Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Chai Spiced Baked Figs with Ginger and Pistachio Mascarpone #autumnproduce #freshfigs #gemofthemarket #dessertreadyin10minutes

Can't get enough of them When these fresh figs appears in the market for their short window. Almost every visit of mine to the supermarket or Farmer's market fresh figs follows me right into my kitchen.

Most of the time we munch away the figs same as apples or any other fruit, or I add them in the salad for sweet taste,  personally I hate to cook or bake anything with the fresh fruit because one or other way you are going to lose its precious nutritional value. If one wants to improve his health, want to boost energy and vitality and stay slim, obviously add raw vegetables and fruits in your diet daily.

But what happens when you have a blog, and that too a food blog ! No matter how hard you try to stay away from these kind of temptations, moments come and you decide to give in, happened to me few days ago. Now that fresh figs are in season, I see Baked figs recipes every day, because I did not try in the past, I had good excuse.

This recipe started with this punnett of figs I spotted in the market on my last visit to the supermarket, The figs looked so perfectly soft and ripe that my mind and heart both expected to carry them home with me and while heading home, I started fantasizing what will I do with them.

I had this recipe in my mind for so long, and it was time to execute, but with a worried mind because first time I was trying it out and worried my sunny boy will like it or not ? Instead using different kind of spices, decided to use chai masala ( spice powder ) as I am a biggest fan of Chai Tea or we call it MASALA CHAI, without masala chai you will not find me in a straight mood :)

I started preparing while he was having his tea. Put the oven on, crushed the pistachio nuts, cut the figs, poured very little honey and omit the butter, sprinkled some chai spice powder on and baked figs just for two minutes. While figs were baking, added stem ginger and it's juice in the mascarpone.
Served in a plate to my sunny boy, and after two minutes he came for a second helping :) and so did 'The husband' and ME !!!

A very simple and stylish, yet very effective pudding ready in less than ten minutes. It's perfect ending to  any relaxed dinner party or an any cosy autumn evening at home :)
Recipe adapted from here 

Use cinnamon powder if chai spice powder is not available.

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Chai Spiced Baked Figs with Ginger and Pistachio Mascarpone
An elegant and fuss free dessert, ready under 10 minutes.
  • 8 Fresh figs
  • 2 tbsp. Chai Spice powder
  • 2 tbsp. Butter ( optional )
  • 1 tub or 250 g Light mascarpone cheese
  • 2 ball Stem ginger
  • 2 tbsp. Stem ginger juice
  • 3 tbsp. Finely chopped Pistachio nuts
  • 2 tbsp. Clear honey
Preheat oven to gas mark 6. wash, dry and cut figs into halves or cross.
Place the figs in ovenproof baking sheet. 
Dot over the butter and honey and sprinkle chai spice powder.
Bake for 5-7 minutes, I baked for only 2 minutes.
Meanwhile chop the stem ginger, add into mascarpone along with juice and chopped pistachio nuts.
Arrange serving plate, first put mascarpone cheese, then arrange baked figs.
Drizzle some stem ginger juice and sprinkle chopped pistachio nuts.
Enjoy !
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 people

Thank you for stopping by and reading this post :)

Monday, 5 October 2015

Baingan Bhartha Hummus - Roasted spicy Aubergine Hummus #middleeastern #dip #delicious

Baingan Bhartha Hummus, healthy and hearty dip made with roasted aubergine and Chickpeas, these are two ingredients, I would never ever get bored with because I do make plenty different kind of dishes with it , they makes me comfortable and gives me energy, keeps me happy.

Because every food is better when it's simple and delicious, also because every food is better when it's infused with Aubergine. Oh, and let's not forget every food is better when it's Hummus !
To top it off, it's it's quick fix recipe and this recipe is a keeper as gorgeous and tasty Bhartha has enhanced this dip.

I was looking for a way to use up some of my left over Baingan Bhartha, I would've have ate it in the next day at lunch time but was due to go out certainly not after having very strong flavoured food.

