Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Celebrate the The Vegetarian Fest with Tofu and Peanut Dip

The Vegetarian Festival of Phuket, Thailand is celebrated each year at the end of September to beginning of October, which lasts for nine days. The largest island of Thailand, named as ‘Pearl of the South’ looks spectacular on this fest. On this fest, the Chinese community considers the event as the beginning of the month of ‘Taoist Lent’, according to which the followers of the Tao, restrict themselves from eating meat and meat products. The main centre where the festival is celebrated is Jui Tui temple. It is the oldest and well renowned temple of Phuket. Highlights include:
  • Walking on hot coals
  • Climbing knife-blade ladders
  • Piercing skin with sharp tools
I thought of making something out of tofu for the vegans/vegetarians. Hope you liked my vegan recipe ideas for Father's Day special. You can smartly substitute almond with peanuts, for the people allergic to peanuts. Tofu can be deep fried directly or you can have it as follows. 
Fried Tofu with Peanut Dipping Sauce Recipe
For Deep Fried Tofu
1 pound Tofu,
Oil for deep frying as needed,
4 tablespoons Cornstarch or Flour.
Preparation method:-
  1. Drain the tofu. Cut the tofu into triangles or squares as desired. Roll the tofu in the cornstarch or flour. Heat wok and add oil for deep frying. Heated the oil to 350 D. F.
  2. Fry, until the tofu is golden on both sides. Remove with a skimmer spoon and drain on paper towels. Keep warm while frying the remaining tofu.
  3. Serve with Chinese-Style Peanut Sauce.
For Chinese-Style Peanut Sauce
1 pinch Salt,
2 tablespoons Sugar,
2 tablespoons Vinegar,
7 sprigs sliced Cilantro,
1 teaspoon ground fresh Chili paste,
2 tablespoons toasted and crushed Peanuts.
Preparation Method:-
  1. Take a large microwave bowl to prevent over boiling. In a microwavable bowl, combine sugar, ground fresh chili paste, salt and vinegar. Heat up for a minute or till sugar is dissolved.  
  2. Stir the sauce with a spoon to blend all the ingredients in. Add the crushed, toasted peanuts and top with the sliced cilantro. 
Enjoy the spirit of the fest!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Enjoy Galway Oyster Festival with Oyster Stew

Fond of seafood? How can you miss the Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival then? This is a major Irish Food Festival. From September 25 to September 28, 2014, you can participate and enjoy in the events like Best Dressed Lady competition, Street Party and Guinness World Oyster Opening Championships. If you are finding the most luscious gourmet seafood along with full-fledged live music, Galway Oyster Festival is something you must never miss. 
3 cups milk,
4 tablespoons butter,
½ cup fresh Cream,
Salt and pepper to taste,
2 dashes Tabasco sauce,
2 pints shucked oysters with their liquid,
Minced parsley, sliced chives, or sliced green onions.
Preparation Method:-
  1. Drain the oysters, reserving their liquor. Now, in a large pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add oysters, with liquid and simmer very gently for about 4 minutes or until the edges of the oysters curl-up.
  2. In a separate saucepan over low heat, add milk, cream, and oyster liquor. Do not boil.
  3. When the oysters are completely cooked, slowly add the hot milk mixture to the oysters, stirring gently. Season with Tabasco sauce, salt and pepper.
  4. Remove from heat. Serve in warm soup bowls. Garnish with parsley, chives, or green onions and butter. Enjoy with garlic bread!
     Enjoy the Galway Oyster Festival to the fullest!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Keep Calm and Eat

Life seems to have shaken hands with stress. Getting up in the morning, going to the gym or walk, preparing meal, packing the lunch box, having breakfast, traffic, work pressure, coming back, again cooking, OMG! We always wish for a meal that is quick, tasty,healthy and something that removes stress. All we need to do is smart shopping that helps in quick cooking.
Muesli with Milk - It is often said, milk is complete food. I completely agree with this. It keeps you energetic throughout the day. 
Method 1: This quick and easy recipe needs hardly anytime to prepare. Mix muesli, Greek yogurt, milk and honey (desired sweetness). Place it in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill overnight. Sprinkle chia seeds in the morning. Enjoy :)
Method 2: Boil 1/2 cup of muesli and milk. Let it cool for 5 minutes. Top with seasonal fruits!
Healthy Smoothie: Avocado, coconut milk, apple juice and berries make a great smoothie. Though there are variety of healthy smoothies, and you can opt for anyone, this is my favorite one. <3 <3

Spicy Chicken and Vegetable Soup: Spices like ground nutmeg, garlic and curry powder add a kick to the hearty stew/soup. Such spices make digestion strong and also heal the guts. The nutrients get easily absorbed and surprisingly satisfy the sugar craving as well. Adding veggies like carrots, leek, cabbage are always welcomed. With addition of skinless and boneless chicken, the taste is doubled, trust me. Sometimes I even prefer having this light recipe with boiled rice, starch removed, during the lunch. We can relish the yummzz at dinner as well with multigrain bread or gluten-free as per choice.
Greens with Cashew and Ginger Stir-fry: Green leafy vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals. They are known as disease-fighting phytochemicals. They are rich in fibre and reduce weight. And trust me if cooked well, they are very tasty. The technique of preparing yummy green leafy vegetable is the amount of water you use in it. Unless we are preparing curry, broth or soup, use minimum water. Addition of ingredients such as ginger and cashews, give it a gingerly plus nutty taste. Ginger cure various stomach problems. It relieves us from arthritis, menstrual pain, respiratory infections and bronchitis. Ginger tea is widely recommended if one is suffering from cold, cough and flu. Cashew prevents cancer and keeps the heart healthy. It is very good for hair and skin. It keeps the bones strong. A delish stir-fry of broccoli, carrots, pak choi, kale with the garlic ginger blend and soya sauce sooths the taste buds. Cashew is just like icing on the sugar. Delectable blend :P
Enjoy Stress-free recipes!

