Thursday, 25 April 2013

EGGLESS BANANA ROCK MUFFINS

Rock muffins comes very handy throughout the long week. You can bake it and store for almost a week. The dryness in the muffin helps you to store it for a longer period. This is a perfect choice for my kids who return starved out of energy from school. To moisten the muffins I prepare chocolate sauce along with the muffins and store or drizzle some strawberry syrup on it. Vanilla or chocolate glaze is also a great choice.




Ingredients:

All purpose flour- 3 cups

Mashed bananas- 2 no's

Baking powder- 2 tspn

Baking soda- 1/2 tspn

Vegetable cooking oil- 1/4 cup

Greek yogurt/ thick curd- 1/2 cup

Cinnamon powder- 1 tspn

Vanilla essence- 1 tspn

Salt- a pinch


For brushing:

Molten butter- 2 tbspn

Brown sugar- 1/2 cup

Cinnamon powder- 1/2 tspn


Method:

Pre heat the oven at 180 degrees for 10 minutes.

Place the flour in a bowl and mix the baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon powder to it. Uniformly mix all the dry ingredients by sieving 2 to 3 times with a sieve.

Now add the mashed bananas, oil, vanilla essence and yogurt to the dry ingredients and uniformly mix all the ingredients with a hand mixer or a spatula. Now the dough is ready and let it sit for 15 minutes.





In the mean while grease the muffin tray with the molten butter and sprinkle the brown sugar in the cups which would provide a coating on the muffins.






Fill half of each muffin cup with the dough and brush the dough on top with butter. Sprinkle the cinnamon powder, remaining brown sugar on top.



Note: Do not overload the muffin cup with batter or dough whenever  you bake a muffin to get a domed top and  avoid a flat one. Always fill half of the muffin cup for better results.





Bake at 180 degrees for 20 to 30 minute or until done.






KENYAN GITHERI AND MAIZE MEAL TACOS

Maize meal tacos and githeri was really a good combo. For the first time I felt very glad about what I have tried in this recipe. Just like that I tried to prepare the tortillas with maize meal which is used to prepare "UGALI" a local Kenyan dish. "Masa harina"- Mexican pre cooked white corn flour and the maize meal are almost the same in texture and smell except one thing that binding the maize meal was bit difficult than the pre cooked corn meal. At last my experiments were fruitful.

Above all Kenyan githeri was a great combination with avocado and mango salsa. "Githeri" is prepared with red beans, carrot,maize and potatoes in Kenya like a stew often served with piping hot ugali. I have added sukuma leaves with githeri and prepared it like a thick filling.





Ingredients:

Maize meal Tortillas:

Maize meal-1 cup

All purpose flour- 1 cup

Warm water- 1/2 cup

Salt to taste


Method:


Place the maize meal and APF in a bowl.















Add salt to the flour and mix uniformly. Slowly add the warm water by sprinkling and prepare a smooth dough. Allow it to rest for 30 minutes.





Make uniform sized balls and place it in between 2 pieces of clingfilm sheets. As the dough is bit sticky and the tortillas has to be prepared like a thin sheet, using a cling film would easen the process.





Roll the ball with the rolling pin on the cling film sheet gently and press the dough.








Shape the tortillas with a  round lid.











Cook the tortillas under medium fire.





Press the tortillas with a kitchen towel gently to puff it up. Cook  until the tortillas turn slightly brown on both the sides by frequently turning.



Place the tortillas in a kitchen towel to keep it warm and avoid getting dried up and be moist.

Note: Maize meal tortillas gets hardened very quickly, so try to keep it most or cook the tortillas when you are about to serve the food.


Githeri:

Red beans- 2 cups

Carrots-2(diced)

Potatoes- 1 cup(diced)

Sukuma leaves- 1 bunch(washed and finely chopped)

Ginger- garlic paste- 1 tspn

Onion- 1 (finely chopped)

Thick tomato paste- 1 tbspn


Turmeric powder- 1tspn

Garam masala- 1tspn

Oil-1 tbspn

Salt to taste


Cilantro leaves to garnish

Method:

Heat the pan and add the oil. Add the ginger- garlic paste followed by the onions. When the onions turn brown add the carrots and potatoes. Add salt and cook them. When done add the cooked red beans.

