Roasted mini Romanesque cauliflower with dukkah yoghurt dip

I do hope some of you may recollect me mentioning that Cauliflower is one of my beloved vegetables, and after I found mini cauliflower and mini Romanesque cauliflowers it was love at first sight, in my mind, they run rings around even the baby courgettes and baby leeks! I mean they look like beautiful little green diamonds, such a beautiful shape, almost too pretty to be eaten!

Mini Cauliflower and Romasque  Cauliflowers

Mini Cauliflower and Romasque Cauliflowers

I just had to bring these beauties home and rustle up something tasty and easy with them. I have written earlier about the many health benefits of cauliflowers and how they are an aid to weight loss. But here are some fun facts for you:

Every 100gm of cauliflower i.e 1 cup has:

  • 25 calories
  • Total Carbs only 5 grams
  • Total Fat 0.1 grams
  • Vitamin C – 77%
  • Vitamin K – 20%

I have been obsessing with the idea of whole roasted Cauliflower and love this recipe – Whole Roast Cauliflower and today I was craving something different for tea. Did not want to load on excess and unwanted calories and wasn’t interested in deep fried stuff at all.

So I tweaked the original recipe, and used fragrant baharat, a fabulous Middle Eastern with dried rose petals and hints of smoked paprika for a kick and roasted cumin. This simple snack makes for a perfect tea time treat especially if like me you are craving cauliflower bhajji/fritters ( bhajji in Marathi is a deep fried vegetable fritter coated in spiced besan ie. chickpea flour)

I decided to dry roast two cauliflowers and coat two on the four mini cauliflowers just to see how the taste varies when coated with a greek yoghurt marinade.

Ingredients

  • 2 baby cauliflowers
  • 2 baby Romanesco broccoli or the Romanesque cauliflower
  • 3 large heaped tablespoons Greek yoghurt
  • 3.5 tsp baharat
  • 2 tsp dukkah

Method

  • In a small bowl add 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt and  and add and mix well 2 tsp baharat
  • Pick one each of the baby cauliflower and the baby Romanesco broccoli or the Romanesque cauliflower and coat it completely with the seasoned yoghurt marinade.
  • Place them onto a baking tray.
  • Then take the remaining baharat in another dry small bowl and coat the other 2 cauliflowers thoroughly.
Mini Cauliflower and Romasque  Cauliflowers marinated

Mini Cauliflower and Romasque Cauliflowers marinated

  • Bake in a preheated oven for  20 minutes at 180° C
  • Make a quick dip with the remaining yoghurt topped with dukkah
Mini Roasted Cauliflower with a Dukkah dip

Mini Roasted Cauliflower with a Dukkah dip

  • Serve with hot Turkish tea for a Mediterranean Treat.
Mini Roasted Cauliflower with a Dukkah dip

Mini Roasted Cauliflower with a Dukkah dip

 

 

 

 

Chai Concentrate

Its been a very hectic year and I was really looking forward to a festive break. In the run up to Christmas I was gifted some really tempting edible gifts. I then took to Pintrest to find something that called out to me and ask me to make go make it ! I found a beautiful photograph of Chai Concentrate here . It was an easy to prepare recipe and so I started to get all the ingredients together and wasn’t able to get my hands on orange pekoe tea bags so I decided to make a few modifications of my own.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups water
  • 5 English breakfast tea – tea bags
  • 5 mulled wine spice  bags
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 9 cardamom pods split open and the seeds powdered
  • 8 coriander seeds or 1/4th tbsp of ground coriander powder
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 1 vanilla bean sliced in half
  • 1.5 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 inch piece of ginger,skinned n cut into thin strips
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns

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Method:

  • In a large sauce pan bring the water to boil and reduce the heat to a minimum
  • Add the spices, tea bags,orange zest and ginger and cover with lid and let it simmer for 25 minutes.
  • After 25 minutes take the saucepan off the flame and let it stand for 10 -15 minutes.
  • Then add the honey and stir it in along with all the beautiful spices which have steeped in well into the mixture.
  • Let this cool completely , the  strain the chai concentrate through a large sieve lined with a fresh cheesecloth. The spices are to be discarded.
  • Add the strained chai concentrate into clean glass bottles.
  • Decorate the glass bottles with pretty tape and add a small name tag with a bit of coil.
  • This mixture stays for 2 weeks in the fridge and can be had as hot winter drink with 1/3rd parts concentrate and top it off with hot milk, it also is good with a glass of cold milk and ice with a dollop of honey stirred in!
  • I loved the idea that the chai concentrate can be added into cookie dough for an extra zing – I am going to try that soon!