I've seen many roasted eggplant hummus recipes on the net, but there isn't Baingan Bhartha hummus, so taken inspiration from those recipes and here I am with Baingan Bhartha Hummus, also we really enjoy equally other flavoured too , those hummus recipes are here If you have never tried Roasted eggplant or aubergine hummus, new experience and taste, you won't regret. Bit of advantage of this recipe is that you don't have to start from scratch, whenever you prepare Baingan Bhartha, just make little more and I hope you give this a whirl because this one is YUMMUS :)

An amazing subtle smoky flavoured, earthy, creamy and mildly spiced  hummus, a taste never to forget in a hurry, Just grab your favourite crackers and veggies and dip away !
Oh and not to tell anyone that this dip can be used as spread and sandwich filling too :)

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Baigan Bhartha Hummus

An amazing smoky flavoured, creamy and mildly spiced hummus, a taste never forgotten in a hurry !

  • 1/2 cup Baingan Bhartha Recipe here
  • 1 cup Cooked Chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup Tahini
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 tbsp. Fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch Salt
  • Pinch Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp+1 tbsp for garnish Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Parsley or coriander leaves fresh
  • Pinch Paprika or mild red chilli powder
  • few tbsp. Water
Place all the ingredients except 1 tbsp oil and red chilli powder in a food processor or blender jar.
Whirl away until smooth and combined.
If the mixture is too thick add little more oil and little water.
Taste test and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Transfer in a serving bowl, garnish with the remaining oil and paprika powder. 
Serve with your favourite crackers or toasted pitta bread and veggies for a healthy snack. 
You can store this hummus in a jar upto 3-4 days in a refrigerator.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 200g

Thank you for stopping by and reading this post :)

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Homemade Chikna Khoya - Stove Top method Milk Solids

Almost throughout her life my Mum prefered buying most of the stuff from markets or shops where her parents used to purchase, she would trust them fully. She would change even two buses to go to those shops. She would go to Manek Chowk, liveliest and busiest market in Ahmedabad to get stainless steel utensils or jewellery where you can find hundreds of Jewellery shops in one market. There are many props which I use for this blog, I've got from there :) Spices and dry fruits she would get from the spice market Madhu Pura, Clothes, fabrics and for sari shopping she would prefer Dhalgar vaad and Ratanpol. 

Recently I took my daughter to all of these places and shopped till we dropped !!!

And I clearly remember especially to get her favourite loose tea which was WAGH BAKRI ( my favourite too and I am lucky to get it here too). She would never get tired to go all the way. Many times I tagged along with her, and help her to carry those bags.

I don't remember a single time during childhood when Mum made khoya at home, she didn't have to, Only fresh khoya was always brought in the house from her favourite and trusted shop.
I would get super duper excited when Mum takes me to get Khoya from Kalupur, the heart of Ahmedabad.

A trip to khoya shop means yummy food in the house :) Makes me nostalgic,
Countless tiny shops, but filled with variety of Khoya or Mawa you can get. Batti Khoya, Chikna Khoya and Danedar khoya, it felt like you are already in a Mithai shop.  Although there were so many shops, but Mum would only stop at this particular shop and get fresh Khoya because that shop was frequently visited by Mum's family as khoya or Mawa were used heavily in their family.

Khoya or Mawa is hugely used in making many Indian sweets or Mithai, also added in many curry dishes to bring richness to the dish. We are lucky enough to get one type of Khoya, which is rock hard I assume it's Batti Khoya, however most of the times I prepare Khoya using Ricotta cheese, recipe is here in M/W .

I never made khoya from using only milk powder, opportunity came recently. I always keep milk powder bag in my fridge and few weeks back while I was cleaning the fridge, I checked date and it was end of september. I scratched my head thinking what will I do with it ? So first thought came into mind to make some Indian sweets and conjured up Kesar, Badam and Pista Barfi which was a huge hit in the family and on my blog :) Always maintaining it's place in "All time favourite Posts".

With the remaining milk powder plan was to making khoya and freeze it for later use. I did not have any cream or full fat milk in the fridge at that very moment, so just used skimmed milk and couple of tablespoon of ghee. After 10-15 minutes I had this aromatic khoya ready. Cooled it wrapped it in a butter paper and left it in the freezer. Although after freezing this khoya, it will become danedar khoya, so you can use in any kind of  Sweets or Mithai.

Now that so many Indian festival are in line up one after an another, Khoya demands will be sky high and so does prices,  rather than buying adulterated khoya from the market, especially you guys in India, I have read and seen some shocking news about khoya,  try this recipe and be proud of :)

Notes :-

Single cream can be used instead of milk.
Unsalted butter can be used instead of Ghee.

