Baked Potato Wedges

Some days you just need it. Quick carbs that is.

I had seen this interesting recipe by the purple foodie which she had adapted from lottie + doof to get a stronger garlic flavour.

I like love garlic but 8 cloves of them? too much for me! but still I loved the whole idea of baking them and she seemed so elated with the results I just had to try the technique.

It was a smashing success! fantastic fries I absolutely loved them!

However I did change the recipe quite a bit;

  • I added a tablespoon of tomato soup powder – gave a great tangy tomato flavour
  • reduced the garlic to 3 cloves
  • used tapioca instead of cornflour – I prefer tapioca, it binds way better and faster than cornflour
  • Increased the quantity of potatoes greatly! used 7 medium sized ones without altering the proportion of any of the ingredients- perfect proportions.

The best part is, I could salvage almost 3 tbs of oil post baking! so not much really went into 7 whole potatoes. This was brilliant.

So thats it! great, great, great stuff! I totally recommend it to everyone who loves fries and has an oven. Seriously.

You can check out  the purple foodie or lottie + doof for the detailed recipe and techinque follow whichever version you prefer.

Honestly, didn’t need the kitchen paper to drain :D

September 29, 2009 at 12:26 pm 3 comments

No bake lemon yogurt tart/pudding/cassata

So I whipped this awesome tartie thingie quite some time back and I completely forgot to blog about it!

I really love the acerbic taste of a fresh lemon and tart lemon pies and puddings but lemon curd based desserts are just so rich! All the egg yolks and sugar it’s to egg-y and heavy for my liking.

Yogurt is another one of my favourites and I just love how flavoured yogurt can capture fruit flavours and lend a light and summery mouthfeel.

So I mixed them both up. The results were pretty good; got a nice no-bake pudding/tart/frozen dessert; almost like a lemony cassata.

What you need:

1 pack of lemon flavoured pudding mix

1 cup of strained or greek style yogurt

sugar as per taste

1 tbs fresh lemon juice and rind

1/2 tsp lemon essence

10 digestive biscuits broken into chunks

1/2 cup glace fruits, nuts and fresh fruit chunks (fresh fruit is optional)

What to do:

1. prepare the lemon pudding and set aside to cool (should be equvivalent to one cup)

2. Put the digestive biscuits in a deep dish

3. Beat yogurt with sugar, lemon juice and essence

4. Mix cooled pudding with yogurt and gently fold in the glace fruit and nuts

5. Pour over digestive biscuits

6. Freeze till set. Garnish with fresh fruit or lemon slices. Cut into slices and serve.

September 25, 2009 at 12:26 pm 3 comments

Ras Malai: Best + easiest ever!

Literal translation: Liquid Cream.

Actually it has nothing to do with cream and it definitely has nothing to do with liquid cream or even liquid + cream. It’s just an absurd name- if you make it my way!

Ras malai is a traditional Indian sweet, originating from West Bengal. God I love the Bengalis for having invented this. It’s my favourite dessert ever.

These tiny balls of cottage cheese are soaked in a creamy milk and sugar and eaten with the milk.

It’s a tricky and complicated recipe BUT this version (handed down by my aunt) is easy, breezy and beautiful (yes it’s a cover-worthy dessert)

What you need:

For the Malai: Creamy balls

1 cup of Nido milk powder (or any other brand)

1 egg

1 + 1/2 tsp baking powder

For the Ras: Milk Syrup

1lt milk

1/2 can unsweetened evaporated milk

1/2 cup sugar

Saffron strands

1 tsp cardamom powder

What to do:

1. Make Ras. Boil everything together and make sure that the flame is med, do not let it burn!

2. Make the malai. Sift the milk powder with baking powder, beat in the egg and knead to form a sticky dough. You may be tempted to add water, but resist the temptation. Form tiny balls (they will swell)

3. Put the balls in the boiling milk and simmer for 15-20 minutes till balls swell up and are soft in the centre.

4. Cool and serve nice and cold.

The balls can be flattened- the more traditional shape.

Good example of Watermark gone awry.

September 11, 2009 at 7:13 am 6 comments

Quickest veg stir-fry with Za’atar

I tried Za’atar in Kuwait and I fell in love with that stuff. It’s a mix spice with a lot of stuff in it; mint, sesame seeds, oregano, sumaah, thyme, marjoram and a lot of other stuff I can’t figure out. Lucky for me I don’t need to.

I’ve bought enough Za’atar to last for a really long time (smart thinking)  But if you can’t get your hands on some of this stuff, then you can try making your own. That link seems to have covered it.

There’s really not much to talk about this recipe. Make it and you shall know.

What you need:

1 red onion

1 ts of ginger + garlic paste and more garlic if you will

about 250  Mix vegetables, or whatever you want to stir fry

2tbs  Za’atar

40gm cottage cheese/paneer/tofu

salt as per your taste-buds (or dietary requirements)

1 tbs (good quality) oyster sauce

20gm of grated processed cheese (optnl)

1 tsp oil

What to do:

1. Saute veggies in oil, starting with onions, ginger garlic paste and the harder veggies progressing to the softer ones. Throw in the paneer/tofu/cottage cheese

2. Add salt, oyster sauce and Za’atar. Cover and cook on a low flame for about 7 minutes or so.

3. Cover with processed cheese. Dig in.

I used mix veggies from a pack. So easy.

Frozen cubed paneer? Awesome, no chopping required.

My new comfort food? Definitely.

A bowl of this stuff would make me really comfortable right now.

September 4, 2009 at 6:37 am 2 comments

hard working cook, lazy blogger

Writing a blog is hard work. Ever so often I find my self cooking away or even clicking away but never get the patience to blog about any of it.