After making this gift I feel so good inside that I have taken an extra effort to actually create something unique, I think am going to make a habit out it and make delicious little treats for birthdays and anniversaries too! 

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An evening with Tesco’s Finest* and a recipe for a Sweet Pepper and Wild Mushroom Pie

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When I was on my way to the Food Evening Taste Experience at Tesco Kensington last week little did I expect a detailed and informative presentation about how the Tesco Finest* range is created by a very passionate set of people who are proud to know all about how and where the ingredients are sourced from.Everything including the stunning new packaging has been planned well down to the last-minute detail.

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There was a very tempting display of Tesco Finest* goodies and it was quite a test of self-control to not start munching on the goodies. We had various types of cheese, large variety of cold cuts, many different types of cakes ,chocolates and lot of exciting new variants of tea and coffee to dig into.

Tesco Finest blogger evening 24th Oct'13 Thu

Tesco Finest blogger evening 24th Oct'13 Thu1

This event was to celebrate Tesco finest*range being relaunched.

Says Chrish Bush ,M.D – Tesco,U.K – ”In total, we’ll have over 1500 different products in our new finest* range and there’s a story to be told about them all. What we want to do though the new packaging and the way we talk about finest* is to show the passion, care and expertise that goes on behind the scenes to create great food.”

I most enjoyed sampling the cured ham and the various types of cheese,perfect for your Christmas Cheese board.The finest* blue Wensleydale which is handcrafted in the Yorkshire Dales , has its own unique culture that creates the blue vein and it also won supreme champion at the 2012 British Cheese Awards.

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Tesco finest* blue Wensleydale supplier – Image Courtesy: Tesco

I was quite amazed to learn that the finest* Traditionally Smoked Haddock is smoked at a 100-year-old smokehouse in Lincolnshire. Joe Tummey started it up in the 1940s and has passed on all he knows to his son and grandson today. Years of using the same smokehouse makes the flavour even more intense. Boy I love-uh smoked haddock!!

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The images above are courtesy Tesco

As I had earlier on in the day shopped at the mini Tesco near my place, I had given into the temptation of buying this single dark red  sweet pepper from the Finest* range ,this in addition to the new pack of sweet peppers from my goody bag I decided to combine it with the mixed fresh wild mushroom pack also from my goody bag and made us a delicious pie for the weekend .

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Image Courtesy: Tesco

I had some potatoes and a big pack of smoked bacon bits too and decided to make my own stock using some flour and a Knorr cube. This is a very hearty pie and you could mix in any spare veggies that you need to finish. It serves 4 ideally but it was so tasty that hubby and me almost licked the plate dry 😉

 Sweet Pepper & Wild Mushroom Pie – Recipe using Tesco Finest*ingredients

Serves: 4 with sides or two hungry and greedy adults 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of mixed fresh WILD mushrooms from the Tesco Finest* range
  • 1 pack of fresh sweet mini peppers from the Tesco Finest* range
  • 200gm smoked bacon bits
  • 2 large potatoes peeled and cut into thin discs like shapes
  • Butter  4 large tbsp
  • 2 small red onion sliced lengthwise
  • 3 heaped tbsp plain flour
  • 1 Knorr Chicken Cube
  • 1 Puff pastry sheet
  • 8” pie dish

Method:

Line an 8 inch pie dish with butter and place the disc like slices of potatoes onto it to create a base. Now add the smoked bacon bits which have been sauteed in butter onto the potatoes.

