Month: May 2015

CREAM OF CHICKEN SOUP( No Cream version)

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Nowadays nights here are often very chilly due to heavy thunder showers with flashes of lightning..It will be sometimes totally hard to believe the sudden change of climate here because the day time it will be scorching hot and nights just the opposite.

So today , this chilly night, I come to you with a soup recipe. This infact is my very first time at trying soup. Usually what I do is I reach for a packet of readymade soup. But this time I decided to give it a go..!I decided to make homemade soup and results were really good. It was really tasty.

This is my recipe of Cream of Chicken Soup. I haven’t used any cream here though. But still it is quite rich and creamy.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken – 1 cup (shredded)
  • Chicken stock – 2 cups.
  • Oil /Butter – 1 tbsp.
  • Onion – 1 (Very finely chopped)
  • All purpose Flour – 3 tbsp
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper powder – as needed
  • Chopped Spring Onions to garnish.

Method:

  1. Take 350 gms of chicken pieces in a pressure cooker along with 1 ½ cups of water. Add salt and pepper and cook for 3 whistles.(You can even cook the chicken in a pan adding the water, salt and pepper and cook till the chicken is done).When done, seperate the chicken from the stock. Reserve the stock and shred the chicken to bite size pieces and keep aside.
  2. In a pan, heat oil/butter. Throw in the onions and sauté till transparent (If you are adding chopped vegetables, this is the time to add it and you can sauté it for 2 minutes).Now lower the flame/heat and add the All purpose Flour and mix well with a whisk. Now add the stock and mix well so that there are no lumps. Bring to a boil.
  3. Now add milk and combine. Add Pepper powder and salt(If needed).Simmer for a minute. Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with chopped spring onions and serve hot and Enjoy!

Notes:

  • You can make the soup more nutritious by adding a few chopped vegetables like carrot and French beans.
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NATHOLI FRY |FRIED ANCHOVIES

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Natholi oru cheriya meen alla! “…this is the title name of  a Malayalam movie.It means Anchovy or Natholi in Malayalam is not a small fish! Thats very true..They might be small in size, but they are fishes which hold such huge flavour for such small fish .Anchovies are one among the most tastiest among fishes. Not to forget its nutritional benifits. They are such good source of Protien, Calcium ,Iron ,Magnesium, Zinc and Phosphorous. In addition to that they contain Vitamins like B-12,B-6,thiamine,riboflavin and so many more. So nutritious isn’t it?

There are many ways to cook Natholi,one among them is frying. I have shallow fried them in this recipe.This is my version of Kerala style Natholi fry.Check it out!

Ingredients:

  • Anchovies – 250gms
  • Oil for shallow frying.

For Marination:

  • Kashmiri chilli powder –3 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  • Pepper powder –1/2 tsp
  • Fenugreek powder – 1 pinch
  • Garam Masala /Meat masala – ¾ tsp
  • Ginger crushed – ½ inch piece.
  • Garlic crushed – 2 big pearls.
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as required

Method:

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients under “For Marination” into a thick paste.

Add the cleaned natholi/Anchovies to this masala paste .Mix well and keep aside for 15 minutes.

Now heat oil in a pan and add the anchovies and shallow fry them, turning/flipping them once in between until done.

Transfer to a serving dish.Serve with Rice and Enjoy!

You can check  here my recipe of Kerala nadan fish fry if needed.

TOMATO PASTA

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Today early morning, my friend called me over the phone, saying that she would be visiting me this morning at 9. And out of reflex or I don’t know what..I just told her that “Lets have breakfast together”…I don’t know what made me say that…Had I gone crazy? Because I had absolutely nothing in my kitchen shelf or my refrigerator, to make a decent breakfast. Not even a single slice of bread, as I had used them all for my kids’ snack for school. All I had was a couple of tomatoes and Onions smirking at me. Don’t tell me you are laughing?!?I don’t know..when my kids are off to school and hubby gone to office and my youngest boy still fast asleep, thats what I feel..I feel all things come alive around me..I literally end up talking to anything and absolutely everything around me..Do atleast some of you guys out there do that? I guess its a kind  of security mode that develops in me when I feel I am all alone at home..!

