Showing newest 12 of 20 posts from 1/2/09 - 1/3/09. Show older posts
Showing newest 12 of 20 posts from 1/2/09 - 1/3/09. Show older posts

Wednesday 18 February 2009

Chocolate and Vanilla Spirals

Since my teddies are in holidays right now, thought of making them participate in doing these biscuits (recipe found here) especially for the sake of my little sweetie who comes around asking “ maman, est-ce que je peux t’ aider?” “mommy, may I help you?” whenever she sees me in the kitchen.
She loves chopping (:-O) with a blunt knife of course) , stirring and kneading ( especially when I do chapattis, she does her own chapati beside me with a pestle).
I prepared everything for them, thinking that they're going to double the work for me but finally it was a pleasure watching them stir and knead and mix with so much of energy and motivation, imitating the work of an adult.... all this is just to say that we simply enjoyed doing it together. Hope you find the same pleasure and joy in doing it at home!

250g all purpose flour
130g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
120g softened butter
3 egg yolks
1 tbsp unsweetened cacao powder

In a bowl, mix flour and sugar together;
Add butter and stir slightly and then add the egg yolks and mix everything using a spatula.
Then mix with your hands (clean hands, :-O) and knead and knead and knead until you get a smooth moist dough.

(If you find it difficult to form the dough, then just add a tablespoon or two of milk to the dough, very little at a time)
Divide the dough into two equal portions.
Add the cacao powder to one half and knead until it is well mixed. Add the vanilla extract to the other and knead it well until well mixed.
Cover both the portions of the dough with a plastic food wrapper and refrigerate for half an hour.
Remove and flatten each one of them to form a rectangle of about 4 mm thickness.
Place both the rectangles one above another.
Roll it to form a log. Wrap it once again with a food wrapper and refrigerate once again for about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 210°C.
Remove and cut into small circles.
Place them over a lined baking tray and bake for about 10 minutes.

Sigappu Kaleva Puli Kozhambu (Coral Cod in tamarind curry)

Coral Cod is a sea-water fish, which looks so lovely with bright blue spots on it's orangish red body, whose flesh is extremely soft, thin, and fatty;
Decided to do one of the recipes of Paravai Muniamma, who is well known for her "Graamathu Samayal"(Village food).
Didn’t change anything in the recipe, except that I cooked neither in a clay pot nor on wood fire as they do in villages.


1/2 kg Coral Cod otherwise called Sigappu Kaleva (சிகப்பு கலவா, சீகப்பீளீ ) in tamil
4 tbsp gingelly oil
20 sambhar onions
20 Garlic pods
1 big tomato
A lemon size tamarind
1 tbsp vadavam
Few curry leaves
Salt (as necessary)

To be ground to a fine paste:
6 red chilies
2 tbsp cumin seeds
3 tbsp black peppercorns
4 tbsp Coriander seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Method :
Soak the tamarind in 4 cups of water and salt and extract the tamarind juice.
Grind to a fine paste, all the ingredients under « To be ground to a fine paste”.
Mix the above with the tamarind juice.

In a vessel, heat the oil, add the vadavam, when it splutters, add the curry leaves, followed by the onions and fry until translucent. Add the garlic pods and fry until slightly brown.

Add the tomatoes and fry until mushy. Add the tamarind mixture, salt and taste.
Cook for about 10 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low medium and add the fish pieces (I added some drumsticks too), cook covered for another 15 minutes.

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

Goes well with plain Rice/ Idli.

Tuesday 17 February 2009

Another Award from a sweet blogger friend!

Another award from two sweet blogger friends Swapna Pravin

It's you who are so sweet to share your award with me dear friend!

I'd like to share this with my other sweet friends:




Poornima Nair




Usha Nandini

and Sanghi too shares with me this award. Thank you very much Sanghi. you're so sweet!

Sunday 15 February 2009

Melting Orange Squares

An easy-to-make, zesty, moist, fresh and melting fruit delicacy….heavenly delicious with a cup of coffee.

2 big juicy Oranges
125g Butter
115g Sugar
2 eggs
115g all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
150g icing sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 210°C.

Press the oranges and extract the juice from both the oranges.

Extract the zest of an orange and shred it finely.

Put the butter in a pre-heated vessel and whip it very slightly to get a creamy consistency (we’re going to avoid melting it quickly).

Add the sugar little by little while whipping (continue very slightly) and then add the eggs one after another and continue whipping.

