1 ¼ tbsp
Fenugreek powder / Ulluva podi-1 tbsp
Asafoetida powder/  Kayapodi -1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
Curry leaves-a spring
Vinegar-1/4 cup
Salt-to taste
Gingelly Oil / Sesame Oil / Nallenna-1/4 cup

  • Peel skin and remove seeds inside the papaya and chop it finely.
  • Grind the ginger and garlic coarsely.
  • Heat oil; splutter mustard seeds and fry ginger and garlic.
  • Lower the fire and add all the powdered things and curry leaves and sauté.
  • Then add chopped papaya and stir well.
  • Add vinegar and salt to taste and simmer in low heat till thick.
  • Allow it to cool and then bottle.
  • Press the papaya down so that oil may come to the top.
Use it as a  small side dish for rice, Indian flat bread, dosa, Idly or upma and is best served with Kanji (rice gruel)

All the utensils & bottle should be clean & dry. Never add water to pickle while making. Always use clean and dry spoon to take pickle from bottle

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Monday 17 January 2011

It only happens in Kuwait:)

On the occasion of its 50th Independence Day and the 20th anniversary of its liberation from Iraqi rule, the Kuwait Government has announced a grant of KD 1,000 (US$ 3,500) for every citizen and to those citizens who will be born between now and 1 Feb 2011. Given a population of around 1 million this translates to approximately $ 3.5 billion. As 90% of Kuwaitis are employed by the Government and have little fear of losing their jobs, this money will in all probability be splurged on all kinds of consumer goods. 2011 is therefore likely to be a boon for retailers of clothes, luxury items, electronics, automobiles, soft furnishings, furniture, travel, restaurants etc. This is a huge stimulus for a country of this size and is the first real effort to revive the economy after two years of recession. Its impact may even be felt within the hospitality industry in neighboring tourist hotspots like Dubai, Beirut and Sharm Al Sheikh. In addition all citizens will also receive free rations of essential food items (food grains, sugar, edible oil, milk powder etc) for a period of 13 months from 1 Feb 2011 till 31st Mar 2012. And unlike the US Government which prints money to finance its stimulus packages, this grant represents a distribution of genuine budget surplus resulting from the high oil prices of the last few years.

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Thursday 13 January 2011

Kappalanga / Omakka Thoran (Stir Fried Raw Papaya with Coconut)

After some of the high calorie posts, here I am with a simple thoran with Kappalanga/ Omakka (Papaya). Thoran is a Kerala dry side dish made of a finely chopped / grated vegetables or leaves mixed together with grated coconut and spices, briefly stir fried on a pan. Recently when my hubby went for a short trip to Kerala, raw papaya/ kappalanga was one of the items in my huge list of things that he had to bring back. So my dad send me a big papaya / kappalanga, and I knew if I made the whole thing as one dish I will end up throwing it in my trash after a few days. So I made 2 types of thoran and 2 types of pickles with one kappalanga ;)…. That way I didn’t waste my papaya and you guessed it right… I will be posting all of them here soon… so this is part-1 of my papaya/ kappalanga preparation ;)....

Kappalanga /Omakka Thoran (Stir Fried Raw Papaya with Coconut)
Kappalanga/Omakka (RawPapaya) -1 cup, chopped fine
Grated coconut- 1/4cup
Chumannulli (Shallots) -5nos ( or Onion -1 small)
Green chilles-1 or 2 nos
Garlic - 1clove
Jeerakom (Cumin Seeds)-1/4tsp
Turmeric powder- a pinch
Salt to taste
Mustard seeds - 1/4tsp
Curry Leaves- a spring
Oil - 1tsp

  • Peel skin and remove seeds inside the papaya.
  • Clean it well and finely chop/ grate it. (I used my food processer to chop the papaya).
  • Grind coarsely, coconut, onion, green chilies, garlic, cumin seeds, turmeric powder and salt.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan and splutter mustard seeds.
  • Add coarsely ground coconut mixture and curry leaves and sauté for one minute.
  • Add chopped papaya. Mix well, cover and cook on low flame for 3 minutes.
  • Open lid and stir well until all the water in it evaporates.
  • Serve hot as a side dish with boiled rice.
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Sunday 9 January 2011

Meringue Mushrooms

T his month’s Sweet Punch challenge theme was Meringue and we have 3 recipes to choose from.
  1. Meringue Cake ~ Joy of Baking
  2. Chocolate Meringue Cake ~ Martha Stewart
  3. Meringue Mushrooms ~ Joy of Baking
Since we have been having a lot of high calorie cakes and desserts during the last one month, I opted to make Meringue Mushrooms. I used to make Meringue Cookies, but had never made it in the shape of a mushroom… really enjoyed making these mushrooms, it looked very cute and my little one loved it:).... I did a little change in the recipe; instead of baking twice to glue mushroom cap and stem, I used melted chocolate to glue the mushroom caps and stem. Check out Nicole's For the Love of Food blog for an awesome video on how to make Meringue Mushrooms.

Meringue Mushrooms
(From Joy of Baking)

2 large (30 grams) egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup (100 grams) superfine (caster) white sugar (if you don't have superfine sugar simply take granulated white sugar and process it for about 30 seconds in a food processor).

