Friday, May 28, 2010

Mashed-Potatoes Stuffed Mushrooms in Tomato-Paste Sauce

Dears, what have you planned for the weekend? I bet folks who live in the US, have some major plans for the long do I. I am going over to one of my friend's place for a birthday party and to enjoy her fabulous cooking.While I am out there enjoying her cooking, I will leave you with a recipe that you can enjoy.This recipe that has been sitting in the draft, is a vegetarian version of a Turkish recipe(Coming soon) which will have even a picky eater swoon over.Also look forward to a Russian recipe that anyone can whip up in a jiffy. :)
Have a great (long) weekend!This goes to Bangalore Baker's Bake-Off Event.
  • Brown Button Mushrooms -20-25#s, medium to large-headed
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes - 4, medium, quartered
  • Butter - 3 tbsp
  • Milk - 4-5 tbsp
  • Salt and ground Pepper - for taste
  • Tomato Paste - 3 tbsp
  • Olive Oil - 3 tbsp
  • Water  - 1 cup
  • Cracked pepper - 1 tsp
  • Mozzarella  cheese - 3/4 cup,shredded
  • Cubanelle Pepper - 1, thinly sliced to rings
  • Red Pepper  or Large Tomato - 1/2, thinly sliced
  • In a pan, add  the quartered potatoes, fill cold water to cover the potatoes and bring it to a boil till its tender.
  • Drain the potatoes and quickly mash the hot potatoes with skin along with the butter and milk.
  • Sprinkle salt and finely ground pepper and gently mix. Set aside.
  • Clean the mushrooms with moist teal-towels and remove the stalk(save it to make vegetable stock in the future).
  • Fill the mushroom caps with mashed potatoes using a spoon or a mini ice-cream scoop.
  • Top the mashed potatoes with a ring of cubanelle pepper and a slice of red pepper or Tomato.
  • Sprinkle a tsp of mozzarella cheese over the peppers.
  • Tomato Paste Sauce: Mix the tomato paste with water, olive oil, a tsp of cracked pepper and make a sauce.
  • Pour the prepared sauce into an oven-proof dish and spread it evenly.
  • Arrange the filled-mushroom and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
  • Freeze the mushroom stalks for making vegetable stock.
  • Ready-made Marinara Sauce may be used instead of the Tomato-Paste Sauce.
  • Leftover Mashed Potatoes may be used.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

GastronomicGallivant: Algerian Couscous and Green Lentil Salad

Hello dears, how have you all been? Me, I have been feeling a bit under the weather. Cold and sore throat that has me croaking like a toad.A nose that has been runny like a leaky tap.:(.Have been too unhappy with life in didn't get to make anything nice to blog about.
I made this quick couscous salad for lunch with leftover green lentil and gourmet tomatoes.
For people who are wondering what a couscous is, its not a grain. Its a minuscule spherical pasta granules made with coarsely ground durum wheat.According to Organic Planet, Couscous is a good source of protein, fiber, niacin, selenium, and B vitamins. For those looking for added health benefits, whole wheat couscous provides the additional fiber and protein of whole grain wheat.
This makes its way to RV's  Food For Ailments and Old Age and to Presto Pasta Nights held at The Crispy Cook.

  • Whole Wheat Couscous - 1 cup, uncooked
  • Whole Green lentil - 1 cup, cooked with a little salt
  • Mini Gourmet Medley Tomatoes - a handful, halved and then quartered
  • Red Onion - 1, small, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon/lime
  • Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Garlic Cloves - 2, small, slightly smashed
  • Cilantro - 2 tbsp, finely chopped, for garnish
  • Water - 1 1/4 cups
  • Salt - as needed
  • Coarsely ground black pepper - per taste
  • Bring the water to a roiling boil with a tbsp of olive oil, little salt and 2 cloves of garlic.
  • Switch off the stove and add the couscous and cover the pan. Allow the couscous to absorb the water for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Fluff the cooked couscous with fork.
  • Add cooked green lentil,  chopped onions, tomatoes to the couscous.
  • In another small bowl, whip the dressing with the juice of lemon.lime, a tbsp of olive oil, a little salt and pepper.
  • Pour over the couscous and gently mix. Garnish with Cilantro and serve warm.
Makes ~ 4 cups.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