I’m going to be reall-ly busy the next one month, it’s Ramadan plus I will be studying like a crazy nut (or at least I should be!) for all the damned exams that I have to give. I’m quite addicted to social networking and useless browsing so I might even unplug my Internet for the month (yikes!)

So I’m scheduling a couple of posts. hopefully you wont miss me too much :P

Ohh here’s the Cinnamon french toast with poached caramel flavoured apples that I turned out the other day. Ok Ok so I couldn’t resist. I took a bite before I could click the pic, trust me- you would do the same.

Cinnamon toast + poached apple

What you need:

for the french toast:

1 egg

2 slices of white bread

1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

2 tsp sugar

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 cup cold milk

For the poached apples

1 red apple; peeled, cored and sliced(whichever type)

1 small cinnamon stick

3 tbs sugar

1 cup water

1/2 tsp lemon juice

What to do:

1. Make the poached apples. Caramelize 3tbs of sugar in a saucepan and pour a cup of water once caramelized. Reduce heat.

2. Put the lemon juice, cinnamon and apple slices in the saucepan and cook covered for 15 minutes till done.

3. Make the french toast. Beat eggs, cinnamon, sugar, salt and milk. Dip slices of bread and fry in a non stick pan till golden brown on both sides.

4. Serve both together. Pour some of the caramel liquid over the apples and the toast. YUM!

I sat down on my pretty little (new!) carpet to enjoy this massive breakfast. ahh soft soft carpet.

August 28, 2009 at 6:05 am 2 comments

Holiday in Kuwait Part 3 (the last one)

Do you believe in saving the best for the last?

I do.

The Radisson SAS at Kuwait have converted a really large dhow of olden times into a swanky banquet hall.

I felt like I was in the Titanic. It was awesome.

Broast chicken from Canary. Succulent, tender and delicious. The whole chicken had been stuffed with onions and a lemon. There seemed to be nothing other than that. The Arabs have a tendency to go easy on the salt too.. But you could really taste the flavor of the chicken. They always serve this with piles of Khubs bread and plenty of garlic sauce.

Spice shopping.. I went nuts. I bought two different types of Za’atar, Surmac, Chamomile, Arabic mix spice, Hibiscus leaves.. and a lot more.

There were a million varieties of cheeses.. but to be honest, I found them a little too salty to eat.

And not to be left out were the olives. dark green, light green, black, yellow, ochre, in oil, in brine, fresh, dried, stuffed with carrot, pimentos, chili… I could spend an entire day just sampling them.. but then again they were too salty for my taste-buds… I’ll stick with the ones in jars.

I’ve probably said this before; We share he Arabian sea. Despite that, the fish available there are quite different. Take the Hammour for instance. It’s probably the best fish I’ve eaten. Really pricey at 20 kd for a big one. It’s the big brown one on top.

Naif Chicken restauran is another place that offfers fast food vriations of traditional arabic food. I mean just look at this picture. You have stuffed grape leaves and coleslaw and fries. It’s strange how local food gets modified with times and tastes.

Let’s take a closer look at the stuffed grape leaves. The leaves were extremely tender and liberally doused with olive oil. It was quite sour to taste. People say that it’s an acquired taste; my love at first bite it is probably an anomaly.

The stuffing comprised of really temder Brown rice corriander a spices. Fantastic, really.

Perfect Seekh Kababs with Khubs bread and arabic rocca leaves.  Despite having barely any spice in these kebabs, they were delicious. You could really taste the natural beef flavor.

There were also these crepes that were sprinkled with anything you wanted. of course we tried Za’atar then there was honey, labneh, cream cheese even the plain crepe just as it is. we saw these crepes being made and oddly, they were made from lumps of flour-ry batter rather than a liquid batter. Surprisingly crispy and light.

The salad leaves were a bit too spicy to be eaten without a dressing.

The man grilling the kababs wasn’t the friendliest person around.. but we managed to get a quick click. This is what he grilled the meat in, an enormous covered grill.

Meals should always end with something sweet… OK this was far from anything sweet. It was strong Arabic coffee. My aunt served these to us in cute, tiny turkish coffee mugs. You can’t have much of it. Flavourful but really potent.

Why I mentioned sweet was because the coffee is to be paired with this.. These are assorted arabic sweets. Kunafa, bassboosa and other things which I can’t remember. Super greasy and extremely sweet and yum.

This was Kunafa again. Topped with pistachios.

It was a fantastic holiday, and there’s so much more to discover with all that I’ve brought home. All the spices to try, all the dishes to prepare, all the flavours to be remembered and recreated.

For me (at the risk of sounding really cheesy) my exploration of Kuwait has just begun.

August 21, 2009 at 6:12 pm 6 comments

Holiday in Kuwait part 2

As I was saying in my last post, there was loads to see there.

I’m a total museum buff. The skeleton of a blue whale.

Then we saw live water beasts… being fed.

A great white.. I really love this picture.

My first ever hardees meal. We don’t have them in Mumbai. I’m already thinking of starting a franchise here.

Dhows and boats and yatchs in all shapes and sizes are visible everywhere. It’s weird that Mumbai shares the Arabian sea with Kuwait but it looks so different here..

There were happy meals..

Some sight-seeing..

followed by  even happier meals..

The board walk goes pretty far into the sea… I didn’t want to leave this place.

But I was bribed with this. I made my own salad at little Ceaser’s. What I really enjoyed was trying out all the local condiments and salads. Hummus, labneh, phool salad, the fried khubs that you out in fattoush, arabic rocca leaves. Fasinating. Strange mix of it all.

Ok I’m working on part three right now!

August 14, 2009 at 12:00 am 4 comments

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