February 27, 2012

Soft Breakfast Pancakes

Do you remember the mornings when you wake up and realize you don't have any readymade Dosa batter in the fridge nor are you in a mood for any elaborate cooking?  I was in one such mood this morning. How often can I keep feeding Aaron oats for his breakfast ! I wanted him to try something else today. So off  I scampered to the kitchen  in my pajamas and sleepy as hell to see what provisions I have. I needed something healthy and quick so Aaron can have the same thing as me. 2 over ripe Bananas!!! Time to go grocery shopping but its too late for that. I need to feed my little one soon too. Suddenly I think of my mom's quick, easy and yummy pancakes. I quickly mixed up the batter and kept it to rise for 20 minutes while I freshen up my sonny boy. As soon as he is ready, Voila!!! So is his breakfast!!! Thank you Amma for teaching me this super duper easy recipe.

You will need:
Maida - 2 cups
Small Ripe Bananas - 2
Eggs - 2
Baking Powder -  3 tsp
Sugar - 2 Tbsp
Vanilla Essence -  1 tsp
Water - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste

Cream together the bananas and the eggs.
Add rest of the ingredients and make it into a smooth batter.
The batter should not be too thin but of a creamy pourable consistency.
Keep the batter aside to rise slightly for about 20 to 30 minutes.
Heat a flat non stick skillet and spoon the mixture. You don’t have to spread it with a spoon like a dosa.
Once you get small holes on the pancake, flip to cook on the other side for a few seconds and remove from fire.
Serve it warm with a good drizzling of Maple syrup/ Honey / Chocolate sauce / Whipped cream. It is also very tasty with a serving of fresh fruit such as bananas or strawberries too.
Enjoy a hearty quick breakfast.

Tip: Don't add too much sugar as the pancake tends to burn quickly on the underside within few seconds of pouring the batter on the hot pan.

February 26, 2012

Fish Pie topped with Mashed Potato

I have been wanting to make fish pie for really long time but had no guests or occasion happening. My sister, Rebecca, calls to tell me she is coming to spend time with my son, Aaron and I immediately grabbed the opportunity to make use of the Sear fish sitting in my freezer. I had no time to look up any recipes so decided to do my own based on what I had read in a magazine a few months back. She enjoyed it as much as I did and I am very glad I tried it. Now I have another successful recipe for a dinner party in my kitty. You should definitely give this a shot the next time you are planning a dinner party.

You will need :
Seer Fish - 800 gms
Capsicum - 1 chopped
Onion - 2 chopped
Ginger - 1 inch piece grated
Milk - 600 ml
Lemon Juice - 1 1/2 tsp
Plain Flour - 50 gms
Butter - 100 gms
Salt, Pepper and Garlic powder - To Taste
Potatoes - 4 Medium boiled and peeled

Poach the fish by putting the fish in a pan with 500 ml milk, chopped onions, capsicums, grated ginger, pepper and salt. Reduce flame and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.
Strain the liquid and keep it aside.
Flake the fish with a fork into large pieces. Add lemon juice to it.

Make the white sauce.
For this, melt the butter, add the flour and cook for almost a minute. Be careful not to burn it. Reduce heat and add the poaching liquid. Stir with a wire whisk till the sauce thickens.
Add the garlic powder and the flaked fish mixture. Pour into a baking dish.

Mash the potatoes with the remaining warm milk and season it with the salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Top the fish mixture with the mashed potatoes. I simply spooned it this time but you can also pipe it on top of the fish making it much fancier.
Bake in the preheated for 30 minutes at 180 Degrees.
Serve hot with toast.

You can also add 4 hard boiled eggs cut into small quarters.
Or Add equal parts of peas and sweet corn kernels.
Or Add 500 gms Raw king prawns to it before baking.

February 20, 2012

American Chopsuey

When we were children, our standard lunch outing would be to go to Shinkows in Ooty. With eager hearts and salivating mouths, we wait for the waiter who hands us the menu. "Who wants the menu? We already know what we want. I want American Chopsuey, Amma !" "Me too" and "me too"  echoes my sisters. Those were the best days. 

