Monday, 18 August 2014

431. cereal cookies

crunch, crunch, munch

  Tomorrow I am leaving for Italy... my dream destination. I have always wanted to visit Italy because from what I have read , pictures I have seen and the food, makes Italy seem like a romantic country. Wine, pasta, pizza, caprese salad, gelato, limoncello.... seriously how can one leave that country hungry? Churches, piazzas, gondolas, beautiful beaches, scenic countryside what more is required to feel romantic? Before hubby and I get into that holiday mood and behave like typical tourists, clicking umpteen photos and trying to see every thing and anything, we have to pack, catch a flight, close the house, etc etc. So many minor details to take care of before we can go on a holiday. Have you noticed how stressful it has become to actually go on a holiday? Visas, millions of forms to fill, measure the exact dimension of your suitcase, make sure the weight of the luggage is not even 100g over the specified allowance, meander through slow moving traffic to get to the airport, face unfriendly airline staff, go through grueling security procedures and then dwindle your thumbs till the gates open. Once on the flight, fight for space to fit  your hand luggage in the ever decreasing overhead bins, jostle with your neighbour for the arm rest, pretend you love the hot meal served, fiddle with the buttons to get the right movie, sound and clarity. Falling asleep is usually a losing battle as you may have to listen to someone having a conversation even when the lights are dimmed, or some hyper passengers wanting to walk up and down the aisle, hitting your arm or head every time they pass by you. Once the plane lands, everyone is in a hurry to get their hand luggage, get off the plane and fight for space on the escalators once we approach the terminal. Long queues to use the wash rooms, face stern looking immigration officers and then waiting at the correct carousel hoping you bags are not left at the embarkment point. Though by then the excitement builds up to be in a new place, a new country, we still have to face callous taxi drivers, waiting to fleece the first gullible tourist they set their eyes on. Be assured you will not be able to evade their vision tunnel. The long drive to your hotel, check in delays and then the holiday finally begins. 
 I am so lucky that my hubby dear decided to take me to Italy my dream holiday. He could have easily chosen any other European country to visit, but bearing in mind my wish, this whole trip has been arranged for me. We will be touring Italy for 13 days and then from there we will be going to Edinburgh, UK as hubby will be attending a medical conference. I will be casually discovering Edinburgh on my own while he fills his head with all those hard to pronounce medical words:)  
  Coming to the recipe, I use to make these cookies very often when the kids and my in laws were living here. The cookies are really crunchy because of the cereals. Haven't made these for a very long time, but decided to make them as a treat for my best friend's son and his new bride who are visiting Mombasa for 2 weeks. Hope they enjoy the crunchy cookies and you will try this recipe out.



CEREAL COOKIES
Makes 44 -48

½ cup  crumbled weetabix
½ cup cornflakes, crush lightly with your hands
½ cup rice crispies
½ cup quick cooking oats
¾ cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
¾ cup wheat flour (atta)
½ cup sugar
½ cup desiccated coconut
¼ cup milk
¼ cup chopped mixed nuts
¼ cup raisins
250 g butter
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Extra butter for greasing
  1. Grease baking trays lightly with butter.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Mix weetabix, cornflakes, coconut, rice crispies, nuts, raisins and oats in a bowl.
  4. In another bowl sift the flours, baking powder and soda bicarbonate.
  5. Cream sugar and butter till it is pale in colour, soft and creamy.
  6. Add milk and vanilla extract. Whisk till all the milk is mixed into the butter sugar mixture.
  7. Add the flour mixture and mix.
  8. Add the cereal mixture and mix.
  9. Take about a tablespoonful of the dough. Roll it into a ball.
  10. Flatten it slightly and place on the tray.
  11. Repeat steps 9 and 10 with the remaining dough.
  12. Place the slightly flattened balls about an inch apart.
  13. Bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until the cookies appear light brown.
  14. Remove the tray from the oven.
  15. Place the cookies on a wire rack to cool.
  16. Store in an airtight container.
Tips:
  • Add other dried fruits instead of raisins.
  • Can add chocolate chips.
  • Use cereals of your preference.
  • Use orange, lemon extract instead of vanilla.
  • If the dough is too soft, put it in the fridge for 20 minutes.
You may want to check out the following:


cornflakes cookies


Sending this recipe for the following events:



Full Scoops
Cooks Joy



Kachuss Delights
Cooks Joy


 

UK Rasoi

Thursday, 14 August 2014

430. choco coconut bites

SHHHH COOKING SECRETLY # 2

     I started making my choco coconut bites on Friday and kept them in the fridge so that I could coat them with chocolate the next day. However that was not possible as there was no water! We woke up in the morning to find our taps dry. Everyone came out of their apartments to find out what the problem was. The pump had broken down and it was going to take a while to repair it. How many homes in Mombasa have to store water in jerricans, buckets, huge plastic containers etc. I bet most of us. With the new government and each county having its own governing body, we had high expectations. But unfortunately things just seem to be getting worse, water problems, power cuts, roads full of potholes, insecurity. These are just a few of the problems. Everyone hopes that things will get better but when is the big question.
    Coming to the recipe, my two secret ingredients were chocolate and milk powder given by Srividhya Balaji. The first thing that came to my mind was barfi, but have already blogged that. I decided to make these chocolates, one more recipe ticked off from my hand written recipe book. Next time I rather make them using fresh grated coconut as opposed to desiccated one to get a more coconut taste. 






CHOCO COCONUT BITES
Makes 24

2 cups desiccated coconut
1 cup powdered sugar
½ cup milk powder
3 tbsp maple syrup, honey or golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla or coconut extract
1 tbsp butter
4 -6 tbsp fresh milk
200 -300 g dark chocolate, milk chocolate or mixed

To decorate:
chopped nuts
sprinkles


  1. Melt the butter. 
  2. Sift milk powder and powdered sugar together.
  3. Add maple syrup, coconut, vanilla extract, butter and fresh milk. 
  4. Mix to make a soft dough.
  5. Wet your hands with water if necessary and make balls with the coconut dough. Take about a tablespoonful. Roll into a ball and flatten it slightly so it looks like a disc. 
  6. Put the discs in the fridge for 30 to 60 minutes.
  7. Melt chocolate in the microwave oven or over hot water. 
  8. Line a tray with parchment /greaseproof paper.
  9. Coat each disc with chocolate using a spoon and fork.
  10. Put them on the tray. Sprinkle with chopped nuts or sprinkles.
  11. Let it set in the fridge for 1 hour or so.
  12. Store in the fridge if the weather is hot.
Tips:
  • Put grated or chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl. Place it over a bowl or pan of hot water. Stir till it melts.
  • I mixed dark and milk chocolate.
  • Add a flavouring of your choice.
  • Dip the ball or disc into the chocolate and remove it with a fork. Shake the fork gently to remove excess chocolate.
  • Make shapes from the coconut dough of your choice, small round balls or squares.
You may want to check out the following:

cold cake

easy peasy chocolate
coconut chocolate

Sending this recipe for the following event:



