Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Paint the World Red with La Tomatina Festival

The great cultural extravaganza Spanish food fight festival, La Tomatina is here. Hope you enjoyed my last year’s tomato and meat recipe, Meatballs with Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce. The fest gets popular from year to year with the streets of Bunol running blood red with juicy tomato. The festival is welcomed by singing, dancing, parades, fireworks etc.
The festival is complete fun but let's adhere to the rules as well. Just have a look:-
-Bring your goggles to avoid acidic tomato pulp going into the eyes
-Squish tomatoes before throwing on one another such that it does not hurt anyone
-Avoid bottles and other sharp objects
-Girls must wear bikini underneath clothes
-Wear tight and strong shoes.
Let's add some more spice to La Tomatina with Spicy Fire Roasted Tomatoes and Tortellini Soup
1 Clove Garlic,
Salt as required,
6 oz. fresh Tortellini,
1 quart Chicken Broth,
8 leaves chopped Basil,
1 chopped Green Chilly,
10 oz. chopped Spinach,
Black Pepper as required,
2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter,
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano,
14 oz. canned diced fire Roasted Tomatoes with liquid.
Preparation Method:-
  1. Melt butter in a saucepan. Put over medium-high heat. Add garlic, chillies and saute until fragrant. This takes two minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  2. Now add tortellini and cook halfway for two minutes. Add canned tomatoes and their liquid. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook until the tortellini is soft.
  3. Stir fry spinach and basil in butter for five minutes on simmer. Add this and cheese in soup and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Serve hot! I love pairing the soup with cheese and garlic bread. What do you pair it with?
Enjoy La Tomatina!

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Munch on Australian Vegemite and Cheese Scrolls

Tea is incomplete without a tasty snack. Whether you want to enjoy evening tea with your soul mate alone by the bedroom window or with crazy bunch of friends, a good coffee/tea with a yet tasty snack is always welcomed by millions. Let’s enjoy something from the land of Australia today. Vegemite and cheese scrolls are all delicious and delight and brings smile even if the budget is tight. Agree or not? The best part of this snack is that it can be popped into office lunch boxes or enjoyed over and again with high tea. Moreover I am very fond of crazy snacks recipes. Let's try the following delight.
Australian Vegemite and Cheese Scrolls
250 ml Milk,
Salt to taste,
Pepper to taste,
Vegemite to taste,
250 grams Self Raising Flour,
30 grams chopped cold Butter,
55 grams grated Swiss Cheese.
Preparation Method:-
1. Preheat the oven to 200 D.C. Grease with butter, a medium sized baking tray.
2. Add flour, butter and seasonings in a food processor blend until it resembles fresh breadcrumbs.
3. Now add milk. Mix until combined. Tip the dough out on a slightly floured bench top. Roll into a 30 x 45 cm rectangle.
4. Spread Vegemite and top with grated cheese generously . Roll into a log. Cut into 2 cm slices. Place onto a greased oven tray.
5. Bake for 18 minutes or until golden. Serve warm or at room temperature with hot tea or coffee.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Add Colors on Independence day with Chicken Dopiaza