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Use the delicious dark brown juicy fat after you saute’ the bacon and cook the sliced onion, peppers and chopped mushrooms in the same saucepan, just add a generous squeeze of the garlic paste and sprinkle some paprika powder if you want to amp up the heat quotient.

Now when the peppers start to turn soft load this delicious mixture which I could eat on its own onto the smoked bacon layer in the pie dish, spread it all over the pie dish to create an even layer .Now in the same saucepan add a bib blob of butter and 3 heaped teaspoons of plain flour ,stir in some water and ensure all the lumps are broken and a thick smooth paste is formed ,stir on a very low flame and crush one cube of knorr chicken into this paste. This cube should ensure that the entire pie gets the exact amount of salt it needs. After 2- 3 minutes pour this thick stock onto the peppers and watch it seep down through the layers …ummm soo soo good!

Now seal of this beauty with a sheet of puff pastry and do some creative art on the top with leaves or heart shapes or whatever you like 😉

Bake in a pre-heated oven for 25- 30 minutes until the puff pastry has risen and separate crispy layers are visible and the top has browned to a beautiful golden brown.

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The sweet pepper taste coupled with the chewy earthy mushroom and the rich dark mysterious flavours of the pan fried buttery smoked bacon are simply irresistible and I helped myself to a rather greedy second helping , all washed down nicely with a big bottle of Cava 🙂

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This recipe is very quick and easy to prepare and if you want to do more than one pie you can just double up the ingredients and cook both pies together depending on how big an oven you have. Recommended sides are green peas , baby carrots and a generous helping of  fresh and crunchy Iceberg lettuce salad leaves all smothered in a honey mustard dressing and topped off with freshly ground pepper and some sea salt . I can almost see a large table full of very happy and smiling guests over for a Saturday Pre-Christmas lunch. Just ensure you have plenty of blankets and amp up the heating at home as these happy guests are going to want a long nap after they tuck into your Sweet pepper & Wild mushroom pie!

Undoubtedly, the taste is enhanced by use of fresh ingredients !Many Thanks to the very cheerful and efficient team at Tesco Kensington and the efficient PR for a lovely evening, a generous goody bag and all the tipples 🙂

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Caribbean themed Summer Fruit Smoothie

There’s no better way to get your summer party guests to cool down and settle in than by offering them a chilled fruity delight that takes away the torture of travelling in summer with the sun not feeling unapologetic as it beats down upon us!

I wanted to create a more complex flavour but settled for a sweet tangy combo with a few ingredients. It’s quick,easy and absolutely exploding with summer fruity goodness.

Makes 1.5 l and the plastic posh glass I served in holds 100 ml.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large organic mangoes
  • 5 juicy strawberries
  • 400 gm Pineapple chunks  with juice – I bought the long life jars since I have a shockingly tiny refrigerator.
  • Juice of 1/4th  lime
  • 225 gm Mango Pulp – I used half of a 450 gm tin of Kesar Mango Pulp

Method:

  • I bought the Mediterranean Mangoes,the ones from a supermarket shelf where the skin appears green but when you feel them you they are ready for consumption, if you buy them a day in advance ensure you refrigerate them minus the plastic packaging to prevent over ripening and also ”sweating” of the fruit inside the plastic packaging.
  • Scoop out the pulp from the ”cheeks” of the 2 mangoes and leave the rest for Caribbean Sweet Mini Pepper salad. Chop into big chunks for the blender.
  • Wash the strawberries, halve them after removing the stalk
  • Blitz the mango pieces, the pineapple pieces and the juice , the strawberries,mango pulp and juice of half a lime ensuring there are no seeds in it.
  • Pour into a jug and leave to cool in the refrigerator.
  • Serve with ice cubes in a fancy glass, I bought these plastic ones on a steal deal from the party section of a discount store. 🙂

This simple but delicious smoothie is perfect as a summer cooler and will not fail to impress your guests and besides its a great way to kick off a summer party!I hope you enjoy making and sharing this smoothie as much as I loved creating and writing about it, each glass refilled made me smile – a lot.

Carribean Themed Summer Smoothie

Thanks Nisha (My Kitchen Antics) for clicking this image.