ReviewAndARecipe:Baked Salmon Bites with Ariosto Seasonings

I come back with another review for the Ariosto Seasonings(for Roasted/Grilled Fish).With Sea Salt, Rosemary, Laurel, Garlic, Juniper,Sage, Parsley and Oregano this is probably the only seasoning that you will need to replicate this recipe in your kitchen.Tasty Salmon Bites are ready in under 30 minutes.Last week I had made this and I used Spinach Pesto Dip that complemented the fish so well.

If you would like to know where to buy these seasonings, click this link that has the email address of Mr.Lo Presti.
  • Salmon Fillets - 2
  • Ariosto Seasonings - 1 1/2 tsp
  • Olive Oil - 3 tsp
For Assembling the Fish Skewers:
  • Cherry Tomatoes - a handful
  • Mint leaves - 12-15#s
  • Skewers - 4-5
  • Cut the Salmon fillet into cubes and smear Olive oil.
  • Sprinkle the seasonings over the cubes and layer them on the oven-proof dish.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.
  • Rest the fish for 5 minutes before skewering it with the cherry tomatoes and mint leaves.
  • Eat as is or with 'The Spinach Pesto Dip'.
Makes ~ 4-5 Skewers


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Luscious Black-Berry Topped "Grapefruit N Lime" Squares

I love Greek Lemon Squares or any citrus squares for that matter. With its crumbly cookie-like crust and jelly-like topping its a perfect little dessert with a tangy note. Awesome with a cup of tea or a nice finish to a perfect meal. Last week I bought half a dozen grapefruits to make some grapefruit squares, an equally refreshing and eye-catching alternative to Lemon Squares.Recipe adapted from this recipe that is our family's favorite summer dessert. I made this for a get together last week and it got two thumbs-up. Lovely dessert with citrus fruits and berries, no?
Please read the "Notes" if planning on trying this at home.This goes to "The Bake-off" event held at The Versatile Kitchen.

For the Crust:
  • Butter - 2 sticks(1 cup), at room temperature
  • Light Brown Sugar - 1/2 cup
  • King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour - 2 cups
  • A pinch of salt
For the Filling:
  • Eggs - 4, at room temperature, whisked
  • Grapefruit Juice - 2/3 cup
  • Lime Juice - 1 tbsp
  • Grapefruit Zest - 1 tbsp
  • Lime Zest - 1 tbsp
  • All purpose flour - 3 tbsp
  • Condensed Milk - 1/4 cup
  • Granulated Sugar - 1 1/2 cup
  • Red food Coloring - 3 drops (Optional)
  • Confectioner's Sugar - for dusting (Optional)
  • Black Berries - a handful, for Topping (Optional)
  • 9 X 13 inch Oven-Proof baking pan
  • Combine all the ingredients under "For the Crust" in a food processor and pulse until they resemble a coarse meal.
  • Pat the mixture on the bottom of the greased oven-proof baking pan and bake it for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  • While the crust is baking, combine the whisked eggs, both the juices, zest, all-purpose flour, condensed milk using a hand mixer or whisk.
  • Add the sugar little by little and mix until they dissolve.
  • Warm the filling mixture in a sauce pan on low flame(Gas Mark 4 or 5), STIRRING CONSTANTLY using a whisk for 8 minutes. No more no less.
  • Switch off stove and add red coloring if using. Mix gently and pour it on the top of the warm crust.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees F or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let it rest for 10-15 minutes and REFRIGERATE for 4-5 hours prior to cutting into squares.
  • Top each square with blackberries or dust them with confectioner's sugar just before serving.
  • Serve slightly cold. 
Makes ~25 to 30 squares