So talking…yes…talking talking talking ,I happen to discover a lonely little Shell Pasta Packet lying at the corner of my shelf..Ah life saver..So I decide to whip up this easy Pasta recipe .You know..its really easy and filling…No additional chopping of vegetables required…you just have to chop a couple of tomatoes, one or two onions and a little garlic and you can quickly make this yummy breakfast/brunch. I have even served this as dinner when I feel too lazy after a long tough day.My family loves it. You will love it too!

Ingredients:

  • Pasta – 2 cups(I used shell pasta,you can use pasta of your choice)
  • Onion – 1 small (chopped finely)
  • Tomato sauce – 2 tbsp
  • Pepper powder – ½ tsp
  • Olive oil – 1 tbsp
  • Grated cheese – 1 tbsp
  • Chilli flakes – 2 tsp
  • Salt to taste

To grind:

  • Tomatoes – 1
  • Onion – 1 small
  • Garlic – 2 pearls

Method:

  1. In a big vessel, boil and cook the pasta with a little salt and a teaspoon of oil until done. Strain the water and keep the pasta aside.
  2. Grind the ingredients under ‘To grind’ and keep aside.
  3. Heat oil in a pan,add Onions and sauté for a minute. Now add the ground paste and sauté till the raw aroma disappears.
  4. Now add the chilli flakes, Pepper powder and Tomato sauce and sauté well.
  5. Add the cooked Pasta to it and mix gently till the pasta gets coated evenly with the sauce mixture. Add salt if required. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle cheese on top. Serve hot and Enjoy!

Notes:

  1. I used Olive oil because its healthy and gives a good flavour when used in Pasta dishes. You can use any cooking oil of your choice.
  2. If you don’t have chilli flakes, you add  grind 2 dried red chillies while grinding.
  3. The Pasta should be cooked perfectly, it should be soft but firm, otherwise in the end it will turn out all mashed up.
  4. While cooking the Pasta, I have suggested to add a tsp of oil. This is done so that the Pasta shells do not stick to each other while cooking.

LEMON MARINATED TOFU PAKORAS

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Today I come to you with a very tasty Tofu Pakora to chase away those evening blues.I had never prepared any dishes with Tofu before. It was totally new to me. And I had heard that Tofu had a totally bland taste with absolutely no flavour. So I had never attempted to buy Tofu from the Supermarkets here, though it was available here in abundance because Tofu dishes had a regular place here in the everyday Malay cuisines. But yesterday when my husband brought Tofu home from the local markets yesterday, I was skeptical…But I had seen this particular recipe from one of my fellow blogger Prachi’s space – Divine Spice Box. From the time I saw this post and read the recipe, my mouth was watering. So I decided to make these Lemon Marinated  Tofu Pakoras. The name itself makes you drool right! And today seemed to be the perfect time with the slight drizzling rain outside ,to prepare these Pakoras.

I was initially a bit doubtful whether the Tofus would absorb the flavours of the Marinade.But one bite of these Pakoras made me realise how wrong I was.These were so flavourful,the marinade worked really well on the Tofu and the lemony twist these pakoras had, was out of the world!!

So since my first attempt with Tofu was a success, you can expect more Tofu recipes coming up.I have bookmarked a few recipes from my bloggers’s blogs.This is the first one .

Recipe adapted from Prachi’s Blog , Divine Spice Box ,verbatim.

Ingredients:

  • 100 gms Tofu – Firm/Extra firm – cut into cubes/sticks (as per your choice)
  • Oil for shallow frying

Marination

  • Juice of 1 big lemon or 2 small lemons
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Salt as per taste
  • Red chili powder as per taste
  • Black pepper as per taste
  • 1 tsp chaat masala (optional)

Batter

  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/4 cup water or as per desired consistency of the batter
  • salt to taste
  • red chili powder to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp dry mango powder/ 1/2 tsp fresh raw mango, grated(I didnt have both,so i used 1 tbsp of lime juice 🙂 )

Method

  1. Begin with marinating the tofu slices. Try to squeeze out all the water from the tofu slices before marination
  2. In a bowl, add in all the ingredients of marination and mix well. To this, add in the tofu slices and mix well so that the marination is coated well on both the sides. Let this rest for 15 minutes. Switch the sides of the tofu in between so that tofu is marinated from all sides.
  3. Now, in a separate bowl, prepare the batter with the ingredients mentioned above. For this recipe, i chose to make a thick coating batter so that it is easier to coat the tofu slices evenly.
  4. Shallow fry the batter coated tofu slices in oil till golden brown.
  5. Serve hot.