Mix well and add the chopped sukuma leaves to the beans and add all the spices. Add the tomato paste, give a stir and lower the flame. Cook for another 3 minutes. Garnish with cilantro leaves.




sukuma wiki  leaaves


To garnish:

Avocado- 1 (sliced)


Cilantro leaves


Mango salsa:

Ripe mango- 1 (finely chopped)

Onion- 1 tbspn(finely chopped)

Tomatoes- 2(finely chopped)

Lemon juice- 1/2 tspn

Cilantro leaves- 1 tspn(finely chopped)

Salt to taste


Mix all the ingredients uniformly to serve with githeri.


Tacos:

To prepare the tacos, take the tortillas and place it in your palm. Add  little of the githeri mixture in the center of the tortilla followed by a slice of avocado.




Place around a tablespoon of mango salsa, cilantro leaves on top of the avocado slice and serve.

























Wednesday, 24 April 2013

SOUTH INDIAN FISH CURRY/ MEEN KUZHAMBU

This Fish curry has more similarities to the Swahili fish curry. With lots of coconut, onion and tomatoes the taste is absolutely awesome. The creamy texture would drool saliva from your mouth. Piping hot rice is a perfect combination with this fish curry. Popularly known as "MEEN KUZHAMBU" meaning "Fish curry" is very popular in the coastal parts of South India from where I come. Very easy to cook on a sunday if you have the right ingredients.







Ingredients:(serves 6)

King fish- 500 gms

Fenugreek seeds- 1/2 tspn

Mustard seeds- 1 tbspn

Cumin seeds- 1 tbspn

Curry leaves- 2 sprigs

Green chillies- 3 no's

Chopped onion- 2

Chopped tomato- 3

Coriander powder/ curry powder- 2 tbspn

Ground coconut paste/ coconut milk- 1 cup

Tamarind pulp-  lemon sized tamarind soaked in 1 cup of water and taken as pulp

Water- 2 cups

Oil- 2 tbspn

Salt to taste





To marinate the fish:

Chilly powder/ paprika- 1 tspn

Turmeric powder-1 tspn

Salt

























Method:

Heat the pan and add the oil. When the oil is hot add the mustard seeds and allow it to splutter. Reduce the fire add the fenugreek seeds and allow it turn slightly brown. At this stage add the cumin seeds followed by green chillies, curry leaves. Stir for a second and add the onions now.


When the onions turn brown add the tomatoes and at this stage add the salt, turmeric, chilly powder and curry powder and mix well. When the tomatoes turn soft add the tamarind pulp and bring it to a boil.



When the curry is boiling add the coconut paste to the curry and add the water. My mother use to grind the coconut, cumin seeds and chillies together and add it at this stage which adds more taste.


When the curry boils add the fish slices. For better taste cut the big slices into 4 pieces. Reduce the fire and cook the fish for approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Do not over boil to avoid the fish slices from becoming soft and mixing up with the curry.



Serve with piping hot rice and shallots. A great tip to enjoy this recipe is to cook the curry a day before you would want to relish. Cook and store and on the day you want to have it just reheat and enjoy. The taste improves after a day as the masala seeps in the fish very well.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

RESTAURANT STYLE MUTTON SEEKH KEBAB

Raining! Raining! and Raining!...........It's a blessing as well as a drawback for me. To wake up early in the morning has become a big challenge for me. Apart from the hustle and bustle of dropping and picking kids from school,  power issues. Power cuts has become a true headache. Even with the heavy rains there is shortage of water supply....ok. A week of no power and 5 days of no water situation in my house last week.  Obviously cooking came to a stand still. So far  this week is going on good, and hopefully the whole week too.Now let's forget all of  these issues and try something yummy today.