  • For a "clean cut" of the squares they have to be REALLY cold.
  • Use a big butcher's knife rather than pizza roller(like me) to avoid dragging the filling.
  • Lining the pan with parchment with the edges longer than the sides of the pan helps easy removal of the bars. Just lift them out when they are really cold using the drapes as handles.
  • Cut them into squares after removing from the pan.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Nutella Berry Smoothie

Nutella should be on the top ten best food invention ever.Shame if it isn't already! I love the perfect blend of Cocoa, Hazelnuts, Sugar and Milk. Even though I like it best as a filling for crepe or a spread for toast, now and then I add it to a smoothie for a truly sensational taste that is bursting with fruity-nutty flavor.If you love Nutella as much as I do, you will certainly love this smoothie too.
  • Fresh Strawberry - 7-8, cleaned and chopped
  • Nutella - 2 tbsp
  • Yogurt Or Buttermilk - 1 1/2 cup, whipped
  • Combine all the ingredients in a blender and serve cold.
Makes ~2 Servings


Monday, May 17, 2010

Celery Root Remoulade "Lite"

In the previous post, I had asked what the Mystery vegetable was in the Yogurt Sauce. No it isn't cabbage or cucumber. It is Celery Root. Celery root is considered as an ugly duckling of the vegetable family. Ugly and knobby it might look but it tastes divine with its clean taste and potato-like texture. For this recipe, I have made a lighter version of the Remoulade(Mayonnaise based condiment) with plenty of Yogurt and very little Mayo. Vegetarians who don't care for Mayo can go ahead and substitute with Sour cream and enjoy this wonderful condiment.
  • Celery Root - 1, small, peeled and shredded
  • Dill - 1 tbsp
  • Cold and Thick Yogurt - 3 cups, whipped
  • Mayo or Sour Cream - 3 tbsp
  • Garlic - 3 cloves, minced
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp or more
  • Walnuts - 1/2 cup, toasted and roughly chopped
  • In a large bowl add the all the ingredients except the walnuts.
  • Mix it gently to evenly incorporate.
  • Move it to a serving bowl and garnish with toasted walnuts.
  • Serve it chilled as a side to Pilaf, Biryani or even with Roti(Flat Breads)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Minty Mixed Vegetable Pilaf

I am a big fan of one-pot dishes. They are quick and easy to make with plenty of flavors that they don't really need a side. This minty Pilaf/Pulao/Plav is one such dish that can be eaten as is. The cooling yogurt based side-dish is totally optional.Speaking of which, can you guess what the star ingredient of that yogurt dish is?It is not cucumber if that is what you are thinking.
  • Basmati Rice - 1 1/2 cups, soaked in cold water at-least 20 minutes prior to cooking
  • Carrot - 1 1/2, peeled and cut into sticks
  • Red Pepper - 1/2, diced
  • Green Pepper - 1/2, diced
  • Corn Kernels - 1/2 cup
  • Stale toasted Bread slices - 2, cubed (Optional)
  • Fresh or Frozen Green peas - 1/2 cup
  • Red Onion - 1, small, fine diced
  • Star Anise - 1
  • Cardamom - 2 pods
  • Oil - 3 tbsp
For the Masala:
  • Mint Leaves - 1 1/2 cup, cleaned and chopped
  • Cilantro - 1 cup, cleaned and roughly chopped
  • Hot Green Chili - 3, vertically slit (Use less of less heat)
  • Roma Tomato - 1, chopped
  • Red Onion - 1 1/2, small, chopped
  • Garlic - 3 cloves, large
  • Ginger - 1/2 inch
  • Cloves - 3
  • Cinnamon Stick - 1/4 of a stick
  • Peppercorns - 1 tsp
  • In a saute pan, heat a tbsp of oil and add the masala ingredients in this order - cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns, garlic, green chili, onions, mint and ginger.
  • Saute until the onions is browned. Add the tomatoes and saute for a couple more minutes.
  • Switch off the stove and add the cilantro.
  • Cool the mixture and grind to a fine paste. Set aside.
  • In the same saute pan, heat the remaining oil and add the cardamom, star anise and carrot.Saute for 5 minutes.
  • Add the green pepper, red pepper, corn kernels and green peas. Saute for 5 more minutes.
  • Add the ground masala and stir to coat the vegetables.
  • Sprinkle salt and check for taste.
  • Drain the rice completely of water.Add the rice to the pan and gently mix without breaking it.
  • Add water(4 cups for this recipe) and close the lid. Cook on low flame for 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle more water if needed. Stir in the bread cubes, if using. 
  • Serve hot with cold Raita(Cooling Yogurt Based side dish)
Makes 3-4 Servings.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

