Friday, March 30, 2012

HEALTHY BREAKFAST BARS


Chewy  and wholesome, this Healthy Breakfast Bars make a super satisfying snack. They bake up in a snap without leaving home.

These bars were delicious and not too sweet. If you desire, you can add some brown sugar to sweeten them up a bit They were  perfect to my liking so it really didn't need to be any sweeter. It is  great for those  with food allergies since there is no wheat, butter  and egg  in the recipe.

They tasted great and  you can't stop at one piece!

HEALTHY BREAKFAST BARS
Serves   :     2-3

125g  rolled oat
1/4 cup condensed milk
1 medium banana mashed
60g dried fruit, raisin, cranberries
60g  sesame/sunflower seeds
1/4 tsp salt



METHOD

Grease 8 x8 square pan or line with parchment paper.

Heat the condensed milk on High for 1 minute in a microwave oven.

Add in oat and salt, stir to combine.

Mix in dried fruit, mashed banana and sesame seeds.

Spoon mixture onto prepared pan, spread evenly.

 Bake for 30-35 minutes @ 130 C until done.

While still warm , using pizza cutter, cut into bars.

When completely cool, store in an airtight container.


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Monday, March 26, 2012

MOONG DAL RICE


A fantastic  dish  that offers almost a complete meal using moong dal and rice. There are various ways to cook them. some added ground pepper or other spices as well.

This recipe was perfect. My family raved about how good it was. Perfect blend of seasonings comprise of mustard seeds, whole cumin, ginger and chili powder makes this rice so appetizing that you can eat them without any gravy. I honestly didn't expect them to like it so it was a great surprise! Even the color made it fun for them to eat.

MOONG DAL RICE
Yield    :     2-3 servings

1 C  basmati rice (washed and soaked for 20 minutes, drained)
1/2 C moong dal (washed and soaked 2 hours, drained)
3 tablespoons ghee/butter
1 onion chopped
1/2 in ginger minced
1 tsp whole cumin
1 tsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp chili powder
3.5 C water
salt to taste


METHOD

Heat the ghee in a deep pot. Splutter the mustard seeds, add the cumin and fry until fragrant.

Now add the onion, ginger, chili powder and salt. Fry until onion turns soft.

Mix in rice, water and moong dal, bring to a boil.

Once water has evaporated, reduce heat to the lowest, cover the pot and simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, fluff the rice with a fork.

Serve hot.



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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

GARLIC NAAN


A  staple in most West, Central and South East Asian countries . Naan has also become popular in other parts of the world  especially in Arab states, Europe and North America. This  leavened flat bread  is cooked in tandoor by most North Indian restaurant around the globe.

Since tandoor is unavailable in most homes, the best alternative is  to bake them  in an  ordinary oven or stove top.  Naan comes in different flavors, by varying the toppings.

The recipe below uses only 3 cloves of garlic but you can add more if desired and  I have  cooked  them over the stove top without any topping.  If  topped with  one of the following, cilantro, sesame seeds, nigella seeds, chopped onion or minced garlic, it certainly  improve. the flavor. Below are a few tips for perfect naan:

1. Roll out each naan about 1/4 in thick and not very thick. It will expand during cooking.

2. Cook each naan on preheated cast iron skillet or heavy bottom  pan  using medium heat.

3. Rotating the naan using your hand or with the help of folded dish towel ensuring even cooking.

4. Flip the naan more than once to obtain nice golden color.

Chewy, tender and absolutely delicious paired with spicy gravy.  My son gulped all 4 pieces at one sitting!

GARLIC NAAN
Yield    :    4 Naan

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup warm milk
2 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoon yogurt
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp instant yeast
3 cloves garlic minced or to taste
butter/ghee for brushing

METHOD

Place flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a mixing bowl.

Gradually add the milk and yogurt, mix to form into a soft dough.

On  floured board, knead by hand until smooth for 10 minutes.

Transfer into greased and covered bowl, let rise until double for 1-1/5 hours.

Punch  the dough down, mix in the  minced garlic, knead  dough for 2-3 minutes,  divide into 4 equal balls.

