Saturday, 25 June 2016

Strawberry, Goat's Cheese and Watercress Salad with Tarragon and Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette



This summer season you can have a french inspired strawberrific salad, featuring luscious strawberries, goat's cheese and fresh watercress. It's dressed in deliciously french style, seasoned with distinct flavours of tarragon and Dijon mustard vinaigrette.  It can be a perfect addition to cookout or BBQ meal.



Although past week the weather isn't playing ball, we have been gorging on fresh and delicious salads almost every lunch time. In our house, salads gets warm welcome anytime, no matter whatever the weather we are having, actually we listen our bodies, when it requires fresh and healthy food we provide it.


Couple of weeks ago daughter returned home for a break and requested for salads, not just for a day, every day, because she did indulge in takeaways and dine at many restaurants after finished her exams. So, since her return we have been making and enjoying some of our all time favourites salads and exploring new flavours with different and new ingredients.


Strawberry, Goat's Cheese and Watercress Salad with Tarragon and Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette, was bang on and it blew us away . It is a stunning way to make the most of the summer's best produce. The perfume and flavour of the ripe and scarlet strawberry works great with tarragon, Dijon mustard and a splash of white wine vinegar and black pepper also make happy partners. This lively salad captures the the essence of the early summer with the ripe strawberries. The addition of the fresh tarragon gives it a subtle and herbal taste. With soft goat's cheese, peppery watercress with nutritional powerhouse brings plenty of excitement to this salad.


I put this salad bowl on the dining table and could not believe my eyes as in less than five minutes bowl was empty, quickly I prepared another bowl and took couple of pics as fast as I could :)

It's a great salad and can't wait to make it again!





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Strawberry, Goat Cheese and Watercress Salad with Tarragon and Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette
Delicious and great salad for summer !
Ingredients
  • 200g Strawberries hulled at room temperature
  • 75g French goat's cheese
  • 50 g Watercress or any fresh salad
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. Tarragon finely chopped plus few whole leaves
  • 1 tsp. Caster sugar or honey
  • 1 tbsp. White wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. Finely chopped red onion
  • Pinch Black Pepper
Instructions
In a big bowl mix together the Dijon mustard, sugar, vinegar and olive oil. 
Seasoned with salt and black pepper, then add and stir in the chopped tarragon and onion.
Slice and halve the strawberries , add in the dressing and toss to coat.
Then add watercress and gently toss.
Serve in a plate, add goat's cheese.
Drizzle some olive oil , sprinkle black pepper and scatter some tarragon leaves over each plate before serving.
Enjoy !
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 servings as a starter

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Recipe inspiration here
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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

No Bake Lime, Ginger and White Chocolate Cheese Cake and Product Review - Creazy


An individually set, heavenly and elegant looking Lime, Ginger and White Chocolate cheesecake, topped with a ginger whipped cream, perfect for any outdoor or indoor entertaining !!

Just like every other father's day, this year my kids celebrated this day by preparing breakfast, gave cards and gifts to their dad. Even though it's a family affair we always make a point to celebrate it in full. While daughter prepared lunch, myself and sunny boy whizzed up this delectable cheese cake, which we always enjoy eating.


The mere thought of delicious, creamy and divine cheese cake makes me and my family go weak at the knees. Whatever word you use to describe it, good cheese cake is one dessert that brings a decadent finish to a meal, and this time to cap off a wonderful meal we made Lime, Ginger and White Chocolate cheesecake. It came out fabulous, so smooth, rich and creamy, not too sweet but just right and the subtle flavours of the crumbly ginger crust was to die for.




Unique flavours from the lime, ginger and white chocolate gelled together so nicely and complemented each other really well. It just melts in your mouth and leaves you longing for just one bite more. Its so easy to put together, once you have gathered all the ingredients.



We prepared ginger whipped cream within just a half minute.
Can you ?
Really ?
Yes, you can , no kidding!
I heard about this trick long ago and thought it sounded too good to be true. I could not believe my eyes until I turned regular cream into thick whipped cream myself using Creazy in just 30 seconds!
Science is Crazy right ??

The generous people from Formahouse  sent me Creazy to write a review about it. So what is Creazy? It's a mason jar with three silicon marble sized balls, designed by Cookut to make perfect whipped cream in less than a minute, just pour double cream, spoon of powdered sugar and those three silicon marble sized balls, close the lid and shake, you will have thick fabulous whipped cream to enjoy. Whipped cream made in Creazy jar is amazing and works like charm. It's almost as easy as take out whipped cream spray can out of the fridge.



Creazy jar made with BPA free glass and it's a dishwasher safe. It's capacity is 0.7 litre, with the jar you will have a user manual with extra information.