GastronomicGallivant: Turkish "Turkey" MeatLoaf

You might wonder why I am obsessed with Turkish cuisine and culture. Well I have always been fascinated by this country that is thought of as "East Meets West". This fascination has become an obsession ever since I came to know about the Fairy Chimneys(Moonscapes) in the Cappadocia Region, the Dagi Giant-heads(Gnome-like head of Zeus and other gods) on Mt.Nemrut, the whirling dervishes,the food(especially the desserts..Baklava anyone?) and so on.At the moment, Turkey tops the list of my Dream Destinations.God willing I will make a trip with my hubby and son next year sometime.
Remember the other Meatloaf recipe I posted a while ago? This is slightly different from that with the inclusion of hard boiled eggs and some new ingredients.Hey,feel free to substitute ground turkey with any ground meat. Shouldn't make much of a difference. Now onto the recipe-

  • Ground Turkey Meat - 2 cups
  • Stale Whole Wheat Bread - 2, toasted and ground to powder
  • Onion - 1, medium
  • Garlic - 2-3 cloves, minced
  • Carrot - 1 + 1/2(for garnish on the top), finely grated
  • Parsley - 3 tbsp, finely chopped
  • Skimmed Milk - 2 tbsp
  • Egg - 1
  • Hard Boiled Eggs - 2, shells removed
  • Curry Powder/Sambhar Powder - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1- 1 1/2 tsp
  • Cracked black pepper - 1 - 11/2 tsp
  • 9 X 5 inch loaf pan
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • In a bowl, add the meat and all other ingredients EXCEPT 1/2 grated carrot and hard boiled eggs.
  • Mix, but not over mix just until they are evenly incorporated.
  • Spoon 1/2 the mixture into a greased loaf pan.
  • Place 2 eggs on top of the mixture.
  • Spoon the remaining meat mixture all over the eggs.
  • Sprinkle the top with grated carrots.
  • Bake for 50 minutes at the top rack.
  • Discard all the juice, cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing them.
Makes 1 loaf(12-14 slices)

Any ground meat - chicken, pork, beef can be used


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Basics:The Making of Simple Vegetable Kurma

Kurma/Khorma/Kuruma/Korma is an Indian Curry variant that is usually made with vegetables,meat or both and there is always a masala(ground spice,onion, tomato and nut mixture) involved. It can be quite intimidating to novice cooks but it is very simple, easy and a cinch to make.This version of mine is a very basic kurma that can be done in 30 minutes or less if you have all the veggies cut and ready.Goes well with Ghee(Clarified Butter) Rice, Lime Rice, Plain Rice, Roti or anything at all. A very common and versatile Indian dish and the possibilities with it are endless.Other Kurma recipes that are a little more challenging - Navratan Korma(Curry of Nine Gems), Smashed Potato N Mint Kurma.

