Coriander Pesto with Toasted Walnuts

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Ah Pesto! 

Move over Pine nuts and Basil as fresh coriander and toasted walnuts blend together to make this wonderful and easy Pesto.This is an absolutely delightful treat in my kitchen.Heart healthy pesto has a variety of uses. Toss it into your favorite pastas, slather some on your morning toast,drizzle some over a salad and even use it as a marinade over some chicken or fish.

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Here is just about the easiest way of making a fabulous Pesto.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh coriander leaves (stalks removed and chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 50 grams walnuts (lightly toasted)
  • 1/3 cup (35 grams) fine Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped basil (optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Directions:
1.Lightly toast the walnuts on a pan.

2.Now combine the Coriander leaves Parmesan,Walnuts,Garlic and grind in a food processor.

3.Gradually keep pouring the Olive oil in a steady stream.

4.Season with salt and pepper and add in the lemon juice.

5.Transfer to an air tight container and add a little more olive oil.

6.Consume with a week. Best if refrigerated.

Some of my favorite Recipes that call for Coriander Pesto:

  • Boiled Fusilli or Penne tossed in some olive oil and minced garlic.With a couple of tablespoons of Coriander Pesto. Garnished with Parmesan shavings and pepper.
  • Roasted baby potatoes tossed with some Coriander basil, mixed with arugula leaves and with an  olive and balsamic vinegar dressing.( Served warm)
  • Ditch the usual pizza sauce and use some of this pesto as your base.
  • Use as a sandwich spread or in a Panini.
  • Marinate either Chicken of Fish with Pesto,Olive oil, salt and pepper.Perfect for grilling.

 

Best Ever Blueberry Mini Cakes

 

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Fresh berries are a great addition to any baking.These seriously are the best ever mini cakes that you can bake  up anytime.They turn out super moist and delicious as ever. I’ve used some fresh blueberries in this recipe but you may substitute it with some frozen ones if you like.All though do drain out the water from the frozen ones and ensure you sprinkle some flour over the berries.I’ve used a removable bottom cheesecake mold to bake these, else you may even bake them in mini cupcake trays.This is just the perfect light and fluffy mini cake, with a burst of fruity blueberry flavors!Do bookmark this recipe and I’m sure you will make these often!

Happy Baking!

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Best Ever Blueberry Cupcakes
(Makes approx. 6-8)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 11/2 cups(190 grams) All Purpose Flour
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) Sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup(80 ml) Oil
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) Milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon wheat bran (optional)

METHOD:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C.
  2. Line a muffin tin with the cases.
  3. Sieve the flour and baking powder.
  4. Now mix the sugar and salt to the flour.
  5. Add the oil to a 1 cup measure and add the egg and milk to fill the 1 cup measure.
  6. Add all the liquid measures to the flour and mix well.
  7. Lastly add the blueberries and the wheat bran and mix again.
  8. Pour into the prepared cases and bake for about 20-25 minutes or till done.

Best served with a butter-cream frosting and just as good without it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lightly Salted Kale Crisps

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Imagine eating a packet of crisps without the guilt? Now I’m not taking about potato, all though I must admit I’m quite crazy about potato chips. Of course a healthier option is always welcome with everyone on a diet of sorts. I’ve been cooking with Kale for awhile in my kitchen.Well the family has been served a Kale soup on various occasions,sautéed Kale and yes even Kale juice.The crisps is something I’d been shying away from,primarily from the fact that I just didn’t imagine they would turn out crisp enough.

This was a Friday morning experiment. I woke up this  morning with a gorgeous bunch of curly Kale staring  at me…Not soup please hollers my son ,who has been pottering around the kitchen wondering what I’m planning to rustle up for him.Why not try out some Kale crisps he says to me?

Oh well what the heck! If they turn out soggy I could always add them to a pasta of sorts. Now I had done a bit of research with quite a few recipes and came to the conclusion that once the Kale had been washed the key step was in ensuring that they were dried really well. I’ve used my salad spinner that really helped get all the water out and then went on to spread them onto a kitchen towel and gently dabbed them further.I then rubbed in some olive oil and seasoned then with some salt and pepper and layered them onto a baking sheet in a single layer.Yes just as simple as that.

They were baked in an oven at 150 C for about a total of 20 minutes.You do need to watch them towards the end to ensure they don’t burn.

The Verdict: Just fantastic and crisp as ever Kale! So here you go, all you need is some Olive oil,salt,pepper and a dash of chili  to turn these gorgeous green leaves into a delightful and healthy snack! Go ahead and make some up today!

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bunch Curly Kale
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sea salt or any fine grain salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 150 C.
  2. Layer a baking tray with parchment paper.
  3. Wash the Kale leaves thoroughly.
  4. Remove the stem and tear them into large pieces.
  5. Put the pieces into a salad spinner to remove all the excess water.
  6. Spread the kale onto a kitchen towel and gently dab the leaves to ensure all the moisture is drained out.
  7. Add the leaves to a bowl and gently rub the olive oil into them.
  8. Now add in the salt,pepper and chili powder and mix well.
  9. Arrange the leaves in a single layer,do not over crowd the tray.One tray is good for about 1/2 a bunch of leaves so you may want to layer the other half onto a second tray.
  10. Put  both the trays into the oven for about 10 minutes.
  11. Turn the trays around after 10 minutes and bake further for about 15 minutes.
  12. Keep a watch out towards the last 5 minutes to ensure the kale leaves are crisp enough and are not burning.
  13. Remove from the oven and let the crisps cool.
  14. Best eaten fresh.

Eid Mubarak: Easy Bombay Biryani

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Eid Mubarak dear readers!