Wednesday, 13 August 2014

429. orange creamsicle pops

brings out the kid in you

    How many of us really dare to act like kids when our hearts feel like it? Not many of us, we tend to hold our feelings and are scared to act completely carefree for a moment. Playing in the rain, digging up sand and making sandcastles, letting an ice cream dribble all over your hands, jumping on the bed, making huge bubbles with a chewing gum and getting it stuck on the face in the process, dunking pizza in coke. There are so many things we feel like doing but we just hold back. 
  I made orange creamsicle pops a few days ago. Today I had one and licked and sucked on it like kids do, making a bit of a mess. Hubby dear thought I had gone a bit mad. Did I enjoy doing that? Yes and no! Enjoyed the lolly, wasn't particularly too thrilled with the sticky hands. 
  Oranges are available in abundance these days. They come from Tanzania and are very sweet. Some say the market is flooded with them as hotels are not able to buy them as there are not that many tourists. Most hotels here serve freshly squeezed juice for breakfast, but insecurity means tourists are not willing to come to Kenya. So everyday its orange juice for us, oranges in baking, oranges in desserts, oranges, oranges everywhere! Orange creamsicle pops are made using fresh orange juice and fresh cream or yogurt or vanilla ice cream. I decided to use vanilla ice cream. What I like about these pops is that each pop is only 100 calories and very easy to make. My best friend is spring cleaning her house over this school holiday. When I say spring cleaning it means she is going through every paper and pin, and deciding whether the family needs that thing or not. Her spring cleaning has been advantageous for me. I got boxful of books to donate away through our Club, Lions Club of Mombasa Bahari and I got a set of pop/lolly moulds. I have one already but the disadvantage with that one is that they cannot be separated. The moulds are stuck to the holder. I also constantly need to hunt for the wooden lolly sticks whenever I travel abroad as they are not sold in the shops here. The set that my friend has given me is really good... don't need wooden sticks and moulds can be taken out individually from the holder. 



ORANGE CREAMSICLE POPS
Makes 8 -10 depending on the size of the moulds

2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice with the pip
2 cups slightly soft vanilla ice cream
1 tsp orange zest (grated orange peel)

  1. Put the orange juice and ice cream in a blender.
  2. Blend it for a few seconds.
  3. Add the zest and mix well.
  4. Pour the mixture into pop or lolly moulds.
  5. Put it in the freezer and let it set. Will take about 2 hours or so.
  6. To un-mould the pop, run the mould under warm water for a few seconds.
  7. Remove the creamsicle from the mould and serve.
Tips:
  • Use greek yogurt, coconut cream or fresh cream instead of ice cream. Add sugar or honey according to your taste.
  • To make a healthier option reduce the amount of ice cream or cream used. 
  • Add chocolate chips to the mixture to make it more exciting for kids.
You may want to check out the following:

pineapple paleta


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

428. savoury rose rolls (eggless)

baking and some more baking

    Just a few days after I had made the pesto braided bread and patted my back :) and Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen comes up with the August We Knead to Bake challenge.... a savoury filled bread and the bread had to be decorative. Couldn't do the Russian Braid again so the earnest hunt began for a decorative bread. The first place I hunted was my book marked and saved recipes and lo behold came across rose buns to try from Fauzia's Kitchen Fun. More than the filling what caught my eye was the shape. I searched for other decorative shapes but the rose rolls were stuck in my head. So one more bookmarked recipe or rather technique over and done with. I made a veggie filling as I am a vegetarian. Also my friend's family is vegetarian. Yes, I met up with my best friend for lunch ( friendship day celebration) and also shared the rose rolls with her. I am glad that she exists in my life. My other best friends are my daughter and hubby dear. All three are my best friends in for three different reasons, one is a good listener, one gives sound advise and the other my best critic.
    Coming to the rose roll, when I was making them, I was pretty excited that I was trying out yet another technique to make bread look pretty and appealing. It was not difficult as such but next time I will have to make sure the ends are pinched and sealed well so that on baking they do not open up.  I found putting the filling first and then making the cuts easier. You can use any filling.... savoury or sweet to make these rolls. I would suggest a sweeter dough for the sweet filling. The buns were soft even though I had not used an egg.











SAVOURY ROSE ROLLS 
Makes 12

Technique source : Fauzia's Kitchen Fun

For the dough:
3 cups plain flour (all purpose flour, bread flour)
2¼ tsp instant active dry yeast
2 tbsp milk powder
¼ cup plain yogurt
¾ - 1 cup warm water
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

For the filling:
¼ cup diced carrot (peel and cut a small carrot into pea size chunks)
½ cup diced potato (peel and cut a small potato into small dices)
½ cup cooked sweet corn
½ cup diced onion (1 small)
3 - 4 cloves of garlic, chop
1 tsp green chilli paste (or 2 cut into thin slices)
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
2 tbsp water
½ tsp pepper powder
1 tsp coriander powder
a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
1 tsp salt
½ cup cubed cheese
1-2 tsp lemon juice
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander

extra flour for dusting
extra oil for greasing
1 tbsp butter
milk for brushing
1-2 tbsp sesame seeds (tal)


Preparation of the dough:

