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Thai Style Mango Sticky Rice ( Khao Niew Ma-Muang)

While the Summer is ending and autumn is on its way,  we are going to miss the awesome weather, holidays, BBQ’s and of course the summer foods. Of all the summer foods in the earth, I love mangoes. It’s vibrant yellow color and the flavor are irresistible. There are so many kinds with different colors, shapes, texture and taste. I have never seen anybody disliking it. Such a wonderful fruit on earth. Gosh If we get this fruit year around!! Although we can find mangoes other times it’s just not that delicious and moreover it will be expensive..

Being a daughter to a mother who had spent most of her living in Kerala where you find abundant mangoes and jack fruit during summer I have grown eating mangoes in every styles. When we talk about unripe mangoes we find it as pickle, raita, chutney, salad or in curries. When it is ripened, it fits into beverages, desserts and also in curries. So divine!!
Now You would have been wondering why I am late to post mango recipes. Yes! I agree. My bad!
I was just eating myself and never thought of posting it. Then when suddenly mangoes vanished from market I started feeling something missing. While I was in that weird feeling last week I found  huge mangoes lying on the market. Yay!! So with no time I grabbed few and already I knew where all these mangoes are going to be :).  I have few mangoes recipes on draft which I will post in coming weeks. 
When I came across this Thai style Mango dessert I was so surprised ! I have tasted this rice pudding somewhere in our India but the combination of mango with it is simply Luscious & Yum!!

Servings: 3
Preparation time: 10 mins + 3 hrs soaking time
Cooking time: 30 mins
Level: Moderate
Ingredients:
Mango 1 Medium, Ripened
Rice (Sticky/Glutinous) 1 Cup
Coconut Milk 1 Cup
Sugar 3 Tbsp
Salt a pinch
Nutmeg a pinch (Optional)
Water 1 cup
Preparation:
1. Chop the mango into cubes for toppings and few lengthy strips to decorate.
2. Soak the sticky rice in water for about 2 – 3 hrs.
3. Mix sugar and salt with the coconut milk.
4. Traditionally the rice is cooked in sticky rice steamer or normal steaming method. (See Notes). 
    But I found my way of cooking the rice more tasty and suiting our palate. My way : Rinse the
    rice and drain. Add 1 cup of water and cook for 3-4 mins. When it is boiling and tend to thick
    add half cup of coconut milk. Reduce the flame and cook till the rice becomes soft and thick.
    Again pour the remaining coconut milk and cook for 5- 6 mins. Sprinkle nutmeg powder and
    turn off the heat. Set aside to cool and absorb for 10-15 mins.
5. Take a bowl or serving plate. Ladle the cooked rice into the bowl or plate. Top with the cubed
    mangoes. Garnish with mint leaves or drops of coconut milk.
6. Serve warm or cold.


Notes:
1. Adding nutmeg is not authentic. I once tried adding few spices and found nutmeg adds extra 
    flavor to the dessert. Its totally optional. You can also try adding cardamom which tastes more 
    like Indian dessert.
2. As I mentioned earlier the rice is traditionally steamed using steamer. It is done by pouring water 
    in a large pan and  spreading the rice on a bamboo steamer or using any thin cloth. Steam it for   
    about 30 mins. After taking out of steamer add the coconut milk to it.

Dates Cake (Eggless & Butterless)

Hi!!
Here is a kind of healthy baking.. The fancy words “eggless” & “butterless” doesn’t mean so much to me…However I would prefer to use less fat as much as I can. We may have read in many health articles that “Butter” has high calories from its saturated fat and also has high cholesterol which is bad for heart.. So nowadays I am using Olive oil instead of butter. And “eggless” was unintentional. I didn’t have egg in my fridge so I didn’t use it. But the cake turned out just fine and super moist. Unbelievable!! Therefore I have to admit that we can also go healthy in baking without losing the divine taste of real baking.For me healthy baking is all about no butter, no white sugar and no white flour..Rest all fine..
Since I cook eggs daily in various form, a piece of advice for you guys out there..Do not ignore the eggs if you ain’t vegan or allergic. Egg is a good source of protein. In fact many agree that it helps to reduce weight ūüėČ Good news isn’t it?? Why wait?? Try it out !!

