Sunday 31 January 2010

Omani Lamb kabouli

For the month of January, we were given Omani cuisine in Walima Cooking club . The lovely lady Arlette had chosen 2 recipes as usual, the savory dish called LAMB KABOULI and a sweet dish called SAKO-a traditional caramelized tapioca sweet.I decided to cook the savory one.
Thanks Arlette for the challenge, loved cooking the Omani kabouli. My family loved this recipe. Infact I made this 2 times this month...first time I cooked this, we couldn't even resist till I could take the pics and it was gone, before I took any snaps of it :) I had to cook this again for the pictures :D Before I go to the recipe, here a an intro to Omani cuisine.

Ted during celebrations, which consists of mashed rice flavored with spices. Another popular festival meal is shuwa, which is meat cooked very slowly (sometimes for up to two days) in an underground clay oven. The meat becomes extremely tender and it is impregnated with spices and herbs before cooking to give it a very distinct taste. Fish is often used in main dishes too, and the king fish is a popular ingredient. Mashuai is a meal comprising whole spit-roasted kingfish served with lemon rice. The rukhal bread is a thin, round bread originally baked over a fire made from palm leaves. It is eaten at any meal, typically served with Omani honey for breakfast or crumbled over curry for dinner. Chicken, fish and mutton are regularly used in dishes Although spices, herbs, onion, garlic and lime are liberally used in traditional Omani cuisine, unlike similar Asian food, it is not hot. Omani cuisine is also distinct from the indigenous foods of other Arab states of the Persian Gulf and even varies within the Sultanate's different regions. There are also significant differences in cuisine between different regions of Oman(Wikipedia).


1 kg lamb legs, pieces with bones,
9 cups/ 2¼ liters of water,
3 small cinnamon sticks,
1 tsp whole cardamom pods,
1 tsp cloves,
1 tsp whole black peppers,
½ cup /125 ml water- extra quantity,
3 medium onions or 375 grams- sliced
4 tbsp ghee,
3 cloves garlic-crushed,
3 tbsp raisins,
1 tin/400 grams canned chickpeas,
4 tablespoons Omani mixed spices,
½ tsp saffron strands,
½ cup rose water,
3 cubes Mutton Bouillon-
if you have lamb stock or chicken stock use 3 cups as part of the above water
2½ cups/500 grams Basmati rice-washed and drained.

For the Omani spice :
2 cloves garlic- chopped,
1 Tbs (15 ml) cumin seeds,
1 Tbs (15 ml) coriander seeds,
1 Tbs (15 ml) cardamom seeds,
2 tsp (10 ml) cayenne pepper,
1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground turmeric and
About 2 Tbs (30 ml) distilled vinegar.

To make the Omani spice paste-Combine all ingredients in an electric food processor and process until a thick paste is formed, adding more vinegar if necessary. Keep aside.
Put lamb pieces and water in a large pot, bring to boil and remove froth as it appears. Add the cinnamon sticks, and all whole spices. Cover and simmer over low heat for 1½ hours or until the meat becomes tender. Remove lamb pieces, put them in a bowl and set aside. Drain the stock and set aside.
Cook the extra water and onion in a large sauce pan with occasional stirring for 5 minutes or until water is steamed and the onions become tender. Add 2 tablespoons of the ghee (reserve 2 tablespoons) and stir for another 3 minutes or until onions become golden in color. Add garlic, raisins, chickpeas, 1 tablespoon of Omani mixed spices (reserve 3 tablespoons), saffron strands and rose water, stir for 1 minutes then set aside.
In a large pot put 4½ cups of drained stock; add more water if stock is not enough. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of ghee, the remaining 3 tablespoons of Omani mixed spices, the Bouillon cubes and rice. Bring to boil with occasional stirring, cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes or until rice is half cooked, add the boiled lamb pieces on top of the rice, cover and cook on low heat again for another 10-15 minutes or until rice is cooked.
Serve the rice and lamb in plate topped with the onion mixture.

