Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Baked sweet potatoes

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I love anything and everything potatoes be it chips, fries, salads, pies, samosas, parathas, you name it!

Unlike the regular aloos, sweet potatoes are really sweet and orange/yellow in color. Suitable for sweet desserts I guess. Sweet potatoes are said to have a low glycemic Index, somewhat like basmati rice. Sugar is released over a period of time in our body unlike other starchy food. Meaning it's healthier to munch on sweet potatoes than the regular fries :D

These are extremely simple to prepare. A couple of sweet potatoes cut into strips, spread them out on a baking tray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, you can add other herb of your choice too. Drizzle some olive oil over them and bake at 200C until the potatoes are golden brown orange. Don't forget to turn them every 10 minutes or so to have evenly browned oranged potato strips.

Sweet, crispy, yummy snack! Dip them in tartar sauce if you are feeling evil ;)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Blue Cupcakes

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I suddenly felt like baking out of the blue. So I made these simple blue cupcakes. Though I didn't use any actual blueberries, these were blueberry flavoured and yummy!

You will  need

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

3/4 cup butter, softened

3 cups flour, self-raising

1 cup milk

A pinch of salt (if your butter is unsalted)

1 tsp blueberry essence

Colored sugar sprinkles

Get down to work:

- Beat eggs and sugar, add butter and continue mixing. Add in flour and milk alternately while gently mixing. Salt and essence goes in last and give the batter a thorough mix. 

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Ready to go into the oven! 

Bake at 180C for about 30 to 40 minutes, depending on your oven.

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I over-baked mine and ended up with brown tops instead of blue! Do keep a watch over your cuppies so that you can get them out of the oven while they are still blue :D

Friday, July 9, 2010

Fish and Chips

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Fish and Chips is an English dish! I didn't know that until a while ago! I'm sure Jamie Oliver would have an authentic recipe for this!

It's an easy peasy meal to throw together on a lazy day, just lots of frying I guess. I had chips and fish fillets (for the life of me, I can't remember fish names and neither can I recognise most fishes so please don't ask me what fish fillet I used) in the fridge and the can of baked beans was almost expiring so it's all good ;)

I used a spicy plain flour batter mix to fry my fillets since I had that on hand. There are of course many different ways you can do yours from scratch. There's the beer batter, soda batter, rice flour batter (for a crispier coating but I find it too oily) and not forgetting the good old breadcrumbs coating. I'm sure a google search would find you many more variations of the recipe. Though I'm not sure if an overload of recipes would do you any good!

I don't particularly like working with seafood, not a fan of fishy smells! I wash the fish fillets with generous amount of salt and lemon juice. Rinse and marinate with more lemon juice, salt and pepper. I allow myself to be OCD about it, shoot me. I know it's not logically possible to get rid of fishy smells from a raw fish, I'm trying to deal with it. Please bear with me. So next, coat the fillets with the batter of your choice and deep fry in hot oil.

Coleslaw:

2 cups of chopped cabbage

Some chopped carrots

Some onions, if you feel like it

A dallop or 2 of mayo, salt, pepper and lemon juice

Mix everything in a bowl and toss them around. Taste and add more ingredients till you get the desired taste. I know, I'm not much of a measurement person. That's the reason why I have not successfully baked a sponge cake in life.

Assemble the fish and chips and the accompaniments (I had to google the spelling!) on those huge dinner plates. Get your forks and knifes knives and you are ready to set the table. Oh, don't forget to squeeze some lemon juice on your fillets, it further kills the fishy smell.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Qeema Karahi

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I made this some days back as I wanted to try out the packet of instant mix given to me by a friend, Wana.

No recipe here, as everything was inside that small packet!

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Just add meat, yogurt and oil!

So the verdict is that this Knorr mix tastes a lot better than the Shan mix! heheh

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Yeah the qeema was literally smoking hot! Thank you Wana for the tasty gift! Feel free to send more when you are back in Pakiland ;)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Nasi Lemak (Coconut rice)

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CHOLESTEROL ALERT!!!