Servings: 3
Preparation time: 15 mins + 30 mins soaking time (optional)
Cooking time: 30 – 40 mins
Level : Moderate

Ingredients:

Dates 12-15 nos
Whole Wheat Flour ¬Ĺ Cup
Milk ¬Ĺ Cup
Brown sugar 50 gm
Olive oil / Canola oil 30 gm / 2 Tbsp
Baking soda ¬Ĺ Tsp
Walnut 10 nos
Raisins 1 Tbsp
Cinnamon Powder ¬ľ Tsp

 

Method:

1. Soak the dates in warm milk for about 30 mins if it is too dry.
2. Preheat oven to 175¬į C.
3. Sieve the flour along with baking soda & cinnamon powder and keep it in a large bowl.
    Add the sugar and chopped walnuts. Mix to combine.
4. Grind together the milk and dates to a paste.
5. In another bowl pour the dates paste and oil. Whisk to combine well.
6. Pour the dates mixture to the flour and mix to form batter with no lumps.
7. Grease the cake pan with little oil and pour the batter.
8. Sprinkle some raisins on the top.
9. Bake for 30 -40 mins or till toothpicks comes out clean when inserted.
10. Serving option: Serve with maple syrup or chocolate syrup or condensed milk or whipped cream
      or honey..

 

Notes:

  1. Increase/decrease the qty of sugar according to the quality of dates and its sweetness. If your dates are too sweet reduce the sugar. 
  2. If you want more moist add some more milk.
  3. You can use spices like nutmeg, clove, ginger along with cinnamon.


Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Crostini

It’s been a while I made this luscious appetizer. This is one appetizer never be left lonely on the plate at the end of a meal. Creamy & nutty red pepper pesto is divine, comfort & lip smacking sauce I ever made. Goes well with pasta, as a dipping sauce and in crostini. The roasted red pepper adds more flavor to the pesto. Never be lazy to roast the pepper.

Whenever I see the vibrant red peppers I just dream of the pesto I used to make long back when we were in North China. You find ample quantity of red pepper there. I used to make in large quantity and freeze them for later use. Here in Guangzhou I see them on & off. So I bought them last week when I found them in farmers market.

Here we go with nice & crisp crostini with red pepper pesto. I am bit unhappy that I totally lost the original recipe owner as I have been making this pesto since long time & never had any record of the original recipe. Anyway I am very much grateful to the person who shared this awesome recipe in web. ūüôā

Servings: 3-4
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
Level : Moderate

Ingredients:

Baguette 1 loaf
Red pepper 3 nos
Walnut 10 nos
Basil (Dried) 2 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
Garlic 3 Cloves
Parmesan cheese 2 Tbsp
Extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp
Salt & Pepper For seasoning
Mozzarella 2 Tbsp

Method:

  1. Slice the baguette (Narrow French stick loaf) into thick slices.
  2. Preheat oven to 210¬į C. 
  3. Wash the red peppers thoroughly, cut into halves and remove the seeds.
  4. Place the peppers on the baking tray and sprinkle half the quantity of following ingredients : olive oil, finely chopped garlic, basil, salt & pepper on the top.
  5. Bake for 30 mins or till the peppers are roasted well.
  6. Transfer to mixer jar along with walnut, Parmesan cheese, and remaining olive oil, chopped garlic, basil, salt & pepper. Blend them to a rough paste. 
  7. You can toast the baguette slices first and top with the pesto and mozzarella cheese. Or else top with pesto, cheese & basil and toast till cheese melts. 

Notes:

  1. Tastes good when used fresh basil. Since it is unavailable in here I have used dried basil. 
  2. You can try with different nuts like almonds, pine nuts etc. instead of walnut. If you would like the pesto more heavy add more cheese/cream.
  3. Also discover some unique flavors by including different Italian herbs.
  4. You can also roast the pepper on direct fire.
  5. This pesto goes well with pasta too.

Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is my childhood favourite. I used to get this during X’mas from a dear friend of mine from school. He used to make it by himself and that too an amazingly perfect pudding. After schooling neither of us had time for it. I’d wrote him couple of months ago and asked for the recipe. I got the reply with his recipe card yay!! ūüôā Tnx dude!

So now not wasting a single day I started making my bread pudding. Instead of steaming the pudding I have baked it.  It turned out very well.. As good as original recipe..
Every spoon full is a bliss & satisfying memory. This scrumptious dessert is all what we need at the end of a busy day. Stretch, relax & start diggin in the pudding.