Friday 29 January 2010

Mexican wedding cookies

Mexican wedding cookies was the recipe given for the month of January by Cilantro, who has started a new event called Global kadai, where we have to make an Indian version of the international recipes given every month. I just loved this event because I always have this habit of changing the international recipes with Indian spices, to suit our taste buds :) thanks cilantro for this lovely event.
I tried making these cookies with the ingredients which are easily available in India. Like I substituted the pecans with ground almonds and cashews and I used cardamom powder instead of ground cinnamon and they turned out beautiful and tasty. The original recipe is from Karren Ginnis.Here is how I made my cookies...


Ingredients :
1 cup softened butter,
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour,
1/3 cups confectioner's sugar,
2 tsp vanilla extract,
3 tbsp of Cocoa powder,
1/2 cup of ground cashews,
1/2 cup of ground almonds,
1/4 tsp of cardamom powder,
a pinch of salt and
1/2 cup of confectioner's sugar for dusting.

Pre- heat the oven to 325 degree F or 180 degree C . Cream the softened butter, sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Sift the dry ingredients- flour, cocoa powder, salt and cardamom powder in another bowl to avoid any lumps. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and mix well to form a dough. Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and chill for 1-2 hours of until firm. Make 1 inch balls withe the dough and flatten a little bit on the top and place them on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cookies are firm. Cool them on a wire wrack and dust with the confectioner's sugar.

Tuesday 26 January 2010

Ripe Plantain dessert

I have many fond memories of this dessert. I learned this from from one of my SIL (bhabi) who is from Kannur, Kerala, India. She cooks many yummy and authentic Kerala recipes and this is one of those recipe that I learned in the initial stage of my cooking. Would love to learn more recipes from her when I visit India.
I know....I know...this is not how its supposed to be named...but to tell the truth, I forgot its original name in Malayalam....So all my mallu friends out here can help me with the name. This is very easy and quick to cook and tastes very good. But, this is definitely not for those who are calorie conscious :-)


Ingredients :
2 ripe plantains(nendra pazham),
1/2 cup of sugar,
1 egg-beaten,
1 tbsp of ghee and
a pinch of cardamom powder.

Chop the plantains into small cubes, add a pinch of cardamom powder to the beaten eggs, mix well and keep aside. In a non-stick pan, heat the ghee on low heat and add the plantains to it and saute till it turns golden brown in colour. Add the sugar to the pan and mix well to coat the plantain completely with it, after 2-3 minutes add the beaten egg to this and a mix well. Cook till the egg is well blended and cooked with the plantains. keep stirring in between, to prevent the dessert from burning. Garnish with cashews and serve hot immediately.

Sunday 24 January 2010

Egg Fried Rice

Fried rice has countless variations. Every household adapts the recipe according to their family's tastes...It is quick to make and perfect for any time of the day.This an easy breezy version of egg fried just takes few minutes to make this fried rice. I find it as the best way of finishing any leftover rice. Fried rice can be made with either freshly cooked rice which should be cooled before using or if in a jiffy, can use leftover rice. Here is my version of egg fried rice.


3 cups of cooked rice,
2 eggs- beaten,
1 cup of mixed vegetables,
1/2 cup of chopped spring onions,
2-3 tbsp of soy sauce,
1 tbsp of green chilli sauce,
2-3 tsp of cooking oil,
Salt and pepper powder to taste.

In a bowl, beat the eggs and add a pinch of salt and pepper to it. In a wok, heat 1 tsp of oil and add the beaten egg and scramble it and when the egg is almost cooked add the cooked and completely cooled rice to it and stir fry for 3-5 minutes. Remove the rice and egg from the wok and keep aside.In the same wok, heat 1 tsp of oil and add the mixed vegetables to it- I have used corn, green peas, carrot and 1/2 red bell pepper. Stir fry the vegetables for few minutes, add soy sauce and green chilli sauce to the vegetables and a pinch of salt and pepper powder to taste. Add the rice and egg to the wok and mix well to coat the rice completely with the sauces. Add green onions to it and stir fry again for few minutes. Garnish with some spring onions and serve hot.
It awards time again :) I have been showered with some award from near and dear blogger friends..These awards encourages me do to more and much better everytime.. they are like energy boosters for me ..Thank you friends for the awards, I will cherish these awards throughout my life.