Sun Dried Tomato and Chilli Spiced Bread

It’s amazingly sunny this week and my spirits are up so I decided to make some  spiced bread with sun dried tomatoes and chilli, it turned out so yum I want to gobble it all up! This bread is a very filling,wholesome bread and is great for mopping up a thick gravy or having perfectly scrambled eggs with asparagus sprigs a dollop of butter – ah – sounds heavenly, my breakfast tomorrow for sure!

The oil from the sun dried tomatoes and the oil that goes in dough and really adds to the taste. It takes some kneading as I don’t own a bread maker (yet !) and didn’t really want to get into the hassle of trying the dough function on my food processor, still if you do possess one the bread bread dough tools, good for you!Recipe adaptation from here

Considering it was my first ever homemade bread, it turned out really nice, bursting with aroma and rich flavours and am now prepared to move on to well more bread making!

Ingredients:

  • 500 gm strong bread flour
  • 25 gm butter
  • Sun dried tomatoes and chillies about a large spoonfull
  • A sachet yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 280 ml water at room temperature
  • Plain white flour for kneading
  • Oil from the chillies and tomato
  • Oil to grease loaf tin
  • Cling Film

Method:

  • Sift the flour and add the yeast salt and sugar with a wooden spoon.
  • Ensure butter is soft and rub in the butter with your hands till the mix looks like breadcrumbs.
  • Add the finely chopped sun dried tomatoes and chillies and some of the oil and mix well.
  • Now add the water slowly, folding it using a wooden or plastic spatula and then knead to make the dough.Keep kneading till a soft dough forms, fold in some oil and plain flour as and when needed.It will take about 15 minutes, yes I know but its worth it!
  • While kneading use the same process as you would while kneading chapati/roti aata , kneading out from center and then folding sides back into the center.
  • Cover in cling film and coat with some more oil. Leave to rise for about 2 hours in  a warm and dry place.
  • Now remove the cling film and knead the risen dough again at least for 8-10 minutes, you will notice that the dough will loose air and will almost go back to its original size.Its like mini air pockets getting tiny punches with your hands.
  • Repeat the cling film process and leave to rise for 30 minutes in a loaf tin in a warm place.
  • Preheat oven to 210 degrees , I have a fan oven,bake for 25 minutes,to ensure it’s well risen.
  • Cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then on the wire rack.
  • Serve sliced and enjoy with curries as a great alternative to regular wholemeal bread or as I plan to tomorrow with soft, perfectly done runny scrambled eggs, thinly sliced ham and asparagus sauteed in butter!

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Kairee Panhe/ Raw Mango Summer Cooler/Aaam Ka Panna

It’s almost 40 degrees Celsius in the afternoon in Pune nowadays, summer is at it’s peak, one needs to keep the mind and the body in sync and cool, at times like this a chilled summer drink and that too one made from raw mangoes is a treat, more so if it’s made by my old mother who is recovering from knee replacement surgery and is walking around using a walking stick. She is just waiting to get back on her feet and go into the kitchen and cook up stuff but under strict orders from her doc can only do so about once in 2 days.

Growing in Mumbai , summer holidays were great fun with my cousins around, mum always made loads of this concentrate from raw mangoes and it was such a treat to come home all sweaty and panting and drink tall glasses of this tangy cooler doused with ice cubes of various animal shapes 😉 aaahhh summer holidays!

You will need :

  1. 4 raw mangoes
  2. sugar as per the quantity of pulp generated
  3. Green Cardamon /elaichi powder
  4. Freshly ground black pepper powder
  5. Aniseed / Vilayati Saunf
  6. Chilled water
  7. Strainer

I picked these raw mangoes from my granny’s garden , they look stunning don’t they ?

Raw Mangoes

These need to be pressure cooked ,give them 2 whistles, drain the water and allow to cool.

in the cooker these beauties go !