Servings: 2-3Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Level : Easy

Ingredients

Wheat bread/White bread 2 slices
Milk 1 Cup
Egg 2 nos
Sugar 1/2 Cup
Butter 1 Tbsp
Cinnamon Powder 1/4 Tsp
Raisins 2 Tbsp
Preparation:
  1. Preheat oven to 175¬į C. Grease the baking dish with butter or oil. I have used 630 ml rectangular glassware.
  2. Tear the bread into small cubes and place it in the baking dish.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg, milk, sugar, cinnamon powder and butter (Room temperature) for 5-7 mins.
  4. Sprinkle the raisins on the bread and pour the egg mixture to it evenly.
  5. Press down the bread to soak well.
  6. Place the dish in the center of middle rack and bake for 45 mins or bake till when a toothpick inserted in the center of the pudding comes out clean. 
  7. Serve warm or chill.
Plating:  

  1. Cut to desire shapes and pieces. Serve warm with ice cream on the top.
  2. Serve chill with condensed milk (or) whipped cream (or) honey (or) chocolate syrup (or) any other toppings of your kind. 

 Notes:

  1. If you want to make simple pudding avoid bread pieces. Use all other ingredients.
  2. Not only raisins you can also use any dried fruits to the pudding.

Mixed Pepper Salad

This colorful salad holds so many nutrition. Red and yellow peppers are attractive in color & contains plenty of health benefits. Here’s the recipe for making easy & tasty Mixed pepper salad with vinaigrette dressing in my way.


Servings:  2        

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Level:  Easy
Ingredients:
1)      Red pepper                                      75 gm ( Half of a medium size pepper)
2)      Yellow Pepper                                  75 gm ( Half of a medium size pepper)
3)      Pepperoncini                                    2 nos
4)      Lettuce                                             2 leaves
5)      Cucumber                                         1 small
For Dressing:

6)      Wine Vinegar/Rice vinegar             2 Tbsp
7)      Olive oil                                           1 Tbsp
8)      Dried Oregano                                 1 Tsp
For Seasoning:
9)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Black pepper powder ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬Ĺ¬†Tsp
10)   Salt                                                   as req


Method:
1)      Wash all the vegetables thoroughly and dry them using kitchen towel.
2)      Dice the peppers and cucumber. Roughly chop the lettuce and pepperoncini.
3)      Place them in the mixing bowl.
4)      For making vinaigrette, take wine vinegar and olive oil in a medium sized bowl.
5)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Whisk them for 2 ‚Äď 3¬†mins¬†or till it blends well and become thick.
6)      Add the dried oregano, black pepper powder and salt.
7)      Pour the vinaigrette on to the vegetables and combine well.
  
 

Bhuna Gosht


Last weekend my husband and I went to downtown for grocery shopping. After shopping, with heavily loaded bag we got into a taxi and somehow my husband managed to guide the driver to the nearest metro station Xiaobei to get back home. The guy was so surprised and happy to see my husband speaking broken Chinese ;).
While trying to explain about the metro station, he nodded for some reason and asked whether we are going for dining. We were confused¬†and was checking GPS all the way till we got there. When finally we got down in the right destination we realized huh!! That’s what he meant..¬†I guess he thought we are from ¬†middle east countries and we are heading to have dinner at Arabic street..
The street is full of Arab restaurants and¬†stores.We’d no idea such place exists in here.. We bookmarked the place to reach out again for Middle east cuisines. But we did go through a store selling imported foods from¬†Arab¬†countries. As our days shopping had over, we just had a look around. But one thing caught our eyes lying on the bakery was Pita bread. I’d heard many recipes of Pita bread but never got a chance to use them. So quickly i grabbed one pack. The next day we made sandwiches with pita.
With 2 more breads left and we both were craving for spicy meat dish for long, I decided to cook “Bhuna Gosht” to have with pita breads. Its not traditional but pita bread is very similar to Naan bread. So went very well with Bhuna gosht.
Bhuna Gosht is all about spices. Mutton is slow cooked with loads of spices for hours. The slow cooking process gives the brown color to the dish. It takes 1-2 hrs to cook the meat along with all the spices. But its worth the wait. ¬†It is rich and Lip smacking delicious. It can be made easier by using pressure cooker. But there is no room for taste when you hurry up for this dish. My advice is to make this recipe when you have plenty of time and mood of cooking something special for your tastebud…. ¬†I love the Bhuna gosht recipe from “ecurryand this recipe has been adapted from them with slight variation.


