Thursday, 31 December 2009

Walima Cooking Club Moroccan tour - Couscous with lamb and Ghriba

Its Moroccan cuisine for the month of December at Walima club . Sabah from Sousoukitchen and Touria from Cuisine Touria picked the challenge for this month - Couscous with lamb/ beef and Ghriba (the famous Moroccan cookies) . Here is a history of Morocco and Moroccan cuisine .

Morocco or the Kingdom of Morocco(Al Mamlaka -Al-Magribiya) translated to the Western Kingdom, is a country located in the north Africa with an area just under 447,000 square kilometres. Rabat is the capital and Casablanca is the largest city.

Morocco has a coast on the Atlantic ocean that reaches past the s
traight of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean sea. It is bordered by Algeria to the east, Spain to the North and Western Sahara to the south.Several Arabic and Berber dialects are spoken in Morocco and the population is largely homogeneous.

The Moroccan Cuisine is one of the diversified cuisines in the world. It is a mix of Berber, Spanish, Moorish, Middle eastern, Mediterranean and African Cuisines.

Moroccan Cuisine is based on the use of different spices but the most characteristic feature is the use of powder ginger in different tajines. Olive oil is also a characteristic of Moroccan Cuisine as it is the case of all the Mediterranean cuisines.Chicken is the most widely eaten meat in Morocco. The most commonly eaten red meat in Morocco is beef; lamb is preferred as it is the basic ingredient in making tajines. the Moroccan tajine can also be made with fish and vegetables.The most popular drink is green tea with mint which is accompanied with different Moroccan pastry.

Now coming to the recipes...We were given the recipe for couscous with beef, but one can even use lamb or chicken instead and I used lamb . And the recipe asked for butternut squash along with other veggies., But I used potatoes instead. because my family is not a big fan of butternut squash.

Ingredients :
1 pound couscous
1 pound meat -beef or chicken or lamb,
2-3 carrots,
2 zucchinis,
3 tomatoes,
2 potatoes,
1 big onion,
1/2 cup chopped coriander,
1 cup boiled chickpeas,
2 tbsp vegetable oil,
1/2 tsp salt,
1/2 tsp pepper,
1/2 tsp ginger,
1/2 tsp turmeric,
pinch of saffron and
1 tsp butter/ ghee.

Heat the oil at medium temperature, add chopped onion and the meat.After 15 minutes, add chopped tomatoes, parsley, coriander and the spices, let cook 10 min, add water, and cook for 1 hour. When the meat is almost done, add carrots to the meat stew and cook for 10 minutes, then add the potatoes, zucchini and chickpeas and cook again for 15 -20 minutes or untilall the vegetable are cooked.
To cook the Couscous:
Traditionally the couscous is cooked by steam, by putting the couscous in a steamer pot and placing it(the steamer pot) over the meat, while it gets cooked by the steam. But, for quick and easy way or if you don't have a couscous pot, put the couscous in a large bowl and add equal boiling water to it and cover for 2-3 minutes. Fluff it with your hands, using some butter . Add some salt and keep aside.
To serve, place couscous first on a plate, then the meat, the vegetables and the sauce.

Now coming to the cookies, Its Ghriba/moroccan cookies. Its very easy and simple.. here goes the recipe for it...


Ingredients :

3 3/4 cups flour
2 stick melted butter (230 grams)
1/4 cup oil
1 cup sugar
a pinch of salt


Mix flour, sugar, salt, melted butter, oil and mix until the mixture becomes sandy.Form small balls, flatten them a little bit, place in a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 380 F, 20 min.
The cookies should keep their white color.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Corn and Black bean Quesadillas

This is yet another recipe from Kevin's Closet cooking. I was just wondering the other day about what to cook for dinner and *blink* I just remembered seeing this on his blog and voila I had all the ingredients at home. I have tried to stick to his recipe, just doubled the quantity.....because I was cooking this for 3 people. You can find the original recipe here.


4 tortillas,
1-2 cups of grated cheddar cheese,
1 cup corn,
1 cup black beans,
1 chopped jalapeno ,
1 tsp of red chilli powder,
1tbsp of lime juice,
1 tsp cumin powder,
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions,
2 tbsp of finely chopped cilantro,
salt and pepper to taste.

In a large bowl, mix the corn, black beans, jalapeno/green chilli, chilli powder, cumin powder,
green onions, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and keep aside.
Melt 1/2 tsp of butter in a pan, place 1 tortilla on the pan, put some of the above salsa and scatter some grated cheese and cover with another tortilla. Brown each side of the tortilla for 1-2 minutes. when both sides are lightly browned, remove from the pan and cut into wedges. Serve with sour cream or with some Guacamole.

I am sending this to Tried and Tested, hosted by Hema of Salt to taste .

