Thursday, 28 February 2013

CANDIED CITRUS PEEL


I was eager to share this recipe of making citrus peel for a very long time. My husband loves them. It is very easy and cost effective. I use this candied peel in fruit cakes to get that tangy flavour. Stays longer too. Whenever you buy oranges do not throw the peel. After squeezing the lemon save it as well and prepare this candied peel.






Ingredients:

Orange and lemon peel- 2 cups

Sugar- 1cup

Water- 1 cup


Method:

 Heat a thick bottomed pan, add the sugar and water in it and mix well. Lower the fire and when the sugar is all dissolved add the peels.

Mix all the ingredients well and close the pan with a lid. Let the peel get soaked in the sugar syrup and get cooked for around 40 minutes under low fire.



Citrus peel


When all the water is drained and dry,  start stirring for less than  a minute. Switch off the fire. Let the mixture cool down. Store the candied peel in jars and add it for baking or with your desserts. 


Sunday, 24 February 2013

JALAPENOS AND ITALIAN PEPPER IN OLIVE OIL


These peppers in olive oil almost goes with anything, especially Italian. Recent years me and my husband have developed a craze for Italian food. We have this oil prepared whenever red bullets and Italian peppers are ready in our apartment garden. So anytime I prepare something Italian this oil is a great accompaniment. If you want this oil to be more spicy you can also add the spicy green chillies as well.




Ingredients:

Italian peppers- 2(finely chopped)

Red jalapenos- 1(finely chopped)

Finely chopped garlic cloves- 3

Rubbed basil- 1 tspn

Olive oil- 1/2 cup

Salt to taste

Method:

Heat the pan and reduce the fire. Add the garlic and when the garlic is half cooked add the jalapenos and the Italian peppers and gently saute the ingredients.





Add the salt and the rubbed basil and mix with the peppers.

Switch off the fire and immediately transfer to a glass jar or a bowl. Remember to cook under low fire and take care not to over cook the chillies.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

CHETTINAD PEPPER CHICKEN



Ingredients:

Chicken- 500 gms

Onion- 3 (finely chopped)

Tomatoes- 2(finely chopped)

Ginger-garlic paste- 1 tbspn

Slit green chillies- 3

Curry leaves- 1 sprig

Oil- 2 tbspns

Water- 1/2 cup

Salt to taste

Cilantro leaves- to garnish


Spices:

Black pepper powder- 2 tbspns

Garam masala powder- 1 tspn

Coriander powder/ curry powder- 1 tbspn

Turmeric powder- 1 tspn

Bay leaf- 1

Cinnamon stick- 2

Cardamom- 3

Cloves-2







Black pepper corns


Method:


This is a very spicy dish from South Indian state Tamil Nadu. It is a very spicy dish. If you prefer to have a mild version you can reduce the number of chillies and the amount of pepper powder.

Heat the pan and add the oil. When the oil turns hot add the spices(bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves). Reduce the fire and add the green chillies, curry leaves, ginger- garlic paste.

Keep stirring for less than a minute and add the onions. Reduce the fire and wait until the onion turns golden brown.Add  the tomatoes, salt, coriander powder, ground black pepper powder, garam masala powder and turmeric powder.

Gently mix all the ingredients and place the chicken pieces in the  masala. Stir all the masala with the chicken and add the water. Cover the pan and cook under low fire for 15 minutes.When the chicken is done,  garnish with cilantro leaves and serve hot with steamed rice.



Wednesday, 20 February 2013

PEPERONATA

This is an Italian side dish with lots and lots of colorful bell peppers and ripe tomatoes. Very easy and quick to prepare. Juicy indeed. Though there are different methods we can follow I customised this one to make it super quick to be served.





Ingredients:

Ripe tomatoes- 10(finely chopped)

Red, green and yellow bell peppers- 1 (sliced)

Scallions- 3 (chopped)

Dried oregano- 1 tspn

Minced garlic- 1 tspn

Ground black pepper- 1 tspn

Olive oil- 2 tbspn

Red wine vinegar- 1tspn

Salt to taste


Method:

Heat the pan and add the olive oil under low fire. Add the minced garlic followed by the scallions. When the scallions turn brown add the chopped bell peppers.

Gently mix it and add the chopped tomatoes, with salt, pepper, oregano and red wine vinegar.

Cover the pan and wait until the tomatoes turn soft. Remember to cook under low fire. With red wine vinegar and the steam locked up in the pan the tomatoes turn soft and juicy.

Serve hot with bread. I like the Prosciutto and Peperonata combination.






Wednesday, 13 February 2013

ROASTED ZUCCHINI AND BRINJAL SPAGHETTI





Ingredients:

Cooked spaghetti-250 gms

Ginger- garlic paste- 1 tbspn

Onion- 1 (finely chopped)

Zucchini- 1(thinly sliced)

Brinjals- 3(cut vertically)

Dark soya sauce- 1 tspn

Olive oil- 2 tbspns

Black pepper- 1 tspn

Salt to taste

Method:


1. Pan roast zucchini and brinjals with 1 tspn of oil under low fire and keep it aside




Roasting Zucchini in the pan

                                  







Roasted zucchini and brinjals


2. Heat the pan and add the oil.


3. When the oil is hot add the ginger- garlic paste followed by onion. When the onion turns brown add the spaghetti, dark soy sauce, pepper and salt.