  1. Sift flour, milk powder and salt together.
  2. Add sugar and the yeast and mix well.
  3. Mix yogurt and water together. The liquid should be warm.
  4. Rub in the oil into the flour.
  5. Add the yogurt mixture to the flour and form into a dough.
  6. Knead the dough well for 10 to 15 minutes using the heel of your hand till it is soft, smooth and silky.
  7. Grease a bowl with oil.
  8. Form the dough into a ball. Rub oil all over it.
  9. Put the dough in the bowl, cover with a cling film and let it rise till its double the size. This will take about 1½ - 2 hours.
Preparation of the filling:
  1. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. When it is a bit hot add cumin seeds.
  3. Add the chopped onion and garlic. Stir fry for a minute or 2. 
  4. Add asafoetida, ginger and chilli.
  5. Add chopped potato,carrot, turmeric powder and salt.
  6. Mix well. Add water, cover the pan and let the vegetables cook over low heat.
  7. Cook till the vegetables are done.
  8. Take the pan off  the heat. Add coriander powder, lemon juice, pepper powder, corn and sugar. Mix well.
  9. Leave it open to cool.
  10. When the mixture is cold, add cheese and fresh coriander.
Final preparation:
  1. Grease a baking tray with oil.
  2. Knead down the risen dough gently. Divide it into 12 parts. Each part is about the size of a golf ball.
  3. Roll the parts into balls.
  4. Using a bit of flour roll one part into a circle about 4 inches in diameter.
  5. Take about a pinch of butter and rub it over the circle.
  6. Put about 1½ - 2 tsp of the filling in the middle of the circle.
  7. Make 4 slits (north, east, west, south) ⅓ of the way.
  8. Pick up one part of the flap part and wrap it around the filling.
  9. Take the opposite flap and wrap it around.
  10. Take the third part and wrap it around.
  11. Repeat with the last remaining flap. Pinch the ends into the dough and seal well.
  12. Using your hands, try and round off the shape.
  13. Place the shaped dough on  the greased tray.
  14. Repeat steps 4 to 13 with the remaining dough.
  15. Brush the rolls with milk.
  16. Sprinkle sesame seeds over it.
  17. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  18. Bake the rolls for 15 to 20 minutes or till the buns are done and golden brown on top.
  19. Remove the buns from the tray and place on a wire rack to cool.
  20. Serve with soup, salad or have it on its own as a snack. Serve with your favourite chutney or sauce.
Tips:
  • Instead of yogurt you can use 1 egg.
  • Make a filling of your choice, spinach, cheese, paneer, nuts, dry fruits etc.
  • Next time when I make the rolls I will seal the ends with a bit of milk. As you can see from the pictures, the ends opened up on baking.
  • If you have filling left over, use it to stuff a paratha or make a sandwich.
  • By the time you make all the roses and the oven reaches the required temperature, the buns will have risen again. You don't want them to rise too much as the shape will fall apart.
  • Use butter sparingly. Too much butter will result in the flaps opening up.
You may want to check out the following:


gibassier

komaj
Sending this recipe for the following event:



We Knead to Bake



Full Scoops

Cooks Joy



Anitha's Kitchen Diary

 Priya's Versatile Recipe.



UK Rasoi

Monday, 11 August 2014

427. veggie pizza rolls

  Home Bakers Challenge # 1

 This is my first entry for the Home Bakers Challenge, a group where enthusiastic home bakers bake every month according to the challenge set. The group was started by Priya of Priya's Versatile Recipes. This month the recipes were selected by Gayathri a member of the group. She gave a choice of five recipes. I spent nearly a week trying to decide which one to make, sweet or savoury, savoury or sweet. Kept on scrolling down the recipes umpteen of times. Finally decide on a savoury recipe as for the past few weeks I have baked so many sweet treats. I am glad I chose to make the pizza rolls. I decided to make the dough at home and make a veggie version. The original recipe used pepperoni. Hubby dear enjoyed the just baked warm pizza rolls and wants me to bake them as starters for the next guests we invite for dinner:)
   In the past 2 months I have joined 4 different groups of which three are baking challenges. Trying to meet the deadlines sometimes does get a bit daunting especially when you have to deal with your daily routine and the challenges. However, these challenges have given me the opportunity to try out recipes that have been in the 'to try list' for too long or get to learn a completely new dish from different cultures. I got tempted to try all the recipes but that would mean that I may get so engrossed in baking that I may forget to make lunch or dinner. But on a serious note, I will eventually try most of them. In the meantime here is my recipe for pizza rolls from scratch. 








VEGGIE PIZZA ROLLS
Makes 20

Pizza dough:
2 cups wheat flour (atta)
1 cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
2¼ tsp instant dry active yeast
½ tsp dried mixed herbs
1 cup warm water

For the filling:
2 cups (150g) sliced mushrooms
1 medium onion sliced (about ½ cup)
4-6 cloves of garlic, slice them
½ cup cooked sweet corn
a handful of fresh basil leaves
½ tsp salt
½ tsp coarse pepper powder
½ -1 tsp chilli flakes

For the marinara sauce:
Makes 2 cups

2½ cups of fresh tomato puree
½ cup finely diced onion
2 tbsp garlic paste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
8-10 fresh basil leaves
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp pepper powder

125g cheddar cheese grate it (about 1 cup grated)
extra flour for dusting
extra oil for greasing

Preparation of the pizza dough:
  1. Mix both the flours in a big bowl.
  2. Add salt, sugar, mixed herbs and the yeast and mix.
  3. Rub the oil into the flour.
  4. Add water and form a dough.
  5. Knead the dough for 5 to 7 minutes till it is smooth and silky. Form the dough into a ball and rub oil over it.
  6. Lightly grease the bowl with oil.
  7. Put the dough in it. Cover it with cling film and keep it in a warm place for 1½ - 2 hours till the dough rises. It should become double the original size.
In the meantime prepare the filling and sauce.

Preparation of the filling:
  1. Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic and stir fry for a minute.
  3. Add the mushrooms and stir fry for 2 minutes or till they are just about to wilt.
  4. Add the corn and take the pan off the heat.
  5. Let the mixture cool down.
  6. Add salt, pepper and chilli flakes.
  7. Roughly tear the basil leaves and add to the filling.
  8. Mix well.
Marinara sauce:
  1. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and saute till they are soft and transparent.
  3. Add the garlic paste and stir fry for a few seconds.
  4. Add the tomato puree and mixed herbs.
  5. Mix well.
  6. Cover the pan and let the sauce simmer for nearly 15 to 20 minutes or till it becomes thick.
  7. Remember to stir the sauce occasionally so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  8. When the sauce becomes thick, add salt, pepper and the basil leaves.
Final preparation:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Lightly grease 2 baking trays with oil or cover it with aluminium foil.
  3. Knead the risen dough gently and divide it into two parts.
  4. Dust the work top or a big board with some flour.
  5. Roll one part of the dough into a rectangle of about 13 X 10 inches.
  6. Sprinkle the rolled dough with half of the grated cheese.
  7. Scatter half of the filling over it.
  8. Starting from the widest side, roll the dough up with the filling like a swiss roll.
  9. Pinch the seam to seal.
  10. Cut slices, about an inch thick. Place the slices on the greased tray.
  11. Gently press each roll down, very gently.
  12. Repeat steps 5 to 11 with the remaining dough, filling and cheese.
  13. Top each slice with a little bit of grated cheese if you like.
  14. Place the trays in the oven and let the rolls bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until they appear light golden brown.
  15. Remove the rolls from the tray and let them cool a bit on a wire rack.
  16. Serve the pizza rolls with marinara sauce.
Tips:
  • Use dry herbs if you don't fresh basil.
  • Add filling of your choice like peppers, zucchini, etc.
  • Use a cheese of your choice.
  • Remember to seal the end well, otherwise the rolls will open up during baking. I rubbed a bit of water at the edge to seal it well.
  • I added the salt to the cool vegetable so that it does not become watery.
  • To make fresh tomato puree, I usually cut tomatoes into half and put it into a saucepan. I add about ¼ cup water and cover the pan. Let the tomatoes cook till they become soft. When they become a bit cold, liquidise it.
You may want to check out the following:
coriander olive bread

Sending this recipe for the following events:





Anitha's Kitchen Diary

Priya's Versatile Recipes


Thursday, 7 August 2014

426. passion fruit iced tea

Do you like reading true stories?