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Chana daal halwa/ Daal ka meetha

As kids, we used to eagerly wait for Eid..because that was when my mom always made this yummy halwa. It was one of my favourite desserts and it still is. Though its a bit time consuming and some hard work (stirring continuously) but believe me the outcome is very delicious and yummy. My mom used to use Khoya/ mawa for this dessert..but as I don't get it here, I always substitute it with condensed milk . So, here goes the recipes for this yummy dessert..


3 cups of Chana dal,

2 cups of milk,
1-1 1/2 cups of sugar,
250 grams of condensed milk,
few saffron strands,
1pinch of cardamom powder,
1 tbsp of chopped cashews,
1 tbsp of raisins,
1 tbsp of slivered and
2 tbsp of ghee.

Wash the chana daal and cook boil them and cook till they become soft or for quick method, pressure cook the daal till soft. After it cools, grind the chana daal with the milk to a smooth paste in a mixer. In a non-stick pot, put the grinded dal, add the sugar and and cook on a low flame stirring continuously for around 30-40 minutes or until the halwa has become almost thick in consistency.Add the condensed milk, cardamom powder and saffron strands . In another pan, heat the ghee and add the chopped dry fruits and saute for few minutes and add this to the halwa. Let cool and garnish with more almonds and saffron strands.

This halwa is on its way to JFI- Saffron guest hosted by DK of Chef In You and to MLLA- 18 guest hosted by Srivalli the event started by Susan.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Roasted Tomato Soup

Here comes another recipe from Kevin's Closet Cooking. A perfect soup for cold winters, I came across on his blog here. I tried to stick to his recipe and and it turned out awesome and very tasty.I served this Yummy soup with toasted bread and Tabbouleh- a perfect and healthy dinner :) I am sending this to Tried and Tested hosted by Hema of Salt to Taste. Tried and Tested is featuring Kevin's Closet Cooking this month.


4 tomatoes- cut into half,
1 red bell pepper,
1 chopped onion,
2 cloves of garlic-unpeeled,
2 cups of chicken stock or vegetable broth,
1 tsp of chopped Thyme,
1 tbsp of olive oil and
salt and pepper to taste.

Cut the red bell pepper in two halves , place them on a baking sheet outside up and keep the in a pre heated oven on broil mode and broil for few mintes oruntil the outer skin has become black. Let cool and peel the skin from the peppers and keep aside.
In a baking pan, place the Tomatoes- with the cut side up, garlic and the Onions. Drizzle the olive oil on this and sprinkle the Thyme, salt and pepper powder over the tomatoes. Roast in pre heated oven on 350 F/ 175 C for 0-45 minutes. Now place everything in a saucepan and simmer for 30 more minutes. Puree with a hand blender. Garnish with some crumbled feta cheese and serve hot.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Paneer balls

I had lot of paneer cubes in my refrigerator and was wondering how to use them..Because I wanted to make something different and new this time, apart from the Chilli Paneer which is an all time favorite in my house. Then I just found this recipe in my recipe notebook. And it turned out very yummy and we enjoyed it a lot. When I was frying these paneer balls it smelled like I was frying those golden balls of Gulab jamuns :) and don't they look like Gulab juamun ? Its just that they are can even call them Savory Gulab Jamuns :D


200 grams Paneer,
2 tbsp of maida/all purpose flour,
1 tsp chopped ginger,
1 tsp chopped garlic,
4-5 green chillies,
1 tsp garam masala powder,
oil for deep frying,
1/2 tsp red chilli powder,
a pinch of red color(optional),
1 finely chopped onion,
50 grams of cashew nuts,
1/4 cup of fresh coriander leaves-chopped,
few curry leaves,
1 lime and
salt to taste.

Grate paneer, add maida, garam masala powder, chilli powder, salt to taste and a pinch of red color if using any. Mix well to form a dough and make lemon sized balls, deep fry in oil and keep aside. In a pan, heat 1 -2 tbsp oil and add the ginger, garlic, slit green chillies, onions, curry leaves and cashew and saute it for a while. Now add the fried Paneer balls and saute it for 5 more minutes. Sprinkle little water and cook till dry. Lastly add juice of 1 lime and some freshly chopped coriander leaves.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Cranberry chutney

I had heard a lot about cranberry chutney from friends..and I had always wanted to try it. Few days back when I saw this recipe here on Kevin's blog Closet Cooking I decided to give it a try and I must say that I just fell in love with this yummy chutney . This is my entry for Tried and Tested featuring Kevin's Closet Cooking for this month.And the host for this month is Hema of Salt to taste.


12 ounce of fresh cranberries,
1 apple- peeled and diced,
1 jalapeno pepper/ 2 green chillies,
1 finely chopped onion,
1 tbsp grated ginger
1tbsp grated garlic,
1/2 cup sugar,
1/2 cup cider vinegar,
1/4 tsp ground all spice,
1/4 tsp ground cloves.
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon and
1/2 cup raisins.