Once these are boiled and have cooled down , peel the mangoes and collect all the lovely green pulp in a vessel, sugar proportion to be added is 3 times the quantity of the pulp , so if the pulp of these 4 mangoes was to fit into a small bowl of about 200gms capacity sugar would be 600 gms. Stir in the sugar into the pulp and keep stirring until it is completely dissolved , add a large spoon of elaichi powder,some freshly ground black pepper,some aniseed ground  – green Cardamom powder and give this mix a stir in the mixer for just about a minute .Store in a glass jar in the fridge. Do not freeze.Remember never to add salt to this mixture , only while preparing the drink from the concentrate add salt in the glass, salt will turn this concentrate into a dark green colour and cause a bout of food poisoning !

While preparing the cooler , add 2 spoons of the raw mango concentrate and add a pinch of salt to this, top up with cold water and strain after mixing to remove any strands from the pulp, add ice cubes,dress it up with a  spring of mint if you will and drink up home made  goodness!aaahh ! Summer !

Tempting glass of Kairee Panha !

a big bottle full of panha ummmm

Vintage Frittata recipe inspired by ”Angel”

Well as my previous blog post mentioned I am quite besotted with my latest cookbook – The Vintage Tea Party by Angel. She is such a talented lady and anyone with orange hair,a vivid imagination, a vast collection of Vintage odds and ends and a great cook to top is all is my kind of hero!

So I first ate a Frittata at my workplace where it was served during tea time,anything remotely associated with eggs and I simply must try it, I could live on fried eggs ,omelettes ,scrambled eggs and yes Frittatas!

I surfed up info about the origin of Frittata because that’s the beauty of food and recipes, they start from someplace and then suddenly are popular world cuisine and everyone’s making their own versions. Some food blogs have really well researched posts about the Frittata and I do recommend reading them:

http://www.delallo.com/articles/la-frittata-egg-dish-endless-possibilities

http://www.theoldfoodie.com/2008/12/i-have-change-and-treat-for-you-today.html

http://www.thefoodadvicecentre.co.uk/reference/recipes/frittata/

Wikipedia defines a Frittata as : The Italian word frittata derives from fritto, the past participle of “to fry” (friggere),[1] and was originally a general term for cooking eggs in a skillet, anywhere on the spectrum from fried egg, through conventional omelette, to an Italian version of the Spanish tortilla de patatas, made with fried potato. Outside Italy, frittata was seen as equivalent to “omelette” until at least the mid-1950s.

Well,Angel’s recipe is an antithesis to this logic,why? well because it’s OVEN BAKED not fried and secondly is rather basic yet tasty,her recipe recommends using flower petals to decorate and also cutting it into shapes to make it more visually delightful and intriguing. Ofcourse what I’ve cooked isn’t a patch on the beautiful Angel’s creation but it’s a sort of a tribute to her, in a demi god,fan like behaviour sort of a way…!!

By all means if any one of you does create one anything close to Angel’s original, please do share your feedback and pictures !

I have scaled down the ingredients for 2 people and added a few twists here and there for experimental touches of my own!

Ingredient list to whip up a mean frittata- Vintage and all that 🙂 remember to roll up ur hair in a bun while making it and think Vintage :),Angel style !

  1. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  2. Half a white onion sliced
  3. 1 Courgette  finely sliced into half-moon slice
  4. 5 large free range eggs
  5. Salt
  6. cracked black pepper
  7. Goats cheese crumbled

Method

  1. Pre Heat the oven to 220° C /Fan 200° C/ Gas mark 7. Line a baking tin with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Heat oil in a small frying pan and fry the onions until soft for about 2 minutes, stir in the chopped courgette bits,fry on a higher flame for about 4 minutes till it’s goldenish. Angel advises not stirring or tossing this too much in her book and I do agree.
  3. Beat eggs in a bowl,season with salt and add the onion and courgette mixture.

4. Crumble some goats cheese and  then transfer above mixture to a baking tin of your choice, I simply used my small cake tin. Bake for about 15 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack and serve hot.Season with cracked black pepper sprinkled on top.

I think this makes for a really delicious and filling tea time snack and is really easy to make when time is a constraint,which is almost always in our busy lives.

Of course,Angel’s recipe differs and requires some more cooking as there is cheese and is seasoned with edible gerbera petals, I will try it once am able to lay my hands on those delicate beauties.

