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Monday, July 21, 2014

Chicken and Potatoes in Spicy Coconut milk curry





I had marinated some chicken tenders and frozen away half of them, to use later. I was wondering what to do with those.I sometimes feel the 'roasting-grinding' part of the masala for the curries is too tedious.Wanted a semi thick spicy and delicious curry,but without the hard work :) This one turned out perfect!! Spicy coconutty curry with tender pieces of chicken and potato cubes. Made a delicious weekend meal!

Ingredients:
1.5 cups Chicken tender cut into large cubes
1 large potato cut into large cubes
1 can coconut milk
1/2 onion chopped
4 tsp Yogurt
2 tsp Chicken curry masala powder (store bought)
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1-2 tsp red chili powder
2-3 Dried red chilies
few curry leaves
Oil
salt


Method:
1) Marinate the chicken pieces in in yogurt, red chili powder,salt and chicken curry masala for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
2) Heat some oil, add the chopped onion fry till translucent. Add the ginger garlic paste, dried red chilies and curry leaves. Add the potato cubes and saute. Cover for few mins till potatoes brown a little.Add the chicken and saute for few more mins.
3) Add the coconut milk, salt, black pepper and mix. Cook on medium flame till the chicken and potatoes are tender.
4) Serve hot along with Rotis/ Chapatis or Rice
Enjoy!





Thursday, July 17, 2014

'Chocolate-Walnut-Cherry' Bread

I hadn't baked in a really long time.The new loaf pan that I bought like a month ago...still had it's label
unmoved. I thought a 'quick' bread would be a good idea and will solve the 'what to give for snack' for the next few days atleast :)
This bread is not a 'bread' in real sense.But is something in between a 'cake' and  'bread'.It has a dense texture and a crusty top. Made with 'dried cherries'...it gives it a tangy surprise in between bites.


Ingredients:
1.5 cups All Purpose flour
3/4 cup Sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter
2 Eggs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (plus few whole for topping)
1/2 cup Dried cherries
1/2 hot water
1/4 cup Dark cocoa powder
1/4 cup Chocolate chips
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Method:
1) Pre heat the oven to 350 F. Grease/coat a loaf pan with cooking spray and flour. Soak the dried cherries in hot water for 15 mins.
2) Beat the butter till fluffy.Add eggs and salt and beat till light.Add the sugar and beat for couple more mins.
3) Sieve together flour,baking powder and baking soda.Add few tbsp at a time to the butter-eggs mixture.Mix together.
4) Add the soaked cherries along with the warm water it was soaked in, chopped walnuts,chocolate chips,vanilla and mix completely
5) Pour into the loaf pan, garnish with walnuts and bake at 350 F for about 40 mins. Check with toothpick to see if the center is baked.
6) Remove from the pan and cut when cooled completely.
Serve as snack or dessert along with vanilla ice cream!











Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Masala 'Braids'


A quick evening snack on my mind as I was driving back from work. I have to admit how-much-ever I complain about my hour long commute, it fruitful at times. It is when I listen to my favorite songs.It is when I get to 'think' peacefully and 'too much' ;p (as I like to do). It is also, when I get these 'creative' ideas about 'blog' food!

So, I had this can of buttermilk biscuit dough sitting in the refrigerator. Molding it into 'braids' was fun and they looked so beautiful and made a yummy tea time snack!

Ingredients:
1 Can of Jumbo Buttermilk biscuit dough (makes 8)
2 tsp Sesame seeds
1 tsp chopped cilantro and mint leaves
1 tsp Olive oil
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp finely minced garlic
1/4 tsp black ground pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Method:
1) Preheat oven to 375F
2) Roll out one biscuit dough circle. Cut into 3 parts.Roll into tube like.