Place all the above ingredients in a pot and cook for 10-15 minutes or until all the ingredients become soft. Mash with a potato masher if necessary . Serve with Roti, naan or as a side dish with rice.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Stir fried Tuna with spices/ Tuna chikkiyathu

A few weeks back, I saw a tuna recipe on my friend Shab's blog- Shab's Cuisine. And I just loved the Indian way of using Tuna with all the spices in it.. Though I am not a big fan of Tuna..I wanted to try her version, because it looked spicy and yeah..another reason was that I wanted to finish the Tuna cans I had for month ;-) And when I tried her recipe, it turned out very tasty and spicy and Iam sure going to make it again and again. Thanks Shabs for this yummy recipe..I cooked it accordingly, only used vegetable oil instead of coconut. One can refer Shabs recipe here.


3 tsp vegetable oil,
1 finely chopped onion,
1 finely chopped small tomato,
370 grams of canned tuna/ 2 small cans,
1/3 cup grated coconut,
1tbsp of red chilli powder,
1/2 tsp black pepper powder,
1/4 tsp garam masala powder,
few curry leaves and
salt to taste

Heat the oil in a pan and add the curry leaves and chopped onions. Saute till the onions turn light brown in color. Add the chilli powder, then the chopped tomatoes and some pepper powder. Cover and cook on low flame till the tomatoes become soft and the masala becomes thick. Drain the tuna and add it to the pan and mix it well to blend the masala with it. Cook for 10 minutes or until all the water evaporates and it becomes dry. Add the grated coconut and mix again and lastly add the garam masala and cook for few more minutes. Can be served with roti and can also be used as a filling for sandwiches as I did.

My friend Asha Latha of ASRA ASHAON KA and Malar of Kitchen Tantra has passed me this cute 'Cheer-leading blog' award. Thanks Asha and Malar for this lovely gift.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Phat Thai Jay / Vegetarian Thai Noodles

Few weeks back when we had gone out for lunch, for a change we decided to go to a Thai restaurant called Chiang Mai Kitchen. We ordered Thai green curry with rice and a plate of vegetarian noodles called Phat Thai jay. And we just fell in love with those noodles. They tasted very yummy. After returning back hubby asked me if I can learn how to make those noodles? and thus began my search for the recipe on the internet, and I found this below recipe on, which gave me the same taste I wanted , the same taste as the Thai restaurant.
Phat Thai jay is basically rice noodles cooked in a mildly spicy tomato based sauce with bean sprouts, tofu, eggs and crushed peanuts.

-serves 2

250 grams of rice noodles,
75-100 grams of Tofu,
1/2 cup of bean sprouts,
1/4 cup of chopped green onions,
1/2 finely chopped red onion,
2 tbsp tomato sauce,
1 1/2 tbsp red chilli sauce,
1 tbsp of fish oil,
1 tbsp of caster sugar,
1/4 cup of coarsely crushed peanuts,
2 tbsp of vegetable oil,
1 egg and
a pinch of salt to taste.

Cut the tofu into bite sized pieces and deep fry in 1 tbsp oil until they turn crisp and light brown on outside. Keep aside. Soak the rice noodles in hot boiling water for 3 -5 minutes only, just before adding them to the pan.
In a wok / nonstick kadai, heat 1 tbsp of oil on high heat. Break an egg into the wok and scramble it. Immediately add the chopped onion and rice noodles and stir fry for just 1 minute. Now, add the tomato sauce, chilli sauce, fish oil and caster sugar to the noodles and stir fry for another 30 seconds. Now add the fried tofu and mix again. Lastly add the bean sprouts, finely chopped spring onions and the peanuts and stir for another 30 seconds or 1 minute. Serve hot.

Note: Follow the instructions given on the rice noodles packet for soaking them in water. Soaking them too long will make them soggy and sticky.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Creamy Dilled Cucumber Salad

For this months Tried and Tested event, Kevin's Closet Cooking is chosen. He has an awesome blog with many yummy recipes from different parts of the world. I love the simplicity of his recipes and yeah..I have bookmarked many things from his blog to try this month. So, here comes the very easy Salad. For the original recipe refer here.
This is my first entry for Tried and Tested featuring this month Kevin's Closet Cooking and hosted by Hema of Salt to Taste.


1 cucumber-slices,
1 small red onion-sliced,
1/4 cup of sour cream,
1 tbsp lemon juice,
2 tbsp finely chopped dill leaves,
salt and pepper powder to taste.