  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Have two pastry bags ready (one for piping the caps and stems and one for gluing them together). Fit one small pastry bag with a number 3 (1/16 inch diameter) (.2 cm) round plain tip (used to glue the stems and caps together) and one large pastry bag with a number 6 (1/2 inch diameter) (1 1/4 cm) round plain tip (for stems and caps). Fold down the tops of the bags to form a deep cuff on the outside and place each bag in a tall narrow glass for support. This will make it easy to transfer the meringue to the pastry bags.
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (100 degrees C) and place 2 oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
  • In bowl of electric mixer, at moderately slow speed, beat the room temperature egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat at medium speed until soft peaks form. Continue beating (increasing speed to high), gradually adding the superfine sugar, until the whites are very stiff and glossy. (You want to make sure that the sugar has dissolved completely - to test rub a little of the meringue between your fingers.)
  • With a rubber spatula place approximately 1/4 cup of the meringue in the pastry bag with the small tip (used to glue the caps and stems together). Place the remainder of the meringue in the large pastry bag.
  • To Pipe Caps: Holding the pastry bag upright and close to the parchment paper, pipe the meringue with even pressure, into even rounds building up the meringue to form a 2 inch (5 cm) round that is about 1 inch (2.5 cm) high. Sharply twist the bag and stop the pressure as you slowly move the tip off the meringue. Try to make the top as smooth as possible but use a wet fingertip to smooth out any bumps.
  • To Pipe Stems: Holding the pastry bag upright and close to the parchment paper, pipe the meringue with even pressure, into a cone-shape, making the base of the stem a little larger than the top. The stem should be about 1 inch (2.54 cm) high. Try to keep the stems as straight as possible. Some of the stems may fall over on their sides during baking, so it is a good idea to make extra.
  • Bake the meringues for approximately one hour, or until the mushrooms are firm enough that they can be lifted from the baking sheet without sticking. Rotate the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back (about three quarters of the way through) to ensure even baking.
  • Remove from oven and with a small sharp knife, make a small hole in the middle of the underside of each mushroom cap. Using the small pastry bag fitted with the 1/l6 inch tip, pipe a little bit of meringue in the hole and gently press the top of the stem into the hole.
  • Place the mushrooms, caps down, on a parchment lined baking sheet and return to oven for about 15 - 30 minutes, or until the mushroom are dry. Remove from oven and lightly dust the tops of the mushrooms with cocoa powder. Use a small pastry or paint brush to smudge the cocoa powder, if desired.
  • Store in an airtight container for several weeks.
  • Makes about 24 - 30 mushrooms (depending on size)

M y previous post Peach & Mango Cheese Cake was selected as one of Foodbuzz’s Top 9 on Jan 8. This is the second post of mine that has been selected by Foodbuzz and I am really happy. Thank you so much for all those who visited my blog and took time to leave a comment… I am over whelmed :)

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Thursday 6 January 2011

Peach & Mango Cheese Cake

This cheese cake was our New Year dessert. I planned to make it as a peach cheese cake and made the Peach sauce, kept it for cooling and went to do some other work. After sometime when I came back to the kitchen, only ¼ of my peach sauce was left as my little one had finished off the other ¾! Since I did not have any more peaches the only option left was to make some more sauce with mango puree and mix it with the remaining peach sauce….so that’s what I did and it tasted greatJ You can try this dessert with any topping made from fresh or canned fruits of your choice… I have already tried this with cherry, peach, strawberry and mango… try this delicious no bake, eggless dessert with your choice of fruit J

 This post was selected as one of  Foodbuzz’s Top 9 on Jan 8

Peach & Mango Cheese Cake

Ingredients and Method:

Biscuit Base:
Marie biscuits (powder)-120gms
Butter (melted) -60gms

Mix both, put into dish and refrigerate.

Condensed Milk -1 tin
Curds (Yogurt) -1 cup (beat it) (I used low fat Yogurt)
Gelatin -10gms, dissolved in 2 tbsp water
Thick Cream -1 cup (I used Almarai Whipping Cream)

Beat together & pour over crust & set in fridge.

Peaches -1 can (I used 15 oz can Del Monte Peaches)
Corn flour -1 tbsp
Sugar -2 tbsp

Take 3/4th of the peaches and puree it, use syrup from the can and thicken with corn flour and sugar to sauce consistency. Cool. Pour over set cheesecake & decorate with remaining peaches.

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Saturday 1 January 2011

Homemade Grape Wine without Yeast

Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow: The year is going, let him go; Ring out the false, ring in the true. ~ Lord Alfred Tennyson

After my Ginger Wine post, I got requests for wine recipes that don’t require yeast as some folks are intolerant to yeast….Then I realized I had never posted my Grape wine recipe that doesn’t require yeast. I got this recipe from my mom’s sister and recently when I got hold of some dark grapes I made this wine. Always remember to select the best grapes for this wine and all the utensils used should be dry. So here I am ringing in the New Year with one of the best Homemade Grape Wine recipes I have...…

Homemade Grape Wine without Yeast

Black Grapes -1kg
Sugar - 1.25 kg

Water - 4 liter

Cloves - 20 nos.

  • Boil the water and keep aside to cool.
  • Separate grapes from its stalks and wash the grapes well.
  • Wipe water from each grape very well with a clean cloth or kitchen towel.
  • In a big bharani / bottle add sugar and grapes; mash it very well with hand or potato masher.
  • Then add boiled and cooled water, stir well.
  • Tie the bottle with a clean cloth or close with lid little loose.
  • Stir this mixture every day for some time.
  • After 14 days, mash the grapes once again & strain through a cheese/ muslin cloth.
  • If the wine tastes sweeter you can add a little more boiled and cooled water to it.
  • Crush 20 cloves a little and tie this in a small piece of clean cloth.
  • Pour the wine in to a clean dry bottle.
  • Add 1 table spoon Vanilla Essence & cloves pouch in it.
  • Keep this again for 30 days untouched. After 30 days strain the wine again, bottle and use.

All the utensils & bottle should be clean & dry. If there is water the wine will become sour.
Don't fill the bottle to the brink. Always leave 1/4 bottle empty.

Wishing you all a New Year filled with new hope, new joy and new beginnings!!!

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