3) Press together the 3 tubes at one end and weave into braids. Press the ends together firmly to stick.Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

4) Brush with Olive oil.Sprinkle with Sesame seeds, salt, chili powder,garlic, cilantro and mint.
5) Bake in the pre heated oven for 8-10 mins, till golden brown



6) Serve immediately with your favorite sauce


Monday, July 7, 2014

Spinach-Ricotta Cheese Lasagna





We were just back from our first ever camping trip and wanted to cook something delicious but easy for our wedding anniversary.'E' had been been asking me to make 'Lasagna' for past few days..so I thought...it would be a perfect 'family favorite' dinner menu.....Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna followed by 'Dessert Shots'(store bought)



Ingredients:
2 Cups frozen spinach thawed in the microwave
1.5 cups mozzarella cheese
1.5 cups Ricotta cheese(whole milk)
1.5 cup Pasta sauce (store bought or make your own)
8-10 'Oven ready' Lasagna sheets
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 Zucchini sliced into circles
2 eggs
1 Clove garlic minced finely
1/2 tsp Black ground pepper
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp Red chili powder/ Chili flakes
Salt


Method:
1) Pre heat the oven to 375 F
2) Mix together ricotta cheese, thawed spinach,eggs,garlic,pepper, Italian seasoning, salt, red chili powder, Parmesan cheese etc.

3) In a 9x9 oven safe dish, spread about 1/2 cup pasta sauce. Line 4 lasagna sheets length wise.
4) Spread generous amounts of Spinach-Ricotta mixture.Place the zucchini slices in single layer. Layer with lasagna sheets, pasta sauce, zucchini,spinach-ricotta, pasta sauce.
5) On the very top spread mozzarella cheese and some red chili flakes
6) Cover with aluminum foil.
7) Bake in the oven for 45 mins. Take out and let it rest for 10 mins before cutting.

8) Cut into squares and serve hot along withe extra Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top!





Dessert shots: They were super yummy with flavors like Tiramisu and strawberry shortcake and the perfect size for a dessert!





















Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Chilli Fish (Tilapia)


On the weekend, I had planned a simple vegetarian menu for lunch.I call up home in India, and my sister is cooking fish. Oh Boy....just the thought of the crispy spicy fried fish made with a coating of green chutney of coconut, green chilies and cilantro...I was already drooling. Opened up my freezer to find couple Tilapia fish fillets. But then to my disappointment.....no fresh coconut at home.
No problemo :)) I turned the fish into the Indo Chinese Spicy Tangy - Chilli Fish to satisfy my cravings!!


Ingredients:
2 Tilapia Fish Fillet cut into bite size chunks
1.5 Yellow Onions cut into slices/ square chunks
½  Green bell pepper
3 green chilies sliced
6tsp All purpose flour
4tsp Corn flour
2tsp Soy sauce
2tsp Maggie Hot and sweet sauce
1 tsp Chili garlic sauce (or Sambal Olek paste)
1tsp ginger garlic paste
1/2tsp Red chili powder
1/4tsp Black pepper powder
Salt
Oil to fry
Water for the batter



  Method:

1)      Cut the fish fillet into bite size chunks
2)      Mix together all purpose flour ,corn flour, salt , red chili powder, black pepper  with water to form a smooth batter. Add the fish pieces to the batter.
3)      Heat oil, fry the fish pieces till golden brown. Drain well and keep aside.
4)      Saute on little oil the onion, green peppers, green chilies for few seconds. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for few more seconds.
5)      Add the chili garlic sauce, soy sauce and hot and sweet sauce. Toss in the fried fish pieces.
6)      Add salt if needed.
7)      Toss gently, otherwise the tender fish pieces will fall apart .Take off the heat.
8)      Serve hot as appetizer or as a side dish or a main dish….it’s delicious anyways!!



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pea-Lafel (Peas and Mukimame falafels)

Around the World in 30 Weekends!! The segment I wished to complete by cooking a dish from 30 different countries on 30 weekends.It is going slow for sure...but I am sure I will get there someday:))

Here are my other culinary travels:
http://www.my-kitchens-aroma.blogspot.com/search/label/Around%20the%20World%20in%2030%20weekends

So here is Weekend Number 8:: Israel....and the famous street food from there.. "Falafels"

A friend had mentioned this recipe and how super tasty it is.I tried it over the long weekend and it made a wonderful dinner!!