Mix everything in a medium sized bowl and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes before serving.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Bread rolls


6 large bread slices,
2 boiled, peeled and mashed potatoes,
1 finely chopped onion,
1 finely chopped green chilli (optional),
1/4 tsp red chilli powder,
1/4 tsp cumin powder,
1/4 tsp amchur/dry mango powder,
1/4 cup finely chopped coriander leaves,
salt and pepper to taste and
oil for deep frying.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan and add the chopped onions to it. Saute the onion until they turn light brown. Add green chillies if using and saute for few minutes. Add all the dry spices- chilli powder, cumin powder and Amchur powder. And immediately add the mashes potatoes, some salt and chopped coriander leaves and mix everything well. Set aside to cool, when it cools make 6 small balls with this mixture and keep aside.
Dip a bread slice in a bowl of water and remove immediately. Squeeze the slice between both palms to remove excess water. Place a small ball of the potato mixture in the center and fold both the sides inwards, like one does for spring rolls. Roll the other corners and seal it by pinching it, do the same with the rest of the slices and deep fry them in hot oil until they turn crisp and golden brown. Serve hot with ketchup or any chutney.

Instead of dipping the bread slice in water, one can even sprinkle some water on the slices to make them soft.
This can be made to any shape-round, oval or oblong..Just make sure that the potato mixture is completely covered with the bread.

This goes to EC's WYF:Tea time snacks event.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Kabsat al dajaj / chicken wth rice and tomatoes

Those who visit my blog regularly must have known by now,that I love middle eastern cuisine :) and I just love to try new recipes from the middle eastern cuisine and thats the reason I have become a member of 'Walima cooking club'. :)
On some idle and lazy days I just don't feel like cooking 2- 3 things(main course, side dishes and all) for dinner. And I prefer cooking 1 dish meals, which should be filling and should taste yummy and delicious. And this recipe caught my eyes the other day..for it looked easy and yummy.And most importantly I knew my husband will love it, Coz as he always says ''I am a pure non-vegetarian'' ;-) This recipe is adapted from the book'' Middle eastern cookbook'' by Maria khalife.


500 grams of Chicken,
3 cups of Basmati rice,
5-6 cups of hot water,
2 finely chopped tomatoes,
2 finely sliced onions,
300 grams of tomato puree,
4-5 cloves of garlic-crushed,
1 carrot-grated,
1/4 cup vegetable oil,
3 cloves,
3 green cardamoms,
3 cinnamon sticks,
1 tbsp of peppercorns,
4- 5 tbsp of silvered almonds,
grated rind of 1 orange and
salt and pepper powder to taste.

Wash the chicken, pat dry and season with some salt and pepper. Rinse and soak the rice in water for 20-30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a medium sized pan, add the cinnamon, cardamom and cloves and saute for few minutes, add the onions and fry till golden brown. Add the peeled and crushed garlic and saute for few minutes, add the finely chopped tomatoes and cook till they become soft. Now add the tomato puree and the seasoned chicken to the pan. And cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Add salt and pepper powder to taste, orange rind, grated carrot and mix well. Now immediately add the hot water and cook over medium heat for 20-30 minutes or until the chicken becomes tender. Remove the chicken pieces and keep aside.Add the soaked rice to the liquid in the saucepan. Cover and cook on low heat till the rice is tender.
Transfer the rice to a serving dish and arrange the chicken pieces on the rice and top with some peppercorns and almonds.

I am sending this Yummy Chicken rice to Srilekha's EFM variety rice. And I am also sending the below recipes from my archives.

ARROZ VERDE- Mexican green rice.

MUTTON BIRYANI -Bangalore style

MANSAF -Jordanian rice

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Walima cooking club (November) Lebanese cuisine- Aysh-el saraya and Sheesh barak

For the month of November Walima Cooking Club chose Lebanese cusine. As usual were given 1 sweet dish 'The Bread of the Seraglio' ( Aysh el-Saraya) picked by Joumana of Taste of Beirut
and 1 savory dish Sheesh Barak picked by Arlette of Phoenician Gourmet. Every month I try only 1 delight...either sweet or savory. But, I was soo tempted to try both the yummy delights this month. Thanks Joumana and Arlette.I enjoyed making both the dishes, they turned out really yummy. Here is a little introduction to Lebanese cuisine.

Lebnan, Le-b-nan that means the White Mountain, once called "The pearl of the middle East,” is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, Israel, and Syria. At one time or another Phoenicians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Arabs, European Crusaders, Ottomans, and French all ruled and had influence over the land and its cuisine. The Cuisine of this Ancient Land is diverse and steeped in history; Lebanon is a culinary and cultural Crossroads. Lebanon is located on the Eastern most shore of the Mediterranean in the Fertile Crescent, where Western Civilization is said to have begun. Both the Eastern and Western influences in its cookery are apparent. It combines the sophistication of European Cuisine with the excitement of Eastern Spices. The food of the entire Mediterranean region is a celebration of life; it is fresh, flavorful, diverse and invigorating. The Lebanese proudly admit that the genius of their food is its simplicity, and that the food was a product of both the earth and the sea. Also the natural bond that all of the Mediterranean cuisines share, from the tip of Spain to Lebanon “the same waters equally splash all of the countries around the Mediterranean". Lebanese cuisine is the richer and the finest in the Middle East and any other Arab countries due to their milder climate, and indeed, any cuisine is dependent upon climate and geography. Lebanese Cuisine is considered a very balanced, healthy diet. The Cuisine of Lebanon is the epitome of the Mediterranean diet. The country’s cuisine characterized by the use of a wide variety of fresh ingredients which include olive oil, herbs, spices, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, grains, fresh fish and seafood; animal fats are consumed sparingly. Poultry and red meat and usually lamb, is eaten more often, either grilled, baked or sautéed in olive oil or butter, cream is rarely used other than in a few desserts. Vegetables are often eaten raw or pickled as well as cooked. Though its mainstream popularity is relatively new, the Cuisine is not; the Cuisine of Lebanon has been in the making since pre-biblical times. The influence that Lebanon has had on the world is totally out of proportion to its size; culinary contributions from this tiny Country have had the greatest impact on modern Middle Eastern cuisine.