Then we had forgotten about it for a long time until very recently, I asked my husband, "I pity you love. You eat all those lavish feasts in your ship and here I give you really simple food. Tell me anyyyyything that you feel like eating and I will make it for you now." He replies very confidently, "Can you please learn how to make American Chopsuey? It is my favorite and the only way I like to eat noodles." My heart sank to the bottom of the ocean. American Chopsuey !!! Oops, I am in huge trouble now. I promised him I would make him anything and he asked me for American Chopsuey. Isn't it very complicated? How will I make it? All sorts of doubts and thoughts whispered inside my head. However, I was quite determined to learn it. I quickly looked up online for a recipe and Voila! I found it. I had an hour to make it before my baby Aaron woke up from his slumber. Fortunately, I had all the ingredients at home. In an hour, with my own alterations to the recipe, I did it!! I finally made my childhood favorite dish which I now know, is my husband's too. I am so glad I gathered the guts to try it out because it was just truly amazing and so easy to make. I plated it up and served it to my husband who gasped with such shock and delight at what I made. He couldn't believe what he saw and ate up the whole serving. It totally made my day. Nothing more makes a wife or a cook more happier than to see the person you cooked for, enjoy your food like its the best thing they've ever had! 

I really had to share this recipe with all. If I can make it, anyone can. Go ahead and try it! You will thank me for it.

You will need :
Chicken (boiled, shredded)- 1/4 cup 
Spring Onion (chopped) - 1/2 cup 
Carrot (chopped) - 1/4 cup 
Green Capsicum cut into squares - 1/4 cup 
Cabbage cut into squares - 1/4 cup
Black Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Ginger paste - 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1/4 tsp
Chicken stock ( I use Maggi chicken stock cubes) - 1 cup
Tomato Sauce - 4 tbsp
Soy Sauce - 1 tbsp
Green Chili Sauce - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Sugar - 1 tbsp 
1 tsp Vinegar
Corn Flour - 1½ tbsps 
Hakka noodles - ¼ lb 

For the Chopsuey Sauce: 
Heat 4 tbsp. of oil in pan and add ginger paste, spring onions, carrot, capsicum, cabbage, chilli powder and salt.
Stir fry this over high heat for a minute before adding chicken pieces. Fry another couple of minutes.
Add tomato sauce, chilli sauce, sugar, vinegar, stock and salt to taste. Bring to a boil.
In a separate cup mix corn flour with cold water, mix it well and then combine with the boiling sauce.
Keep stirring till the sauce becomes thick. Set aside while you prepare the crispy noodles.

For the Crispy Noodles:
Boil water, add noodles and salt.
Cook uncovered for couple of minutes till the noodles are soft and firm but not mushy.
Drain and wash with cold water. Add a little bit of oil to keep the noodles from sticking.
Heat plenty of oil in a deep frying pan to frying heat. Add drained noodles in circles.
Remove on a kitchen towel when crisp and golden.

To serve the Chopsuey: 
Place the crispy noodles in a serving bowl (or deep plate). 
Pour the hot Chopsuey sauce over it.
Place a fried egg on top of it and serve immediately with a sprinkling of chopped spring onions.

February 15, 2012

Perfect Panna Cotta with Mango Sauce

Wife :Oh No! I have guests tonight. I don't know what to make in such a short notice!!!
Husband :That's ok sweetie! Lets order in but can you please make a dessert atleast?

This is a typical conversation in most households. Make a dessert atleast? What is he thinking? Well well... Don't sweat. When you have this recipe for Panna Cotta with you, you will soon be the dessert queen in your neighborhood. Try with different variations of toppings on this and Voila! You will have different dessert each time!!! 

You will need :
Amul Fresh Cream - 1 litre (Reduce the cream and add a cup of buttermilk instead for a lighter panna cotta. Do not boil the buttermilk but add it to the cream when you are mixing it with gelatin)
Sugar - 3/4th cup
Vanilla Essence - 2 teaspoons
Gelatin - 4 1/2 teaspoons
Cold water - 90 ml

Panna Cotta is an Italian dessert and means cooked cream. Our first step is just that.

Heat the cream and sugar in a large saucepan until the sugar is dissolved.
Remove from heat and add the vanilla essence.
Lightly grease 6-8 moulds (if you plan to unmold it) or keep 8 wine goblets ready.
Sprinkle the gelatin in the cold water and let it stand for 10 minutes
Pour the warm Panna Cotta mixture into the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved
Strain the mixture into your moulds or wine goblets and chill until set. This would probably take 2 hours minimum.
While this is chilling, prepare your topping. My favorite is Mango sauce. 