That's a complete cholesterol laden, heavy meal for you! Yes, rice cooked with rich coconut milk, chicken cooked in spicy chilli paste, fried omelette, fried peanuts, fried wanton, slices of cucumber and lettuce! Now that's quite a handful to type out! Lolz.

Nasi Lemak is a Malay one dish meal and has a distinctive rich aroma, from the coconut milk and screwpine leaves. It literally means Rich Rice! There are many variations of nasi lemak and different varieties of side dishes for it out there but this is the way I serve it, occasionally :D

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The coconut rice is pretty straight forward, cook as per normal with coconut milk instead of water! I normally dilute the coconut milk so that the rice doesn't turn out tooo rich! Add juice of screwpine leaves for flavour and color and some salt to taste. I'm sure you can figure out how to make the omelette :P

I added fried chicken to my chilli paste, some people serve it plain or with prawns, boiled quail eggs or even fish.

Here's how the chilli paste is done, you will need:

A handful of dried/fresh red chillies, depending on how spicy you want it.

2 large onions

12 cloves of garlic

½ cup of cooking oil

1 tblsp dried anchovies

1 large tomato, finely chopped+ 3/4 cup of water

1 stalk lemon grass, crushed

Salt and sugar to taste

1. Blend chillies, onions, anchovies and garlic into fine paste and set it aside.

2. Heat up the frying pan, add in the oil and fry the blended paste and lemon grass. Stir-fry until fragrant or until you see oil floating to the top. It will take about 10-13 min.

4. Add in the tomatoes and continue to stir-fry until the liquid evaporated. Add in sugar and salt to taste.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Oats and apples

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One of the healthiest way to start the day is by having a bowl of good old oats for breakfast. Of course it would be good to boil natural oats for hours but we, the modern age people, shall make do with instant oats!

Oats porridge does taste great on it's own but I like to add on some flavors sometimes to make it less boring. Some of my favourite toppings are almonds (good source of Vitamin E people, for alertness!), raisins, strawberries, bananas, apples, peaches, avocadoes and the list goes on. 

This morning I had my oats with apples cooked in butter, a little sugar, a squeeze of lemon and cinnamon. Dropped a few pieces of raw almonds for added nutrients! Fresh apples would definitely have been  a better choice but I was in an indulging mood ;) Now that's what I call a hearty start to the day. Enjoy!

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Cinnamon Toast

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Recipes do not get any simpler than this! In fact, I think there is no recipe in this post!

If you love cinnamon, you would love this humble toast. I make this for breakfast and even teatime. A chewy, warm toast tastes just like a cinnamon pretzel to me!

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I keep a mixture of cinnamon and sugar in a container, always ready to be sprinkled on my buttered toasts ;) All you need to do is mix some sugar with a dash or two or three of cinnamon powder, depending on how strong you want the flavour to be. You can use this mixture on doughnuts, pancakes, cakes etc.

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Butter, sugar and cinnamon sure make an amazing combination!

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I'm always amazed at how well cinnamon goes in apple recipes and carrot cakes and even chai! Wonder who came up with the idea.  Aside from it's culinary uses, cinnamon has many medicinal properties. My hyperlink is not working right now otherwise I would insert some links on the health benefits of cinnamon. Do google the info, you will be amazed at the medicinal properties and common uses of good old cinnamon!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Potato Wedges

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Glorious comfort food! A round of applause for the bowl full of carbo people!! I have been pretty good and managed to stay away from snacks for the past few months, but the recent rainy weather broke my resolution today! It didn't help that I had too many potatoes on hand, it was the perfect excuse to do something about the potatoes before they grow shoots and turn bad!

The good news is that we had this for an early dinner, technically it means I didn't have a snack after all muahahahhaa....

You don't have to be a genius to fix this quick snack. A creamy, cheese sauce would definitely go nicely with the potato wedges but being the lazy person that I am, I took the shortest cut and laid cheese slices on hot wedges! Now, there's nothing creamy about sticky melted cheese so in comes the mayo to smoothen things out.