First comes an award from the Duchess of Rose Tea Cottage..She has the most wonderful and beautiful blog I have ever ever come across... She has honored me with this beautiful award...Thanks Duchess for this most beautiful award.

Another friend Sowmya of Dew has passed this cute award to me.... Thank you so much Sowmya for this award..I really like your blog...Thats so sweet of you to pass this award to me Thanks again :)
Next comes an award from dear fried Ally of What's cooking today. I love her blog..its has many yummy, unique and new recipes.Thanks Ally for this chweeeet and cuuutttteeeee award :)

And Aparna of ladies Special Adukkala has passed the Kreative blogger award to me..Thanks Aparna for the award...This was my first award too...I have written the about me things here.Thanks again dear.

Thursday 21 January 2010

Bhel puri

Bhel puri is a roadside popular chat/ snack in India. Though Pani poori/ Gol gappa is more famous than this always prefer this yummy chat. As a kid I always preferred this more than Pani poori, the reason being that to eat pani poori, one has to gobble the whole poori at one time :-) and being a kid, it was hard for me to do that :) So, whenever my family would go out to eat Chat, I always preferred to order bhel puri. In the meantime, I have also learned to gobble the whole puri of pani puri now :) Now, I love both the chats equally.
Anyways, coming to the has different variation in different parts of India. Some people like to add boiled and cubed potatoes into it, and some even add raw mango to can try any variation a per their is how I do mine.


3 cups of puffed rice,
1/2 cup of roasted peanuts,
1 finely chopped onion,
1/2 cucumber-peeled and finely chopped,
1 tomato-de-seeded and finely chopped,
1 carrot-peeled and grated,
1 tbsp of chat masala,
1/2 cup of Sev,
1 tsp of lemon/lime juice,
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves,
2-3 tbsp of tamarind chutney,
1 tbsp of spicy green chutney and
salt to taste.
In a large bowl put the puffed rice, chopped tomatoes, chopped onion, cucumber,roasted peanuts, grated carrot, half of the sev and mix well. Now add the chat masala, a pinch of salt, 1 tbsp of green chutney, 2 tbsp of tamarind chutney, finely chopped coriander leaves and lemon juice. garnish with e remaining sev and tamarind chutney.Mix the ingredients and serve immediately. If prepared in advance, the puffed rice will become soft and soggy so, mix the ingredients together, just before serving.

Wednesday 13 January 2010

Pasteis de Nata / Portuguese custard tarts

Pasteis de nata are traditional Portuguese custard tarts. They are also known as pastel de nata. To know more about these delicious beauties , read here. I found them very easy to prepare and very yummy. My 2 1/2 year old son didn't even wait till they cooled :) he gobbled some tarts, even before I could take any pics. I was left with only few tarts to take the pic. Believe me, when I say they were yummilicious and I bet, no one can stop at only 1 tart :)


1 package of puff pastry sheets,
4 egg yolks,
1 1/2 cups of whole milk,
1 tsp of vanilla essence
3-4 tbsp cornstarch/cornflour,
1/2 cup of sugar,
1 tbsp of orange rind and
a pinch of nutmeg powder.

Thaw the puff pastry sheets. Heat the oven to 170ยบ C. To make the custard- Put the milk in a sauce pan and heat it on a low flame. Whisk the egg yolks with sugar and vanilla essence till the sugar is well blended with the milk. In another bowl, take some cold milk and add the corn starch to it and mix until there are no lumps in it, keep aside. Slowly add the egg yolks and sugar to the milk and stir it...make sure to boil the milk on low flame. When it starts boiling, add the cornstarch mix to the milk slowly, away from the heat and stirring it with the other hand. Now return the pan back to the flame and cook on low heat till the custard thickens. remove from heat and cool completely.
Lightly grease the muffin cups. Roll the puff pastry sheet and using a cookie cutter, cut circles big enough to cover the bottom and sides of the muffin cups. gentle place each circle into the muffin cups and press on all the sides and make sure there are no air pockets. Pour the prepared custard into the shells and bake for 20-30 minutes or until you the shells and the filling is lightly brown on the top.
Serve it warm or after it cools with a cup of hot tea / coffee or as a quick and yummy dessert after the dinner. Enjoy !