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Homemade Chikna Khoya

Clean and fresh khoya made with Full fat Milk powder. Can be used in many Indian sweets or Mithai.
  • 500 g Full fat milk powder
  • 2 tbsp. Ghee
  • 75-80 mls. Milk

Heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan or non stick pan on a low heat.
Add milk powder and quickly start stirring, be extra careful not to burn the milk powder. 
Keep roasting powder for 3-4 minutes.
Now add milk and combine everything.
Keep stirring mixture on a low heat, again keep an eye on it.
After few minutes you will see mixture getting thick.
Keep stirring, you will get thick but sticky mixture.
Once mixture starts thickened, turn off the heat. 
Remove pan from the heat, but keep stirring the Khoya for another 2-3 minutes.
Transfer into another plate, let it cool or use straight away in the recipe.
If you want it for later use, let it cool completely.
Wrap in a butter paper and keep in refrigerator or freeze it and use within a month.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 500 g

Thank you for stopping by and reading this post :)

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Herby Tofu Kebab and Orange salad #delicious #lowGI #jamieoliversuperfood #superfoodsalad

This is not an ordinary salad, it's a superfood salad, It's almost one pot meal in a way,  it's a herby tofu and Orange salad !!! 
It's vibrant, extremely delicious and of course packed with all the goodness which our body requires everyday ! 

I know summer has already packed it's bags and autumn is settling in the air, maybe many of you in search of autumn recipes, but let me assure you, that you still can fit this awesome salad  in your diet. This salad is packed with Iron, minerals , protein and abundance of vitamin C which you'll need for your immune system, especially in winter when its needed this most. So if you are thinking for the next summer to try out this recipe, let me remind you that you willthe big loser :)

Herby tofu kebab and orange salad, recipe I partly conjured up while I was watching Jamie Oliver's cookery programme Jamie's Everyday Super food  last week. Jamie was making this salad non veg, but I immediately thought about replacing with tofu and told myself my next trip to supermarket will be so soon :) I like Jamie's recipes, actually I've seen his debut cookery show The Naked Chef, young boy came and talking about food, so surprising it was. 

I took a walk to the shop, a bonus point goes for me,  my trip to supermarket was a lucky one, when I went to chilled aisle what I saw ? Tofu was on a good offer, quickly grabbed 4 packets as best before date is till November, also found all the fresh herbs, a guy told me that they have just arrived in the store few minutes ago, I was very pleased.

With all my grocery I headed to the till, lady on the till ( I think she was european, from her accent I knew ) was so surprised to see tofu. She bombarded me with so many questions about tofu. Will not tell you here how many questions she asked me, but couple of  them were 'Is tofu a meat' ? and how you're surviving without meat :) and last one 'what if someone next to you eating non veg ? 

I wanted to tell her so much about it, but I just smiled and replied her yes, you can :) and also told her what to eat or not it's people's own choice and I left the shop with a smile :) Came home and prepared this salad very quickly and wolfed it down less than five minutes. Trust me after having this salad at lunch around 1 pm, I did not need any snacks in between just drank few glasses of water and had dinner about 7:30 even for dinner I wasn't starving !!

Next day my plan was to go and meet daughter at her university place , again I prepared this salad and packed for her. As soon as I reached she asked me Mum, have you got lunch for me ? I handed over her a container, she did not say a word but she kept eating, there was a silence in the room, the only noise I can hear was crunchy bread going kruummmm krummmm in her mouth :)

I used home grown MINT :)

Salad didn't survive for long, after she finished said "Mum this salad is a keeper, and I will prepare even myself here, not saying just because I was hungry, but you've made a master piece and you must post it on your blog" ! Then I told her how I made, where the inspiration came from and etc and in the evening headed back home. 

So third time I prepared this salad yesterday in less than a week and posting recipe today ! Hope you guys like it and if you prepare let me know :)

Only add orange slices and Tofu, Bread kebab when you are ready to eat.
Perfect for lunch box.

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Herby Tofu Kebab and Orange Salad

Vibrant, Delicious and nutritious superfood salad , no one should miss out on it !