  Every time we have guests who come to stay with us, they tend to leave something or the other behind for us besides the presents they may have brought for us. I have loads of half used shampoo and hair conditioner bottles, some shower gels, bath towels, slippers, magazines and even story books. I leave all that stuff for the next guests who may need to use any of these items and I get to read all the magazines and books. One such book left behind was Shame Travels by Jasvinder Sanghera. I am about to finish reading this book. I read it in spite of not having read her first two books, Shame and Daughters of Shame. All three are true stories. Waiting to get hold of the two I have not read but I just couldn't resist reading her third book. Its all about how Jasvinder runs away from home at the age of 16 because her parents wanted to get her married off to a boy not of her choice. She gets married to someone of the lower caste and her family disowns her. The story is about her struggle to raise 3 children without family support and re - connecting with a part of her family in India. Her parents never took her back home to India as they were ashamed of her. She grew up feeling guilty that she was disobeying the laws of the Guru Granth Sahib by not marrying a boy of her parents choice and marrying someone of the lower caste. This is what her mother had instilled in her brains. However, a visit to India opens up the truth for her. No one in the village really cared that she married a boy from the lower caste, the Guru Granth Sahib does not mention anything about caste and class. 
  How many time in our lives have we come across people misinterpreting the good Holy Books of the world. If one does not comprehend it fully, its best to seek help instead of misconstruing the truth. If you like true stories, read Shame Travels. Its an eye opener, captivating story about Asians in UK.
   Coming to my recipe for today, its a simple iced tea flavoured with passion fruit. It is difficult to find passion fruit in India, very expensive in the western world but available in abundance in Kenya. The subtle flavour of tea and passion fruit was a cooling treat for a hot humid day.





PASSION FRUIT ICED TEA
Serves 2

1 cup water
½ cup orange juice
8 to 10 passion fruits
2 tea bags or 1 tsp loose tea leaves
10 to 12 fresh mint leaves
3 tbsp sugar or any artificial sweetener


  1. Boil water in a pan.
  2. Take it off the heat. Add tea and mint leaves. Cover the pan and let the flavour and tea infuse into the liquid for 30 minutes.
  3. In the meantime prepare the passion fruit juice concentrate. Cut the fruit into half and scoop out the pulp using a teaspoon.
  4. Put the pulp in the liquidizer and give it one or two short pulses. By doing this, the fruity pulp comes off the seeds.
  5. Strain the liquid using a sieve. You will be left with seeds and a bit of fibre.Discard the seeds.
  6. Add sugar to the passion fruit liquid and mix well.
  7. You should get about ½ cup of the juice concentrate.
  8. Strain the tea liquid. Add the orange and passion fruit juice to it.
  9. Leave it in the fridge to cool it.
  10. Serve with lots of ice cubes.
Tips:
  • Add more tea if you like a stronger taste of tea.
  • Add lemongrass instead of mint.
  • If you like passion fruit juice on its own, make the concentrate as above, add a pinch of salt and cold water.
  • Adjust the amount of sugar according to your taste as passion fruit is sour.
You may want to check out the following:

fresh orange iced tea


Sending this recipe for the following events:





Tuesday, 5 August 2014

425. Stir fry pak choy and snow peas

Food for the soul

   Good books, good music and good movies are like good food for the soul. Some make us cry, some make us laugh, some stir our hearts to the core and some make us thankful for the good things God provides us with in life. Some movies make you appreciate the talents of others, be it singing, dancing or art. This lazy Sunday, after a meal of thin crust pizza and strawberry gelato,(at the famous Yuls/Aquadrome) hubby and I watched the movie 'Step up Revolution - We are The Mob" on telly. Its amazing how dancers are able to control every muscle in their body to perform a robotic dance, or the women appear to flit around like butterflies performing a contemporary routine or the dancers are so agile and acrobatic while performing hip hop.  Getting a social or political message across through dance is like a peaceful revolution. I enjoyed watching the movie and forgot about blogging for a over an hour. Watch the movie, you will surely love it. And of course whenever you are in Mombasa, do visit Aquadrome for a lazy Sunday lunch, by the beach, good food and dessert. 
   Remember I mentioned a few days ago about my niece from Nairobi, who brought loads of fresh basil for me. Well she had also brought some pak choy (pak choi, bak choy,chinese cabbage) for me. I made some stir fry with it and forgot to blog the recipe. Delicious, healthy and crunchy, this dish can be served with noodles or rice or eat it on its own as a healthy fill my tummy option. I decided to add snow peas(mangetout) to it. 




STIR FRY PAK CHOY AND SNOW PEAS
4 Servings

600g pak choy
250g snow peas
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds (tal)
1 tbsp garlic paste or 2 -3 cloves of garlic, slice it
1 tsp ginger paste or about ½ inch ginger piece (cut into thin strips)
¾ - 1 tsp salt
1 -2 fresh red chillis , chopped
  1. Trim the ends of the snow peas. Cut them into half and wash them.
  2. Boil some water in a pan. When it begins to boil add the snow peas. Leave for 2 minutes and remove the peas from the hot water. Run cold water over it. Keep it on the side till required. 
  3. Pull apart the stalks of pak choy. Trim the ends. Wash the pak choy properly. Chop it roughly into big junks. I cut each leaf into 3 parts.
  4. Heat both the oils in a wide pan over high heat.
  5. Add sesame seeds, ginger and garlic. Stir it and add the pak choy.
  6. Stir fry till it wilts. Add the snow peas stir fry. Add the red chillis, salt and serve immediately.
Tips:
  • Add chopped cashew nuts if you like.
  • One cooking, the cabbage will leave out water.This acts like a watery sauce.
  • Add other vegetables to the pak choy if you like.
  • Don't overcook the vegetables. It tastes the best when they are crunchy and fresh.
You may want to check out the following:

tofu salad
stir fry vegetables with noodles

pak choi, bean sprout and noodle soup

Monday, 18 August 2014

431. cereal cookies

crunch, crunch, munch

  Tomorrow I am leaving for Italy... my dream destination. I have always wanted to visit Italy because from what I have read , pictures I have seen and the food, makes Italy seem like a romantic country. Wine, pasta, pizza, caprese salad, gelato, limoncello.... seriously how can one leave that country hungry? Churches, piazzas, gondolas, beautiful beaches, scenic countryside what more is required to feel romantic? Before hubby and I get into that holiday mood and behave like typical tourists, clicking umpteen photos and trying to see every thing and anything, we have to pack, catch a flight, close the house, etc etc. So many minor details to take care of before we can go on a holiday. Have you noticed how stressful it has become to actually go on a holiday? Visas, millions of forms to fill, measure the exact dimension of your suitcase, make sure the weight of the luggage is not even 100g over the specified allowance, meander through slow moving traffic to get to the airport, face unfriendly airline staff, go through grueling security procedures and then dwindle your thumbs till the gates open. Once on the flight, fight for space to fit  your hand luggage in the ever decreasing overhead bins, jostle with your neighbour for the arm rest, pretend you love the hot meal served, fiddle with the buttons to get the right movie, sound and clarity. Falling asleep is usually a losing battle as you may have to listen to someone having a conversation even when the lights are dimmed, or some hyper passengers wanting to walk up and down the aisle, hitting your arm or head every time they pass by you. Once the plane lands, everyone is in a hurry to get their hand luggage, get off the plane and fight for space on the escalators once we approach the terminal. Long queues to use the wash rooms, face stern looking immigration officers and then waiting at the correct carousel hoping you bags are not left at the embarkment point. Though by then the excitement builds up to be in a new place, a new country, we still have to face callous taxi drivers, waiting to fleece the first gullible tourist they set their eyes on. Be assured you will not be able to evade their vision tunnel. The long drive to your hotel, check in delays and then the holiday finally begins. 
 I am so lucky that my hubby dear decided to take me to Italy my dream holiday. He could have easily chosen any other European country to visit, but bearing in mind my wish, this whole trip has been arranged for me. We will be touring Italy for 13 days and then from there we will be going to Edinburgh, UK as hubby will be attending a medical conference. I will be casually discovering Edinburgh on my own while he fills his head with all those hard to pronounce medical words:)  
  Coming to the recipe, I use to make these cookies very often when the kids and my in laws were living here. The cookies are really crunchy because of the cereals. Haven't made these for a very long time, but decided to make them as a treat for my best friend's son and his new bride who are visiting Mombasa for 2 weeks. Hope they enjoy the crunchy cookies and you will try this recipe out.



CEREAL COOKIES
Makes 44 -48

½ cup  crumbled weetabix
½ cup cornflakes, crush lightly with your hands
½ cup rice crispies
½ cup quick cooking oats
¾ cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
¾ cup wheat flour (atta)
½ cup sugar
½ cup desiccated coconut
¼ cup milk
¼ cup chopped mixed nuts
¼ cup raisins
250 g butter
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Extra butter for greasing
  1. Grease baking trays lightly with butter.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Mix weetabix, cornflakes, coconut, rice crispies, nuts, raisins and oats in a bowl.
  4. In another bowl sift the flours, baking powder and soda bicarbonate.
  5. Cream sugar and butter till it is pale in colour, soft and creamy.
  6. Add milk and vanilla extract. Whisk till all the milk is mixed into the butter sugar mixture.
  7. Add the flour mixture and mix.
  8. Add the cereal mixture and mix.
  9. Take about a tablespoonful of the dough. Roll it into a ball.
  10. Flatten it slightly and place on the tray.
  11. Repeat steps 9 and 10 with the remaining dough.
  12. Place the slightly flattened balls about an inch apart.
  13. Bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until the cookies appear light brown.
  14. Remove the tray from the oven.
  15. Place the cookies on a wire rack to cool.
  16. Store in an airtight container.
Tips:
  • Add other dried fruits instead of raisins.
  • Can add chocolate chips.
  • Use cereals of your preference.
  • Use orange, lemon extract instead of vanilla.
  • If the dough is too soft, put it in the fridge for 20 minutes.
You may want to check out the following:


cornflakes cookies


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Full Scoops
Cooks Joy



Kachuss Delights
Cooks Joy


 

UK Rasoi

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Thursday, 14 August 2014

430. choco coconut bites

SHHHH COOKING SECRETLY # 2

     I started making my choco coconut bites on Friday and kept them in the fridge so that I could coat them with chocolate the next day. However that was not possible as there was no water! We woke up in the morning to find our taps dry. Everyone came out of their apartments to find out what the problem was. The pump had broken down and it was going to take a while to repair it. How many homes in Mombasa have to store water in jerricans, buckets, huge plastic containers etc. I bet most of us. With the new government and each county having its own governing body, we had high expectations. But unfortunately things just seem to be getting worse, water problems, power cuts, roads full of potholes, insecurity. These are just a few of the problems. Everyone hopes that things will get better but when is the big question.
    Coming to the recipe, my two secret ingredients were chocolate and milk powder given by Srividhya Balaji. The first thing that came to my mind was barfi, but have already blogged that. I decided to make these chocolates, one more recipe ticked off from my hand written recipe book. Next time I rather make them using fresh grated coconut as opposed to desiccated one to get a more coconut taste. 






CHOCO COCONUT BITES
Makes 24

2 cups desiccated coconut
1 cup powdered sugar
½ cup milk powder
3 tbsp maple syrup, honey or golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla or coconut extract
1 tbsp butter
4 -6 tbsp fresh milk
200 -300 g dark chocolate, milk chocolate or mixed