 In my little research..I found a interesting fact....we have been calling soybeans all wrong!! We called all tender green soybeans..Edamame right??? But actually...
Edamame: When young soybeans are still in the pod
Mukimame: Shelled soybeans without the pods (So here I used Mukimame)

The recipe was adapted from:
http://www.aartipaarti.com/2009/10/28/aarti-paarti-ep-29-pea-lafel/

Here are the changes I made:

No Fenugreek seeds
Add 1/2 cup Feta cheese
Add some red chili powder
Shallow fry after rolling in all purpose flour



Served here with a Whole wheat and Oats Pita bread...on a bed of spinach,tomatoes, sliced onion and topped with yogurt sauce.






Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Shahi Corn-Paneer


Like most of us like having, certain staple ingredients in the pantry/ freezer.....I always have a pack of frozen paneer and some frozen naan/roti. Paneer subzi with naan is a big favorite for my little ones! Once in two weeks...we make a 'semi homemade' meal of  their favorite 'Shahi Paneer' or 'Orange bhaji' as they like to call it due to the orange hue the curry has :)  along with some store bought Naan.


Ingredients:
1 Cup cubed Paneer
1 cup corn kernels
1/2 Green pepper chopped into bite size pieces
Some dried cranberries, raisins and cilantro for garnish

Curry paste:
1 large onion chopped into large pieces
3 tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup cashews (or use some cashews and some almonds)
1/4 cup Heavy cream
2 tsp Ghee/butter
1tsp Shahi paneer masala/Kitchen king masala
1tsp sugar
1/2tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp Garlic paste
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1/2tsp Shahi jeera
1/2tsp kasuri methi leaves
1 bay leaf
oil
salt


Method:
1) Heat 2-3 tsp oil, fry the chopped onion till golden brown.Add the tomatoes and fry till cooked. Let it cool down. Puree the onion and tomatoes along with cashews, ginger, garlic. Keep aside
2) Heat 2 tsp ghee, add shahi jeera, bay leaf, green pepper saute.Add the curry paste and cook for 3-4 mins.
3) Add the paneer cubes, corn, kitchen king masala, red chili powder,salt,sugar, heavy cream etc and let it simmer for 4-5 mins.
4) Garnish with kasuri methi, raisins, cranberries and chopped up cilantro.

Serve hot along with naan/ chapati/roti or rice!!

You will love the rich creamy gravy...a true 'shahi' experience!! 







Sunday, May 18, 2014

Spinach-Arugula-Apple salad with Mango Vinaigrette and dried cranberries


Couple weeks ago, a friend had made a similar salad with Spinach-Arugula, pears, apples and with a Orange Vinaigrette dressing. We had loved the how the fruits and the fruity dressing pair well with the baby Spinach and arugula!!

So yesterday when, I found a fresh mix of baby spinach and arugula at the grocery store I couldn't wait to make the salad myself!!

Ingredients:
Baby spinach and Arugula
Sliced apples
Dried cranberries
Optional -toasted walnuts/ sunflower seeds

Dressing:
Mango vinaigrette: Mix 2 tsp olive oil+ 6 tsp mango juice+ 1 tsp apple cider vinegar..some salt,black pepper and italian seasoning..

Method:
Whisk everything together and pour over the greens and sliced apples. Top with dried cranberries/ nuts



Oats-Almond Breakfast bars (Eggless)


Honestly,breakfast is not a issue for me...I have a good breakfast of a 'non sugary' cereal and add almonds and frozen blueberries to it.Love it! Feels like a good way to start the day!
The issue is however, those 3-4 o' clock hunger pangs. I usually try to eat a fruit at that time, but often still feel hungry by the time I come home...especially with the 1 hour commute that I have.


I have experimented with several homemade versions of cereal/bars before and here is the link to those recipes:
http://www.my-kitchens-aroma.blogspot.com/search/label/Homemade%20Cereal%20bars

For larabars:
http://www.my-kitchens-aroma.blogspot.com/2014/02/larabar-like-healthy-chocolate-bars.html

This Oats-Almond bar ....is easier, is eggless, has no added fats and can be rolled out as cookies too!! Just roll into round balls, press them and bake!