Add the flour, half of the orange juice and the zest and then finish it by adding the baking powder.

Stir everything one last time and pour this mixture on a greased baking tray (I prefer using a square tray for this cake, about 24cm each side) and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until a pricked tooth-pick (in the middle of the cake) comes out dry.

Meanwhile, dissolve the icing sugar in the remaining orange juice to obtain a thick icing cream.

As soon as the cake is done, unmold it over a tray and sprinkle half of the icing cream on it.

When the cake is completely cool, spread the remaining icing cream all over.

Decorate as you wish, cut into squares and serve.

Note: The orange juice can be substituted by orange liquor (it’s all the more delicious)
This cake can be conserved in an airtight box, in the refrigerator up to 3 days

Sweet and Sour Pork Meatballs

Ingredients: ( for 4)

For the meatballs:
300g minced Pork meat
4 tbsp finely chopped white part of leek
2 egg yolks
½ tsp salt
1 big tbsp sesame oil
1 big tbsp potato starch flour + 3 tbsp for rolling
Oil for deep frying

For the Sauce:
100ml rice vinegar
100g sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Japanese Saké
4 tbsp water
1 tsp potato starch flour dissolved in 2 tbsp water
½ green bell pepper
1 onion
1 tbsp oil

Mix the ingredients of the meatballs, meat, leek, egg yolks, salt, pepper, starch flour and then the oil and make small balls. Roll over the remaining starch flour and deep fry in medium hot oil until done. (It takes about 5 minutes for each batch). Remove and drain over paper towels. Set aside in a serving dish.

Remove the grains from the bell pepper and cut it into small cubes.

Chop the onion very finely.

Mix all the ingredients of the sauce in a bowl, except the starch and water; taste and correct if necessary.

Stir fry slightly the onion and the bell pepper in a tbsp of oil.

Add all the ingredients of the sauce and stir well. Let it boil, then, add the water/starch flour mixture and thicken the sauce.

Remove and pour it over the fried meat balls and serve with plain rice/ Fried rice.

Meat balls Soup

Soups have always been one of those dishes which is easy and quick to make, but also something very warming and stomach filling for cold winter nights;

well, this is what I prepared for Friday's dinner. A very simple soup, the name might be meat balls soup, but I'd rather call it a rich Cabbage soup, which can be served as it is and can be finished with a salad but can also be accompanied with some noodles.
I love this simple soup not only because it tastes good but also because of the diuretic property contained in the cabbage. It is said that cabbage has sufficient quantity of sulphur and iodine, which helps the body to clean out excess fat from the the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines...
I served this soup as a starter and completed with some fried rice and sweet and sour pork meat balls :o:o:o nothing to do with diet!!!!

Ingredients: ( for 4)
For the meat balls:
350g minced pork meat
½ Chinese cabbage
2 tbsp oil
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp saké
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp potato starch powder
Oil for deep frying

For the soup:
800ml chicken stock
1 tbsp sake
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce

In a bowl, mix together the minced meat, salt, sake, soy sauce, starch powder with 50ml water ( if necessary)and form small bite-size balls of about 2cm in size.

Deep fry the above meat balls (just until they color) and drain over paper towels.

Wash the cabbage leaves and chop them into pieces (about 6 cm length).

Heat 2 tbsp of oil and sir fry the cabbage on high flame for about 2 minutes.
Add all the ingredients under soup to the above, along with the meat balls and the cabbage.

When it boils, reduce the flame to minimum and cook for an hour.

Serve hot as it is or with noodles.

Fried Rice

I like doing this extremely popular dish not only because it’s delicious but also because the recipe uses only some simple and basic ingredients that almost everybody has in the kitchen and moreover, so quick and easy to make, with no complicated procedures.

Though the traditional fried rice recipe usually include only vegetables and Chinese sausages, it is not very uncommon to see many kinds of modified versions, adapted and prepared with almost anything, according to each one’s likings, depending on the stock of ingredients we have in the kitchen, Chinese sausages, prawns, chicken, turkey, ham pork meat and even the leftovers of any roasted meat can be used to prepare this simple and humble dish.

3 cups boiled rice
1 cup diced ham
1 cup cooked green peas
2 eggs
2 onions
2 crushed garlic pods
1 green bell pepper, cut into small cubes
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
Freshly ground Pepper
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
3 tbsp sesame oil

Beat the eggs slightly, salt and pepper.
In a pan, add a tsp of oil and pour the beaten eggs and stir slightly to scramble the eggs. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok and stir fry the onions and garlic on high flame.