Whipped cream made in a jar, no mixer, extra bowl or utensil to clean for a few dollop of whipped cream, and definitely no tired arm from whisking. It's perfect when you need small amount of whipped cream and don't feel like using your stand mixer. Creazy makes an excellent gift for people or students who don't have the luxury of extra space and only need cream in small amounts.



Since Creazy has arrived in our house, we have been finding any excuse to shake it, just the other day did it in a snap for some strawberries, and daughter is eyeing it on to take it with her back to uni because this Creazy does exactly what it says on the tin :)

Thank you Formahouse for sending me a Creazy Jar to review, I was not told or paid to write a positive review.

Shall we check the recipe ?

Notes :-
I did use Creazy jar to whip the cream and this procedure required double cream at room temperature. You can use chilled double cream.




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No Bake Lime, Ginger and White Chocolate Cheese Cake
An individually set, heavenly and elegant looking Lime, Ginger and White Chocolate cheesecake, topped with a ginger whipped cream, perfect for any outdoor or indoor entertaining !!

Ingredients
  • 5 Digestive biscuits
  • 5 Ginger nut cookies
  • 3 tbsp Margarine ( melted )
  • 200 g Full fat cream cheese ( room temperature )
  • 2 tbsp. Lime Juice
  • 40 g Icing sugar
  • 50 g White chocolate melted
  • 75 ml Double cream chilled
  • few drops Vanilla extract
  • 75 ml double cream at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. Powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Ginger syrup
  • handful Fresh mint leaves and raspberries to serve
  • To garnish Dark chocolate
Instructions
Place biscuits in a grinder and grind to coarse .
Mix with melted margarine and combine. 
Press couple of spoon of biscuit mixture into the base of any serving glass.
I used Martini glass. 
Chill in the fridge while making the filling. ( although I did not )
Place lime juice, cream cheese and icing sugar in a mixing bowl and mix everything.
Pour meted white chocolate and mix quickly to avoid any lumps.
Now add chilled double cream and vanilla extract and beat everything together till you get nice thick creamy mixture.
Spoon the cheese filling mixture on top of the set biscuit mixture and level it with the teaspoon.
Cover the glass with the cling film and leave it in the fridge for couple of hours or until set.
Now make ginger whipped cream using Creazy.
Pour double cream, powdered sugar and ginger syrup in Creazy jar. 
Close the lid tightly and shake for 30 seconds.
Voila ..you have luxurious looking whipped cream ready.
Scoop the ginger cream in a piping bag, use whatever piping nozzle you fancy and pipe the cream on top of the cheese cake. 
Pop the glass back into fridge for 15-20 minutes, so cream sets nicely.
Once ready to serve place fresh mint leaves and raspberries on to each cheese cake, garnish with the dark chocolate if you like.
Serve and enjoy !
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8-10 servings

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Saturday, 18 June 2016

Tropical Fruit Granita with Ginger and Honey #cookoutmenu #barbecuemenu #frozentreat #summercoolers


Celebrate this years tropical summer with my oh so delicious Tropical Fruit Granita with Ginger and Honey. 


You can definitely count on this crunchy and cool Granita if you are arranging your summer cookout or barbecue parties. Make it well ahead and have plenty of time to spare to. After just spending a few minutes on preparation and few hours in the freezer you will have a sweet, light and delicious treat for a hot summers day.


This homemade dessert also works beautifully as a mid-meal intermezzo as it's not too sweet, just refreshing. This granita is made extra easy by the use of ready made fresh fruit juice. Because we are obsessed with the mangoes and ginger, I added extra mango puree and ginger juice and sweetened the dessert with honey.


Serve it in a small serving ramekin or glass, top it up with fresh mango balls and garnish with the fresh mint, and see everyone captivated because they know that you are going to spoil them with this gorgeous frozen delight.



Notes :-
If you are entertaining adults at your party, make this Granita a little tipsy by adding a couple of spoons of rum or champagne.



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Tropical Fruit Granita with Ginger and Honey
Refreshing and light Granita will surely bring a smile on your face on a hot summery day !
Ingredients
  • 400 ml Fresh Tropical Juice
  • 1 cup Mango puree
  • 100 ml Coconut water
  • 2-3 tbsp. Honey
  • 2 tbsp. Ginger juice
  • 1 cup Fresh mango chopped to serve
  • handful Fresh mint leaves
  • 2 Limes juiced and zested
Instructions
Combine the fruit juice, coconut water, lime juice,honey, ginger juice and mango puree in a bowl.
Pour into a freezer proof container and freeze for 5-6 hours. 
Check every hour and using fork break up the frozen crystals and return to the freezer. 
Repeat until frozen.
Spoon the granita into serving glasses, garnish with fresh mango cubes and mint leaves, and then serve.
Enjoy !
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6-8 servings


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Thursday, 16 June 2016

Creamy Caramel Phirni - Classic Dessert - Western Twist - #Father'sDayTreat #Happyfather'sday


Get creative in the kitchen and indulge your dad's sweet tooth with this extra special Creamy Caramel Phirni.



