Category Archives: World Cuisine

🌶 RED CHILLY DIP 🌶

Prep time: 10 mins; Makes: about ¾ cup
 Ingredients :
  • 10 Whole dry red chilies
  • 1/2 cup hot boiling water
  • 11/2 inch minced fresh ginger
  • 6-9 garlic pods minces
  • 1 tsp soy sauce (optional)
  • 1 tsp Vinegar
  • 11/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 11/2 tsp Sesame oil
  • Salt to taste
Method :
1.       Soak red chillies in hot boiling water (switched off) for 10-15 minutes.
2.       Grind the soaked red chilies to a coarse paste. Remove to a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk well to combine.
Serve as a dip with momos, spring rolls or anything else.
M2
Steamed Chewy Veggie Momos with the zesty red chilly dip
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🔘 VEGETABLE MOMOS 🔘

 

“Momos”, most sought-after

In company of friends ‘n’ laughter

South Asian dumplings

Packed with a melange of fillings

Served alongside a dip

A zesty relationship

Steamed or fried

Have you ever tried?

M3
Making of Momos
Preparation time: 30 minutes; Cooking time: 15 mins; Makes : 15 -20

Ingredients:

For the dough

  • 1 cup All purpose flour (Maida)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Cooking oil
  • Water as required

 For the stuffing

  • 3/4 cup finely shredded Cabbage
  • 2 finely chopped Green chilies
  • 1/2 cup shredded Carrots
  • 3 minced Garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 inch minced Ginger
  • 1 medium finely chopped Onion
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped Spring onion
  • 1 tsp Soy sauce (optional)
  • 1 tsp Cooking oil
  • 1/3 tsp Black pepper
  • Salt to taste
Method :
1.    Mix flour and salt in a medium bowl, make a well in the centre, add water little at a time and mix well. When it all comes together, knead well into a soft, smooth dough. Then add the oil and knead again for a minute. Cover the bowl with a plate and let it rest  for about 15 minutes or more.
2.      To make a filling, heat oil in a kadai/skillet. When hot add the chopped onions and white part of the spring onions. Reserve the green part of the spring onions for the garnish. When the onions turn translucent, add the minced garlic and ginger and sauté for a minute. Then add carrots, shredded cabbage and mix well. Add soy sauce, salt and black pepper powder and mix well. Cook covered for 5 minutes till the vegetables are tender but still have some bite.
3.      Open, mix well, taste and adjust seasoning. Let cook for another 1-2 minutes uncovered. Switch off. Add the green part of the spring onions and mix well.
4.      To make the momos, pinch a small ball of dough and roll out with a rolling pin into a small disc about the size of a poori. Make these discs as thin as possible. To make perfect uniformly sized rounds, use a metal lid with sharp edges to cut off discs from your rolled out dough. Keeping the disc on the rolling board, place a tablespoon of filling in the centre of the disc and bring together the edges of the disc towards the centre and pleat like you would a saree. Pinch closed the pleated ends together at the centre for a purse shape. In the pictures the momos are made by making them into a crescent shape and then sealing the 2 ends of crescent to get a rose bud shape. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. 
5.      Place in a single layer in a bamboo basket or idli steamer and steam for 8-10 minutes. Serve hot with Red chilli dip or tomato ketchup.
Notes:
1.      To quicken the rolling out process, roll out a big ball of dough into any hideous shape (it doesn’t matter) and then using the metal lid cut out several discs at one shot.
2.      Roll out the dough real thin so that the momos are not too doughy. You’ll need to generously flour your work surface to roll out paper thin discs.
3.      You could try other shapes too as shown in the video link below.
4.      The bamboo basket usually fits well inside a kadai or idli steamer. Pour about a cup of water into the kadai or steamer and place the bamboo basket on top. The basket should fit snugly into the kadai or steamer but not touch the water. The bamboo basket has a slotted base through which the steam enters. Alternately you can use an idli or idiappam steamer as well.
5.      To avoid the momos sticking to the surface, line the surface with parchment paper, or lightly oiled banana leaf or cabbage leaves.
6. Crumbled paneer and crumbled soya chunks can also be included in the stuffing.
Gluten free version:
Rice paper sheets can be used for the cover.
M1
Ah…Steamed!Ah…Stoked!
Click on this well made video to see a live demonstration

♧ QUESADILLA ♧

“Howdy Y’all?”, miss hearing this quintessential Texan welcome greeting, with a long drawl or a twang and of course Texas, where as the saying goes, everything is Big!

