Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cooking Fritters

This is a continuation of my earlier post on Fritters.Special attention is needed when making fritters.All depends on the consistence of the batter.Fritters could be made just about with any fruits.The most relished are pine apple fritters and banana fritters.Fritters could be made in two ways.One method is the fruit is coated in a batter and deep fried.The other is like the way I prepare at home.( Check my earlier post Go Bananas With Fritters ).Always make sure the batter is light and smooth,if not they will turn out heavy.The oil should be very hot for frying them.And do not fry too many at one time.

Here is the recipe for the batter to coat fruits.
1/4 flour
1 teacup milk
1 egg
a pinch of salt

Put the flour and salt into a bowl.Blend in the milk and mix into a smooth batter.Beat the egg and add into the batter.mix well.Dip slices of fruits ( your choice)in the batter and deep fry.

Go Bananas With Fritters!

I love making Fritters with fruits.It is usually composed of some fruits mixed in some batter and deep fried.My children love to eat banana fritters.And whenever I have over ripened bananas, I make my children this special treat.

Banana Fritters

3 over-ripened bananas
1/4 lb flour
A pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon bi-carbonate soda
2 tablespoon water
Oil for frying

Peel the bananas and mash into a pulp.Add to this, the flour, salt,water and the bicarbonate soda and mix well into a batter.Let it stand for about 15 minutes before using.

Drop spoonfuls of the mixture into hot oil.Fry until golden brown.Serve with jaggery* syrup or dust with powdered sugar.

The main ingredient here is Jaggery.A naturally sweetened hard substance made from cane juice or palm sap.This jaggery is made into a syrup by adding water and boiling.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Curried Zucchini

We usually eat our vegetables curried. And all the vegetables are cooked in the same way. I have never eaten Zucchini back at home but once I came to the Middle East I started seeing more and more of these greens, which looks so much like the 'cooler' gherkins. At first I started using them in soups and as time went by, I experimented it with various other dishes. Soon we all got acquainted with this wondrous vegetable. And that's when I started cooking it with spices, herbs and coconut cream.

Cut 2-3 Zucchini into small pieces and put into a pan, with a cup of water, one small sliced onion, one chopped green chilly, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/4 teaspoon of curry powder, one clove of chopped garlic, a slice of green ginger, 2-3 crushed curry leaves and salt to taste, boil until the vegetable is cooked. Then add a tablespoon of coconut milk powder and stir quickly so that no lumps form. Heat 1/2 a tablespoon of oil in another pan and fry the onions till it becomes quite pale in colour. Then transfer the fried onions (with the oil) to the cooked vegetable pan. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Serve with rice and curry.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Learning From Recipe Books

I am thankful to two of my dear friends back at home for gifting me recipe books to take with me when I stepped onto a new threshold .I didn't have any formal training in cooking .I learnt the basics just by watching my mother cook for us.Later with the help of the recipe books which my friends gave,one was given to me as a wedding gift and the other was given to me as a farewell gift.And with a little bit of this and that ,I soon learnt the techniques of fine cooking.Some of the dishes from the recipe books have become my favourites too.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Food For Thought

Life is so brief that we should not glance either too far backwards or forwards…therefore study how to fix our happiness in our glass and in our plate.”
- Grimod de la Reynière

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Caramel Pudding

This a recipe that I adapted from an old recipe book.It is still very much appreciated by many in my home country.I did a bit of changes when I tried it.The caramel is usually poured first into a mould to evenly coat the mould and then the pudding mixture is poured in.I usually make extra caramel and pour it over the pudding once it's done.This pudding can be eaten hot or cold.

For the caramel
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons water

For custard
4-5 eggs
3/4 pint milk
A little sugar (1 tablespoon) but do not make it too sweetened
a drop of vanilla flavoring
A pinch of salt

Method for making the caramel
In a pan ,bring to a quick boil the sugar and water.When it turns brown, pour it into a mould.Evenly coat the mould with the syrup.( the caramel will immediately harden).Set aside.

Now make the custard-Beat the eggs and add the vanilla falvouring,salt and lastly the sugar.Heat the milk and slowly pour over the egg mixture, stirring all the time .Gently pour this custard into the prepared mould.Cover with a buttered paper and steam for an hour.Let it stand for a few minutes before turning it out into a serving dish.Once it is turned ,the caramel will form a sauce round and over the pudding.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Baking Vegetables.

I love trying vegetables cooked in different modes.And my daughters are happiest,when I bake and caramalize the vegetables.When I bake them they relish the veggies so much that there wouldn't be anything remaining for the next day.
Vegetables like carrots,cauliflower,broccoli,zucchini,onions and tomatoes work well with this dish.

In a pan, I heated 2-3 tablespoon of oil,and added 1-2 teaspoon of ginger/garlic paste.When it was cooking for a minute ,I transfered all the washed and cut veggies into the pan.I also added a teaspoon each of some spices like curry powder,tumeric powder and chilly flakes .Next 3-4 tablespoon of tomato paste was mixed into the veggies that were being sauteed.Add 1/2 cup water and salt according to taste.Cook for a further 2-3 minutes remove from heat.

Transfer the sauteed vegetables into a baking dish.Drizzle a bit of olive oil and bake for about 15 minutes.Remove from the oven when the veggies begin to caramalize .

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What's For Dessert?