In honour of the Father's Day Celebrations, I have an elegant looking dessert idea for you today because every celebration calls for a delicious treat. This creamy and scrumptious, caramel phirni makes a great dessert, served in individual glasses. So if you are looking for a simple treat with a super delicious twist, I've got you covered.




Phirni is an absolutely delicious traditional creamy Indian dessert, prepared with rice flour or ground rice, milk and sugar and set in a small earthen pots, garnished with nuts, edible silver leaf and rose petals.


Creamy Caramel Phirni gives a western and modern twist to the conventional Phirni. To bring new flavours, I did not used any different or new ingredients but just changed a little method in preparation and here I have totally new flavoured Phirni.


Really all I can say that this Creamy Caramel Phirni is so good, and even more simple to make.




If your taste buds are demanding a seasonal twist , check out my Vanilla and Strawberry Phirni or if you are a caramel fan, see Salted Caramel Peda ( Fudge )




Happy Father's Day !
JCO wishing all the loving fathers out there a very happy day, have fun and enjoy the day !
I would like to wish a very happy father's day to my My Hero - My dad , and to my husband.



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Creamy Caramel Phirni

This creamy and scrumptious, caramel phirni make a great dessert, served in a individual glass looks so pretty. So if you are looking for a simple yet treat with a super delicious twist, I've got you covered.

Ingredients
  • 30 g Ground rice
  • 400 ml Milk
  • 100 ml Single cream
  • 100-125 g Sugar - I used demerara
  • 2 tbsp. Pistachio slivers
  • Optional -  Fresh fruit like berries, mango or grapes
Instructions
Put milk and half cream in a thick bottom sauce pan over a medium heat. 
Mix in ground rice and stir continuously. Keep string while bringing to the boil. 
Mean while in another non stick pan, add sugar and couple of spoon of water over medium heat.
Allow sugar to dissolve and bring it to boil.
Let the mixture caramelize and wait for it turn to dark brown. 
Do not stir, just swirl the pan.As soon as caramel dark in colour, remove it from the heat.
Carefully pour the caramel mixture into rice and milk mixture, be careful as this mixture will bubble violently. 
Keep whisking constantly , and simmer until any clumps have dissolve and mixture is smooth.
By now phirni mixture will be creamy and thick.
Turn off the heat, let the mixture cool at room temperature.
Once cooled, set the phirni in a individual serving glass, and let it cool in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
Once you are ready to serve, whip a remaining cream, pour on the cooled phirni and garnish with the pistachio slivers.
If you fancy, add fresh fruit too.
Enjoy !
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 portions

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Sunday, 12 June 2016

Khasta Aloo Matar Kachori Gujarati Style


Aloo Matar Kachori, good old kachoris with good old masala chai. Flaky and crispy, it tastes delicious by itself or can gobble a couple of them with lip-smacking hot green chutney and tangy Tamarind Chutney.



It is well known that Indian street food Samosas have broken all geographical and culture barriers to become world famous but well made kachori can beat samosa any time !

These kachoris are deep fried pies stuffed with delicious and flavourful filling made with mashed potato, green peas, aromatic herbs and spices.



It's been a long time since I fried some kachoris, and definitely it was worth the effort as they came out so well, so flaky, crispy and crumbly and surely packed with so much flavour. In Gujarat, these delicious kachoris are served as a snack any time of the day and sometimes it takes place as Farsan in Gujarati Thali.



In the past I have prepared Garlic Kachori, Poha kachori and Dry fruit Kachori , they were phenomenal !!!

Let's make Gujarati Khasta Aloo Matar kachori, straight from the streets of Gujarat, this kachori will knock your socks off !!



Notes :-
These kachoris will stay fresh only for one day, do not store.