When we were posted in Texas, a couple of years back, we had to face evacuation due to Hurricane Katrina, closely followed by Hurricane Rita – Alphabetical order of women names – why women?! cause they rock your world and could leave you with out your car and house!

‘Hunkering down’ (a phrase new to me, until then) was an option we took for Hurricane Rita, were we stayed put and had a camping adventure in our own house without electricity for a few days.

Notable, was the way evacuation was handled. I was awe struck by a calm | composed | polite | respectful | organised | orderly evacuation, in times of adversity. Hats off Houston, Texas!

Quesadilla, one of the Tex-Mex dishes, is a jackpot or should I say piñata, I hit upon, when in Texas, as T loves it and this healthy recipe is a keeper!

q2
Vegetable Quesadilla

Prep time : 20 mins; Cooking time : 20 mins ; Serves : 4 – 6

Ingredients for the tortilla (organic and unrefined) :

  • 3 cups of Wheat flour
  • 1 cup Corn flour
  • 2 cups of water approx.
  • salt to taste

Ingredients for the filling (organic and unrefined) :

  • 3 onions
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 capsicum | green bell pepper
  • 1/4 lettuce or cabbage
  • 1 – 2 Jalapenos or green chilies
  • 3 sprigs of Cilantro | coriander leaves
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne | Paprika | Red chilly powder or flakes
  • Rock salt to taste
  • 200 gm s or as required Cheddar Cheese or any melting cheese
q6
Perfecto!

Directions :

1. Prepare the dough by kneading the wheat flour, corn flour and salt together to get a soft dough. Cover with a damp cloth, till ready to roll out the tortillas. Set aside.

2. Prepare the filling by finely chopping the onions, tomatoes, capsicum, cabbage or lettuce and green chilies. Squeeze in the lemon juice, add paprika powder and salt just before you prepare the quesadillas, as the vegetables will ooze out water, once salt is added. Set aside.

3. Grate the cheese and set aside.

4. Make round balls with the soft dough and roll out the tortilla on a tortilla maker manually or make them with an electric tortilla press. Cook the 2 tortillas well on both sides on a pan or an electric press.

5. Spread out on one tortilla, about a tbsp of the filling and sprinkle, grated cheese the amount you desire, all around on the vegetables. Cover by placing the other tortilla on top. If one is cooking, on a electric tortilla maker, then close the top plate over the bottom one but if one is cooking on the pan, place a heavy weight, like a heavy plate on top of the tortilla such that the 2 tortillas are sandwiched, well together and cook for 1 – 2 mins. Flip carefully, so as not to let the filling spill out and on this side again, close the 2 plates of the electric tortilla maker or if on a pan then place a heavy weight on the tortilla and cook for another 1 – 2 mins. Make sure to turn the tortillas around while cooking, so that they cook and brown evenly.

6. Cut them into even wedges or quarters and serve hot with salsa, sour cream and guacamole.

Vegan and Gluten Free Version :

Replace wheat flour by Pearl millet flour | Sorghum flour | Bajra atta | Kambu maavu or Amaranth flour | Rajgheera atta and dairy cheese by vegan cheese or tofu in the above recipe. Use only electric tortilla press to make gluten free tortillas. Serve hot with guacamole, salsa and tofu sour cream.

