Saturday, October 29, 2011

Shrimps And Noodles

When I have less time I prefer to cook noodles.It's easy to prepare  and can be tossed  together with any  vegetables available in the refrigerator.However I prefer on  my bed of noodles some curried Prawns or shrimps which to a great extent   tantalizes my tastes buds.Shrimps or prawns tastes the same but can be cooked in many different ways.I love to eat  shrimps with a lot of spices and herbs .The noodles can be cooked according to instructions in the packet.And  vegetables and meat added according to your choice.I have earlier posted the recipe for Deviled Shrimps which is  an  ideal accompaniment for Noodles.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fruits With Condensed Milk

The fruits we had bought from the market the other day were not sweet and juicy at all.They were just idling in the bowl.Back in my home town ,when they are not sweet to the palate,we drizzle dashes of pepper and salt and eat them as 'acharu' - a sinhalese term for pickle.But I knew it would definitely go to waste if I tried to make a bowl of acharu with these fruits.The only  alternative was to make a fruit salad and sweeten it with condensed milk.And that's what I did last evening.I just couldn't believe .The children  enjoyed it.I cut a few mandarin,apples,pears,bananas and grapes.I coated the fruits well with a tablespoon each of lemon juice and sugar.And kept it in the freezer for half an hour and served it with sweetened condensed milk. 

                                            A variety of fruits could be used in a fruit salad.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Nourishing Soup

Everyone in the family loves soups.And I love to make soup with what ever is available in my refrigerator.Soups make an wholesome meal.And they are economical too.Trimmings and bones  of beef and mutton are   ideal   to make a potful of soup.I often keep  a bagful of these in my freezer and make a delectable pot of soup.When making soup , I also have to consider my vegetarian daughter.So without any hesitation I make another( smaller ) pot of soup with only veggies, especially  for her. Basically all soups are the same .But each of us make it extra special by adding more flavorings and give it an appealing look with some  garnishing.

                                   Soup made with trimmings and bones ( Mutton)

                                  Vegetable  soup for my vegetarian daughter
Carrots,turnips,celery are some of the vegetables used for the soup.Use sufficient water to boil all the vegetables ,season the soup with salt  and pepper and  then let it simmer.I still haven't assembled the recipes in order for posting,once done I will share it with my readers.Thanks

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Baking With Martha

I got this Pound cake recipe watching  a cooking show, ' Martha Bakes' which was telecasted on one of the popular Arab Cooking Channel .And The host,chef,baker and demonstrator was none other than Martha Stewart.She called this cake the American pound cake.Like she said on television,this was absolutely delicious.And the aroma was irresistible.It was worth the try.

American pound Cake 
4 cups flour
3 sticks butter
2 3/4 cups sugar
8 eggs
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1 cup milk


Cream the butter ( it's easy if you use the electric mixer) Add the sugar.Once both these ingredients come to a very creamy consistence,alternatively fold in the the eggs and the flour ( the baking powder should be mixed in with the flour).Then add the vanilla flavoring and the milk.Gently fold one more time before  pouring the batter into loaf trays.(This quantity  can be poured into two loaf trays) .Bake in an hot oven for about an  hour.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Culinary Thought Of The Day

"If we breathe the scent of goodly grass, the fragrance of spices, the aroma of good fruits, we pronounce a blessing over the pleasure." Shmuel Y. Agnon

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Beef Hot And Spicy

1 pound beef washed and cut into long strips
1 big red onion sliced 
2 green chillies sliced
5 capsicum coarsely cut
1 large tomato cut in small  chunks
4-5 cloves of garlic crushed 
1/2 inch ginger finely sliced
1-2 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon safron
A  few curry leaves
2-3 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon cummin seed
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon oil
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon vinegar

Heat oil in a pan.Roast the cummin seeds slightly.Cook the onions,green chillies,garlic and the ginger until it turns pale in colour. Add the curry  leaves ,safron and curry powder into the cooking ingredients.Stir it well.Now add the beef and salt.Let it cook in a slow fire.Halfway through the cooking,add the tomato paste,the lime juice,vinegar and then the  water.Cook for another 5-10 minutes .Allow to simmer.When the gravy has thickened, mix in  the  capsicum and the tomato.Keep the pan covered.Turn off heat.Serve with steaming rice and a crunchy salad . 

Tip : You can add some colourful Bell peppers in the last stages of cooking for an extra appeal at the table.

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Blog Action Day 2011: Food Taking Me Back To My Childhood

I am proud to be taking part in Blog Action Day OCT 16 2011

When food is mentioned, many distinguishing features pop in my mind. The first thing that draws my attention whenever this topic is brought about is family. Food and family go hand in hand. The thought of food also stimulates much deeper; the love, happiness, warmth, kindness and generosity in me. Food makes a person's heart bubble with warmth. It also reinforces kindness and generosity that make me extend an helping hand to the less fortunate. Overall the subject of food wafts me deeply as it takes me back to my childhood, reminiscing the days I spent with my parents and siblings. Food always played a major part during my childhood and continues to do so. 