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You will need:

2-3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges. Fry or bake the wedges, according to your preference.

Chilli sauce

Mayonaise

2-3 Cheese slices

While the wedges are still piping hot, transfer into the serving bowl and lay strips of the cheese slices on top. Watch the cheese melt if you wish, drizzle the chilli sauce and mayo. Ready to be gobbled!

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Addiction Warning to potato lovers: This dish may cause serious addictions. Cravings should not be taken lightly. Consult a medical practitioner near you.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Banana Bread

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3 leftover bananas made me bake this! When I chanced upon the recipe at Simplyrecipes.com, I just had to give it a try because it’s so simple to make and the best part is that you don’t even need a mixer! I dropped my mixer some months ago and it’s not working now :P

Taste wise, it tastes richer than a bread but poorer than a cake, if you know what I mean! Good for a teatime snack in our rainy weather. I would say it’s a less oily version of the local deep fried Jemput-jemput! Take my word, skip the oily banana balls, go for this one instead! ;)

I adjusted the recipe according to the ingredients I had on hand.

Ingredients

  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon banana essence
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chocolate rice
Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

With a wooden spoon, mix oil into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and banana essence. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. It may not be the most important ingredient but whatever you do, do not forget the chocolate rice! Mix and pour mixture into a buttered 6x6 inch cake pan. Bake for 35 minutes. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fruit Trifle

fruit trifle

Here’s something sweet and simple for the first recipe.

You would find this dessert familiar if you have ever got invited to a desi lunch/dinner! I whip this cool dessert up quite often whenever there’s a special occasion or even when there is no occasion! An all time hit with both the adults and kids!

You will need:

Any rich cake, sliced and enough to cover the base of your glass bowl/dish

A can of Tropical fruit cocktail (drained)

Custard

Ingredients for custard:

1 litre fresh milk

4 tbsp custard powder

3 – 4 tbls sugar (according to your taste)

A few drops of flavoring/coloring of your choice

- Mix the custard powder with a cup of the milk and leave aside.

- In a pot, bring the remaining milk and sugar to a boil. Add the custard mixture into the milk and keep stirring. Once the mixture is bubbling, turn off the fire and add your flavoring/coloring.

At this stage you can also taste the sugar and adjust accordingly.

Let the custard cool, stirring it every now and then to prevent it from setting in the pot.

The fun part, Layering the Trifle:

- Start the first layer by arranging the slices of cake in your glass bowl/dish.

- Pour the warm custard over the cake, followed by canned fruits as the top layer.

I like to keep the trifle simple but you can add more layers if you wish. Jellies and whipped cream are various other ideas for additional layers. You can even repeat the layers of cake, custard and fruit if you are using a smaller and deeper dish.

Variations:

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You can also serve the trifle in individual servings for a more presentable look. In above picture, I used slices of the swiss roll cake and served the trifle in wine glasses. It’s really up to your creativity and imagination people!

In addition to the canned fruit cocktail I threw in chunks of fresh strawberries for added flavor. You can even forgo the canned fruits and cut your own combination of fresh fruits if you are not lazy like me!

Do experiment with various combinations of flavors too, it’s really fun to mix and match! I’ve tried the following combo:

Banana cake with vanilla custard

Strawberry/blueberry cake with blueberry custard

Vanilla/Chocolate cake with banana custard

Chocolate cake with strawberry custard and an additional layer of banana custard

The possibilities are neverrrrr-ending!

This is one dish no one can ever go wrong with.

Welcome and enjoy your stay!

Me doing a food blog? Hahahahha


I can’t even update my personal blog once a week! Would I be able to upload recipes at least once every 2-3 days?

Only time will tell.

On a slighly more serious note, now that I'm home and cook (almost) daily, I think it would be fun to share recipes on this space. I've always enjoyed reading other food blogs as there's always something new to  discover and learn! So let's hope I can impart some kitchen wisdom here ;)
Everyone say Ameen!