Ingredients:


Minced mutton- 250 gms

Ginger- garlic paste- 1 tspn

Chilly powder- 1 tspn

Garam masala- 1 tspn

Turmeric powder- a pinch

Finely chopped onion- 1 tbspn

Coriander and mint leaves- 1 tbspn (very finely chopped)

Nutmeg powder- one pinch

Fennel seed powder- one pinch

Corn flour- 1 tspn

lemon juice- few drops


Salt to taste


Red, yellow, green peppers and onion sliced to one inch size to grill with the kebabs.


Method:


Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix uniformly. If you are washing the mutton mince make sure you remove all the excess water completely as this would cause problems in shaping the kebabs.





Shape the kebabs in the skewers with the peppers and onion as shown in the picture below.




Grill under medium fire by turning on both the sides taking care not to burn the kebabs. Drizzle little oil on both the sides and cook until done.



Serve with salad, lemon wedges and chutneys of your choice.



If you are super lazy to cook this yummy kebabs,  place your order for"Mutton seekh kebab" with www.hellofood.co.ke and enjoy it during the rainy days in Nairobi.

With this weather you  wouldn't even think of going out and eat. To drive and that too in this traffic. Errrhh! it is better to stay home and just place an order through "hellofood" in just 3 steps.

Choose the area, restaurant and order and they deliver your food at your doorsteps. That's simply amazing. Do not worry if you do not have your restaurant listed there. Just send a request like I did and they would contact them and get your food delivered. I have just sent a request to add my restaurant.

In case of any queries, online chat is also available. There are sometimes we would feel like taking  a break from cooking and that too by the time I realise, that I do not wanna cook anything it would be 8 p.m, and then to get ready, get out of the house with kids.........it's really tiring.

I like the services they offer especially for the busy people of Nairobi. The concept is really new and very helpful for people like my husband who hates going out unless and until we 3(me and my kids) push him to do so. He would always prefer a take away. After a tiring whole week of work anyone would opt to do so.


So next time you wanna stay home and relish your food after a tiring day just place your orders through"hellofood" and relax.



RED CABBAGE AND BUTTERNUT STIR FRY

This is an Indo-Chines stir fry. Butternut -  a winter squash and the red cabbage helps to keep yourself warm on a cold day. Eating the right vegetable and making use of the vegetables available during the season makes sense.  Butternuts and red cabbage are in season and so make use of it with this yummy stir fry.




Ingredients: (serves 4)

Butternut-1 (chopped into medium sized cubes)

Red cabbage- 2 cups

Onion- 1 tbspn(finely chopped)

Ginger- garlic paste- 1 tspn

Garam masala powder- 1 tspn

Turmeric powder- 1 tspn

Chilly powder-1 tspn

Dark soy sauce- 1 tspn

Sesame oil / any cooking oil- 1 tbspn

Chopped cilantro leaves- to garnish

Salt to taste






Method:


Place the chopped butternut in a pot of boiling water and blanch for 5 minutes(just cooked enough for stir frying). Pour the blanched squash into a colander to drain all the water.


Heat the pan and add the oil. When the oil is hot add the onions followed by ginger- garlic paste. Add the blanched butternut and then the red cabbage and mix well. Remember to cook under medium fire. Now add all the spices, salt and the soy sauce and keep stirring continuously for 2 to 3 minutes.


Switch off the fire, garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with hot rice or roti.




Monday, 15 April 2013

VEGETARIAN MANCHOW SOUP

This is absolutely a great soup for this rainy season in Nairobi. It is a clear vegetable soup which really warms you up in the cold evenings. It is a Indo-Chinese style soup and the name "Manchow" comes from the name Manchuria.



Ingredients:(serves 4)

Carrot, cabbage, green peppers or French beans- each 1/2 cup shredded


Onion- 1 (finely chopped)

Garlic and ginger Julienne- 1 tbspn

Dark soy sauce- 1 tspn

Vinegar-1 tspn

Pepper powder- 1 tspn

Chilli sauce- 1 tspn(optional)

Corn flour- 1 tbspn mixed in 2 tbspn of water to a smooth paste

Vegetable stock- 1 litre

Sesame oil/ any cooking oil- 1 tbspn

Salt to taste



Method:

 Heat the pan and add the oil. When the oil is hot add the ginger, garlic followed by onion. When the onion turns brown add all the chopped vegetables and give it a stir.