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Welcome Mid-Autumn Festival with Authentic Mooncake

The Mid-Autumn Festival of China, also called the Moon Cake Festival is falling on September 8, 2014. It is denoted a harvesting festival which is stuffed with sweet treats. The markets and houses are flooded with mooncakes, a month before the arrival of the fest. Mooncakes are made up of thin dough shells. They contain heavenly fillings like red bean paste, chocolate, nuts, dates etc. This festival is considered as one of the best shindig, after the New Year celebration. It is accompanied by pomelos (Chinese grapefruit) eating competition. Well, the word eating reminds me, I’m very fond of Chinese food especially sweet and sour pork with pineapple and dumplings :P.
The Moon Cake festival is accompanied by pomelos (Chinese grapefruit), eating competition. It is marked by fire-dragon dances and lantern burning all over the night, which lightens and brightens up the place. People worship lunar goddess Chang’e and devotees burn incense sticks in the honour. Chinese believe that the Goddess lives on moon with a jade rabbit. There is a famous moon-watching spot in the city of Hangzhou. Here, there are  three candlelit towers in West Lake, beautifully decorated with lights and lanterns. Let's welcome the Moon Cake Festival with Authentic Mooncake recipe.
Authentic Mooncake Recipe
For the Mooncake Dough:-
25 ml Peanut oil,
2 ml Alkaline water,
100 grams All-purpose flour,
70 grams golden syrup.
For the Mooncake Filling:-
415 grams edible lotus paste,
40 grams melon seeds.
Preparation Method:-
1. Mix lotus paste with melon seeds. Divide the filling and shape into small balls. Set aside. Place the golden syrup in a bowl. Add in alkaline water and stir well. Add in oil and mix well.
3. Place flour in a mixing bowl, make a well in the centre. Add in the above mixture. Gently knead the dough till smooth. Dust the working surface with some flour.
5. Divide the dough into small balls. Dust hand with flour and flatten each ball of dough into a small disc, about 5 cm in diameter. Wrap in it the filling made above and shape it into balls.
6. Lightly dust the wrapped dough with some flour. Place in the mooncake mould and press the mooncake out. Place mooncake on a baking tray, with parchment paper. Spray some water on the mooncakes.
7. Bake at preheated oven at 180 D.C for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 15 minutes. Brush the top with some egg wash. Return to oven and continue to bake for another 15 minutes until golden brown.
9. Leave mooncakes to cool completely and store in airtight containers. Enjoy!
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Food and Drinks at Bestival

From September 4th to 7th, 2014, enjoy the Bestival at Robin Hill Country Park, near Newport on the wonderful Isle of Wight. The occasion will be accompanied by lotto music from 11 am to 5 am. This  award winning, 4 day boutique, music festival will include pioneering music events and releases of records from Rob da Bank’s, Sunday Best empire. The Events that will be covered include:-
  • Boutique campsite experience
  • Cocktail Bar
  • Wishing Tree Stage
  • Fancy dress competition
  • Landlocked Port
The festival brings with it lotto music, dance, peace and love. Nevertheless, any occasion is incomplete without yummy food. The fest is surrounded by famous food chains, restaurants, popular chefs etc. Let's have a look at the food highlights.
Italian Food Specialty
Pizza and pasta comes to our mind when we think or talk about Italian cuisine. Nevertheless Margherita pizza, pesto, pasta and couscous (with added chorizo) are the centre of attraction for a majority of people on Bestival. Kids enjoy tomato and cheese focaccia and buttery crumpets.
American Cuisine Specialty

When you talk about fast, processed or junk food, American food comes first to our mind. Authentic food from US consists of different type of burgers with yummy relishes. Some delectable burgers include Triple Smoke Burger, Tapenade-Filled Burger, Turkey Cheddar Burger, Portobello Buffalo Burgers with Celery Apple Slaw, Chipotle Pork Cheeseburgers etc. Relishes include artichoke relish, jalapeno pepper relish, hot pepper relish, chow-chow relish etc. Apart from this, potatoes with melted Swiss cheese, topped with peppers and gherkins, hash browns, varieties of French fries and seafood recipes attracts crowd the most.
Desserts and Drinks 
Any festival is incomplete without the sweet treat, desserts and drinks. People relish authentic chocolate cake and boozy carrot cake. Variety of cream tea and creamy-frothy coffees also form a major part of merry making for the tea and coffee lovers. Cocktails and mocktails keep up the spirit of the festival.
Enjoy the Bestival!