To decorate:
chopped nuts
sprinkles


  1. Melt the butter. 
  2. Sift milk powder and powdered sugar together.
  3. Add maple syrup, coconut, vanilla extract, butter and fresh milk. 
  4. Mix to make a soft dough.
  5. Wet your hands with water if necessary and make balls with the coconut dough. Take about a tablespoonful. Roll into a ball and flatten it slightly so it looks like a disc. 
  6. Put the discs in the fridge for 30 to 60 minutes.
  7. Melt chocolate in the microwave oven or over hot water. 
  8. Line a tray with parchment /greaseproof paper.
  9. Coat each disc with chocolate using a spoon and fork.
  10. Put them on the tray. Sprinkle with chopped nuts or sprinkles.
  11. Let it set in the fridge for 1 hour or so.
  12. Store in the fridge if the weather is hot.
Tips:
  • Put grated or chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl. Place it over a bowl or pan of hot water. Stir till it melts.
  • I mixed dark and milk chocolate.
  • Add a flavouring of your choice.
  • Dip the ball or disc into the chocolate and remove it with a fork. Shake the fork gently to remove excess chocolate.
  • Make shapes from the coconut dough of your choice, small round balls or squares.
You may want to check out the following:

cold cake

easy peasy chocolate
coconut chocolate

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Wednesday, 13 August 2014

429. orange creamsicle pops

brings out the kid in you

    How many of us really dare to act like kids when our hearts feel like it? Not many of us, we tend to hold our feelings and are scared to act completely carefree for a moment. Playing in the rain, digging up sand and making sandcastles, letting an ice cream dribble all over your hands, jumping on the bed, making huge bubbles with a chewing gum and getting it stuck on the face in the process, dunking pizza in coke. There are so many things we feel like doing but we just hold back. 
  I made orange creamsicle pops a few days ago. Today I had one and licked and sucked on it like kids do, making a bit of a mess. Hubby dear thought I had gone a bit mad. Did I enjoy doing that? Yes and no! Enjoyed the lolly, wasn't particularly too thrilled with the sticky hands. 
  Oranges are available in abundance these days. They come from Tanzania and are very sweet. Some say the market is flooded with them as hotels are not able to buy them as there are not that many tourists. Most hotels here serve freshly squeezed juice for breakfast, but insecurity means tourists are not willing to come to Kenya. So everyday its orange juice for us, oranges in baking, oranges in desserts, oranges, oranges everywhere! Orange creamsicle pops are made using fresh orange juice and fresh cream or yogurt or vanilla ice cream. I decided to use vanilla ice cream. What I like about these pops is that each pop is only 100 calories and very easy to make. My best friend is spring cleaning her house over this school holiday. When I say spring cleaning it means she is going through every paper and pin, and deciding whether the family needs that thing or not. Her spring cleaning has been advantageous for me. I got boxful of books to donate away through our Club, Lions Club of Mombasa Bahari and I got a set of pop/lolly moulds. I have one already but the disadvantage with that one is that they cannot be separated. The moulds are stuck to the holder. I also constantly need to hunt for the wooden lolly sticks whenever I travel abroad as they are not sold in the shops here. The set that my friend has given me is really good... don't need wooden sticks and moulds can be taken out individually from the holder. 



ORANGE CREAMSICLE POPS
Makes 8 -10 depending on the size of the moulds

2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice with the pip
2 cups slightly soft vanilla ice cream
1 tsp orange zest (grated orange peel)

  1. Put the orange juice and ice cream in a blender.
  2. Blend it for a few seconds.
  3. Add the zest and mix well.
  4. Pour the mixture into pop or lolly moulds.
  5. Put it in the freezer and let it set. Will take about 2 hours or so.
  6. To un-mould the pop, run the mould under warm water for a few seconds.
  7. Remove the creamsicle from the mould and serve.
Tips:
  • Use greek yogurt, coconut cream or fresh cream instead of ice cream. Add sugar or honey according to your taste.
  • To make a healthier option reduce the amount of ice cream or cream used. 
  • Add chocolate chips to the mixture to make it more exciting for kids.
You may want to check out the following:

pineapple paleta


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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

428. savoury rose rolls (eggless)

baking and some more baking

    Just a few days after I had made the pesto braided bread and patted my back :) and Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen comes up with the August We Knead to Bake challenge.... a savoury filled bread and the bread had to be decorative. Couldn't do the Russian Braid again so the earnest hunt began for a decorative bread. The first place I hunted was my book marked and saved recipes and lo behold came across rose buns to try from Fauzia's Kitchen Fun. More than the filling what caught my eye was the shape. I searched for other decorative shapes but the rose rolls were stuck in my head. So one more bookmarked recipe or rather technique over and done with. I made a veggie filling as I am a vegetarian. Also my friend's family is vegetarian. Yes, I met up with my best friend for lunch ( friendship day celebration) and also shared the rose rolls with her. I am glad that she exists in my life. My other best friends are my daughter and hubby dear. All three are my best friends in for three different reasons, one is a good listener, one gives sound advise and the other my best critic.
    Coming to the rose roll, when I was making them, I was pretty excited that I was trying out yet another technique to make bread look pretty and appealing. It was not difficult as such but next time I will have to make sure the ends are pinched and sealed well so that on baking they do not open up.  I found putting the filling first and then making the cuts easier. You can use any filling.... savoury or sweet to make these rolls. I would suggest a sweeter dough for the sweet filling. The buns were soft even though I had not used an egg.











SAVOURY ROSE ROLLS 
Makes 12

Technique source : Fauzia's Kitchen Fun

For the dough:
3 cups plain flour (all purpose flour, bread flour)
2¼ tsp instant active dry yeast
2 tbsp milk powder
¼ cup plain yogurt
¾ - 1 cup warm water
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

For the filling:
¼ cup diced carrot (peel and cut a small carrot into pea size chunks)
½ cup diced potato (peel and cut a small potato into small dices)
½ cup cooked sweet corn
½ cup diced onion (1 small)
3 - 4 cloves of garlic, chop
1 tsp green chilli paste (or 2 cut into thin slices)
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
2 tbsp water
½ tsp pepper powder
1 tsp coriander powder
a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
1 tsp salt
½ cup cubed cheese
1-2 tsp lemon juice
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander

extra flour for dusting
extra oil for greasing
1 tbsp butter
milk for brushing
1-2 tbsp sesame seeds (tal)


Preparation of the dough:

  1. Sift flour, milk powder and salt together.
  2. Add sugar and the yeast and mix well.
  3. Mix yogurt and water together. The liquid should be warm.
  4. Rub in the oil into the flour.
  5. Add the yogurt mixture to the flour and form into a dough.
  6. Knead the dough well for 10 to 15 minutes using the heel of your hand till it is soft, smooth and silky.
  7. Grease a bowl with oil.
  8. Form the dough into a ball. Rub oil all over it.
  9. Put the dough in the bowl, cover with a cling film and let it rise till its double the size. This will take about 1½ - 2 hours.
Preparation of the filling:
  1. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. When it is a bit hot add cumin seeds.
  3. Add the chopped onion and garlic. Stir fry for a minute or 2. 
  4. Add asafoetida, ginger and chilli.
  5. Add chopped potato,carrot, turmeric powder and salt.
  6. Mix well. Add water, cover the pan and let the vegetables cook over low heat.
  7. Cook till the vegetables are done.
  8. Take the pan off  the heat. Add coriander powder, lemon juice, pepper powder, corn and sugar. Mix well.
  9. Leave it open to cool.
  10. When the mixture is cold, add cheese and fresh coriander.
Final preparation:
  1. Grease a baking tray with oil.
  2. Knead down the risen dough gently. Divide it into 12 parts. Each part is about the size of a golf ball.
  3. Roll the parts into balls.
  4. Using a bit of flour roll one part into a circle about 4 inches in diameter.
  5. Take about a pinch of butter and rub it over the circle.
  6. Put about 1½ - 2 tsp of the filling in the middle of the circle.
  7. Make 4 slits (north, east, west, south) ⅓ of the way.
  8. Pick up one part of the flap part and wrap it around the filling.
  9. Take the opposite flap and wrap it around.
  10. Take the third part and wrap it around.
  11. Repeat with the last remaining flap. Pinch the ends into the dough and seal well.
  12. Using your hands, try and round off the shape.
  13. Place the shaped dough on  the greased tray.
  14. Repeat steps 4 to 13 with the remaining dough.
  15. Brush the rolls with milk.
  16. Sprinkle sesame seeds over it.
  17. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  18. Bake the rolls for 15 to 20 minutes or till the buns are done and golden brown on top.
  19. Remove the buns from the tray and place on a wire rack to cool.
  20. Serve with soup, salad or have it on its own as a snack. Serve with your favourite chutney or sauce.
Tips:
  • Instead of yogurt you can use 1 egg.
  • Make a filling of your choice, spinach, cheese, paneer, nuts, dry fruits etc.
  • Next time when I make the rolls I will seal the ends with a bit of milk. As you can see from the pictures, the ends opened up on baking.
  • If you have filling left over, use it to stuff a paratha or make a sandwich.
  • By the time you make all the roses and the oven reaches the required temperature, the buns will have risen again. You don't want them to rise too much as the shape will fall apart.
  • Use butter sparingly. Too much butter will result in the flaps opening up.
You may want to check out the following:


gibassier

komaj
Sending this recipe for the following event:



We Knead to Bake



Full Scoops

Cooks Joy



Anitha's Kitchen Diary

 Priya's Versatile Recipe.



UK Rasoi
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Monday, 11 August 2014

427. veggie pizza rolls

  Home Bakers Challenge # 1

 This is my first entry for the Home Bakers Challenge, a group where enthusiastic home bakers bake every month according to the challenge set. The group was started by Priya of Priya's Versatile Recipes. This month the recipes were selected by Gayathri a member of the group. She gave a choice of five recipes. I spent nearly a week trying to decide which one to make, sweet or savoury, savoury or sweet. Kept on scrolling down the recipes umpteen of times. Finally decide on a savoury recipe as for the past few weeks I have baked so many sweet treats. I am glad I chose to make the pizza rolls. I decided to make the dough at home and make a veggie version. The original recipe used pepperoni. Hubby dear enjoyed the just baked warm pizza rolls and wants me to bake them as starters for the next guests we invite for dinner:)
   In the past 2 months I have joined 4 different groups of which three are baking challenges. Trying to meet the deadlines sometimes does get a bit daunting especially when you have to deal with your daily routine and the challenges. However, these challenges have given me the opportunity to try out recipes that have been in the 'to try list' for too long or get to learn a completely new dish from different cultures. I got tempted to try all the recipes but that would mean that I may get so engrossed in baking that I may forget to make lunch or dinner. But on a serious note, I will eventually try most of them. In the meantime here is my recipe for pizza rolls from scratch. 








VEGGIE PIZZA ROLLS
Makes 20

Pizza dough:
2 cups wheat flour (atta)
1 cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
2¼ tsp instant dry active yeast
½ tsp dried mixed herbs
1 cup warm water

For the filling:
2 cups (150g) sliced mushrooms
1 medium onion sliced (about ½ cup)
4-6 cloves of garlic, slice them
½ cup cooked sweet corn
a handful of fresh basil leaves
½ tsp salt
½ tsp coarse pepper powder
½ -1 tsp chilli flakes

For the marinara sauce:
Makes 2 cups

2½ cups of fresh tomato puree
½ cup finely diced onion
2 tbsp garlic paste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
8-10 fresh basil leaves
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp pepper powder

125g cheddar cheese grate it (about 1 cup grated)
extra flour for dusting
extra oil for greasing

Preparation of the pizza dough:
  1. Mix both the flours in a big bowl.
  2. Add salt, sugar, mixed herbs and the yeast and mix.
  3. Rub the oil into the flour.
  4. Add water and form a dough.
  5. Knead the dough for 5 to 7 minutes till it is smooth and silky. Form the dough into a ball and rub oil over it.
  6. Lightly grease the bowl with oil.
  7. Put the dough in it. Cover it with cling film and keep it in a warm place for 1½ - 2 hours till the dough rises. It should become double the original size.
In the meantime prepare the filling and sauce.

Preparation of the filling:
  1. Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic and stir fry for a minute.
  3. Add the mushrooms and stir fry for 2 minutes or till they are just about to wilt.
  4. Add the corn and take the pan off the heat.
  5. Let the mixture cool down.
  6. Add salt, pepper and chilli flakes.
  7. Roughly tear the basil leaves and add to the filling.
  8. Mix well.
Marinara sauce:
  1. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and saute till they are soft and transparent.
  3. Add the garlic paste and stir fry for a few seconds.
  4. Add the tomato puree and mixed herbs.
  5. Mix well.
  6. Cover the pan and let the sauce simmer for nearly 15 to 20 minutes or till it becomes thick.
  7. Remember to stir the sauce occasionally so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  8. When the sauce becomes thick, add salt, pepper and the basil leaves.
Final preparation:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Lightly grease 2 baking trays with oil or cover it with aluminium foil.
  3. Knead the risen dough gently and divide it into two parts.
  4. Dust the work top or a big board with some flour.
  5. Roll one part of the dough into a rectangle of about 13 X 10 inches.
  6. Sprinkle the rolled dough with half of the grated cheese.
  7. Scatter half of the filling over it.
  8. Starting from the widest side, roll the dough up with the filling like a swiss roll.
  9. Pinch the seam to seal.
  10. Cut slices, about an inch thick. Place the slices on the greased tray.
  11. Gently press each roll down, very gently.
  12. Repeat steps 5 to 11 with the remaining dough, filling and cheese.
  13. Top each slice with a little bit of grated cheese if you like.
  14. Place the trays in the oven and let the rolls bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until they appear light golden brown.
  15. Remove the rolls from the tray and let them cool a bit on a wire rack.
  16. Serve the pizza rolls with marinara sauce.
Tips:
  • Use dry herbs if you don't fresh basil.
  • Add filling of your choice like peppers, zucchini, etc.
  • Use a cheese of your choice.
  • Remember to seal the end well, otherwise the rolls will open up during baking. I rubbed a bit of water at the edge to seal it well.
  • I added the salt to the cool vegetable so that it does not become watery.
  • To make fresh tomato puree, I usually cut tomatoes into half and put it into a saucepan. I add about ¼ cup water and cover the pan. Let the tomatoes cook till they become soft. When they become a bit cold, liquidise it.
You may want to check out the following:
coriander olive bread

Sending this recipe for the following events:





Anitha's Kitchen Diary

Priya's Versatile Recipes


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Thursday, 7 August 2014

426. passion fruit iced tea

Do you like reading true stories?