Dust your board lightly with flour, roll out each ball into round or teardrop shape about 1/4 in thick..

Using medium heat, place a naan on heated  cast iron skillet,  constantly rotating the naan  with your hand or with cleaned dish towel until it puffs up, flip and cook the other side.  Flip once more, cook until you have browning on both sides.  Remove and brush with ghee/butter (optional).

Serve hot with your favorite gravy.

Linking to  Yeastspotting 3-23-12/


Monday, March 19, 2012

FOODBUZZ TOP 9 - APPLE CROSTATA

Today's Top 9: March 18, 2012
The best of 5,971 posts from the Foodbuzz Community, as chosen by our editors and users. Browse all 9 »


Hi everyone! Thanks so much for your support and vote for picking my Apple Crostata as your Foodbuzz Top 9 on March 18, 2012.

All that happens due to  your buzzing and right now  I'm getting a couple of new friends and visitors.

This will certainly motivate me to stay active and contribute a worthy post  for all my valued readers.

Have a wonderful day!

Cheers

Friday, March 16, 2012

APPLE CROSTATA


A crostata is an Italian version of a free-form tart, it is called galette by the French. I had used apples as the filling but you can use any other fillings either sweet or savory.  The crust can be made using  food processor or by hand.

It is not difficult to bake one. Here are the tips to make a perfect pie crust:
  1. Butter  and water should be ice cold
  2. Handle the dough as little as possible. Overworking the dough will make it tough. 
  3. Gradually add  enough water to form into a  pliable dough. It must sticks together and not crumbly.
  4. Refrigerate the dough before rolling out 
  5. Prepare the filling 10 minutes  before removing the dough  from the refrigerator.
The following recipe produces a flaky and tender crust that is so easy to handle. It turns out perfectly every time!

APPLE CROSTATA
Yield    :    8 servings

CRUST

2 C all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 C butter cut into cubes
1/4 tsp salt
4-5  tablespoons ice water

FILLING
3 C peeled apples, sliced 1/4 in thick
2 tsp  lemon juice
6 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter to dot


METHOD

Place  flour, sugar  and salt in a mixing bowl.

Using your fingertips,  quickly rub in the butter until  the mixture  resembles bread crumbs.

Gradually add a tablespoon of ice water at a time, use your fingers to press the crumbs firmly together to form a ball of dough.

Wrap the dough in plastic,  chill for 30 minutes-1 hour.

For filling, combine sliced apples and lemon juice. Add the rest of the ingredients except butter.

Roll out the pastry on floured  board into 14 in circle. Transfer them onto baking sheet. Heat the oven @ 190C.

Mound the filling in center of the dough leaving 2 in border around the edges.

Fold edges of  dough over apple filling, crimp edge slightly. Dot with butter.

Bake until crust  turns golden brown for 30-35 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve warm.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

VEGETABLE PASTA


This versatile pasta dish is so healthy and fun to make. It's quick to fix, delicious and always different. just choose the vegetables and any type of pasta (spaghetti, fusilli, fettuccine, penne) you have in stock. For non vegetarian version, you can include chicken, seafood or mince meat to the pasta.

The pleasing pasta is a great accompaniment to most any lunch or dinner.

VEGETABLE PASTA
Yield   :     4 Servings

200g pasta uncooked
5-6 broccoli florets
1 carrot thinly sliced
2 tomato chopped
1 bell pepper sliced, any color
1 onion sliced
3 cloves garlic
1  tsp chili flakes or to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup fresh basil
salt to taste

METHOD

Boil the pasta in salted water according to the package instructions, drain.

Heat the oil in the pan, saute onion until it turns soft. Add in garlic, cook until fragrant.

Add in tomato, stir until it turns soft. Add in the chili flakes and salt, stir well.

Add the broccoli, bell pepper and carrot, stir then sprinkle with 2-3 tablespoons of water, cook until crisp tender.

Now add  cooked pasta and basil, toss gently to combine.

Transfer onto serving platter, serve hot.

Friday, March 9, 2012

PEAS KACHORI


A popular crispy and spicy pastry found  in various parts of India and Pakistan.This snack is stuffed with  green peas and deep fried. It consists of two parts, the dough and its filling.