Add the green peas, bell pepper and the ham and continue frying.
(If we’re going to add other vegetables, then we’ll have to chop them finely and stir fry separately each one of them and add it to the above)

Add the soy sauce, fish sauce and the pepper, taste and correct if necessary. ( I add very little salt or not at all, to this preparation as fish and soy sauce already contain enough)

Add the rice and the scrambled eggs together with the vegetables and stir fry for some more minutes.

Sprinkle some coriander leaves (I didn’t have) and serve hot with any vegetables/meat/seafood you wish.

Note: I personally love to add Chinese sausages (I didn’t have it at the moment) but hesitate not to substitute by cooked prawns/chopped roasted pork/shredded chicken/ smoked / regular ham to the preparation;

You may also add more vegetables like carrots, Bok Choy, cabbage, baby corns, broccoli or beans.

Here, served with Sweet and sour Pork meat balls

Tuesday 10 February 2009

Orange and Poppy Seed Muffins

In France, these blue poppy seeds are commonly used in Breads and buns and I bought it actually, by curiosity, especially for it’s peculiar color and thinking that it would have nothing in common with the taste of the white poppy seeds, but I was wrong. It has exactly the same flavor and texture as the white poppy seeds and releases a nice sweetish nutty aroma when baked or roasted exactly like the white ones.
I love this combination of the slightly crunchy and nutty taste of these poppy seeds with the spongy texture of the muffins, flavored with the wonderful aroma of the orange flower water, Mmm… I love this fragrance which embalms my kitchen and takes me away to far away exotic places........Humhumhum ok, coming back to my real world and the recipe is the following:

150g sugar
250g all purpose flour
11g baking powder
2 tbsp blue poppy seeds
1 tbsp orange flower water
2 tbsp juice of an orange
Pulp of 1 orange
Zest of 1 orange
150ml milk
2 eggs
100g melted butter

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
Sift the flour, the sugar, baking powder along with the poppy seeds and keep aside.
Remove the zest of 1 orange and mince it very finely.
Extract the pulp of the orange and cut into tiny cubes.
Press another orange for extracting 2 tbsp of juice from it.
In a bowl, whip the eggs slightly until we get a fluffy foamy mixture.
Add the milk and continue whipping a little bit. Add the melted butter followed by the orange juice and the orange flower water. Whip a little and then put the flour mixture all at once and mix it quickly with a spatula without over working the mixture.
Add the zest and the pulp, stir everything delicately.
Fill up greased muffin moulds up to 3/4th of their volume , with the above mixture (as they tend to rise) and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove and turn over all the muffins on a wire rack and let it cool completely.

Thirunelveli Chicken Gravy

Actually, I don't know anything about Thirunelveli except the famous Thirunelveli Halwa. I came across Ayesha's ,Thirunelveli Kozhi Kuzhambu, (personally I want to rename it as Onion Chicken Curry, because the main ingredient which constitutes the recipe is the onion), tried it out with very slight modifications (due to shortage of some of the ingredients) and all that I can say is that I'm sure I'll redo this delicious gravy many other times.
1 kg Chicken pieces
½ tsp turmeric powder
Salt (as needed)
4 tbsp oil
Whole garam masala (3 Bay leaves, 1 cinnamon stick)
1 ½ tbsp fennel seeds
2 big onions
1 tbsp pasted garlic
1 sprig curry leaves
1 kg chicken
1 cup Coconut milk

To fry in 3 tbsp oil and to blend:
¼ cup Grated Coconut
12 pearl onions 3 big onions, chopped roughly
4 garlic cloves 10 garlic pods
8 cm ginger, chopped roughly
7 green chilies, deseeded
2 dry red chilies
2 tsp coriander seeds

Fry all the ingredients under “To fry in 3 tbsp oil and to blend” in the oil and blend to make a fine paste.
Clean and pat dry the chicken pieces, marinate in a mixture of salt and turmeric powder.
Chop the remaining onions very finely.
Heat oil in a wide skillet, add the whole garam masala and the fennel seeds; when they splutter, add the onions and fry until slightly brown. Reduce the flame to medium and add the garlic paste and the curry leaves; stir fry until oil separates from the sauce. Add the marinated chicken pieces and stir fry on high flame, until almost done. (We are not going to add any liquid here).
Add the blended paste and fry for some more minutes.
Add some warm water just to cover the meat sufficiently, taste and rectify if necessary.
Let it cook for about 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk and let it cook for another 10 minutes.
Remove and garnish with coriander leaves (I didn’t have).

