Monday, 27 June 2016

Authentic Gujarati Plain Thepla ( Pan fried lightly spiced flat bread ) Product Review - Dhillons Organic Chapatti Flour

Authentic Gujarati Plain Thepla, are an inherent part of Gujarati cuisine. They do appear almost every other day in Gujarati kitchens, be it for breakfasts, lunch or travelling or picnics. If you love Gujarti cuisine then, try this thepla and see how you will begin to take fancy for it after enjoying Garma garam (hot) thepla accompanied with Pickle, Yougurt, Chundo , or Masala Chai.

Many of my readers have asked me to post an authentic gujarati thepla recipe on JCO, so here it is, a must try lightly spiced plain thepla recipe. Although these thepla are made using basic spices , we still call them plain ( sada ) thepla as we are not using any kind of vegetables, greens, herbs or garlic and onion.

There are couple of things to keep in mind in making soft and delicious thepla. Prepare dough with balanced spices and use yogurt to prepare soft dough, roll thepla thin and roast on high heat, by roasting them on a high heat thepla will stay soft and won't become crispy or chewy. I asked my sister to share her thepla recipe as she prepares best thepla in our family. On every visit to her place, I returned with a Dabba ( container ) full of her homemade special thepla.

It's a dilemma for every Indian house wife, when she wants to provide her family nutritious Chapattis, which are best in quality and taste. Sourcing good quality chapatti flour always is an important factor.



Lovely folks from Dhillons Organic sent me their medium brown organic chapatti flour. ' Love Life, Love Organic' is their slogan, couldn't agree more. I loved making phulka , puris and paratha with it, its a great product with all the goodness and taste. Also I tried this flour in baking too, nice product to work with.



Dhillons Organic Chapatti flour sourced from organic wheat grown at organic certified farms in Manchester, UK and packaged at organic certified facilities without the expensive price tag. Great to see that this company supports local agriculture programmes and farmers, boosts economy of this country and significantly reduces our environmental impact.

Thank you Dhillons Organics for sending me this great, tasty and healthy chapatti flour, can't wait to see 'Dhillons Organic wholemeal Chapatti flour' in the isle of grocery stores everywhere.



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Authentic Gujarati Thepla
Soft and delicious Gujarati style pan fried flat bread made with wheat flour and basic spies.
Ingredients
  • 2 cup Chapatti flour
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup Plain Yogurt ( if you are vegan add vegan yogurt or omit the yogurt )
  • 1 tbsp. Red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. Sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsp. Oil
  • To roast  need more Oil
Instructions
Place all the ingredients with 3 tbsp. oil in a big bowl or parat ( wide plate )
Mix well, and add water little by little and knead pliable dough. 
Leave the dough to rest for 10-12 minutes.
Once you are ready to make thepla, knead the dough again for 2-3 minutes. 
This procedure will make thepla soft.
Divide the dough into equal sized portions and turn into balls.
Heat the tawa or griddle on a high heat.
Roll the thepla thin ( slightly thicker than gujarti roti ) using rolling pin and dry chapatti flour.
Place rolled thepla on to heated tawa, and cook both side applying oil very quickly.
Repeat the same procedure with the remain dough.
Serve with pickle, yogurt or tea.
Enjoy !
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 10-12 pieces

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Disclaimer :- I was not told or paid to write a positive review by Dhillons.

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Saturday, 25 June 2016

Strawberry, Goats 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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Recipe inspiration from here
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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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