Hey pals! How are you doing? Hope you have enjoyed my vegetarian recipe, Dal Makhni (Black Lentils, Red Kidney Beans and Indian Spices Gravy). India is not only popular because of it's vegetarian recipes but non-vegetarian delights equally rule over the heart of millions. I am preparing Chicken Dopiaza today, wherein Hindi language "Do" means two and "piaza" means onion. Nevertheless Chicken Dopiaza is all about the rich chicken gravy with prominent flavors of onions. Not only this but "Lamb Dopiaza" is one of the most demanded curries in Indian homes and restaurants. I have used Garam Masala (Indian Powdered Ready-made Spices) here. It is available on general stores pretty easily. I also have a remedy for it if it isn’t available. 
Garam masala is powdered mixture of black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and mace, black and green cardamom pods, bay leaf and cumin seeds. Hence you can prepare it easily at home to enjoy real flavors of any spicy Indian recipe. I have already kept a bottle at my home, you don’t require grinding these ingredients each time. Just like Dal Makhni, this recipe is best paired with Naan (oven baked flatbread), lacha parantha (multi-layered fried North Indian flatbread) or steamed rice, if you are a rice eater just like me. I also like pairing it with Dry Fruit Fried Rice or Kashmiri Pulao. You must try this recipe also, rice lovers are gonna love it, I can bet. Let's add some more colors and spice on the India’s Independence day with "Chicken Dopiaza".
4 diced Onions,
1 teaspoon Salt,
8 Chicken Thighs,
2 chopped Tomatoes,
4 tablespoons Yoghurt,
3 chopped Garlic Cloves,
½ tablespoon Chilli Powder,
1 tablespoon of Mustard Oil,
1 teaspoon ground Turmeric,
½ tablespoon Garam Masala,
1 tablespoon Coriander Seeds,
1 1/2 tablespoons grated Ginger,
1 tablespoon Cumin Seeds Powder.
Preparation Method:-
  1. Blend onions, ginger and garlic. Set aside. Take a pan and heat oil. Put in the sliced onions and fry until golden brown. Remove the onions and set aside.
  2. Remove pan from the heat. Add the blended onion paste. Place the pan back on heat. Keep stirring the paste for 3 minutes, till it turns golden brown.
  3. Add coriander, cumin, turmeric plus chilli powder. Stir well. Add in two tablespoon of yogurt. Mix well. Add chicken. Stir for a minute. Let chicken be well coated with the spicy mixture in the pan.
  4. Add in tomatoes and salt. Stir thoroughly. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Sprinkle over garam masala and fried onions. Cook till the chicken is completely cooked.
  5. Serve with naan, lacha parantha or steamed rice.
Happy Independence Day!

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Celebrate Independence Day with Dal Makhni

15 August plays very important role for Indians. Overthrowing colonial British rule led to India's tryst with destiny, which was a major speech delivered by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. Independence day is also celebrated in New York and other major cities in US. It is observed that more than 50,000 Indians showcase and enjoy the colors of their cultural extravaganza in New York City wherein dance performances are among the highlights of the programme. The atmosphere is nevertheless charged with vibrancy and festive spirit of Indian culture. If such is the spirit of Indians in US, imagine the celebration throughout India. 
We may not be present there but we can definitely taste popular delicacy of India and cheers for Indians. So let’s prepare Dal Makhni or Daal Makhni. To add onto this, I am very fond of Indian recipes. Hope you have tried Traditional Rajasthani red meat recipe. Dal Makhni is a spicy and heavy vegetarian recipe prepared of black lentil, red kidney beans, butter, heavy cream and lots of Indian spices. It is best paired with Naan (oven baked flatbread), lacha parantha (multi-layered fried North Indian flatbread) or plain boiled rice, if you are a rice eater just like me.
Dal Makhni (Black Lentils, Red Kidney Beans and Indian Spices Gravy)
4 cups Water,
Salt as required,
1 chopped Onion,
2 chopped Tomatoes,
6 cloves minced Garlic,
1 tablespoon Salted Butter,
1 teaspoon Cumin Powder,
½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder,
½ teaspoon Red Chili Powder,
3 tablespoons Full Fat Cream,
1 tablespoon shredded Ginger,
½ cup Red Kidney Beans (Rajma),
1 cup Whole Black Gram (Urad dal),
3 tablespoons Clarified butter (Ghee),
1 tablespoon Garam Masala (Indian Powdered Ready-made Spices).
Preparation Method:-
  1. Soak whole black lentils and red kidney beans overnight. Take a pressure cooker. Add all the ingredients with water.
  2. Pressure cook with 15 whistles. Let the cooker cool. Check if the lentils are cooked. Check by mashing them up with spoon. They must easily mash.
  3. If not cooked thoroughly, again pressure cook for 3 whistles more with 2 cups of water. Now again open the cooker, after cooling. Let the dal simmer in the cooker for 15 minutes. By this time, you achieve smooth and creamy consistency.
  4. Add one tablespoon of cream if desired. Simmer for 5 minutes more. Add on salted butter while serving.
  5. Serve with Naan, Lacha Patantha or Steamed Rice.
Happy Independence Day!