There are other kachoris available which are filled with moong dhal, urad dhal. onion, potato and even minced meat. Kachoris are often served with a chutney made with tamarind, mint or coriander.

For perfect result, use medium heat when frying  and do not crowd the pan. They are great accompaniment to your cuppa and perfect snack on the go.

PEAS KACHORI
Yield :   8 kachoris

PASTRY

1  cup plain  flour
2  tablespoon   vegetable oil
salt to taste
water

METHOD

Place flour, oil and salt in a mixing bowl. Gradually add water to form into a stiff dough, similar to chapati dough.  Keep for 20 minutes.

FILLING
1 C  cooked green peas mashed
1 in ginger chopped
3 green chili chopped
1 tsp fennel
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp hing
salt to taste
2 TB cooking oil

DIRECTION

Heat the oil, add in fennel, green chili and ginger, fry until fragrant

Add in green peas, chili powder, coriander, cumin. hing and salt, stir until peas is well coated with spices.

Remove and transfer onto a plate to cool.

TO ASSEMBLE

Divide dough into 8 balls, shape each ball into small circle.

Stuff each circle with a tablespoon of filling.

Gather the edge towards the center, flatten into thick circle. Complete the rest of the dough.

Heat about 2 in deep of oil, slide in the kachori and fry until golden brown.

Remove and drain onto absorbent paper.

Serve hot with your cuppa.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

FRUITED PULL APART BREAD


Treat your family with this sweet treat  made from scratch. Bake  with sweet yeast  dough, coated with butter, brown sugar and chopped nuts that's certain to satisfy.

Oozing with warm caramel and nuts, this makes a great breakfast or serve as a special treat for your family and friends.  The sticky and finger licking bread  is best eaten warm. It is well worth the bit of extra effort.

FRUITED PULL APART BREAD
Yield   :    8-10 servings

DOUGH
2.5 cups all purpose flour
2 Tablespoon sugar
2  tsp  instant yeast
4 tablespoons butter melted
1  tsp salt
1  cup warm milk

TOPPING
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup raisin/dates/cranberries
1/4 cup chopped almond/pecan
3 tablespoons butter melted


METHOD

Combine butter, warm milk, sugar and salt in a small bowl.

Place flour and yeast in a mixing bowl.

Gradually add milk mixture to the flour, forms into soft dough.

Transfer onto floured board, knead by  hand or mixer  until smooth.

Transfer dough into oiled and covered bowl, let rise until doubled for 1-1.5 hours.

 Generously grease 8 in round pan, sprinkle a tablespoon of brown sugar in a greased pan.

Combine remaining brown sugar, dried fruit, melted butter and nuts into a large  bowl.

Gently punch the dough down,  pinch the dough into 1.5 in  balls.

Drop the balls into brown sugar mixture, toss to combine. Arrange evenly in pan, sprinkle remaining nuts and fruit over top.

Cover and let sit in the pan  for 45 minutes. Towards the end of rising time, preheat oven @ 190C.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Let sit in the pan for 10 minutes, loosen the edges before inverting onto a serving platter.

Serve warm.

Linking to  Yeastspotting 3-9-12

Friday, March 2, 2012

DATES & CORNFLAKES COOKIES


These Dates and Cornflakes Cookies are healthy and low in fat. They  are wonderfully  tasty, crunchy and crisp.  It  can  be made easily and enjoyed with a cup of tea.

Made with dates and conflakes but  if you are not a fan of dates, feel free to swap with sultana or apricot.

Let's check out the recipe:

DATES & CORNFLAKES COOKIES
Yield    :   20-24 cookies

70g  butter softened
1/2 C self rising flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 C chopped dates
3/4 C crushed cornflakes


METHOD

Cream butter and brown sugar, add in the rest of the ingredients.

Pinch dough and shape into small ball, lightly  flatten them.

Place the balls onto baking sheet.

Bake until golden brown for 12-15 minutes @ 160C.

Transfer onto rack to cool.

Store in an airtight container when completely cool.

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