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Khasta Aloo Matar Kachori Gujarati Style

Khasta Aloo Matar Kachori, deep fried pastry with spicy and delicious mashed potato and Green Peas filling. Prepare them for parties, potluck or teatime ..I can have any time :)

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup Plain flour
  • 1/4 cup Melted ghee or oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cup Boiled and mashed potato ( use floury potato)
  • 1/2 cup Boiled green peas
  • to deep fry Oil
  • 2 tbsp. Green chillies and Ginger crushed
  • 2 tbsp. Fresh Corinader
  • 1 tbsp. Oil
  • 1 tsp. Cumin seeds
  • Pinch Hing
  • 1 tbsp. Dry mango powder or lemon juice
  • Pinch Sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Cinnamon, Cloves, Black Pepper, Cardamom seeds, Fennel seeds, Dry red chillies and whole corinder seeds 
  • 1 tbsp. Sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp. Khus Khus ( Poppy Seeds )
  • 1 tsp. Dessicated coconut
Instructions
Heat less than 1/2 tsp. oil in a pan and lightly roast the 2tbsp. whole spices, let it cool.
Grind roasted whole spices in a grinder, keep it coarse . 
Mix with sesame and Poppy seeds.
Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a kadai, add cumin seeds, once they crackle add hing.
Add crushed chilli and ginger and cook for few seconds, add coconut and fry less than 2 seconds or it will burn.
Now add mashed potato and boiled green peas, 2 tbsp, freshly ground garam masala, salt and sugar.
Keep low heat and mix well. 
Add dry mango powder ( amchoor ) or lemon juice and mix well.
Sprinkle fresh coriander leaves and leave it aside to cool.
Meanwhile prepare the dough by mixing plain flour, salt and melted ghee, mix well and knead the semi stiff dough.
Cover with the clean kitchen towel and rest it for half hour.
Divide the dough into equal portions.
Roll out each dough portion into a small circle. 
Put one big spoonful of the filling portions into the centre, then fold the dough over the filling to form a ball and seal the edges with a peak at the top. 
You can grease your palms a little and roll the ball between them to form an even ball if that's easier. Repeat for all the kachoris. 
 Now heat oil in a wok or kadai and deep fry 3-4 kachoris at a time over medium heat till they are light golden brown in colour. 
Enjoy hot Khasta Aloo Matar kachori with green coriander and tamarind chutney.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 10-12 pieces



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Friday, 10 June 2016

Hungry Yeti - Oriental Dining Ealing Broadway - Restaurant Review



Be it Indian curries, Singapore Rice Noodles, Thai Curries, Chinese Chowmein, Fried rice or Biryani, no matter what cravings you have for Oriental food, Hungry Yeti will definitely bring an end to your woes. This is a one stop for diners who want to be treated to a wonderful diverse range of foods. Hungry Yeti oriental dining is surely reaching heights.

The most wonderful thing, apart from the great food, is the way the buffet service is offered in a totally relaxed manner. From the buffet layout you are spoilt for choice and can choose from Indian, Chinese, Thai, Malaysian, Singaporean and Nepalese cuisines.

Hungry Yeti is located on the very busy Ealing Broadway. The restaurant stands out with it's Bright Pink board, with a tempting and welcoming sign "ALL DAY BUFFET - EAT AS MUCH AS YOU LIKE" which in my opinion sounds great on a hungry stomach, so choosing this dining place is a no- brainer.

Walking into the restaurant we were greeted and welcomed by Diwas who led us to our dining area. The restaurant was so neat and colourful and we noticed the pink theme from outside continues in the inside as well. The interior was mostly pink and purple and beautifully designed too and made us think that this restaurant has a very continental feel about it. The restaurant has soft lighting and with it some peaceful music providing a pleasant, soothing ambience.

The place has on offer a number of cocktails and mocktails , alcoholic and soft drinks. I opted for Passion Tropic which is a perfect combination of fresh and juicy strawberry, peach, pineapple and cream, With the first sip I abandoned myself in a tropical paradise, surely this drink brings tropical weather to your taste buds, ice cold, sweet , creamy with little bit of zing lends you lots of happiness.

Coming to the food, as well as a healthy salad bar with basic salads, plenty of vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes were at hand on the Buffet layout which had simplicity. Plenty of space to walk through the clearly labelled buffet area and you can unhurriedly choose what you fancy.
There were a few variety of salads displayed that included tomatoes, cucumber, boiled sweetcorn and olives.

On the vegetarian side of things for the starters we went for mini vegetable Samosas, Spring rolls, Onion rings and Hash browns accompanied by Satay and Thai sweet chilli sauce. All the items that were on starter which we tried were of mild flavours and would suit everyone's palate , the thick and creamy Satay sauce was bang-on, it had a balance of hot, sweet, spicy and salty flavours.

Complementary side dishes came along, these were some crispy Onion Bhajis  and also Chilli Paneer. The Onion Bhajis were mild in taste and fluffy inside. The Chilli Paneer looked nice on the plate, it was garnished with lots of fresh vegetables and salads, but the paneer tasted like it was a bit smoky which is quite unusual.