Buen Provecho. Adios, amigos!

q3
Si, por favor, Gracias!

image

🍎 APPLE PIE 🍏

I see apples

Junior sees apples

I see fresh juicy apples vie

Junior sees apple pie

Sliced, cooked ‘n’ crumbled

Forbidden fruit truly humbled

Crusted ‘n’ baked in deed

Apple Pie, Indeed!

ap
Apple Pie
Prep time : 1 hr; Cooking time : 45 mins; Serves : 4 

 

Ingredients  for the pastry  crust :

  • 11/2 cups plain or wheat flour (GF flour for GF version)
  • 1/4 tsp Baking powder
  • a pinch of Baking soda (optional)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp icing Sugar to be dusted on top
  • 150 gms of cold unsalted butter (cooking oil for vegan version)
  • 1/4 cup yogurt (skip for vegan version)
  • 1 tsp (milk +honey) for milk wash (almond milk for vegan version)
  • Requisite amount of cold water for kneading the dough

Ingredients  for the filling:

  • 6  large apples
  • 1 – 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • 11/2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • a pinch of nutmeg powder (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of water

Method :

  1. Knead all the ingredients given for the pastry crust into a dough. Cover with a wet cloth and refrigerate it for upto an hour.
  2. Thinly slice the apples lengthwise. Cook them in a pan along with half a cup of water, brown sugar, juice of a lemon, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder. To thicken the filling, add cornflour mixed in 2 – 3 tsps of water.Switch of heat, once the apples are soft and cooked.
  3. Thinly roll out 2/3 rd of the cold dough and place it as the base of the pie dish. Fork all around, a few times and bake it for 15 mins at 180C. Once baked, place the cooked apple filling on the base.
  4. Thinly roll out the rest of the dough and cover the filling and the base. Make slits from the centre radiating outward and also if desired, make fluted patterns at the edges of the circular pie. Brush the pie with milk wash. Bake at 180C for about 30mins , till the crust is golden brown on top. Sieve and sprinkle icing sugar on top before slicing and serving.

Cheers to another great year!

ap2
A slice of the humble pie

 

Variation : 

Find great work done by many. Sharing one here.

☯ CHINESE | INDO CHINESE | VEGETABLE FRIED RICE ☯

“Chinese fried rice” named as a matter of fact

 Oriental terrain knows it is not infact

‘Indo Chinese fried rice’ phenomenal tact pact

Its claim to irrefutable fame

Tickling taste buds is thy game

Pointless playing by thy name

 Balancing the ying and yang

 Sweet ‘n’ sour tastes boomerang

Hot, pungent, warm ‘n’ cold

Plants energy Qi ‘n’ roots the soul

 Family’s touch is always welcome

Magical is the outcome

Creating a beckoning array

It was one such fine day!

CF1

🎼 Standing in the Hall of Fame  And the world’s gonna know your name ‘Cause you burn with the brightest flame  And you’ll be on the walls of the hall of fame – The Script – “Hall of Fame” (feat. Will.I.am)

Prep time : 15 min; Cooking time : 30 mins; Serves : 4

Ingredients :

  • 3 cups Basmati | any long grain rice
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced Spring onion bulbs | Scallions
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced Celery (optional)
  • 1/4 cup  thinly sliced Capsicum | Bell Pepper
  • 1/4 cup  thinly sliced Green Beans
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced Carrots
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced or shredded Cabbage
  • 1/4 cup sliced Mushroom | Tofu | Baby corn (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp  Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Green chilly sauce (optional)
  • 1 tsp  Red chilly sauce (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Tomato ketchup sauce (optional)
  • 1 tsp Vinegar (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 – 3 tbsp Sesame Oil

To be ground into a paste :

  • 1 bulb of Garlic, peeled
  • 1 inch Ginger, peeled
  • 1 – 2 green chilies
  • 1 – 2 whole red chilies
  • 1 – 3 whole peppercorns (optional)

Ingredients for garnish :

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced spring onion greens

Method :