For the sauce, you will need:
Ripe Mango Pureed - 1
Dessert wine or white wine - 1/2 cup
Sugar to taste
Cinnamon- 1 stick

Simmer the above ingredients on low heat for 10 minutes. Cool and remove the cinnamon stick before serving.
To unmold, place the moulds in warm water for 2-3 minutes.
Keep the serving plate above it and turn it quickly.
Top it with mango sauce and serve immediately.

Corn and Egg Souffle

I am sure we all have been in a mood where we want to have something different for breakfast and don't really have the time or patience to slog for hours together in the morning. I have the perfect recipe to complete your Continental breakfast craving. It is easy and can be made in minutes. Don't be surprised if your children make it for you next Sunday ! It is that easy and tasty.

You will need:
Sweet Corn Kernels - 125 gms
Eggs - 4
Grated Cheese - 4 tbsp
Bacon Rashers sliced – 1

Preheat the oven to 200 Degrees Centigrade.
Divide the sweet corn kernels between the four greased soufflé pots.
Beat an egg into each pot and sprinkle with cheese and bacon.
Place pots on a baking tray and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve immediately with warm toast and sautéed sausages.

Soft Banana Muffins

I always end up having over ripe bananas in my kitchen. The easiest way to use them up is to quickly whip up a batch of yummy soft banana muffins. Your healthy breakfast on the go, ready in a jiffy !!!

You will need :
All Purpose flour - 200 gms
Baking Powder- 2 tsp
Baking Soda- 1 tsp
Granulated Sugar- 115 gms
Egg- 1
Ripe Bananas Mashed - 3
Buttermilk- 1 cup
Oil- 2 tbsp
Vanilla Extract- 1 tsp

As always, first thing to do before you start any baking is... Preheat!
Preheat your oven to 190 Degrees C.
Grease a 12 hole muffin pan or line with your favourite fancy cupcake liners.
Sift all the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
In another bowl beat the egg, mashed banana, buttermilk, oil and the vanilla essence.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients. Mix just until well incorporated. Dont over mix.
Spoon into muffin cups till about 3/4th full. Place a cashewnut in the middle (optional).
Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Take it out of the oven and cool for about 15 minutes in the tin.
Your yummy banana muffins are ready!!!
Savour it with some whipped cream or as it is.

February 14, 2012

Tibetan Steamed Beef Dumplings with Sepen dip

Here I am, with the first recipe of my blog - Tibetan Steamed Beef Dumplings with Sepen dip! When I was working in Chennai, we used to frequent this quaint little Tibetan joint near Choolaimedu. They served the best Momos (Dumplings) ever and I could never find another momo joint which matches to that taste. Fortunately, I stumbled onto this recipe and gave it a shot. Boy, am I glad I did !!!

For the outer covering:
Flour – 3 cups
Water – 3/4th cup

Make smooth dough with the above ingredients and cover it with a damp cloth while you prepare the filling. Otherwise it can get quite dry making it difficult to mould.

For the filling:
Onions chopped - 2
Fresh ginger chopped - 2 inches
Garlic chopped - 2  cloves
A bunch of cilantro chopped
Cabbage chopped - 500 gms
Raw Minced Meat (Yes,thats right. RAW!!! ) - 500 gms 
Soy Sauce - 2  tablespoons
Maggie chicken stock cubes - 2

Mix all the above ingredients and add salt if necessary
Divide the dough into small balls (smaller than lime)
Flatten it quite thin so that its thicker in the centre and thin towards the edges
Stuff with the meat and cabbage filling.
Pinch the edges and give it a twist making sure it is closed well
Steam it for 15-20 minutes on low flame until done.
Serve with the fiery Tibetan hot sauce called Sepen. Recipe below.

Tip: While steaming,oil a plantain leaf and place the dumplings on top of the greased leaf to prevent the dough from sticking at the bottom.

Sepen Dip
Red Dry Chillies- 1 cup soaked in water for at least an hour
Coriander leaves- 1/2 cup chopped
Garlic -5 to 6 pods
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Vinegar and salt-to taste

Grind the above ingredients together in a blender and serve with your yummy steamed dumplings. Enjoy!!!