Moving on to the mains, a variety of veg and non veg dishes were displayed. We tasted Stir fried noodles and also stir fried mushrooms accompanied with Tarka Daal, Plain Rice and Naan Bread. Tarka Daal was perfect in texture and consistency but was unseasoned and lacked depth of flavour, rice and naan bread were offered warm. The stir fry texture was spot on and spiced perfectly. The mushrooms were stir fried in soy sauce and were succulent and we were blown away with it's taste and texture, this was an excellent dish and deserved a second helping.

We ended our meal with a dessert which was a basic flavoured Ice cream.

Overall, we had a great experience at Hungry yeti which buzzes with friendly and polite staff who offers great hospitality. Good range of food with many starters and mains which are prepared with fresh ingredients, well cooked, different flavours and textures,  that suits everyone in the family and this place should be definitely visited for it's great food, drinks and relaxing ambience.
All in all a fair price for a buffet meal !

Summary Information
Likes
Satay sauce, Stir fried Mushrooms
Dislike
Onion Bhaji
score for
Ambience 4.5/5
Food 3.5/5
Service 4/5

Humble Suggestions
Label dishes egg free if they are.

Thank you emerz for arranging a review meal and Hungry Yeti for welcoming us to enjoy their hospitality.

Disclaimer :-
We visited Hungry Yeti, during lunch time on a weekday and some of the dishes are not available during lunch time except Sunday. If you are a non vegetarian , this place definitely offers more.

All the views and opinions about Hungry yeti are my own. I was not told or paid to write positive review. The food was on the house.






























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Sunday, 5 June 2016

Aloo, Gobi aur Matar ki Sabji - Potato, Cauliflower and Green Peas Curry

Aloo, Gobi doesn't need any introduction, I am sure the whole world knows about it, after our lovely Gurinder Chadha put the spotlight on the humble cauliflower and potato sabji (aka aloo gobi ) as much as football in the much famed and acclaimed 'Bend it Like Beckham'


Just over the last weekend, one of the TV channels aired this movie prior to Euro World Cup 2016, and we watched it with our daughter, she told me as this is one of her favourite movie, which I never knew until that night ! Oh and just two days ago she went to Wembley, to watch England vs Portugal, hmmm I better tell her to make round chapattis and start cooking more Aloo Gobi :D :D


Next day I bought cauliflower and prepared Aloo, Gobi aur Matar ki sabji! Remember the tagline "why cook aloo gobi, when you bend it like Beckham"? Definitely not me :D



Aloo, Gobi aur Matar ki sabji is delicious, hearty and a warm dish and hugely popular in Indian households and in mine too. We surely relish this classic sabji with hot Phulka , it's truly a delightful meal. Every household has their own secret method to prepare this sabji deliciously. The Aloo Gobi, which I learnt from my mum and gained so many extra points in the eligibility for an Indian husband :D, I will share some other time with you, but today you will see my version which is equally good as hers but just a bit drier :)



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Aloo, Gobi aur Matar Sabji
Aloo, Gobi aur Matar Sabji, delicious and flavourful, cooked in an onion, tomato and spicy gravy.

Ingredients
  • 500 g Cauliflower florets + some green leaves chopped
  • 150 g Potato peeled and cubed
  • 150 g Green Peas ( frozen )
  • 1/2 cup Onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. garlic and Ginger paste
  • 2-3 adjust per your liking Green chillies crushed
  • 200 g Tomato finely chopped or can tomato
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 and half tsp. Red Chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp. Ground cumin and corinader
  • 1/4 tsp. Garam masala
  • 3-4 tbsp. Oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Kasoori methi
  • handful Fresh coriander leaves
Instructions
Rinse cauliflower and let all the water drain.
Wash the potato and green leaves, leave it aside.
In a heavy bottom pan or kadai heat oil and add onion and sauté until light brown. 
Add ginger garlic paste and cook for a minute. 
Now add green chillies and chopped tomato.
Cook the mixture until oil separate from the mixture. 
Now add all the masala and let it cook again, once again let the oil separate from the mixture.
Add kasoori methi, mix and add potato and leaves.
Mix well and cover the pan with the lid and keep heat on low.
After 3-4 minutes , add cauliflower , green peas and salt.Mix well, and cover the pan with the lid.
Let the sabji cook on a very low heat, it will take about 20-25 minutes.
In between keep stirring the sabji to prevent sticking.
Once done, sprinkle coriander and serve hot.
Enjoy with hot chapatti or paratha and yogurt and salad.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4-6 people

























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