1 loaf white bread,
2 cups of golden super fine sugar,
1 cup of water,
4 tablespoons water,
1 teaspoon lemon juice,
1 tbsp orange blossom water or rose water,
1 1/2 cups Lebanese clotted cream or Ashta ,
1 cup coarsely ground pistachios.

Cut the crust with a sharp knife and keep aside.Arrange the slices on a baking sheet and toast in an oven at 350 F until lightly brown on both sides(Turn once) about 10-15 minutes.Cool and break into small pieces .
To make the caramelized syrup, in a saucepan, put water, sugar and lemon juice and bring to boil stirring continuously, so that the sugar does not crystallize in places, for about 20 minutes or until it is caramelized.
Towards the end of the cooking time, measure 7 ounces of water and bring to a boil in a teakettle. When the sugar is caramelized, start adding the water gradually without taking the sugar mixture off the heat.
Now add the bread pieces to the pan. Stir for 3-5 minutes until the breads absorbs the sugar syrup and becomes soft. Add the orange blossom water and remove from heat.
Pour the mixture in a serving dish and spread it evenly across the dish. After it cools spread the Ashta cream / ricotta cheese evenly on the bread and garnish with the coarsely grounded pistachios.

Note: If one can't find ricotta cheese/ Ashta cream, here is a way to make home made Ashta :-
Clotted cream or Ashta: 2 slices of white bread without the crust
2 cups half-and-half
Cut the bread in small pieces and place in a saucepan
Pour the cream or half-and-half over the bread
Bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring often.
Cool then refrigerate.

Source: Lebanese Cuisine by Anissa Helou and Middle eastern cookbook by Maria khalife.



For the basic dough or Ajeen :
1/2 kg (2-3 cups) plain flour,
1 cups warm water,
1/4 cup olive oil,
1/4 cup vegetable oil,
1 tbsp salt and
1 tbsp sugar.

For the filling:
1/2 kg minced meat( beef or lamb),
3 medium sized onions finely chopped,
1/4 tsp ground all spice,
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder,
1/4 cup of pine nuts and
2 tbsp cooking oil or butter.

For the yogurt sauce:
1/2kg of plain Greek Style Yogurt,
1 tbsp cornstarch,
1/2 tsp of salt,
1/4 cup water,
1 beaten egg ,
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint or some dried mint,
2-3 cloves of crushed garlic.

For the basic dough or Ajeen:
Sift the flour into a working surface.Mix in salt and sugar. Make a well in the center.Pour olive oil and vegetable oil in the well.Mix the dry ingredients into the liquid.Add water gradually. Knead the dough into a ball. Knead the dough on a floured working surface until it is smooth and elastic.Form the dough into a ball and put into a lightly floured bowl, covered with a damp cloth.
Leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size.

For them meat filling:
Fry onion in butter till color changes a little. Add meat, salt, allspice and cinnamon. Stir occasionally and fry for 7-8 minutes. Add pine nuts and Mix. Drain the mixture as butter would affect closing the pastries.

For the yogurt sauce :
Strain yogurt using a smooth colander into a pot. Add egg or egg's white.Dissolve cornstarch in 1 cup of water. Stir into cold yogurt for 2 minutes.Place on medium heat, stirring constantly until it boils.

Preparing the Sheesh barak:
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin to about 1 cm thickness. Using a round cookie cutter (medium size), press over dough to get equal rounds.Spread the round a little with your fingers. Place 1 tspn of the filling on it. Fold over one end to make a semi-circle. Press edges down to seal. Take the two ends from the straight side, bring them together and seal them. Press well. Repeat till rounds are done.
Place the stuffed dough and the cut pastries in a tray with parchment, Bake in a hot oven (400F) for 10 minutes or until golden. During this time prepare and cook the yogurt and when it starts to boil add the baked pastries to the boiling cooked yoghurt one by one. Let it boil over low heat for 10 minutes or till pastries are cooked.
In a separate skillet quickly saute the garlic and mint in one tbsp extra virgin olive oil and add it to the Sheesh Barak. And cook for another 2 minutes .