  • Cauliflower Florets - 2 1/2 cups
  • Carrots - 4, medium, peeled and sliced
  • Fresh or Frozen peas - 2/3 cup
  • Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Cumin Powder - 1 tbsp
  • Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp (Paprika or Cracked pepper may be used)
  • Yogurt - 1/2 cup, beaten
  • Cilantro - 2 tbsp, finely chopped, for Garnish
  • Salt for taste
For the Masala:
  • Clove - 2
  • Cinnamon Stick - 1/2 inch
  • Garlic - 3 cloves, medium, chopped
  • Red Onion - 2, medium, chopped
  • Hot Green Chili - 2-3, vertically slit
  • Roma Tomato - 2, halved and then quartered
  • Cashew Nut or Walnut or Grated Fresh/Frozen Coconut- 1/2 cup (I used Cashew Nut for this recipe)
  • In a saute pan, heat a tbsp of oil and add all the ingredients under "For the masala" in the order mentioned and saute until the onions are really browned. 
  • Cool the mixture and blend to a smooth paste.Set aside.
  • Heat the remaining tbsp of oil and saute the carrots, cauliflower until the tip of the cauliflower turns light brown.
  • Pour the ground mixture along with little water, cumin powder, chili powder, salt and cook on medium flame with closed lid for 10 minutes.
  • Add the green peas and stir in the beaten yogurt and cook for 5 more minutes on a low flame.
  • Switch off stove and garnish with chopped cilantro.
  • Serve hot.
Makes 4-5 servings.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

BlackBerry Topped Mango Lassi

What Lassi tastes better than an Authentic Mango Lassi? Not many really. Except maybe this one.The sweetness of the Lassi and the slight bitter taste of the Blackberries strike a right balance. If the taste-buds can sing they probably would sing a ballad called "Unchained Melody".Yes they would.
  • Ripe Mango chunks - 1 cup (No need for sweetening if using Canned Sweetened Mango Pulp)
  • Cold Milk/Butter Milk - 1/4 cup (use more for a thinner Lassi)
  • Sugar/Honey/Agave Syrup - for taste
  • Blackberries - a handful
  • Pulp the Mango chunks in a blender along with cold Milk/ButterMilk
  • Stir in the sugar/honey/Agave Syrup.
  • Divide it into shot glasses.
  • Top it with Blackberries.

Monday, May 10, 2010

GastronomicGallivant: South African Sweet Fritters

Majestic Elephants with large tusks, Wild Safari and Sweet Banana Fritters are the things that mostly come to my mind when I think of Africa.What about you?These deep-fried Sweet Fritters are generally consumed during breakfast and are considered as a pancake variant. But to me the round/oblong puffy dough look like donuts minus the glaze and they very much resemble the Kenyan/Malawian Banana Mandazi and South Indian Sweet Bonda. For a change I made these fritters with Pulped Mangoes simply because I didn't have any ripe bananas.Rest assured that I shall be making this version from now on. Scroll down for the recipe-
This goes as an entry to this month's Monthly Mingle "South Africa" Hosted @Meeta's Whats for lunch Honey? 

  • Self Rising Flour - 1/2 cup
  • Baking Powder - a pinch
  • Egg - 1, Whisked
  • Sugar - 1 tbsp or less
  • Sweetened Mango Pulp - 1/4 cup
  • Milk - 1/2 cup
  • Allspice powder - a pinch
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, allspice in a bowl.
  • Mix together the egg, milk, mango pulp, sugar in another bowl.
  • Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and mix until evenly incorporated.
  • Let the mixture rest for about 30 minutes.
  • Using a spoon or ice-cream scoop drop the batter gently into hot oil and fry them in batches.
  • Completely cook and sprinkle some confectioners sugar on top.
  • Have it with a cup of tea.
Makes 20-25 rounds/oblongs

  • All purpose flour may be used instead but with appropriate substitution-One cup self-rising flour equals:
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder, plus
1/8 teaspoons salt.