To check out Angel’s website visit the following link http://www.angeladoree.co.uk/

Trust if me if you already haven’t , her books are a MUST HAVE in everyone’s personal collection of recipe books, I for one am totally smitten!

Healthy Kale Smoothie

Hearing of the contest for winning one of 2 free passes to the Food Blogger Connect UK 2012 sponsored by  Vitamix UK,I had to think up of some unique tasty and healthy smoothie recipe , Lucky for me that I has been treated to this by Brian the host of London Real TV!

Vitamix is helping two lucky winners get a free ticket to FBC12 + an opportunity to feature the recipe and participate in the Vitamix Total Nutrition Centre with Chef Bev Shaffer at the FBC12 Market.

This blender can create fresh smoothies, refreshing frozen desserts and even hot soups – it is a kitchen essential which lets you perform more than 50 tasks quicker, easier and faster.The entries will be judged by Vitamix Chef Bev Shaffer, and the two winners will get to make their recipe with her at the FBC12 Market! Also, all five Vitamix Total Nutrition Centre machines will be given away to #FBC12 attendees during the closing ceremonies.

This is his special recipe and he drinks it every single day and is FIT as a fiddle, I say! And guess what he USES VITAMIX to make this smoothie, cool I say!

Here are the ingredients, give them a whirr in your VITAMIX and drink up folks! Thank Brian in your mind and me for sharing it !

  1.  1 Apple
  2. 1 Pear
  3. 1 Carrot
  4. Ginger
  5. A lot of Kale
  6. 1 Beetroot
  7. 1 Cucumber
  8. Natural apple juice

Am keeping my fingers crossed for winning a free  Food Blogger Connect full weekend access ticket to FBC12!

Cheers !

Visit http://www.foodbloggerconnect.com , connect to the event via Twitter – @BloggerConnect,Post one of the cute badges from the site to promote the conference to fellow food bloggers.Like the VitamixUK & FBC Facebook pages, announce your submission on the official VitamixUK Facebook and FBC Facebook pages, follow @VitamixUK and @BloggerConnect and your tweets include all the following:  #FBC12, @VitamixUK, @BloggerConnect.

P.S: London Real TV hosted by Brian and Nic, a weekly talk show dedicated to challenging the status quo, exploring the human experience, and exchanging ideas and perspectives with a full range of eclectic guests from Miss Universe to Members of Parliament.Check them out on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/user/LondonRealTV , add some zest to your week!

The Humble Cauliflower spiced up for bhaji/sabzee/sabji with green peas!

I love cauliflower as a vegetable for its taste and sheer possibilities in the kitchen, my fav everyday vegetable to be eaten with chapatis is a mix of cauliflower and green peas in a spicy,semi dry sabzi form.I used biryani masala to add a twang to my usual taste and the result was worth sharing:)

Skill level beginner,basic

Serves :2 with rotis and curd to make a light meal

You will need :

  1. I medium-sized cauliflower
  2. A handful of fresh or frozen green peas
  3. 1-2 red onions very finely sliced
  4. Curry leaves – 3-4
  5. Green chillies – 2 chopped in big pieces
  6. Biryani Masala
  7. 1/4th red juicy tomato chopped into tiny pieces
  8. ginger paste
  9. 2 cloves of garlic very finely sliced
  10. Oil for tadka
  11. Mustard seeds
  12. Cumin seeds
  13. salt to taste
  14. Turmeric and red chilli paste as per taste and colour requirements
  15. Coriander powder
  16. Jeera Powder
  17. 2 large spoon full of any packet biryani masala.
  18. few sprigs of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped to garnish
  19. a tiny squeeze of lime
  20. A pinch of asafoetida/hing