Source: Adapted from Antonio Tahhan.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Soya-chunks Manchurian

I usually make manchurian using cauliflower or chicken. But I wanted to finish the soya chunks that had in my kitchen cabinet for months now. Then, I remembered on of my cousins talking about making Manchurian with soya chunks. And I wanted to give it a try and I am happy that I tried it because it turned out sooo yummy.I made this almost like my gobi manchurian. So, here is what you need ...



for the batter:
1-2 cups of Soya chunks,
4 tbsp of maida / all purpose flour,
2-3 tbsp of corn starch,
1 tsp ginger paste,
1 tsp garlic paste,
1/4 tsp black pepper powder,
oil for deep frying and
salt to taste.

for the sauce:
1 onion finely chopped,
5-6 cloves of garlic- finely chopped,
2 green chillies-finely chopped(optional),
2 tsp of white vinegar,
2-3 tbsp of tomato ketchup,
2 tbsp of chilli-garlic sauce,
2-3 tsp of corn starch,
2 tsp of soya sauce,
a pinch of red food color (optional),
a pinch of ajinomoto,
2-3 tbsp of oil,
1/2 cup of water and
1/2 cup of green onions.

Cook the soya chunks as per the instructions on the packet. After boiling the soya chunks/ nyggets, remove excess water and keep aside. To make the batter- take maida/ all purpose flour in a bowl, add corn starch, ginger-garlic paste, pepper powder(food colour, if adding) and salt to taste. Make a batter by adding water to this. Dip the Soya chunks in this batter and deep fry in oil, till they become crisp.
In another pan, Heat 2-3 tbsp of oil, add chopped garlic and chopped green chillies and saute for few minutes. Add finely chopped onions, and fry for few more minutes, till the onions are lightly browned. Now add tomato ketchup, soya sauce, chilli-garlic sauce and vinegar and mix well. Meanwhile mix the corn starch in 1/2 cup of water and add it to the pan and cook till the sauce thickens. Add the fried Soya chunks and the chopped green onions to the sauce and mix well to coat completely. Garnish with some extra spring onions and serve hot.Tips:
(1) Its always better to make the sauce first and then fry the Soya, this will help in maintaining the crispiness of the fried Soya chunks.
(2) Adding green capsicum to this munchurian makes it more flavorful. I couldn't, because I didn't have any at that time.

I would love to thank Aruna of veggie paradise for sharing this award with me. Thanks ARUNA.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

I had seen these chocolate dipped Strawberries at My Kitchen Treasures, and wanted to try it very badly :) .They didn't turn out as neat as I had expected :( But what really matters is, they were yummy and were gone within few minutes. My 2 1/2 year old son was soo happy and delighted to see these chocolate-dipped strawberries and now everyday he keeps me asking ''Mommy can you make more 'chookate chawberries'' . This is so easy to prepare and perfect to serve the family as a dessert after any meal.

recipe from My Kitchen treasures.

24 ripe strawberries
8 oz bittersweet chocolate- chopped and
1 oz white chocolate- chopped

Rinse strawberries and gently pat dry. Set on a rack to dry completely. Melt bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler or in a microwave.keep stirring in between to prevent the chocolate from burning.

Dip strawberries in chocolate and shake off excess. Set to dry on a rack (on the tops as shown in the photos) or on parchment (on the bottoms which will give you a foot of chocolate) in a cool, dry location
When chocolate has dried, melt the white chocolate and drizzle over the strawberries.

If in a hurry, one can put the chocolate dipped strawberries in the refrigerator for quick drying instead of drying them on the rack.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Aash / rice and lentil soup

Aaash is made very commonly during Ramadan in Bangalore. We used to always wait for our mom to make this yummy soup for iftar everyday.It is a very healthy and filling soup, especially after a long day of fasting.But, I always wondered why Bangloreans called it ''AASH'' until recently I came to know that 'AASH' is a Persian word for soup. So, its a soup made with rice, lentils and with /without minced meat. So, here goes the recipe for Aash.


500 grams of minced meat(optional),
160 grams of rice,
2 finely chopped onions,
1 finely chopped large tomato,
2-3 green chillies,
1 cup moong dal/ split yellow lentil,
1/2 cup of finely chopped mint leaves,
1 tsp ginger paste,
1 tsp garlic paste,
1/4 tsp turmeric powder,
1/4 tsp garam masala powder,
3-4 glasses of water,
3-4 tbsp of oil and
salt to taste.