Pineapple Walnut Mini-Bundt Muffins

Hello, my dears. How was your weekend? Mine was near-splendid! Here is why - A couple of weeks ago,DH had ordered All-Clad pots and pans(at my insistence of course) from their stainless steel range to add to my already existing collection and it arrived a day prior to Mother's day. Perfect timing, don't  you think?I should probably do a review post on them, cause they look awesome and I definitely should take a few shots of them before I start meddling, ahem, cooking with them. And,since I don't care much for surprises DH gave me some green to buy whatever I wanted.Sadly,we couldn't go out this weekend for dinner since me and the baby were a bit under the weather. So it got postponed to next week.
Coming to the matter of this post, its been a while since I made any muffins. But I wanted to test my new mini-bundt pan and I was pleased by the way the muffins looked and tasted.This is going as an entry to Bangalore Baker's Bake-Off Event.
  • All-Purpose Flour - 1 1/2 cup
  • Wheat Flour - 1/2 cup
  • Canned Crushed Pineapple - 1 cup, undrained
  • Skimmed Milk or Buttermilk - 1 cup
  • Light Brown Sugar - 2/3 cup or more
  • Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
  • Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Olive Oil - 4 tbsp
  • Butter - 4 tbsp, melted
  • All-spice - 1/4 tsp
  • Walnut - 1/2 cup, roughly chopped
  • Salt - a pinch
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Sift the flour together, along with baking soda, baking powder, all-spice powder in a bowl.
  • In another bowl, add milk, oil, butter and whip it using an electric mixer. Add the sugar,crushed pineapple and the flour in batches until evenly incorporated.
  • Taste the batter. Add more sugar if needed.
  • Stir in the chopped nuts.
  • Grease the mini-bundt wells with some oil and spoon the batter into the wells.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean.
  • Move the bundt-pan muffins to a cooking rack.
  • Ideal for breakfast or tea-time snack option.
Makes 12 mini-bundt muffins.


  • If using standard muffin pan the amounts given should be slightly reduced.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day 2010

Happy Mothers Day to all mothers(The Nurturers) around the world!
My mom is an extra extra special person -- she almost raised both her kids single-handedly while dad had to come here for a better opportunity. She had to deal with a rebellious, defiant, problematic girl(Moi) and she did a great job in a "splendid, stubborn, silent and non-judgmental" way. In the end, I did turn out okay and plenty thanks to her.
If Mom was visiting this is what I would make for her -
  • Freshly squeezed BloodRed Orange/ Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
  • Eggless Crepes/Pancakes With Rhubarb Coulis
  • Mango Flavored Yogurt topped with Blackberries
  • Masala Tea
  • Masoor Dhal Soup
  • Veggie Pilaf and a Turkish Yogurt Side
  • Rhubarb and Oatmeal Crisp
  • Warm Couscous Salad
  • Baked Pumpkin dessert
  • Cardamom Spiced Milk

As for me, I wouldn't mind one of these(Ponte Vecchio Jewellery shop, Florence, Italy)-
But I would settle for a bunch of these-
And a box of these Belgian Gourmet Goodies-
I have plans with my family today, so will catch-up with all of your posts tomorrow.

Friday, May 7, 2010

"Thayir Vadai", Deep Fried Lentil Dumplings In Seasoned Yogurt Sauce

If there is a tricky recipe,this has to be it. What I mean is, if you don't grind it to a right consistency, they can't be shaped like doughnuts which is how they are supposed to look like. All I can say is, practice makes it perfect. And they are called "Methu Vadai" and if you dunk them in Yogurt Sauce they become "Thayir/Dahi Vadai". The key is to grind them WITHOUT WATER. But I did and you can see that I gave up trying to make a hole in the center.Instead used mini ice-cream scoop to spoon batter into the oil.
Sending this as an entry to International Incident Party held at Jeroxie's.
For the dumplings:
  • De-hulled Whole Black Gram(Urad Dhal) - 1/2 cup
  • Green Chillies - 3, finely chopped
  • Ginger paste - 1/2 tsp
  • Rice Flour - 1/2 tsp
  • Baking Soda - a pinch
  • Salt for taste 
  • Corn Oil for deep frying
  • Olive oil for greasing - 1 tsp
For the Yogurt Sauce:
  • Thick Yogurt - 4 cups, whipped with 3 tbsp of water
  • Cilantro - 2 tbsp, finely chopped (for Garnish)
  • Salt - a dash 
For Seasoning the Yogurt: (Entirely Optional)
  • Mustard Seeds and Split Urad Dhal - 1 tsp each
  • Corn Oil - 1 tbsp
  • Optional seasoning for Yogurt - In a skillet add a tbsp of oil and fry the Mustard seeds and Urad dhal.Add it to the Yogurt.
  • Mix the Yogurt and Salt and transfer it to a shallow bowl.
  • Wash the black gram and soak with just enough water to cover it barely. Add more water if they swell and soak for exactly an hour. No more, no less.
  • Completely drain them and grind it with ginger to a smooth paste with No Added Water if possible. Else use a tsp or 2 of cold water for grinding.
  • Add the rice flour, baking soda and salt and mix it.
  • Grease the top of a Ziploc bag and spoon 2 tbsp of the batter. Poke a hole in the center and slowly transfer it to the right hand(also greased) and gently drop it into the oil.
  • Drain them on paper towels and immediately drop it into the Yogurt. Cover them entirely and let it sit for about half an hour.
  • Garnish with Cilantro before serving.
Makes about 10 dumplings.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