4. Gently mix all the ingredients uniformly.


5. Add the roasted zucchini and brinjals to the spaghetti and gently toss.






















Tuesday, 12 February 2013

CARROT AND PAPAYA SMOOTHIE




Ingredients: (serves 4)
 

Carrots- 2 (medium sized)

Papaya- 1 (small)

Cold milk- 2 cups

Whipping cream- 2 tbspns

Sugar-  2 tbspn


Method:

Chop the carrots and papaya roughly and blend it smooth in a blender with all the other ingredients.


 If you really hate the pulp, first filter the juice after grinding and then add milk, cream ans sugar and whip.

Serve chilled. Prepare fresh and serve immediately as the blended papaya would develop a bitter taste after 10 minutes.







Monday, 11 February 2013

HEART FRIENDLY VALENTINE CAKE/ EGGLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE

Hope you all are getting ready for Valentines day 2013. I know you guys will be busy visiting your salon or busy shopping.I am posting this earlier to help you bake a surprise for your valentine. I know it's valentine, but what about our diet? Nairobi is getting ready for the day. 360 degrees view shows how crazy we people are about "valentines day".

Malls, magazines, radio, television and of course anything you see or listen says all about the day. Romantic dinner, romantic sleep over ans so many..........what about baking a heart friendly eggless chocolate cake with oats and banana for your valentine? 

Eggless chocolate cake

Ingredients:

Al purpose flour- 1 1/2 cups

Brown sugar- 1/2 cup

Cocoa powder- 4 tbspns

Cold  skimmed milk- 1 cup

Vegetable oil- 2 tbspns

Rolled oats- 2 tbspns

Cinnamon powder- 1tspn

Baking soda- 1 tspn

Vanilla essence- 1 tspn

Lemon juice- 1 tbspn

Slices of bananas to place on top of the cake before baking



Method:



I love this cake because it helps me a lot when ever I crave for something sweet. It is of course better than the other chocolate cakes rich in saturated fats. Even sometimes when I am run out of eggs I bake this cake very quickly.

Sift in the flour, cinnamon powder, cocoa powder, baking soda 2 to 3 times. Place in a bowl. Add the sugar, oats and mix uniformly. Now add all the wet ingredients one by one starting with the milk, oil, lemon juice and vanilla essence.

You might wonder why I am adding lemon juice? Lemon juice contains acid and it reacts with the baking soda. When it reacts there happens a fluffy reaction inside the cake which in turn makes the cake more spongy and soft without eggs.

Cinnamon powder helps in tackling the smell which comes from the baking soda. I hate that smell and that is when I started adding cinnamon. Since we are using bananas on top of the cake I  have reduced the amount of sugar.

Mix all the ingredients uniformly and gently. I would recommend you to use a spoon instead of a hand mixer. Excess beating might stop the reaction of the soda. Mix gently for less than 2 minutes with the spoon. Transfer the ingredients to the baking tray. Place the banana slices on top of the cake mix. Sprinkle some oats on top.

Bake in the pre heated oven at 180 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes until set.

Wishing everyone a very " Happy Valentines day". Let there be lots and lots of love in this world and let God bring peace to the world


BLACK EYED PEAS AND PASTA/ KUNDE NA PASTA


Black eyed peas is called "kunde" in Kiswahili. It is usually prepared with onion, tomatoes and sometimes with coconut too. It is a very common dish here. I have added some raw green mangoes to the peas to give a tangy taste. Tasted different.







Ingredients:

Red black eyed peas- 2 cups

Onion- 1 medium(chopped finely)

Tomatoes- 2 (finely chopped)

Raw green mangoes- 1 (finely chopped)

Ginger- garlic paste- 1 tbspn

Curry powder/ coriander powder- 1 tbspn

Garam masala- 1 tspn

Coconut milk- 1 cup

Oil- 1 tbspn

Salt to taste


Method:

Pressure cook the peas after soaking in hot water  for at least 4 hours if you are using dry peas. I have used red black eyed peas here. You can also use the white ones instead. Heat the pan and add the oil. When the oil i s hot add the onions.

When the onions turn brown add the ginger- garlic paste followed by tomatoes. Now add the green mangoes and stir. Add all the spices and salt and keep the pan covered for 2 minutes under low fire. Now mash the tomatoes gently with the cooking spoon and now add the peas to the pan.

Add the coconut milk and mix all the ingredients uniformly and leave it covered for another 3 minutes. Hot kunde is ready to be served with pasta.

ROASTED ITALIAN PEPPER DIP


Ingredients:

Yogurt- 1 cup

Roasted Italian peppers- 2

Cumin seed powder- 1 tspn

Olive oil- 1 tspn

Salt to taste

Roasted  Italian peppers



This is a very good dip to prepare on a hot summer. With yogurt and cumin seeds which actually helps in cooling the body this dip tastes good almost with anything.