Put the raw rice in a mixer and grind to make a coarse powder(like semolina/ sooji) and keep aside.Heat the oil in big vessel and add finely chopped onions and slit green chillies and add to the onions and fry them till the onions turn light brown in colour. Now add the ginger paste and garlic paste and saute till the spell of the ginger-garlic paste goes away. Add the turmeric powder and mix well and add chopped tomatoes mint leaves and cook till the tomatoes become soft. Now add the washed moong/ lentil and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the washed minced meat, garam masala powder, some salt and mix everything well and cook for 5-10 minutes.
Now add 3-4 glasses of water to the vessel and bring it to a boil. Add more salt if needed. when it starts boiling lower the flame and add the powdered rice slowly, stirring it with the other hand to avoid getting lumps. Increase the flame to medium high and cook the soup by stirring it continuously till the rice is cooked. Add more water if it becomes very thick after adding the rice, to make it to the consistency of a soup. Serve hot garnish with some fried onions.

Semolina/ sooji can also be used instead of the coarsely powdered rice. But rice gives a better taste to this soup.

I am sending this to Aash to Think spice-Think Turmeric guest hosted by Sudeshna, event by Sunita.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Back to blogging with loads of awards from friends :-)

Hi dear friends,
I am back to blogging(finally) Phew!!! This blogging world is so wonderful and addictive and what makes it wonderful is the beautiful bond one shares with the good friends we makes through the journey of blogging. I just wanted a small break from blogging during the month of Ramadan, but I that small break turned into a very long break of more than 2 months :-( I was finding it so hard to get back..everyday I would tell myself that I am posting a recipe today no matter what happens...but, then I kept postponing it each day for weeks and months. But what matters for me now is that I am back finally and I want to thank all my friends out there, who showered on me so many awards,even when I was away from here and YES !! these ''awards'' have forced me to come back and start again. Thank you friends for all these awards and for all the appreciations that keeps me going and brings a smile on my face :-)

Now coming to the awards, Priya darshini of Priya's feast have passed this beautiful and colourful award. Thanks priya for this beautiful award.

Babli of Khana masala has passed these awards to me.I would like to thank babli for these lovely award and for being so sweet :-)

And I would like to convey tons of thanks to my new friend Asha latha of Asra ashaaon ka for passing me these beautiful awards. I am very delighted to get these awards dear. Thanks again.

And the last but not the least ;) is a sweet thank you from Priya Prashanth of Priya's recipes. Thank you Priya for this colourful and beautiful thank you.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Walima cooking club (September)Jordanian cuisine-MANSAF

Jordanian cuisine was selected for the month of September by dear Arlette . And the Savory Dish that was selected was Mansaf. Mansaf is the national dish of Jordan, it is served on special occasions such as weddings and births, or to honor a guest and feasting on Mansaf is taken seriously, and hours are spent in its preparations.The lamb is cooked is Jameed /dried yogurt and mansaf is served on a large platter with a layer of Arabic flat bread topped with rice and then meat, garnished with almonds and pine nuts.
I have to admit that I cooked it Indian way, adding many Indian spices to the meat for our Indian taste buds, which loves spicy foods :) But one can refer here for the authentic recipe.

2 containers of reek yogurt,
2 lbs of lamb meat with bones,
a pinch of turmeric powder,
1 small onion-finely chopped,
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste,
1 tsp red chili powder,
1/2 tsp cumin powder,
1/4 tsp black pepper powder,
3 cups jasmine rice or Basmati rice,
1 cardamom,
1 cinnamon,
1 cloves,
1/2 cup of almonds,
1/2 cup of pine nuts,
2-3 Arabic flat bread/ thin Indian roti(chapathi),
1 cup of butter/ ghee and
salt to taste

In a large pot before turning on the heat pour the yogurt.Bring it to boil on high heat , make sure while you are cooking the yogurt that you are constantly stirring yogurt with a wooden spoon in one direction only. If you started stirring to the left you must keep stirring that way until yogurt starts to boil. Once the yogurt boils turn the heat off.
In another pot cook the meat with the spices- ginger garlic paste, cumin powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder, black pepper powder, onion and some salt. Cover the meat completely with water and cook till the meat is tender. remove the cooked meat and strain the broth to remove the onion pieces.
Now add 2-3 cups of the above broth to the pot of cooked yogurt, add salt and if its not tangy enough, juice of 1/2 lemon van be added to it. Add the lamb meat to the yogurt and broth mixture and cook till it thickens a little bit (like a sauce).
Heat the butter/ghee in another pot and fry the nuts and almonds till light brown. Remove the nuts and in the same butter add the garam masala(spices)- cardamom,cloves and cinnamon and a pinch of turmeric powder. Add rice , water and salt to taste and cook the rice.
When serving put Arabic bread and wet it with some yogurt, then add rice and meat in individual plates and spread cooked yogurt and slivered nuts over it.
Hi friends,

First of all I would like to thank all my friend for their Eid wishes. That was so sweet of you all to wish me, even when I was away from blogging for few weeks. I was very busy during Ramadhan and even after Eid, so was no able to respond to the comments. I thank you all again for the lovely comments.
And I would also apologize for not visiting your blogs regularly. I know I have missed many many yummy and delicious posts in these 3 weeks. But I will be back tomorrow to peep into all my favorite blogs and to catch up on all the missed posts :)
Missed bogging so so much because I have made so many good friends here(through blogging). Missed you all very much.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Falafel and dip


1 1/2 cup dry shelled broad beans/ Fava beans,
1 1/2 cup of Chickpeas - soaked overnight,
4 tbsp each of- mint,Parsley and coriander leaves(chopped),
3-4 cloves of garlic,
1 medium sized onion,
1 1/2 tsp cumin,
1/2 tsp of cayenne,
1 tsp of sesame seeds(optional)
1 tsp of bicarbonate soda,
1 tsp coriander seeds,
oil for deep frying and
salt to taste.