  1. Rinse well and soak the rice for about 15 mins in 4 1/2 cups of water. Cook in a pressure cooker up to 1 whistle or cook in a vessel filled with water and then drain out once cooked. Make sure the grains are separate and not mushy. Set aside.
  2. Thinly slice all the vegetables and mushroom, tofu (if added) . Set aside.
  3. Grind the ingredients under  ‘To be ground into a paste’ in a mixer. Set aside.
  4. Heat the sesame oil in a large wok, preferably on a medium or high flame, with all ingredients close at hand. Fry the ground paste. Add the vegetables and salt. Saute them for a few minutes, when the vegetables are slightly cooked and crunchy, add the salt, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and other sauces (if used). Cook for a few more minutes. Check the seasoning.
  5.  Next add the cooked rice and toss things around like a pro, taking care not to break the rice grains and making sure all the grains are evenly coated with the gravy. Switch off heat.
  6. Garnish with spring onion greens and serve hot, as is or along with a Manchurian gravy or your choice of sides.CF2

    Indo Chinese Vegetable fried rice

♧ PASTA ♧

Italian cuisine, swoop up the world and my country!

Deftly chiselling and carving its niche!

Italian ingredients, need stocking up in the pantry!

Arrives with an olive branch, now well within reach!

Pasta, distinguished, diverse in shapes and varieties, makes a gallant entry!

Surprise and sneak veggies, into the sphagetti!

Discover with glee, children fancy more and are hungry!

Gains approval, with complete unanimity!

Why bother searching ‘Ristorante’ up on Zomato?!

Make it at home, creamy, cheesy, flavourful with olive oil, oregano and tomato!

Wine and Dine! Divine!

p14
A PASTA !

PASTA IN WHITE SAUCE

Prep time : 5 mins; Cooking time : 30 mins; Serves: 4

p10
Creamy white sauce with veggies

Ingredients for preparing the Alfredo sauce | Béchamel sauce  (organic and natural) :

  • 1 1/2 tbsp  butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp plain flour or corn flour (for gluten free version)
  • 3 – 4 cups milk
  • 25 gms or 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese | cheddar | cheese of choice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 – 3 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg powder
  • salt to taste

Ingredients for preparing the white sauce (organic and natural) :

  • 1 onion
  • 6 – 9 cloves of garlic
  • 1 1 /2 cups of finely chopped vegetables (an assortment of coloured capsicum, green or black olives, corn, peas, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, a few spinach leaves, a sprig of parsley or coriander leaves, mushrooms)
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 11/2 to 3 tsp Italian herb mix seasoning (a blend of rosemary, thyme, basil and oregano)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 50 gms or 1 1/2 – 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese |  cheese of choice
  • salt to taste

Ingredients to prepare the Pasta (organic and natural) :

  • 500gms whole wheat Pasta or gluten free pasta made with rice flour | millet flour | buckwheat flour (for the gluten free version)
  •  2 tsp salt or as required
  • large pot of water for boiling the pasta

Method :

  1. Grate the cheese block and set aside.
  2. First  prepare the creamy Béchamel sauce. Melt butter in a skillet, add the flour and roast it for a couple of minutes. Poke and secure the cloves onto the bay leaf and add it in. Stir for about 2 – 3 mins then add milk and cook for about 5 – 7 mins till it thickens. Remove out  the secured bay leaf and cloves and discard. Mix in the grated cheese. Switch off heat. Grate in the nutmeg, add pepper powder and salt. If the sauce is too thick, stir in another 1/2 – 1 cup of milk. Set aside.
  3. Peel and crush the garlic and make a garlic paste. Peel and finely chop the onion. Finely chop, rest of the vegetables.
  4. Melt the butter in a skillet, add the crushed garlic paste and saute for a 1 -2 mins, till done. Now add the olive oil and throw in the onions. Add the salt and saute them till translucent, then toss in the assorted veggies, except spinach or any other greens and olives. Fry them for about 5 – 10 mins till lightly cooked and crunchy.
  5. Fold in the prepared Béchamel sauce, then add the seasonings, first the red chilli flakes, italian herb mix. Mix well and cook for about 2 -3 mins. Now add the spinach, parsley, any other greens (if added) and olives. Mix well. Alfredo white sauce is done. Switch off the heat.
  6. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. 10 – 15 mins for regular pasta and about 7 – 10 mins for gluten free pasta or as per the instructions on the packet.
  7. Pour the sauce over the boiled pasta or vice-versa. Top with grated cheese and serve hot.