GastronomicGallivant: SekerPare, The Turkish Sugar Cookie

Sekerpare(Sugar Bit) - These authentic baked hazelnut-topped, sugar-syrup saturated turkish sugar cookies taste a lot like "Gulab Jamun", the Indian sweet.The difference is that this is baked and has eggs. Since this has plenty of sugar,my advise to any sweet lover is to indulge this wicked dessert in moderation.
Ingredients(Recipe Courtesy: Ms.Arslan):
  • All-Purpose Flour - 2 cups, sifted
  • Eggs - 2, whisked
  • Confectioner's sugar - 1/3 cup
  • Baking Powder - 2 tsp
  • Unsalted Butter - 1 stick, room temperature
  • Grated coconut - 2 tbsp
  • Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Hazelnuts
For the Sugar Syrup:
  • Granulated Sugar - 2 cups
  • Water - 2 cups
  • Lemon Juice - from 1/2 a lemon
  • In a thick bottomed sauce pan, mix the sugar and water and turn up the heat.
  • Add juice of the lemon and keep stirring till it comes to a roiling boil for about 20 minutes.
  • Switch off stove and cool the syrup completely.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Mix all the ingredients with hands, except the hazelnuts to make a nice soft dough.
  • Divide the dough into 20 even-sized balls and shape it to look like a round biscuit.
  • Plant one hazelnut in the center and bake until they turn light brown for about 20-25 minutes.
  • Arrange the cookies quickly in a glass dish and pour the cold syrup on the top.Let it sit for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
  • Best if served cold.
The cookies should be allowed to absorb the sugar syrup for at least 6 hours.Else they will be slightly crunchy. They swell slightly as they absorb all the syrupy goodness.
    Makes 20 servings.
    Serving Size - 1


    Wednesday, May 5, 2010

    GastronomicGallivant:French Crepes With Yogurt and Strawberry Filling

    Crepes - A very thin french pancake. I have to say the best crepe(s) that I ever had was from a roadside creperie stand on Paris` famous avenue called "Champ Elysees" a few years ago. It was fascinating to watch the vendor make the crepe using a tool called "Crepe Spreader" that I had never seen before. My favorite filling was Sucre-Banane and my Hubby's was Nutella. Why did it taste like heaven? Was it because I was utterly famished after being on my feet all day long at the Louvre? Did the flavor go up a notch because I was finally having those crepes on that Avenue? I don't know.
    But every time I make crepes at home,I get to relive the memories all over again. The taste though awesome, comes close enough but not the same.
    This makes its way to Priya's Cooking with seeds along with Bulgur Pudding, Cocoa N Saffron Vermicelli pudding, Puran Poli, Almond StoveTop Pudding, Sweet Barley Congee, Mixed Veggie Pilaf

    This along with Boston Baked Beans, Ligurian Shrimp Stew, South Indian Mini Meals, "Marina Beach" Style Sundal NYC Pop Burger Sliders goes to Jagruti's Joyful Eating Whilst Travelling.