For the dip:
1/2 cup of yogurt,
1/2 cup of tahini,
1/2 cup of lemon juice,
1 cup of water and
1 tsp of salt.

In a food processor, place the chickpeas,broad beans,chopped coriander leaves, parsley, mint, garlic, onion, cumin, coriander, cayenne and salt. Process to a firm paste..Transfer to a bowl, and add the soda and sesame seeds if using.Knead this paste to mix everything thoroughly and let rest for 1 hour.
Meanwhile make the dip by mixing all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
Heat the oil in a kadai/frying pan. Make small walnut sized balls with the paste an flatten a little bit and deep fry on medium heat, until light brown or for 5-6 minutes. Drain them on a paper towel. Serve hot with tahini dip or use as a filling inside pita bread to make a sandwich. Enjoy :)

I am sending this over to Joy from fasting to feasting(season II) hosted by Lubna of Yummy Food and Yasmeen of Health Nut and to My Legumes Love Affair 15 guest hosted this month by Sia of Monsoon spice and event by Susan.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Banana shake


1 big banana,
4 dates and
1 glass of cold milk.
Cut the banana into small pieces. Add dates and little milk in a blender. Blend well, add the remaining milk. Serve chilled.

This quick and easy Banana shake goes to Sireesha's event "Soup 'N Juice" .

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Sambousik al dajaj /Chicken pies and awards



For the dough:
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast,
1/4 cup warm water,
3 cups of all purpose flour,
4 tbsp of corn flour,
1 tsp salt,
3 tbsp melted butter,
1 beaten egg and
3/4 cups of water.

For the filling:
1 cup shredded cabbage,
1 cup finely chopped green beans,
2 chicken breasts- boiled and shredded,
1 green pepper-diced,
1 onion-finely chopped,
2 cloves of garlic- crushed,
3 tbsp of vegetable oil,
1 tsp of white pepper powder,
1 tsp of salt and
2 egg yolks for brushing.

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water.Add melted butter and beaten egg to this yeast mixture. In another big bowl, take all purpose flour, corn flour and salt and mix well.Now add the above yeast mixture to it and add the remaining water gradually and knead for 5-8 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for at least 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
In the mean time, start making the filling.Heat the oil in pan and stir fry all the vegetables- Beans, cabbage pepper, onion and garlic until they become tender. Now add the cooked and shredded chicken and season with white pepper and salt and stir for 2-3 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F. Divide the dough into 30 small equal balls. Roll out each ball on a lightly floured surface, into 4 inch circles. Place a tablespoon of the filling in the center of each circle and brush the sides with egg yolk and cover each circle with another circle of the dough. Pinch the edges together with a fork to seal and brush the top of each circle with egg yolk.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light brown. Arrange in a serving dish and serve hot.

Source: This recipe is adapted from 'Middle eastern Cookbook' by Maria Kalife

It has been raining awards in our food blogging world. And even I was showered with so many awards. Thanks my dear friend for all the awards and appreciation you guys give me , which forces me to come here and post new recipes. I have been very busy during this month of Ramadhan and finding it hard to post frequently and I am missing so many Yummy and delicious posts. I am finding it hard to take out some time to see those yummy posts and to comment on them. But I promise that I will be back on the track soon after Ramadhan.

First of all I would love to thank the Fall in love(FIL) lady Sanghi for this lovely Gold friend award on her 100th post.. Thanks dear Sanghi..I will always cherish this award and this award will always stay close to my heart.

And Dear Priya of Priya's Easy and Tasty Recipes (I just love her blog so much.She is never out of recipes to post everyday and to participate in all the events with 2-3 yummy and unique recipes) She has passed these lovely awards- 360° foodie award, Yum yum blog award and giant bear hug award. Thank you so much Priya. I am a huge fan of your blog. And to receive these from you means a lot to me.
And my sweet friends Sarah Naveen , Ayesha Priya and Rekha Shoban have also Passed these three awards to me. Thanks my sweet buddies for these awards.

And Rebecca of Chow and Chatter has given me this Friend award. Thanks dear , I love your friendship and will always cherish it.

And Last but not least Vidhas of Appetizing recipes has passed this scrumptious blog Award. Thanks dear for this award. You made my day.


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