PASTA IN RED SAUCE :

Prep time : 5 mins; Cooking time : 1 hr; Serves: 4

p11
Spicy tangy red sauce with tomatoes

Ingredients for preparing the red sauce | Marinara sauce (organic and natural) :

  • 1 kg tomatoes (preferably sweet roma ones)
  • 1 green capsicum
  • 9 – 12 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar (optional, if the tomatoes are not sweet enough)
  • 1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 11/2 to 3 tsp Italian herb mix seasoning (a blend of rosemary, thyme, basil and oregano)
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 3 – 4 basil leaves | tulsi leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 2 – 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 50 gms or 1 1/2 – 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese |  cheese of choice

Ingredients to prepare the Pasta (organic and natural) :

  • 500gms whole wheat Pasta or gluten free pasta made with rice flour | millet flour | buckwheat flour(for the gluten free version)
  •  2 tsp salt or as required
  • large pot of water for boiling the pasta

Method :

  1. Make a few gashes or slits across all the tomatoes. Bring a large pot of water to boil and blanch the tomatoes for 2 minutes. Drain and shock them in cold water and then peel all of them.
  2. Puree half the quantity in a blender and finely chop the rest. Finely chop the capsicum, garlic and basil leaves.
  3. Take butter in a skillet and roast the garlic for about 3 mins, then pour in the olive oil. Add in the tomato puree, finely chopped tomatoes and capsicum. Cook covered for 5 mins. Open the lid stir well and cook covered, for atleast 30 mins. The longer you cook the tomatoes, the tastier the sauce.
  4. Roast the fennel seeds and powder them in a dry grinder.
  5. Then add the sugar, fennel seeds powder, Italian herb mix, red chilli flakes and pepper powder and cook for about 5 mins. Add the finely chopped basil leaves. Marinara red sauce is done. Switch off heat.
  6. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. 10 – 15 mins for regular pasta and about 7 – 10 mins for gluten free pasta or as per the instructions on the packet.
  7. Pour the sauce over the boiled pasta or vice-versa. Top with grated cheese and serve hot.

PASTA IN MIXED SAUCE OF WHITE AND RED :

Prep time : 5 mins; Cooking time : 1 hr; Serves: 4

p12
Mixed sauce of both white and red.

Ingredients for Mixed sauce of White and Red :

  • Prepared White Sauce
  • Prepared Red Sauce
  • 500 gms Prepared and boiled al dente pasta
  • 50 gms or 1 1/2 – 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese |  cheese of choice

Method :

  1. Mix the freshly prepared white sauce and red sauce together
  2. Pour the mixed sauces over the boiled pasta or vice-versa. Top with grated cheese and serve hot.
p13
Pasta in mixed sauce of red and white. This one gets the highest vote @ home!

BAKED PASTA :

Prep time : 5 mins; Cooking time : 30 mins ; Serves : 4

p15
Baked pasta. Goey goodness!

Ingredients :

  • Freshly prepared Pasta in white sauce pasta | Pasta prepared in red sauce  | Pasta prepared in a mixed sauce of White and red
  • 100 – 150 gms parmesan cheese block |  cheese of choice
p17
See this is what I mean?!

Method :

  1. Grate the cheese.
  2. Make alternate layers of  prepared pasta and grated cheese or pour in the prepared pasta and cover only the top layer with grated cheese, in an oven proof baking dish.
  3. Bake at 170 C for about 30 mins or till the cheese layer on the top melts and bakes to a golden brown colour. Serve hot.
p16
A Yum!