I have cooked with what I had at home. You can replace French beans in the place of green peppers or just add french beans too.






Now when the vegetables are half cooked add vinegar, soy sauce, chilly sauce, pepper powder, salt and mix uniformly.

I want you to be careful about the salt you add as the vegetable stock you are going to add would also contain salt.

To make 1 litre of vegetable stock I used 2 large onions, 2 large carrots, 3 stalks of celery, 1 whole bulb of garlic, 5 peppercorns, and a bay leaf.

Place all the ingredients in a sauce pan, add salt and let the water to boil.When the water boils lower the flame and let the vegetables cook for exactly 1 hour. Filter the stock and store in the fridge for further use. So anytime you are free you can prepare this and store and later when you want the soup this comes in handy.

Some opt to freeze the stock for longer use.

Pour in the vegetable stock and wait for a boil.  Now add the corn flour paste to the boiling soup. Mix uniformly for less than a minute. When you find the soup to be little thick put off the fire.




Serve hot with any Chinese starters.


Friday, 12 April 2013

SPICY HERBED POTATO WEDGES

It's raining." Black out" in my apartments for the past 4 days. Hakuna stima!(No power).  when it rains you madly crave for something  spicy and yummy, but to me (healthy) it has to be healthy as well. Like me obviously my family, too  craves for potatoes especially my elder son who is a fan of chips.


This potato wedges are a good healthy choice for you and your family as it is pan fried. Go for the pan fried wedges rather than the deep fired potato chips. Of course we are not holy in dieting. At times we do fail but we can try to stay healthy. This potato wedges tastes almost  like the deep fried chips. Try it and tell me.









Parklands round about


It's raining




On James Gichuru road





Ingredients: (serves 4)

Potatoes- 5 (sliced into wedges)

Chopped Garlic - 1 tspn

Thyme- 1 tspn(any herb of your choice)

Paprika/ Chilly powder- 1 tspn

Corn flour- 1 tbspn

Oil- 2 tbspns

Salt to taste



Method:


Heat the pan and add the oil. I prefer a non- stick pan to prepare this wedges as this would consume very little oil and give you a healthy snack. You can also use olive oil for health benefits.






When the oil is hot add the  garlic followed by wedges to the pan and reduce the flame.





Add the corn flour, paprika, salt and thyme to the wedges and mix uniformly.

Close the pan with a lid and cook for 10 minutes. Irish potatoes are the very good choice for this potatoes wedges.


 Cook until done and serve hot during this rainy season.



Thursday, 11 April 2013

KENDRA THORNTON'S -YUMMY HONEY BEAR SMOOTHIE

I am very glad to have Kendra Thornton the very famous travel expert in USA aboard.  She has been featured in FOX news, ABC, CBS, NBC and CW networks for her great expertise in the travel industry. She has been to 28 countries on 6 continents, and have been quoted in the news about seasonal travel trends and destinations all over the United States.


She is also a number one mom and wife to a family of three. This time she would like to share some of her great and unique recipes for spring with all of us.


KARIBU SANA! Kendra.



HONEY BEAR SMOOTHIE




It's Honey Bear Time

After a tedious winter, the bears finally stopped hibernating - spring is here! I can break out the shorts and flip-flops in preparation for summer. As you can tell, I love spring; it’s warm, not freezing or uncomfortably hot.


When I went on a beautiful vacation, I tried what was called a Honey Bear Smoothie at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, ranked amongst some of the top hotels in Las Vegas. Okay, I have to admit that even if it sounds like something on the kiddie menu, the Honey Bear Smoothie is actually delicious, sophisticated, and did I say delicious?

Well, it’s true, and I ordered, like, forty smoothies in a single day; they are that good.
When it was time to pack up and head back to good old Chicago, I started thinking about how I missed that smoothie. I was in withdrawal, Honey Bear Smoothie withdrawal, that is. Luckily, it wasn’t hard to figure out the recipe, and you, my lucky readers, can make your own smoothies at home.