This post comes just in time for your Eid celebrations! Now who can resist a delicious Biryani and that too one that is fuss free and easy to put together? This recipe here is a favorite with my family and I usually make it on weekends or while entertaining.Now if you are wondering what’s the big deal about the Biryani making process and what really are the secrets? Fret not as I guide you through a wonderful recipe.Do follow it step by step and I can assure you of a delightful Biryani full of flavor and aroma.

The key ingredient of course is the use of a good quality long grained Basmati rice.I recently received a trial pack for some fragrant Basmati rice from Rymah. Their promise being: “Providing an irresistible flavor that will give every rice dish an added dimension of delight!” And true to their word indeed,my recipe for this easy Bombay Biryani turns out every bit a finger licking good one! Thank you Rymah!For more information on their brand and for availability do check their website Rymahrice.com

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Easy Bombay Biryani:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 kg Mutton/Chicken (washed and cleaned)
  • 1 kg Rymah Basmati Rice
  • 5 medium Tomatoes (chopped finely)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 large potatoes (cut into cubes and boiled)
  • 4 large Onions (sliced finely)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 3-4 green chilies (slit lengthwise)
  • 3/4 tablespoon chill powder
  • 2 tablespoons coriander powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 5-7 peppercorns
  • 4 cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 Oil or ghee
  • few strands saffron
  • chopped coriander (for garnish)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Wash and clean the meat well. Add it to a large bowl and mix it with the yogurt,ginger-garlic paste,chili powder and green chilies and let this marinate for at least an hour.
  2. Boil the potatoes till cooked.Drain and keep aside.
  3. Boil the rice with cloves,cardamom and bay leaves and cook till 3/4 done.
  4. Now heat the oil and add in the cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  5. Add in the sliced onions and fry till fairly golden brown.
  6. Add the coriander powder and mix well.
  7. Mix in the chopped tomatoes and let it cook well.
  8. Next add in the marinated meat and stir on a high flame so as to fry the meat and seal in the juices.
  9. Lower the heat and let the meat cook in its own juices. If it’s mutton you may add some water to cook the meat and this will take at least 45 minutes to cook.If cooking chicken do not add any water as it will cook in the tomato juice itself.The chicken should cook in about 25-30 minutes.Do check to ensure it’s no longer pink.
  10. Once the meat is cooked add the tomato paste and mix well and add salt to taste.Add the boiled tomatoes.
  11. Let this cool.
  12. Once the meat and the rice has cooled,you may color the rice by soaking some saffron strands in warm milk and sprinkling over the rice.Reserve rest of the warm milk for later.
  13. Now take a large oven proof dish and lightly grease the bottom and layer with some rice.
  14. Next add a layer of the meat.
  15. Do this for a couple of layers.
  16. Lastly sprinkle about 1-2 tablespoons of milk and drizzle some oil on the top layer.
  17. Garnish with browned onions and chopped coriander.
  18. Wrap a double layer of aluminum foil over this dish.
  19. Heat the oven to 150 C and let this cook further for about 40 minutes.
  20. Serve hot.

TIP:You may cook the meat mixture a day before and refrigerate. The next day ensure you bring the meat out to room temperature for about an hour.Make up the rice and then layer it as mentioned above.

Ramadan Treats:Sticky Date Mini Cakes with Rabri

Have you attempted combining a couple of recipes together? I must admit I’ve turned into quite the experimental junkie of late,turning my kitchen into a food lab of sorts. Almost to the point where I don’t quite follow a particular recipe but happy to tweak it and create a unique new combination all together.This one defies any categorization as I’ve followed the classic Sticky Date Cake recipe (made into smaller individual portions by using a removable bottom cheesecake mold) and instead of the usual Toffee sauce (which is quite decadent in itself) have combined it with a traditional Indian twist.A brilliant pairing of creamy Rabri drizzled over the mini cakes,makes it quite a delightful and an unusual dessert.

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Rabri is a sweet, condensed milk based dish made by boiling the milk on low heat for a long time until it becomes thick in consistency. Sugar, spices and nuts are added to it to give it flavor. It is chilled and served as dessert.However I’ve simplified this process by making this in a microwave.

 

We are well into the middle of the Holy month of Ramadan now and this would make a perfect  treat at your next Iftar table.
While the Toffee sauce usually soaks into the Sticky pudding,the Rabri sits well as a sauce on top and adds a fair bit of moisture.It actually works as a perfect accompaniment to this wonderful dessert.

So go ahead and have some fun in your kitchen.Jazz up a recipe, add in an ingredient or two,bake up a storm or just mix up two recipes like I just did.

This one’s a keeper.Happy baking!

Until next time, lovelies!

 

INGREDIENTS:

225 grams dates
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
85 grams Butter (softened)
170 grams sugar
2 medium eggs
170 grams Self raising flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
2 tablespoons Ovaltine
2 tablespoons Plain Yogurt
1 teaspoon grated ginger
DIRECTIONS:

Pre heat the oven to 180 C.
Put the dates in a bowl with the soda and cover with 200 ml boiling water.
Let this rest for about 5-9 minutes so as to soften the dates.
Drain off the water and puree the dates in a food processor.
Cream the butter and sugar till pale.
Add in one egg at a time and mix well.
Sieve the flour and cinnamon powder together and add to the above mixture.
Stir in the ovaltine and mix well and add the grated ginger.
Lastly fold in the yogurt and pureed dates.
Pour the mixture into a removable bottom mini cheesecake mold.
Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until done.
Once cool remove from the molds and pour some Rabri over each one.

For The Rabri:
1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Paneer grated (cottage cheese
1/2 Cup Condensed Milk
1/4 teaspoon Cardamom Powder
1 teaspoon Ghee

Directions:

Mix all the above ingredients in a microwave safe bowl.
Microwave for about 6 minutes.
Refrigerate and chill for two hours.
Pour over the stick date cake.