WATERMELON AGUA FRESCA

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The climate here is intolerable..!Though there are  some cool showers in the night time, the heat during the day time is unbearable with high humidity. I have heard from some of my friends who work outside in the site that sometimes the heat is so worse that they find slight difficulty in breathing…If I didn’t have my 3 year old boy in my life, probably I would be in the site too..working in the hot heat..Oh..I didn’t tell you right? I am actually qualified as a Civil engineer but more than that I am full time Mom to my three lovely little kids and talking straight from the heart ,I now prefer playing with my kiddos and building with Lego Toys much more that drawing plans and construction stuff at the site. And an added joy for me is I am a full time Food Blogger , which is one among my passions.

Coming to the topic…Summers are too hot here that we have to find different ways to cool our body…So why not do it the refreshing and delicious way? I have been having Watermelon juice almost EVERYDAY from the past two months. I have tried many experiments with watermelon..using mint leaves etc… but have not been satisfied …One thing I have to say I find sugar has really got that magic to elevate the taste of watermelon to shear pleasure !You know..This recipe was totally an experiment. But the results were so good. This is by far the Best Watermelon drink you will ever find! You have my word for that .I have used Club Soda here in this recipe along with lime juice.

When I prepared this drink for my husband, he was like “Is this Agua Fresca ?”He said he had the same drink a few years back in a restaurant during an official meeting and was fascinated by the name. It had a similar taste to this.

Agua Frescas are Mexican drinks which are so refreshing to beat the hot summer heat. There are both alcoholic and Non Alcoholic Versions of Agua Frescas. Mine is a non alcoholic Kids Friendly one. Here I have made a watermelon Agua Fresca. But however, you can also substitute water melon with Mango, Strawberries or Cantaloupe.

Ingredients:

  1. Water melon – 3 cups(deseeded and cubed)
  2. Water – ¼ cup
  3. Sugar – depending on the sweetness of watermelon(I added 4 tbsp)
  4. Club soda – 3 cups(chilled)
  5. Lime juice – juice of half a lime
  6. Lemon slices – to decorate

Method:

  • Blend the watermelon cubes, Water ,lime juice and  Sugar in a blender.
  • When done,add chilled Club Soda to it. Pour into glasses and decorate with lime slices.Serve and Enjoy!!!

ADA PRADHAMAN

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Ada Pradhaman or Ada Payasam is an unavoidable payasam during Onam or Vishu.It is usually served steaming hot after the traditional Sadya on Banana Leaves.But I like mine chilled.I don’t usually wait all the way till Onam to prepare Ada Payasam.I prepare it whenever Ada is available here at the stores.Though our kids prefer the “white” Semiya Payasam  more, me and my husband are one crazy Ada Payasam loving couple.

During my childhood days I remember that the Sadya was prepared usually by our Pushpalatha chechi (I don’t like to call her as our help at home, because over the years ,she is more than that..infact she is a part our family).I must mention her Kaipunyam or to be precise that ‘magical touch’ to transform even the least tastiest/bland ingredients to delicious dishes.I don’t know how she does that.Ok..coming back to the topic..she used to prepare such yummy sadyas during Onam.To top it all,there was this amazingly delicious Ada Payasam made by my maternal Grandma, whom I lovingly call Ammamma, who used to visit us during Onam. This recipe is hers. It is such a simple recipe, easy for even beginners, but the taste it imparts is really out of the world!!!Try it.

Ingredients:

  • Rice Ada /Rice Flakes – I used a 250gm packet.
  • Jaggery(sharkara) – 500 gms.
  • Thin Coconut milk (Randam Pal) – 2 ½ cup.
  • Thick Coconut milk (Onnam Pal) – 1 cup
  • Cashews and Raisins to garnish.
  • Cardamom powder – 1 tsp.
  • Dried Ginger Powder/Chukku podi – ¾ tsp
  • Ghee – 1 tbsp or as needed.