Method:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a saucepan – when it’s hot add the asafoetida and mustard seed, when the seeds start to pop add cumin seeds and the finely chopped garlic bits,as always I love the garlic skin, I let the beautiful aromas take over my olfactory senses ,my imagination ,my kitchen and umm well probably the building hallway as well ;)’
  2. Ensure the cumin seeds turn a toasty brown and then swiftly move on to the next ingredients
  3. Next go in the fresh green curry leaves and green chillies, chopped onion, I used the food processor this time so it was almost a puree and this onion takes up the flavours of the spices faster I imagine.
  4. Add the coriander powder,ginger and garlic pastes and stir well and allow it to become a sticky sort of paste
  5. Then add the biryani masala and feel the explosion in the aroma as it marries well with the paste we had ready
  6. Then go into  cauliflower florets neatly chopped and the green peas
  7. Turn off the heat for a bit,sprinkle turmeric powder,red chilli powder,cumin powder and salt to taste.
  8. Turn on the heat on a low flame and sprinkle some water enough to wet the veggies and allow for some steam to happen to cook the cauliflower.
  9. Stirring occasionally cook with a lid for about 10 minutes.
  10. garnish with freshly coriander finely chopped and a tiny squeeze of lime to add an extra twang.
  11. Eat with hot puffy rotis off the hob!

 

I am linking this favourite Maharashtrian vegetarian recipe for Cauliflower and Green Peas sabji with In My Veg Box for May2014 hosted by me for Nayna who Blogs at Simply.Food and Citrus Spice.

In my veg box cauliflower

 

I just noticed how I wrote my blog posts earlier on and how greatly my food photography has changed for the better – no its not a case of a donkey praising his own tail just a mere observation 😉

Basic Chocolate Cake with Frosting

What better way to celebrate a new FOODISTA Badge for my post on Shahi Khichadi than by baking a chocolate cake , I firmly believe that chocolate is the one word that instantly lifts sagging spirits and the whole baking process itself is cathartic ! So sistah’s lets BAKE !

Prep: 25 mins | Cook: 30 mins

Level :EASY PEASY !

You will Need the Following :

  1. 225g butter, softened
  2. 225g caster sugar
  3. 4 Eggs
  4. 220g Self Raising Flour
  5. 3 tsp Baking Powder
  6. 1 tbsp Cocoa Powder
  7. Half tiny spoonfull of Soda Bicarbonate

For the FILLING

  1. 100g Butter
  2. 100g Icing Sugar
  3. 1 level tbsp Cocoa Powder
  4. Chocolate for adding chocolate shavings,or crunchy choco balls or FRESH strawberries sliced – whatever suits your mood , mine says GO ALL OUT FOR CHOCOLATE !

Preparation:

  1. Lightly Grease two cake tins and line the bottoms with non stick-parchment. Perheat Oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. I manage without parchment , it’s up to you, if your baking for the first time use it as it prevents the sides from burning.
  2. Ensure butter is completely softened or else use the old foolproof way – heat water in a pan ,place a vessel on top with the butter inside minus any packaging, watch it soften like a man melts when he looks onto the eyes’s of his dearest ,ahem …
  3. Measure the Butter and sugar into a bowl and mix well they form a creamy mix, I used a fork and gave it a good old whipping:) – think of someone you dislike – your boss , your mil, your annoying neighbour, Baba Yaga the Witch – whoever – just whip away hehehe
  4. Add 3 medium or 4 small eggs, I used 3 medium-sized eggs.
  5. Swift the self-raising flour into this mix ,followed by the baking powder, soda bicarbonate ,cocoa powder and beat till really smooth , I didn’t even need a hand blender as the butter was perfectly soft and the flour well swifted , though do go ahead and use a hand blender on low setting for about a minute , have added a picture so you know the look of consistency.
  6. Divide the mixture between the two tins and put into the oven to bake for 25-30mins.I used the foil of the butter packaging to grease the cake tins, no wastage in my kitchen !
  7. While in the oven make the icing by creaming together the butter and icing sugar and add cocoa powder, mix until smooth.
  8. Sandwich together the two cakes with the icing.Add some on the sides and sprinkle the crunchy choco balls on the top , go all crazy and add some chocolate shavings , I did !
    When you bake this and sink your teeth into the chocolately heaven , enjoy the moment and then….drop me a line ! 🙂
    PICTURES !
    Hover over the pic for a title …