Note: You can even bake the puff pastry shells for 8-10 minutes, before pouring the custard to ensure that the pastry is not uncooked. If doing so, line the puff pastry in the cups with parchment paper and put some raw(dry) baking beans or some rice in to parchment paper to prevent the puff pastry from rising. Remove the beans/ rice and the parchment paper and fill with the prepared custard and bake as mentioned above.

Recipe adapted from

I am sending this to AWED- Potuguese hosted this month by Priya of Priya's Easy and tasty recipes and event started by DK of Chef In You.

Tuesday 12 January 2010

Chicken Quesadillas

I have just fallen in love with Quesadillas..easy to cook and tastes can never go wrong with Quesadilla...its so simple and the best part is you can fill it with anything.... vegetarians can try making the vegetarian Corn and black bean Quesadilla I had posted few weeks back. This time I made the quesadillas with creamy chicken. Serve it with guacamole and enjoy this perfect dinner.


4-6 Tortillas,
1/2 lbs of boneless Chicken,
3-4 tbsp of mayonnaise ,
1/2 cup of finely chopped green onions,
1 jalapeno peppers,
1 cup of grated cheddar cheese,
1 tbsp of lime juice,
1/2 tsp of chilli powder and
salt to taste.

Wash and cut the Chicken into thin strip. Put the chicken in a bowl and add some salt, chilli powder and lime or lemon juice, brush the chicken with some olive oil. OR one can use the taco seasoning instead of the salt and chilli powder.Mix well and grill in the oven or cook on a griddle/pan until the chicken is cooked. Remove and shred the chicken and keep aside.
In a bowl, mix the shredded chicken ,mayonnaise, finely chopped spring onions and jalpeno peppers. Mix well. Melt 1/4 tsp of butter in a pan, place one tortilla and spread a thin layer of the above creamy chicken, scatter some cheddar cheese all over the chicken and cover this 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.

Monday 11 January 2010

Pazham pori /Ripe Plantain fritters

Pazham pori -a very popular snack of Kerala,India. This popular snack reminds me of my summer holidays when we used to visit our grandmother and aunts in Kerala and we were pampered with yummy treats and snacks.As a child I would eagerly wait for tea time to taste this yummy snack which my grand mother or my aunts would make. Its easy to prepare and tastes very yummy.


2 ripe plantains,
1 cup of maida /all purpose flour,
2 tbsp of rice flour,
3-4 tbsp of sugar,
1/4 tsp of baking soda,
a pinch of salt and
oil for frying.

Cut the plantains into half and then with each half cut 3-4 thin slices lengthwise. In a bowl, make a batter with all purpose flour, rice flour, baking soda, sugar and salt. Heat oil in a frying pan, dip the plantains in the batter and coat hem with it, deep fry 2-3 pieces at a time until crisp and golden brown. Remove and place the fritters on a paper towel to drain excess oil. Serve hot as a snack with tea/coffee.

And now its award time :) :) I am delighted to receive these awards from friends.

Sunitha and Namitha of Collaborative Curry have passed this lovely 'beautiful blogger' award. Thank you so much dearies for the award. I love your blog and the yummy and authentic Kerala cuisines you post.

I would love to pass this award to few of my blogger friends.

Duchess of Rose Tea Cottage,
Vinolia of Akal's Saappadu,
Shabeena of Shab's Cuisine ,
Ally of What's Cooking today ,
Dolly of Curry and beyond ,
Viki of Viki's kitchen and
Ayesha of Life Today.

And Devi of Devi's blog and Renuka of Love of Cooking have nominated me for this 'Kreative blogger' award. Thank you Devi and Renuka for thinking of me :)

Rules for accepting this award:

1) Thank the person giving the award
2) Copy the award to your blog
3) Place a link to their blog
4) Name 7 things people don't know about you
5) Nominate 7 bloggers
6) Place a link to those bloggers
7) Leave a comment letting those bloggers know about the award

I had already posted the 7 things about me before. You can see it here.

I am nominating the below bloggers for his award.
Siddhi of Cooked Dil Se ,
Priya john of These are a few of my favorite things ,
Malar of Malar's cuisine ,
Saju Sharfu of The Novice kitchen ,
Ushnish Ghosh of Cooking and recipes and
Kanchan of Kitchen gossip.