Servings:  2        

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 1 hr
Level: Moderate
Ingredients:
1)      Mutton                                               250 gm

2)      Onion                                                 200 gm (1 Medium)

3)      Tomato                                              150 gm ( 1 Medium)
4)      Ginger                                                15 gm
5)      Garlic                                                 4 cloves
6)      Green chilli                                        2 nos
7)      Cumin seeds                                      1 Tsp
8)      Bay leaves                                         2 nos
9)      Cloves                                                4 nos
10)   Green cardamom                               2 nos
11)   Black cardamom                                1 no
12)   Mace                                                  a pinch
13)   Cinnamon                                          1 no , 5cm stick
14)   Nutmeg                                              a pinch
15)   Coriander powder                              1 Tbsp
16)   Cumin powder                                    1 Tsp
17)¬†¬†¬†Red chilli powder¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬Ĺ¬†Tsp
18)¬†¬†¬†Black pepper powder¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬Ĺ¬†Tsp¬†¬†¬†¬†
19)   Salt                                                     as req
20)   Curd/Yogurt                                        2 Tbsp
21)   Water                                                 2 cups
22)   Vegetable Oil                                     1 Tbsp  
Method:
Preparation:
1)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Marinate mutton by combining yogurt,¬†¬†half quantity of following spices ‚Äď Coriander powder,
cumin powder, red chilli powder, pepper powder and salt.  Mix well with the meat and leave for 20 mins.
2)      Chop the onion, ginger, garlic and green chillies finely.
3)      Blend the tomatoes in a blender and set aside.
Cooking:
1)      Heat 1 Tbsp Oil in a large skillet.
2)      Turn to medium heat and add cumin seeds. When it  splutters add the spices bay leaves, cinnamon,
 green cardamom, cloves, and black cardamom pods  respectively. 
3)      Add chopped garlic ginger and sauté well for 1 min.
4)      Now add the chopped onion and green chilli along with little salt. Adding salt will ease the frying process.
5)      When the onions have turned to brown,  sprinkle mace and nutmeg powder. Sauté for few seconds.
6)      Add in the blended tomato and combine well. Add the marinated meat.
7)      Pour 2 cups of water, mix well and reduce the flame to low. Close the lid and cook for 30 mins stirring
        in-between.  
8)      After half an hour check for salt and add salt if required. If the gravy is dry add little more water and cook
another 15-20 mins or till the oil floats and the gravy is thick.
9)      Garnish with coriander leaves and sliced onion.
10)   Serve with naan, rice or any Indian bread.
Note:
1)      If using pressure cooker, cook the marinated mutton with 1 cup of water in cooker. And follow the
other steps.  No need of adding water while cooking in pan. Instead of cooking 45 mins,  just cook
till the gravy thickens.
2)      Yogurt is optional. Instead you can use 1 Tbsp of lemon juice while marinating.
3)     I have used boneless mutton pieces. Better way is to use boned meat.

Creamy Tricolor Rotini Pasta Salad

¬†Always I find fun to make salads. No matter what I have in my hand, it may be pickled veggies or fresh ones, meat or veg, Pasta or Tuna, creamy dressing or Vinaigrette I use to enjoy throwing in whatever available.. So here is one of our favourite pasta salad. Since¬†I made this accidentally,¬† I have used very few ingredients. Usually I use a combination of yogurt/sour cream and mayonnaise for dressing. Though I haven’t used yogurt here, I managed to make it creamy and taste the same.¬†



Servings:  2        
Preparation Time: 5-8 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
Level: Easy
Ingredients:
1)      Tri colour Rotini Pasta                       100 gm
2)      Lettuce                                               2 Leaves
3)      Olives                                                 10 nos
4)      Cucumber                                           1 small
5)      Plum tomato                                       5 nos
6)      Mayonnaise                                        2 Tbsp
7)      Black pepper powder                          1 Tsp
8)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Salt¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬ľ¬†Tsp¬†¬†¬†¬†
Method:
1)    Boil water in a large pan. Once water comes to boiling temperature immerse the pasta. Turn heat
to low and cook for another 10 minutes.  Keep it aside till it cools down.Or cook the pasta as per
the instruction given in the package.
2)    Chop the cucumber, olives and lettuce. Cut the plum tomatoes into half. Since I had no plum tomatoes
stored, I have used normal tomatoes
3)    Mix pepper powder and salt with the mayonnaise.
4)    Combine all the vegetables and mayonnaise dressing with the pasta and mix gently. 


Note:

1)      If you want meat in your salad add chopped bacon, ham or any sausages. 
2)      I have used green olives. For colorful salad use black olives instead.
3)     If you are gonna mix yogurt/sour cream with mayonnaise, only add half the quantity of 
mayonnaise mentioned here.




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