Thursday, April 16, 2015

Shakshuka An Israeli Breakfast for Dinner

Shakshuka is an Israeli Dish, which can be eaten as lunch, brunch or even dinner. This dish is a bright red spicy with the eggs dunked in a rich tomato sauce.  It's like eggs in purgatory. Eat this with pita bread or a challah and you have a super delicious dish.

3 tbs Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
3 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Sweet Paprika
6 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
¾ tsp Salt, more as needed
¼ tsp Black Pepper, more as needed
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
6 large eggs
 Chopped Cilantro, for serving

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook gently until very soft, about 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes; stir in cumin and paprika and  cook 1 minute. Put in the chopped tomatoes and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; simmer until tomatoes have thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in crumbled feta. Gently crack eggs into skillet over tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Close the skillet with a tight cover and cook the eggs for about 8 minutes till the egg white become firm but yokes look soft. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Tip:  You could use kashmiri chilli powder in the same amounts with about 1/2 tsp of honey if you don't have paprika around. And for feta, paneer is also a good substitute. I have tried both these substitutes while cooking and the results are still amazing.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cointreau Caramel Orange Cake from Ravinder Bhogal

You know while feeding the baby and watching television, Ravinder's Kitchen came up and one of the episodes demonstrated this rather tempting looking recipe. You know when you rub your hands with a devilish glee, that's what I was feeling, my heart was brimming with the urge to give this a go. The orangey caramelly cake is delish - and I took this over for the weekend at mt inlaws!!!!

3 oranges
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
150g flour, sifted
125g caster sugar
2 large eggs
150mls whole milk
75g butter

For the caramel:
150g caster sugar
250mls water
2 tablespoons Cointreau

Preheat the oven to Gas mark 4 / 180 degrees C.To make the caramel, place the sugar and water in a heavy bottomed or cast iron pan – I use a 25cm tarte tatin pan. Swirl the sugar water until it turns dark amber in colour – do not stir, as this will cause it to crystallize. Swirl in the Cointreau and take off the heat. Carefully place the sliced oranges directly over the caramel, overlapping them slightly. For the cake batter, cream the butter, caster sugar and baking powder, a little at a time. Finally stir in the milk until all incorporated being careful not to overmix. Pour the batter over the caramel and oranges and bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until
Pour the batter over the caramel and oranges and bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until the sponge is springy and cooked through.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

Ever since Ezra has been born everything has taken a back seat especially because I got this child after 7 years. I was diagnosed with a sickness which did not medically allow me to conceive but against all the odds that I was posed with I still went ahead with the commitment that I would have my second child - which I did. How? By the sheer faith in the God that I serve. I am slowly coming back to updating my blog and slowly trying to give this little space a little more spruce but for those who have been consistently looking through recipes out here. Seriously I am indeed grateful.
So when the visits from people were in plenty this was something I baked to serve the round of visitors that kept coming. An easy and impeccably lovely bake to try!

Yield: 2 loaves (10-12 slices each)

3½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
4 eggs
4 egg yolks
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 bag (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans; set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla. Set aside.In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 4-5 minutes). Add the egg mixture gradually. Continue to mix for an additional 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Switch the mixer to low speed and gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips. Divide the batter between the two loaf pans, smoothing out the top. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes - or until a toothpick inserted near the center tests clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes before removing from the pan to cool completely.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

It's one of those days when I'm searching for something that I haven't tried baking before and rightly my mother in law had given me organic pineapples all the way from Kerala. So to put them into use I went onto my all time favorite website Joy of Baking and followed her recipe to the tee!


4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
3/4 cup, light brown sugar
1 medium pineapple (peeled, quartered, cored, and sliced 1/4 inch thick)

For the Cake Batter:
1 1/2 cups (195 grams) All purpose flour
2 teaspoons Baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) Unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) Granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
2 large Eggs, separated
1/2 cup Milk
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 180 C. Butter (or spray with a non stick vegetable spray) a 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pan with three inch (7.5 cm) sides.

Topping:Place the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Continue cooking, without stirring, for a few more minutes or until bubbles just start to appear around the outside edges of the mixture (the sugar starts to caramelize). Then remove from heat, and pour into your prepared cake pan. Evenly arrange the fresh pineapple
slices on top of the sugar mixture.

Cake Batter: In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat in the vanilla extract. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture (in three additions), alternately with the
milk (in two additions), ending with the dry ingredients. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar just until the whites hold a firm peak. With a large spatula gently fold the beaten egg whites into the cake batter in two additions. Pour the batter into the cake pan, smoothing the top. Bake in preheated oven
for 45 -55 minutes, or until the top of the cake has browned and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan (a toothpick inserted into the cake (not the pineapple) will come out clean). Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan and then invert the cake onto your serving plate. Serve with softly whipped cream.

Thattukada Style Beef Fry

This was really long long ago during the Kuwait Invasion and we were in Ernakulam for a short time. The weekends Appa would step out to buy parota and beef. I remember once when me and my brother hopped on the scooter with him to buy "parcel dinner". And while Appa ordered at the thattukada (street vendor - with the cart selling hot food on the go)  me and my brother would watch the thattukadakaaran throw some onions and curry leaf into a huge kadai and then once that is browned thrown in a ladle or two of cooked beef (that's his preparation) and sprinkle in some soya sauce, toss it all up and quickly wrap it all up into banana leaf with hot parotas bundled up in a newspaper. The aroma of the hot beef being cooked and steaming parotas, is something that's stuck onto my memory and would be for a long time! Those were indeed some days......down below is my version of the thattukada style beef fry that should be eaten with Kerala Parota.

Beef - 500gms
Onions - 3, sliced finely
Ginger-2tbs julienned
Garlic - 4 - 5 plum pods sliced
Cloves - 4
Cinnamon sticks - 2, 1"sticks broken
Peppercorns - 10-12 crushed
Turmeric Powder - 1/4tsp
Kashmiri Chili powder - ½ tbsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Fennel Seed Powder -1/2 tsp
Soya Sauce - 1-2tbs (depending on one's preference)
Salt to taste
Curry leaves- 2 sprigs

Cut the beef into bite size pieces. Add julienned ginger and garlic, turmeric powder, chili powder, fennel seed powder, coriander powder into a pressure cooker along with the beef and cook for about 5-6 whistles or alternatively into a non stick pan with enough water until cooked and the pan juices are well coated. Heat oil onto a non-stick pan and fry the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and crushed peppercorns till they release their aroma and tip in the curry leaves. Add in the sliced onions and fry till golden brown. Then add in the cooked beef and saute it all on medium heat till nicely browned and then dab in the soya sauce. Coat the beef with the soya sauce and turn off the flame. You could garnish with chopped onion, lime wedges and some more fried curry leaves.

Cinnamon Crumble Apple Cake

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