With food as the topic I ventured on this nostalgic journey down memory lane. I paused for a moment, when I envisaged my childhood home, where I had spent great many years of happy times with my family. I mentally zoomed in to the dining hall where my large family used to gather during  mealtimes. Whisperings, followed by loud laughter, would erupt throughout the hallway which would quickly be silenced by the food that would soon be laid on the table. Mother would painstakingly prepare part of the breakfast while my siblings and I would wait impatiently around the breakfast table for Father, who would bring the main part of the breakfast, the freshly baked bread from the baker which we all took delight in eating, with the coconut “sambol” (chutney) Mother made. Even though we had a choice for breakfast, we always tried to eat Mother’s favorite. With stinging eyes and  runny nose, my whole body would be encircled with a burning sensation. I wouldn’t give up! Hastily gulping water in between each morsel, I would fan myself with the morning newspaper, to cool that sweltering in me and pretend that everything was just fine. I wouldn’t dislodge from the breakfast table till I finished the last mouthful of that spicy coconut sambol, which was a mixture of scrapped coconut, red chilly, green chilly and chopped onions sprinkled with lemon juice and salt. This was my mother’s specialty! A simple dish made with great labour of love.

Thanks to blog action day for the topic that rekindled  my childhood.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Deviled Shrimps

This is my favourite seafood.I love it when it is cooked with  onions and chilly.Usually I get them cleaned at the market where we purchase.This time I had to do all the deveining and cleaning  all by myself.I cut both ends of the shrimps and applied a tablespoon of turmeric powder on the fresh shrimps and washed them well.I trimmed both the ends of the shrimps  as my children find it  appetizing  without them.

                                                           - A kilo of Shrimps-
In a little oil,I fried a few cloves of crushed garlic and ginger.Then I sauteed the shrimps.While still cooking,I mixed in a teaspoon of cummin seeds and  2-3 teaspoons of chilly powder and continued cooking till it changed colour.Then I added  a tablespoon of tomato paste,salt to taste and the juice of one lemon.

While it was still sizzling in the pan ,I threw in a few sliced green bell peppers ,a sliced onion and one chopped tomato.Finally I drizzled dashes of soya sauce and let it simmer for a while.

 This is a meal in a jiffy.You can serve it with rice,toast bread or chappatis: flat bread. 

                                                          Bon Appetit! My Friends...

Ps..Click on pictures to enlarge

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Bowl Of Soup Keeps The Doctor Away

Last evening my youngest  was feeling a bit  lethargic and  was not in a mood to do anything.Later when I checked him I knew he was coming in for a cold. And when he got the cold it was really nasty and he lost his appetite as well.Before he went to bed I made him inhale steam.This morning his cold  was terrible.I did n't want to give him doses of medicine ,instead I made him a fresh  bowl of  chicken and mushroom soup.

I already had a packet of instant mushroom soup.I poured the contents in the packet onto a pan with a litre of water.I brought this to a boil.To that I added  a cup of  chicken broth, a few pieces of boiled chicken,a few diced carrots and a little bit of cauliflower florets.Then I added a pinch of  salt and pepper.I let it simmer in the pan .While still warm I served it to my son.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Savoury Rice

I am  happy when there is left over rice from the previous day so  I can make a  simple dish  with it, with  only a dry curry and a salad as side dishes.However this can be eaten by itself without any accompaniments as it  is well coated with vegetables,herbs and seasonings.
You will need
2 breakfast cups cooked rice 
2 eggs
1 large onion shredded
2-3 chopped green chillies
1 carrot finely diced
1/4 cup boiled green peas
1/2 teaspoon red chilly flakes  (optional)
A few cloves of garlic/ginger sliced thinly
1 cube of stock( vegetable or chicken)
salt and pepper to taste
3 cubes of butter ( 2-3 tablespoons)

Fry the onions,green chillies,carrots, green peas in the butter.Once they turn pale,mix the ginger/garlic,red chilly flakes .Next add the cube of stock and stir it well so that all the ingredients get well coated.Whisk the eggs in a bowl and add it to the rest of the ingredients little by little.Scramble the eggs with the vegetables.Season with salt and pepper.Finally put in the cups of rice and mix well.Cover with a lid and keep warm .

 Serving Suggestions

With a dry chicken curry ( fried and cooked till all the gravy dries up) 


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Asian Water Spinach

 Kang kong leaves also known as Asian water spinach is a leafy green vegetable.It can be cooked as a vegetable with mild spices  or added  in meat curries  with chiilies and soya sauce.The recipe I have for you is the way I cook any kind of  leafy green.I have  plucked the leaves with the tender part of the stem ,cleaned and washed them in running water. Place in a colander to drain excess water .

 In  a pan, Heat a tablespoon of oil .Slice a large onion, 3-4 green chilly , 2-3 cloves of garlic, a piece of ginger .Stir fry these ingredients with a teaspoon of red chilly flakes.Chop a medium tomato and and fry till it turns pale.

Now put the cleaned leaves into the frying pan and mix well.Add the juice of a lemon and salt according to taste.

Remove from heat as soon as  the leaves start to wilt. Serve immediately with steaming rice and curry.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Eating Healthy

How often we get bored eating the same type of food over and over again.During meal time the children come to the kitchen to see what they would be having for dinner. Then they pretend they are not hungry merely to escape  eating the same  food that they had eaten the previous day.The best way to get the children have an appetite is have a variety throughout the week.Make some effort to make a few changes in  your  cooking.Try to bake,broil and fry chicken about thrice a week.Have a day for a vegetarian meal.Try to skip the usual heavy breakfast and opt for some fresh fruits like watermelon,mangoes and pineapples.My children love fruits ,so I often have fruits washed and finely cut into bite size pieces in a bowl in the refrigerator.They also love a lot of salads.I make sure these are readily available during mealtimes.I also try to make their favourite food once a week.Above all I see that they drink a lot of fresh juice everyday.

                                       My children love to eat corn and all kinds of soup.