  Every time we have guests who come to stay with us, they tend to leave something or the other behind for us besides the presents they may have brought for us. I have loads of half used shampoo and hair conditioner bottles, some shower gels, bath towels, slippers, magazines and even story books. I leave all that stuff for the next guests who may need to use any of these items and I get to read all the magazines and books. One such book left behind was Shame Travels by Jasvinder Sanghera. I am about to finish reading this book. I read it in spite of not having read her first two books, Shame and Daughters of Shame. All three are true stories. Waiting to get hold of the two I have not read but I just couldn't resist reading her third book. Its all about how Jasvinder runs away from home at the age of 16 because her parents wanted to get her married off to a boy not of her choice. She gets married to someone of the lower caste and her family disowns her. The story is about her struggle to raise 3 children without family support and re - connecting with a part of her family in India. Her parents never took her back home to India as they were ashamed of her. She grew up feeling guilty that she was disobeying the laws of the Guru Granth Sahib by not marrying a boy of her parents choice and marrying someone of the lower caste. This is what her mother had instilled in her brains. However, a visit to India opens up the truth for her. No one in the village really cared that she married a boy from the lower caste, the Guru Granth Sahib does not mention anything about caste and class. 
  How many time in our lives have we come across people misinterpreting the good Holy Books of the world. If one does not comprehend it fully, its best to seek help instead of misconstruing the truth. If you like true stories, read Shame Travels. Its an eye opener, captivating story about Asians in UK.
   Coming to my recipe for today, its a simple iced tea flavoured with passion fruit. It is difficult to find passion fruit in India, very expensive in the western world but available in abundance in Kenya. The subtle flavour of tea and passion fruit was a cooling treat for a hot humid day.





PASSION FRUIT ICED TEA
Serves 2

1 cup water
½ cup orange juice
8 to 10 passion fruits
2 tea bags or 1 tsp loose tea leaves
10 to 12 fresh mint leaves
3 tbsp sugar or any artificial sweetener


  1. Boil water in a pan.
  2. Take it off the heat. Add tea and mint leaves. Cover the pan and let the flavour and tea infuse into the liquid for 30 minutes.
  3. In the meantime prepare the passion fruit juice concentrate. Cut the fruit into half and scoop out the pulp using a teaspoon.
  4. Put the pulp in the liquidizer and give it one or two short pulses. By doing this, the fruity pulp comes off the seeds.
  5. Strain the liquid using a sieve. You will be left with seeds and a bit of fibre.Discard the seeds.
  6. Add sugar to the passion fruit liquid and mix well.
  7. You should get about ½ cup of the juice concentrate.
  8. Strain the tea liquid. Add the orange and passion fruit juice to it.
  9. Leave it in the fridge to cool it.
  10. Serve with lots of ice cubes.
Tips:
  • Add more tea if you like a stronger taste of tea.
  • Add lemongrass instead of mint.
  • If you like passion fruit juice on its own, make the concentrate as above, add a pinch of salt and cold water.
  • Adjust the amount of sugar according to your taste as passion fruit is sour.
You may want to check out the following:

fresh orange iced tea


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Tuesday, 5 August 2014

425. Stir fry pak choy and snow peas

Food for the soul

   Good books, good music and good movies are like good food for the soul. Some make us cry, some make us laugh, some stir our hearts to the core and some make us thankful for the good things God provides us with in life. Some movies make you appreciate the talents of others, be it singing, dancing or art. This lazy Sunday, after a meal of thin crust pizza and strawberry gelato,(at the famous Yuls/Aquadrome) hubby and I watched the movie 'Step up Revolution - We are The Mob" on telly. Its amazing how dancers are able to control every muscle in their body to perform a robotic dance, or the women appear to flit around like butterflies performing a contemporary routine or the dancers are so agile and acrobatic while performing hip hop.  Getting a social or political message across through dance is like a peaceful revolution. I enjoyed watching the movie and forgot about blogging for a over an hour. Watch the movie, you will surely love it. And of course whenever you are in Mombasa, do visit Aquadrome for a lazy Sunday lunch, by the beach, good food and dessert. 
   Remember I mentioned a few days ago about my niece from Nairobi, who brought loads of fresh basil for me. Well she had also brought some pak choy (pak choi, bak choy,chinese cabbage) for me. I made some stir fry with it and forgot to blog the recipe. Delicious, healthy and crunchy, this dish can be served with noodles or rice or eat it on its own as a healthy fill my tummy option. I decided to add snow peas(mangetout) to it. 




STIR FRY PAK CHOY AND SNOW PEAS
4 Servings

600g pak choy
250g snow peas
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds (tal)
1 tbsp garlic paste or 2 -3 cloves of garlic, slice it
1 tsp ginger paste or about ½ inch ginger piece (cut into thin strips)
¾ - 1 tsp salt
1 -2 fresh red chillis , chopped
  1. Trim the ends of the snow peas. Cut them into half and wash them.
  2. Boil some water in a pan. When it begins to boil add the snow peas. Leave for 2 minutes and remove the peas from the hot water. Run cold water over it. Keep it on the side till required. 
  3. Pull apart the stalks of pak choy. Trim the ends. Wash the pak choy properly. Chop it roughly into big junks. I cut each leaf into 3 parts.
  4. Heat both the oils in a wide pan over high heat.
  5. Add sesame seeds, ginger and garlic. Stir it and add the pak choy.
  6. Stir fry till it wilts. Add the snow peas stir fry. Add the red chillis, salt and serve immediately.
Tips:
  • Add chopped cashew nuts if you like.
  • One cooking, the cabbage will leave out water.This acts like a watery sauce.
  • Add other vegetables to the pak choy if you like.
  • Don't overcook the vegetables. It tastes the best when they are crunchy and fresh.
You may want to check out the following:

tofu salad
stir fry vegetables with noodles

pak choi, bean sprout and noodle soup

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