I love to give a home made touch to ready-made food that is bought from the supermarket.The other night I had invited some guests for dinner ,while the menu for dinner was cooked from scratch ,I didn't have enough time to plan out a proper dessert.That's when I thought I 'll make a custard pudding straight from an instant pudding packet.Now from there on, I innovated a made- at- home look to the pudding.Once the pudding was made according to the instructions on the packet,I lined a dish with a layer of coconut biscuits ( soaked in syrup).Over this,I poured the custard pudding.I kept it in the refrigerator for it to set.When the pudding was set ,I topped the pudding with glazed cherries,that I had made earlier in the day.Everyone liked it and commented that it really tasted fresh and good.

Another day ,I cooked bananas in sugar syrup and enjoyed with some vanilla ice cream

Spicy Mango

When the mango season is on ,we love to try a variety.The other day my husband bought some juicy looking ones from the grocer and my daughters wanted to try them straight away.But unfortunately though outwardly they looked so deliciously juicy ,once we had the skin peeled ,they didn't taste sweet at all. Oh! Dear! The children were thoroughly disappointed.I didn't want these mangoes to go to waste.I told my children that I would make them something surprisingly good.I made them an 'anchar' a spicy pickle , with the unsweetened mangoes.Do you want to know how easy making that recipe was .I sliced two big mangoes and cut them into bite size pieces. Into this, I added some red chilly, salt ,sugar and vinegar.That was it! they really enjoyed.While preparing this ,I remembered my own childhood days when my siblings and I would sit under the mango tree in our garden and eat the unripened fruits sprinkled with lots of pepper and salt.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pass Me The Salad Please!

Salads can be made roughly from all types of vegetables.Cucumber, carrots, turnips,cabbage,tomatoes and onions to name a few.They are eaten raw.They can be served as a starter or wth the main course.It is essential to see that all the vegetables used in making a salad is fresh and the greeny leaves crisp and dry.Lettuces and all the other vegetables should be thoroughly washed so that any dirt or dust particles are removed.Always remember not to cut the lettuce as they are best when torn with your fingers..Most chefs,cooks and even a Mommy like me, prefer to use olive oil in the salad,because of it’s healthy benefits.Salads are served cold and a dressing is added when it is ready to be served.
Bon appetit!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Chicken Curry Asian Flavoured

The whole family loves chicken when it is cooked using mild spices.The dish I have presented today is cooked in Asian flavours and could be eaten with rice,bread or chapatti.It can also be served with other curried vegetables.This specialty dish will surely help you win your way into your man's heart.And don't be surprised if he suggests you to make it every week.

(Recipe for 8-10 pieces of chicken.)

Wash and cut chicken . set aside
In a pan heat 2 tablespoon oil.
Add 1 chopped onion and cook it till it becomes translucent.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of cummin seeds and when it starts to splutter , add 2 teaspoon each, of ginger and garlic paste.Stir it well.
Now combine 1-2 teaspoon of curry powder,1/2 chilly powder and 1/2 turmeric powder and stir in with the rest of the ingredients in the pan.( you can adjust the dry ingredients according to your taste buds)
Add a glass of water.Cook for a minute and then mix in the chicken pieces.Add salt to taste.
Cover the pan with the lid and cook for 15 minutes.
Add 2-3 tablespoon of tomato paste and simmer for a minute or two.
Just before taking the pan off the heat,add juice of 1/2 a lemon.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Making A Loaf ,The Easy Way

For the past couple of years, I have been trying my hands at bread making.Initially I faced a lot of hardship going through the bread making procedures.I made a lot of punches on the dough that left my right hand too sore afterwards.And with all those heavy beatings,I always found the insides too stiff and hard.Then I learnt it was not a good idea to knead alot.Gradually I learnt to make a somewhat perfect loaf.But I am still not sure how my bread would turn out during winter.I have never tried making bread during the cold season because there wouldn't be a warm cosy place for the dough to rise. The other day while I was going my usual rounds, reading some of my favourite pages in blogosphere,I came across blogger The Orgasmic Chef's bread making recipe .It was very simple and didn't need all those Karate "Hiya ! Hiya ! punches on the dough.I decided to try my hands in baking a loaf using her method.Eventually I baked two soft loaves and the aroma was irresistible that my young sons became impatient to wait until it became very brown.Anyway it became an instant hit.Even the last bit of scrap and crumble were greatly relished.Thank you Orgasmic Chef for the recipe.

The Bread Making Recipe

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Food For Thought

Sometimes we wonder, "What did I do to deserve this?" or "Why did God have to do this to me?" Here is a wonderful explanation! A daughter is telling her Mother how everything is going wrong, she's failing algebra, her boyfriend broke up with her and her best friend is moving away.

Meanwhile, her Mother is baking a cake and asks her daughter if she would like a snack, and the daughter says, "Absolutely Mom, I love your cake."

"Here, have some cooking oil," her Mother offers.
"Yuck" says her daughter.
"How about a couple raw eggs?" "Gross, Mom!"
"Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?"
"Mom, those are all yucky!"

To which the mother replies: "Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves. But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake! "

God works the same way. Many times we wonder why He would let us go through such bad and difficult times. But God knows that when He puts these things all in His order, they always work for good! We just have to trust Him and, eventually, they will all make something wonderful!

God is crazy about you. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning.
Whenever you want to talk, He'll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart.
Source -Email