  • 4-5 Sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 4 Garlic cloves
  • 2-3 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. White vine vinegar
  • to taste Sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Freshly Crushed black pepper
  • Pinch Red chilli flakes ( optional )
  • 1 packet Firm Tofu
  • 3 thick slices Thick slice of multigrain and sees bread
  • 1 Bay leaf ( I used fresh )
  • 200 g Baby spinach
  • 4 tbsp. Dill leaves
  • 3 tbsp. Parsley, Coriander and mint leaves
  • 1/2 Crispy leafy salad packet
  • 1 tbsp. Lemon juice
  • 3 peeled Oranges
  • 25 g. Feta cheese
  • 4-5 Bamboo skewers ( soak in water for about 2-3 hours)
  • 1 tbsp. Edible dried lavender leaves
Drain water from the tofu and try to make dry as possible.
I left it out of the fridge for half an hour.
Add rosemary, garlic cloves, salt, oil, vinegar in blender jar and blend till you get lovely smooth marinate. 
Chop the tofu and bread into 2-3 cm chunks, add in a bowl with rosemary paste. 
Gently toss everything together and make sure everything is coated well.
Once marinated, thread the tofu and bread on soaked bamboo skewers.
Heat a frying pan on a medium heat, place a bay leaf on it and lay the skewers in a hot pan and cook until golden every side.
Altogether it will take 5-6 minutes.Meanwhile peel the skin of the orange, then slice into rounds.
Place all the spinach, herbs and other salad leaves in a big bowl. 
Add lemon juice.Toss well.
On a serving plate arrange bed of salad, place orange slices and top with the tofu and bread kebab.
Crumble over the feta cheese and edible flower and serve immediately. Enjoy !!
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 people
Thank you for stopping by and reading this post :)

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Red Pepper and Chilli Chutney for cheese #britishflavours #plouhman'ssandwich #chutney #Christmasgift

We are huge fan of ploughman's sandwiches, sometimes known as cheese and pickle sandwich or cheese and chutney sandwich. A typical British sandwich resemblance to a ploughman's lunch.  A ploughman's lunch basically a cold meal most commonly consumed during midday.

Ploughman's sandwich consists of cheese mainly cheddar , a sweet and vinegary pickle or chutney which is a 'key ingredient' with salads such as lettuce or rockets. I love to add few slice of tomatoes and cucumber too. A delicious and filling sandwich. For many years we used to use one particular brand pickle, lately supermarkets are flooding with numerous variety kind of chutneys and pickle jars so we tried few of them past couple of years.

One of them was Red pepper with Jalapeno, flavours were amazing of this particular chutney which you can either use in sandwiches or great on cheese board too.

But a small jar with  a hefty price !

 Because everyone was loving it, I kept buying it. A thought never came to my mind to make it at home until I got hold of almost 1 kg red pepper from the market for only £1.

I thought there was no better time to get chutney making !  As soon as came home with them quickly checked few basic recipes and worked out how to prepare this particular recipe which we love to the core !

Home grown tomatoes and salad !

Headed to the kitchen , in just a few minutes started stirring this wonderful sweet, mildly spicy and vinegary chutney, a perfect addition to a delicious cheddar sandwich. Also this chutney transforms an ordinary cheese and biscuit snack into something special too. This gorgeous and vibrant homemade chutney can become a delightful gift for the ardent chutney lover !
Sunny boy and me are hooked on gorging this chutney with dollops of soft cheese on crackers, Soooo yummy !

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Red Pepper and Chilli Chutney

Sweet, mildly spicy and vinegary chutney made from fresh red pepper and chillies. A perfect addition to a delicious Cheddar sandwich !

  • 500 g Red pepper
  • 3-4 Fresh red chillies or red jalapeno ( reduce the amount if you prefer less spicy ) ( I used Indian variety)
  • 2 big Cooking Apple
  • 2 big Red onion finely chopped
  • 2 Vine tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. Ginger-Garlic paste
  • 10 tbsp. Cider vinegar
  • 200 g Brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Kashmiri chilli powder (optional)
  • pinch Red chilli flakes dried
Keep few small sterile jars ready. 
Heat oil in a pan, add chopped onion, cook very slowly for about 15-20 minutes or until the onion becomes sticky. 
Meanwhile finely chop peppers, chillies, tomatoes and apples or use food processor ( I used it ) do not make puree.
Add all the chopped ingredients, ginger-garlic puree, sugar and vinegar.
Mix everything and keep stirring.
Let it cook on a very low heat.
When the liquid reduces, you will get very thick and sticky chutney. 
It will take about 40-45 minutes. 
Switch off the heat.Spoon in into sterile jars. 
To keep for a longer period, keep it in a cool dark place.
Once opened keep it in a refrigerator and use it in couple of weeks. Enjoy !
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 3 small jars

Thank you for stopping by and reading this post :)


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