Method:

  1. Boil water in a vessel and cook the ada in it for around 20 minutes or till soft.Strain it and rinse it with cold water and keep aside.
  2. Grate the jaggery and boil and melt it in 1 ½ cups of water.Strain it and keep aside.
  3. Now in a deep pan, heat ghee. Fry the raisins and Cashews , Remove and keep aside on a kitchen Towel.
  4. In the same oil,add the cooked Ada and sauté for 2 or 3 minutes on medium to low flame.(Add more ghee if required).
  5. Now add the melted Jaggery and cook in medium heat for a few minutes until thick. Then add the thin coconut milk and bring the flame to medium and cook till it thickens. Now add the Thick Coconut Milk and mix well. Add  the Cardamom powder, Dried Ginger powder. Mix well. Cook for a minute. Turn off the flame. Garnish with Fried Cashews and Raisins. Serve hot or cold and Enjoy!!

Notes:

Along with the cashews and Raisins, you can also fry and add some Coconut slices/Thenga Kothu if needed.

CHOCOLATEY EASTER EGGS

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Easter is a time of great Joy and Celebration..It is of great significance as it is the day Lord Jesus rose up from the dead..and for children all over the world, it a time of anticipation for the Easter Bunny who brings his treasure baskets full of Chocolatey Easter eggs. And for kids like mine, they love to do the treasure hunting for Easter Chocolate eggs.So after the morning Easter service at the church and a hearty breakfast of the Easter special Appam and Chicken Stew, my job is to make a treasure map for them to search for the Easter eggs .Usually I buy Kinderjoys and hide them at different places in the garden or the house…leaving clues etc…its a lot of work, but seeing their happy faces and shrieks of joy ,it is worth the trouble.

This Easter how ever, i went a little further. I decided to make them Easter eggs and wrap them in shiny wrappers and hide them as usual. I wracked my brain thinking of ideas of making chocolate Easter eggs..it was then that i thought of making Chocolate cake Easter eggs..(I had some left over chocolate cake in my refrigerator).So i made them..And guess what..? Before I could even wrap them, they vanished ha ha..They loved it a lot…!

If you have left over chocolate cake and Buttercream frosting at hand, then these Yummilicious Easter cake Eggs are an easy to do kinda thing. No further delay…heading on to the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Left over cake crumbs – 5 cups(I used Chocolate cake)
  • Frosting of your choice – 1/2 to 1 cup(I used Butter cream Frosting)
  • Dark chocolate – 200 gms (melted over double boiler)
  • White Chocolate  – 10o gms (melted over double boiler)

Method:

  1. In a large bowl,crumble up the cake that it looks ,like coarse bread crumbs.(using clean hands)
  2. Add 1/2 a cup of frosting to start with and mix well with fingers to a consistency(If the balls fall or break apart,add more frosting) that it can be made into lemon sized balls which do not break up.
  3. Using fingers,roll into egg shape one by one and keep on a plate.Place these ‘cake eggs’ in the refrigerator and chill for 15 to 20 minutes.(This is done to harden the egg shaped balls).
  4. While the eggs are chilling in the refrigerator,melt the dark chocolate and keep aside to cool.Melt the white chocolate now and cool and pour it inti a ziploc bag and snip off its tip(a little bit) .
  5. Now place(DO NOT PIERCE) the egg shaped balls on a fork(I advise a fork because it drains off the excess chocolate after dipping) and dip into the melted dark chocolate one by one and keep on a dry plate.
  6. After 5 minutes or once the chocolate coating on the egg shaped balls are dry,make designs on the egg shaped balls with the white chocolate in the ziploc bags by gently pressing  them onto the balls.
  7. Allow to dry and then gently wrap them using shiny wrappers or you can arrange them in a box and serve and Enjoy!!

Notes:

  • You can even skip the white chocolate and top them with some sprinkles or chopped nuts.
  • You can insert lollipop sticks into the cake balls and serve them as cake pops!!