    For the Crepes(Please use EXACT measurements for 6 medium crepes):
    • Egg - 2
    • Partly Skimmed Milk - 1/4 cup
    • Butter - 1 1/2 tbsp, melted
    • Whole Wheat Flour - 5 tsp, leveled
    • Salt - a pinch
    • Cardamom powder - 1/8 tsp
    For the Filling:
    • Yoplait Yogurt - 1, strawberry flavor
    • Strawberry - 6(one per crepe), sliced
    • Whisk all of the ingredients under "For the crepes" either using a whisk or in a food processor.Batter should be runny and slightly thicker than water.
    • Refrigerate for an hour.
    • Spray/Coat a skillet with butter or oil.When hot, add a ladle-full(about 2 tbsp) of batter and quickly swirl the pan so the batter is evenly spread out.
    • Cook the crepes for 1 minute per side. Move them to a serving plate.
    • Spread one half of the crepe with Yoplait Yogurt and top that with sliced berries.Fold and serve immediately.
    Makes 6 medium-sized crepes


    Tuesday, May 4, 2010

    200th Post: Awards/Tagged Awards, Favorite Dishes and A Few Favorite Men

    GiveAway Alert: Check Mia's space for more info@ Bright Morning Star

    Slowly but steadily I have hit the 200th mark today. In spite of having a wildly chaotic/disorganized life, I consider myself blessed that I am able to allocate time to blog about something that I am passionate about -- Mostly Taste, Travels and Networking with people of similar wavelength!
    For this post, I have decided to honor the folks who have showered award after award on my blogging self instead of the usual travel Milestone post. Thanks to everyone who were kind enough to pass on some splendid awards and I would like to pass it to all. I simply can't choose a favorite since every blog is special and has something unique and splendid.XoXo.

    Some awards demand I share things about me,my dozen favorite dishes from my blog and such -
    I have already shared a lot about me here, here. To top that I will share my favorite dishes, Favorite Actors~
    My favorite dishes from my blog -
    I like almost all of them,else I wouldn't have posted about it now, would I? But some favorites that get made often are - 
    Now on to my favorite actors and what movies/sitcom made me like them..Well for me to like a star he will have to have certain, if not all,characteristics/distinguishing quality, like - be at least 6 feet tall, long hair, pierced ears,a lone tattoo or two and fuzz on the face is good. Only then I will watch a film enough to like someone.. So unfair to them but thats me.Stars need to have star quality..else why should I spend time, energy, money to watch,right?
    In descending order -
    • Kevin Costner (BodyGuard, Dances With the Wolves, Revenge)
    • Kevin Sorbo (Hercules)
    • Pierce Brosnan (All of his 007 movies)
    • Brad Pitt (Troy, Interview With a Vampire)
    • Akshay Kumar (Yeh Dillagi, Singh is King)
    • Hugh Jackman(Van Helsing, Australia)
    • Hrithik Roshan(Jodhaa Akbar, Kaho Naa Pyar Hai)
    • Victor Webster(Mutant X)
    • Vikram(Saamy, Anniyan, Kandaswamy)
    • Vijay(Ghilli, Vettaikaaan, Kaadalukku Mariyaathai)
    • Robert Pattinson(Twilight)
    • Ram Charan Teja(Maghadeera, Chirutha) <-Star Struck

    From Nithu's Kitchen:

    From Kristy Gourmet, Raina-Garden of Yum, Kiran-Sumadhura

    From Anju's Kitchen Treasures, Kitchen Express, Pavithra-Binge On Veg, Kiran-Sumadhura, Fathima-Thattukada, Rumana-SpiceUrSenses, YummyTeam, FoodLovers, JoyOfCooking, Madhura Manoj,
    Experiments With foodMalabar Ruchi, Dining Menu,Ayesha, Hamaree Rasoi,Sathya -Samayal Corner

    From Mia-SugarPlumFairy

    Mia, Fimere, NadjiBella