Goes well with rice but perfect with Parottas.

Sunday 8 February 2009

Smoked Stuffed Chicken and Purple Potatoes

On Friday evening, there was nothing special to celebrate yet there was a fine dinner waiting for us. I was right, there was Hum Hum in the kitchen…..”Poulet farci”, usually reserved for the festive season……
But, unlike the traditional method, Hum Hum prepared the dish amazingly well, using a smoked chicken. As the chicken has been smoked and cooked in a very slow process, the inner part of the meat was really very tender, moist and so flavorful and crispy on the outside and moreover, it didn’t take much time for the cooking. The brandy flavored stuffing along with purple potatoes and the juicy meat, accompanied with a glass of Bordeaux, Mmmm… it was simply succulent. Thanks to Chef Hum Hum for the yummy feast.
Ingredients (for 4)
1 smoked chicken of about 1 ¼ kg)
2 tbsp oil
1/4 cup Butter and oil (equal quantities)
For stuffing:
500g minced pork meat
Parsley leaves (as much as you want)
200g button mushrooms
1 leek (only the white part)
1 tbsp calvados
½ tbsp Grand Marnier
Freshly ground Pepper
For Garnishing:
400g g Purple Potatoes


For the stuffing:
Chop the parsley leaves roughly.
Chop the leek into small pieces.
Clean and chop the mushrooms.
Mix all the ingredients under the stuffing.

Pour 2 tbsp oil in a skillet and stir fry all the ingredients under stuffing on high flame. Cook until done. Taste and rectify the seasoning if necessary. Remove and cool.

Preparing the chicken:
Skin and half-boil the potatoes. Cut into small cubes and keep aside.
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Wash and pat dry the chicken in the inner and the outer sides.

Garnish the chicken with the prepared filling.

Seal the openings (neck as well as the back part) with a kitchen twine and needle.

Place the chicken on an aluminum foiled baking tray.

Salt and pepper the whole chicken on the outside, and apply a mixture of equal quantities of butter and olive oil on the surface of the whole chicken.

Place the potatoes around the chicken.

In the oven for about 15 to 25 minutes. Baste regularly with the cooking juices

Remove and serve after removing the twines from the chicken.

Serve with the stuffing and the potatoes.

A Bordeaux (with moderation) accompanies it well

Note: The potatoes can be substituted with dry fruits or chestnuts.

Minced liver and heart of chicken can be added to the stuffing ingredients along with some Foie gras (liver of duck).

The Grand Marnier and the calvados can be substituted by Port Wine

Pork Sauté in caramelized sauce

1kg sliced Pork meat (I used Pork Shoulder Picnic, pork belly is also perfect)
4 tbsp oil
100 g sugar
120g peanuts
1 tbsp soy sauce
Salt and pepper (as needed)
50g cubed butter

Heat oil in a wok or a wide skillet, stir fry the pork slices, on high flame until brown. Remove and set aside.
Add the sugar in the same vessel along with 100ml water, let it caramelize. Add the meat and the peanuts and stir well. Add the soy sauce, salt and pepper. Rectify the taste if necessary and cook on low flame for about 25 minutes.
Add 50 g of cubed butter and stir well. Serve hot with rice.

Chocolate Shortbreads

Though I prefer the traditional shortbreads using only flour, butter and sugar, I decided to add some cacao to the original preparation, to please my little sweetie who is an absolute chocoholic, who keeps asking me for chocolate biscuits / cakes for the "after school" snacks. They came out buttery and particularly crunchy, very distinctive with the flavor of cinnamon.

370g all purpose flour
5 tbsp unsweetened cacao powder (I used Van Houten)
340g softened butter
½ tsp cinnamon powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder
200g icing sugar
Sift together the flour, cacao powder, cinnamon powder, baking powder and salt.
Whip the softened butter with the sugar until smooth and creamy.
Add the flour mixture and knead to form a soft dough.
Spread this dough on a baking tray (lined with a baking sheet) and cool it in the refrigerator until firm for about 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
Prick with a fork on the surface of the prepared dough.
Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes.
Sprinkle some sugar on top.
Cut into small rectangles when still warm.
Let it cool down completely before serving.
Ideal with a cup of hot black coffee.