Thursday 7 January 2010

Guacamole /Avocado salsa

Guacamole is traditional Mexican dip, made with ripe Avocados, served with chips or quesadilla.It takes less than 10 minutes to make this yummy dip/salsa. The secret for a good guacamole are ripe Avocados. So, make sure you choose ripe hass Avocados for Guacamole.


2 ripe Avocados,
1 finely chopped onion,
1 finely diced tomato,
2 tbsp of finely chopped cilantro,
1 jalapeno/ 2 green chillies,
juice of 1 lime,
1/2 tsp salt and
1/2tsp pepper powder.

Cut the Avocados lengthwise , remove the seed/pit and scoop out the pulp. In a large bowl place the scooped Avocados, onions,tomatoes, chillies, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste and mash with a potato masher. And voila !! yummy Guacamole is ready. Serve with Tortilla chips or with Quesadillas.

I am sending this to Monthly mingle-Winter Vegetables and fruits Hosted this month by Sudeshna of Cook like a Bong , event by Meeta of What's for Lunch Honey.

Tuesday 5 January 2010

Black Forest Gateau / black forest cake

I wish all my blogger friends a very very happy and prosperous NEW YEAR 2010..I know...I know..I am wishing very late, but I was very busy for the past 1 week and so, this is my first post of 2010.....Black forest reminds me of my childhood days in was my favourite cake for years, then one day when I came to know that rum/brandy is added to the black forest cake, I stopped buying it from the bakeries, because we don't consume alcoholic drinks or anything with alcoholic drinks. But I always missed eating my fav fav cake :( And I never knew anything about baking then. I came across this recipe which one of my friend had . And I baked my favourite cake at home, without any rum/ brandy and YES, black forest cake is the first cake I learned to bake or should I say this is the only cake I know to bake :) I baked this cake again few weeks back after a long long time (after coming to UK). So, here goes the recipe for my favourite black forest cake...


Ingredients :

For the cake:
1 3/4 cups flour,
3/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder,
1 1/2 cup of sugar,
6 eggs,
1 tsp of baking powder,
1 tsp of vanilla essence,
1/2 cup of butter/vegetable oil and
1 pinch of salt,
For the filling/topping:
1 tin of maraschino cherries,
3-4 tbsp of powdered sugar and
3-4 cups of heavy whipping cream.
For the syrup
1 cup of water,
1/2 cup of sugar and
1 tsp of vanilla essence.
For garnishing:
chocolate curls and
whole cherries.

Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F . Grease and flour a 9" inch round pan. In a bowl mix the dry ingredients- flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa powder and sift this, so that everything gets mixed well and to avoid lumps. Now add the sugar, vanilla essence, melted butter/oil and the eggs to this bowl with dry ingredients and beat until well blended OR the other method is to beat the eggs separately with sugar and essence till fluffy and fold in the dry mixture with the eggs. Pour this mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick or a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes. now remove the cake from the pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
For the syrup: Boil the water with the sugar in a saucepan for few minutes. the syrup should neither be sticky nor water. Remove from fire, cool it and add the vanilla essence. Cool completely before using it.
Whip the cream and the sugar with an electric mixer until you get soft peaks. Drain the juice from the cherries and preserve 3-4 tbsp for the syrup.Preserve some whole cherries for garnishing on the top and chop the remaining cherries to small pieces.
Now to assemble the cake. Cut the cake horizontally with a serrated knife into 2/3 layers. On the first layer, sprinkle some of the above syrup to moisten the cake. Now spread a layer of the whipped cream and sprinkle the chopped cherries on the whipped cream.Now place the second layer and repeat the same procedure. place the last slice of cake and frost the cake completely with whipped cream on the top and the sides. Garnish with some chocolate shavings/ chocolate sprinkles/ chocolate curls and with whole cherries.
Refrigerate for 3-4 hours before serving.

Sending this Black Forest Gateau to:
In Love with Delectable Desserts, Pastries and Ice creams hosted by Radhika Vasanth of Food for 7 stages of life and Sudeshna of Cook like a Bong
Show me your cake event hosted by Divya of Dil Se .


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