Roast the  peppers with 1 tspn olive oil and salt  in a pan and when it cools down chop it into small pieces. Whip the yogurt in the blender for a second and transfer to a bowl. 


Add salt and cumin seed powder to the yogurt and mix gently.

At the end add the peppers, mix gently and serve.











Thursday, 7 February 2013

SOYA CHUNKS AND CARROT PILAU




Ingredients:

Basmati rice- 1 cup

Water- 1 and a half cups(to cook the rice)
 
Soya chunks- 1 cup

Carrot- 1/2 cup(finely chopped)

Onion- 1(chopped)

Ginger- garlic paste- 1 tbspn

Garam masala- 1 tspn

Turmeric powder- 1 tspn

Bay leaf- 2

Oil- 1 tbspn

Butter- 1 tbspn
 
Salt to taste


Soak the soya chunks in warm water for 10 minutes before you could start preparing the rice.

This is a pressure cook method which is very easy and super quick. Heat the pressure cooker and add the oil followed by butter. The oil stops the butter from getting brown in colour.
Now add the ginger- garlic paste followed by bay leaves and the onion. Add the soya chunks, carrot and give a gentle stir. Wash the rice and add it to the carrots.

Add garam masala, turmeric powder, salt and if you want it to be little bit spicy add some paprika/ chilly powder. At last add the soya chunks and 1 and a half cups of water. Mix all the ingredients uniformly and close the pressure cooker.

Cook in high fire with 2 whistles and serve with salad or yoghurt.


                         

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

BOTTLE GOURD IN SPROUTED GRAINS

Bottle gourd koftas are quite common.This time I tried something new for a healthy meal. I prepared the koftas and added some sprouted chickpeas and wheat. Koftas has oats and bread crumbs. With oats and the sprouted grains what could me more healthier than this?





Ingredients:

For the Koftas:

Bottle gourd- 1 medium sized(finely grated)

Onion- 1(finely chopped)

Ginger- garlic paste- 1 tspn

Oats- 2  tsbpns

Bread crumbs- 1 cup

Oil- 1 tspn (to cook the bottle gourd balls)

Salt to taste


Grate the bottle gourd finely and place it in a bowl and add the other ingredients to it. Mix it well and prepare uniform sized balls. There is no need to add water as the water from the bottle gourd is quiet enough to roll them up.

Bottle gourd mix

                                     



Heat the pan and grease with little oil. I always use a non-stick pan to avoid overuse of oil. Place the balls, cover with a lid to cook  under low fire for 10 minutes.


 








  

As the bottle guard balls are ready, now let's move on to the gravy.


For the gravy:

Sprouted chickpeas and wheat- 1 cup

Ginger- garlic paste- 1 tbspn

Onion- 1 medium(finely chopped)

Tomatoes- 2 (finely chopped)

Turmeric powder- 1 tspn

Coriander powder/ curry powder- 1 tbspn

Garam masala- 1 tspn

Water- 1 cup

Oil- 1 tbspn

Salt to taste




To save time you can prepare the gravy and the balls simultaneously. Heat the pan and add the oil, followed  by ginger- garlic paste, onion. When the onion gets browned add the tomatoes, salt and the other spices. At this stage add the sprouted greens and gently toss.

Reduce the fire, add some 1/2 cup of water and cover the pan and let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Now place the balls in the gravy and gently mix the masala uniformly. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of water to add the volume. Close the pan and let it cook for another minute. Serve with chapati's or rice.

Monday, 4 February 2013

STIR FRIED VEGETABLES- A GREAT SNACK FOR KIDS

Stir fried vegetables is a great snack for kids. Of course it is a great challenge to make them eat vegetables.Their huge appetite after the long day's hard work in the school this is really a good healthy snack.

Being a mom is the most difficult job in the whole world and especially making healthy meals is a big challenge. After all the trials if your kids don't like it there comes a big "Bang" on your head. Being a mom to 2 extraordinary smart kids is really double challenging. Sometimes even the names of some vegetables would bring a big heartbroken smile on their faces. Well, I already admitted that it is challenging.

The so called "crisps" addiction is increasing day by day. Whenever they are hungry their small minds thinks only about the potato crisps. This stir fried vegetables with baby potatoes asparagus shoots, baby corn and sweet red peppers was loved by my kids and I have been suggested to prepare it often.



Stir fried vegetables

Ingredients:(serves 2 smart kids)

Cooked baby potatoes- 1 cup

Asparagus stems- 2(cut 2 inches long)

Sweet corn kernels- 1/2 cup

Roughly chopped red peppers- 1

Olive oil- 1 tbspn

Red wine vinegar- 1 tspn


Oregano

Salt to taste


Method:

 Heat the oil in a skillet and saute all the vegetables for a minute with red wine vinegar and salt. Season with oregano and serve.

Simple as that. A very quick healthy snack is ready. Red wine vinegar gives a tangy taste to the vegetables and you can also vary the vegetables here. I have used different coloured vegetables to bring in their attention. 

Do not over cook as the vegetables might lose the crunchiness.