Here goes the recipe-

Ingredients: Makes 12-15 bars
2 cups Quick Oats dry roasted
2 cups Almonds
1 Cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4tsp salt
Few sliced almonds

Method:
Pre heat the oven to 350F. Spray a 9x9 metal pan with cooking spray (make sure to grease really well...otherwise the bars stick to the pan as there is no added fat in the dough)

1) Dry roast the oats and when cooled, powder them.
2) Put the almonds in the blender and powder them. Blend them couple times more..till they start giving out the natural oils and start to come together
3) Mix together the oat powder, almond powder, dark cocoa powder,baking powder, salt and vanilla. Mix with hands.Add little milk at a time to mix and gently knead into a dough.




4) Press this mixture into the greased baking pan. Press the sliced almonds on top.
5) Cut into rectangular bars
6) Bake at 350 F for 15 mins. Turn off the oven. Take the pan out.Let them cool for 10 mins.Cut again on the lines.Put the pan back in the oven (which is turned OFF) .The slight heat of the cooling oven will help them crisp a little. Keep them in for 10 mins. Take out the pan.Cut on the lines and remove the bars gently.

( I did have a couple bars break a little....but the crumbs were delicious too :))

You will love these nutty,chocolaty but still nutritious bars any time of the day!!!









Monday, May 5, 2014

"Cranberry Almond Baklava-Cheese cake" Cups

As though, 'Baklava' wasn't delicious by itself.....I bundled it up with cheese cake topping:))
It got a whole new look and flavor in these pretty cups of Crunchy filo dough cranberry-almond-pistachio baklava topped with a cheese cake like topping!!! I bet..you can't stop eating these beauties!!

How to make Cranberry-Almond Baklava:
Ingredients:
15 Filo cups
1/3 Cup Almonds
1/3 cup dried cranberries chopped finely
1/4 Cup Pistachios
1tbsp Honey
1tbsp butter melted
1tsp lemon juice
1/4tsp cinnamon powder
1/4tsp lemon zest

Method:
1) Preheat the oven to 350F
2) Toast the almonds and pistachios for 5-7 mins.Don't let them brown. Chop finely after cooling.
3) Mix together chopped nuts, cranberries, honey, cinnamon, lemon juice, zest and melted butter.
4) Spoon into the filo cups and bake for 5-7 mins at 350F till the filling is heated. Let them cool completely.

Cheese cake topping:
Mix 1/2 Cup cream cheese brought to room temperature with 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk.Mix till smooth and fluffy.
Fill into a pastry bag and pipe onto the baklava cups.
Garnish with dried cranberries.


Keep the Baklava Cheese cake cups in the refrigerator till ready to serve








Thursday, April 24, 2014

Asparagus-Potato-Oats Kababs

Asparagus season is here!! And I love the beautiful slender tender stems to brighten up pastas, soups and also grilled with little olive oil, salt and pepper.

Couple years ago..I had made these 'Asparagus-Chicken Kababs' and they were super flavorful and made a classy appetizer!! They reminded me of 'Shish kababs'....ground chicken with spices...grilled on skewers.
Here the Asparagus makes an edible skewer!!


Here is the link to the Asparagus-Chicken Kababs:
http://my-kitchens-aroma.blogspot.com/2012/05/appetizers-asparagus-chicken-kababs.html

On similar lines here is the vegetarian version with Oats and Potatoes-
Ingredients:

6-7 Fresh Asparagus stems

Kabab Coating:
1 Potato boiled..mashed up
1/2 cup oatmeal
1tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Kitchen king masala
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic paste
Salt
Olive oil
Pepper

Method:
1) Wash and dry the asparagus.Trim the hard end.
2) Mix ingredients for the coating.Add little water to bring it all together.
3) Press the mixture on to the asparagus

4) Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
5) Grill in a grill pan/ outdoor grill or a nonstick pan with little oil.

6) Let the kababs brown on all sides and let the asparagus become tender. Serve hot along with Chutney or Ketchup.