Yummy Honey Bear Smoothie:

Ingredients:

- 1 cup of coconut milk
- 3 to 4 crushed ice cubes
- 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (To avoid pulling out your hair, choose a creamy PB)
- ½ tablespoons of honey
- 1 banana (I prefer the banana to be frozen…this makes a frothier blend)
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon


Method:
Step one: The first step is to mix the coconut milk and the ice together before mixing the other ingredients. This will make the smoothie nice and frothy, perfect for lazing around by the pool.

Step two: Next up, you need to add chopped bananas with the creamy peanut butter. It’s important to chop the bananas before. It will make the blending process a lot easier.

Step three: Lastly, add the cinnamon and honey in the blender. Make sure to blend them at low speed, as this will help the smoothie gain creamy frothiness.  The honey is what makes this smoothie a sweet delight, so feel free to add an extra amount.


If you want to make it an even better drinking experience, top it with some whipped cream - it will add creamy decadence to an already lip-smacking good smoothie. I hope you enjoy it just as much as my kids and I do!

Monday, 8 April 2013

VEGETABLE PANCAKES

It's raining so badly in Nairobi. It all starts in the evening around 4 p.m and then the whole night until early morning. When  you are out of your bed you feel like having something spicy as well as healthy(I feel so many times). Try this very simple vegetable pan cakes. Cabbage and carrot in the pan cake helps you to stay warm. To add something to your dietary "fiber" intake I have drizzled some oats to the batter. Very quick and easy too...






Ingredients:


All purpose flour- 1 cup

Finely grated carrot- 1

Finely grated cabbage leaf- 1

Finely chopped spinach- 2 leaves

Finely chopped onion-  tspn

Oats- 1 tbspn

Mustard seeds- 1 tspn

Cumin seeds- 1 tspn

Ginger- garlic paste- 1tspn

Turmeric powder- a pinch

Baking soda- 1/2 tspn

Salt to taste

Oil- 1 tbspn



Method:


First prepare the vegetables to be added to the batter by heating the pan and adding the oil to the pan. When the oil is hot add the mustard seeds and wait for it to splutter. Now add the cumin seeds, ginger- garlic paste, onion, chopped vegetables, salt and turmeric powder(follow the sequence).

Saute for a minute and keep the vegetables aside.


Place flour, oats, baking soda, little salt in a bowl and prepare a smooth batter without any lumps by adding water little by little. Stop adding water when you get an evenly spreadable consistency.





The batter



Add in the vegetables we had prepared earlier and mix with the batter uniformly.




Adding vegetables to the batter



The batter is ready now

Heat the pan and place one tablespoonful of batter and spread it uniformly in the middle of  the pan to the size of a CD and cook with little olive oil or any cooking oil of your choice. Serve hot with tomato ketch up, chutneys or dips of your  choice.














Sunday, 7 April 2013

SPICY OVEN BAKED BRINJAL CRISPS


This oven baked brinjal crisps is a great snack on a rainy day. This is a quite common snack in India which is often available in bakeries in India, but "DEEP FRIED". I just wanted to break that "FRYING" part. Tried  the same thing in the oven. With olive oil and the same Indian spices it came out very well. Spicy too.........I had the small stripy brinjals which are little bit bitter compared to the long ones.

If you prefer to avoid the bitter part use the long purple brinjals. You can check on the health benefits of eating brinjal  in the link below. By cooking this way you can get the wholesome benefit of brinjals which is good for diabetic and high cholestrol patients.







Ingredients:(makes a small bowl of crisps around 150 gms)


Stripy small brinjals-11

Olive oil/ any cooking oil- 1 tbspn

Turmeric powder- 1 tspn

Chilly powder- 1 tspn

Garam masala- 1 tspn

Salt to taste


Method:

Wash the brinjals and pat it dry. Cut the green  stems of the brinjal and cut the brinjals into very thin slices.

brinjals




Place the cut slices of brinjal in a bowl and add the spices, salt and oil and let it marinate for 15 minutes.



Marinated brinjal slices








Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease the baking tray with little cooking oil and place the marinated brinjal slices one by one and fry them in the oven for 20 minutes at 180 degrees until very crispy and done.



Place in the baking tray