Monday, 29 September 2014

436. Gujarati sambharo

Narendra Modi rocks!

       Last night got back from a late show of the movie Equalizer and couldn't fall asleep immediately. One shouldn't watch violence before bed time as sleep disappears. I decided to check out my facebook page and the first thing I see was the speech by Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi at the Madison Square Garden shared by a friend.
http://goo.gl/47tJIi
     A true leader, a great orator and a humble man. His speech captivated the audience and was inspirational. For a person who wants to do so much for India its every Indian's duty inside and outside India to support this great cause. We all dream of a better, cleaner India and if we put our minds to it, it is possible.
     I am usually not interested in politics as everywhere in the world, politicians promise a lot and leave the people disillusioned. However, what I have noticed about Narendra Modi is that you cannot help but get capitvated by what he says. Today our mid morning host on the local Asian radio kept on saying again and again that no world leader has been able to attract so many people to the Madison Square Garden. Madison Square Garden is filled to this capacity only when there is a rock or pop star! I think after hearing this speech,she too has greater respect for him. Previously when listeners would praise the Prime Minister, she would voice her doubts about what he can achieve. It was difficult convincing her as she is orginally from Pakistan. But I guess today it was a different ball game as she was full of praises for him.         Having so much faith in the youth of India should be a great motivator for them. It is also an eye opener to all the Hindus around the world that following ones religious belief does not mean we compromise it to suit others need. A few days back I read that the great chefs of White house were put in a dilemma as to what to serve Narendra Modi as he is fasting for the whole Navratri festival. They didn't think it was right for the others to be served with scrumptious courses when their guest was fasting. I would really like to know how and what everyone was served on that day.
   So today I think it is befitting to post a Gujarati recipe. I decided to post my sambharo recipe. What is sambharo? Sambharo is like a warm salad made with the two main ingredients cabbage and carrot. To this you can add raw mango, raw papaya or capsicum. Sambharo is usually made as a side dish when making the whole Gujarati meal or it is served with papdi ganthia and jalebi as a Sunday breakfast or brunch. I love sambharo as the vegetables are not overcooked. I love to have it with roti, with  papdi ganthias or on its own.






GUJARATI SAMBHARO
4 servings

approx 500g cabbage
2 medium carrots
2 fresh green chillis
2 tbsp oil
¼ tsp asafoetida (hing)
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
¾ - 1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp fresh chopped coriander (dhana)

  1. Shred the cabbage, or cut into thin strips not too thin or not too thick.
  2. Peel the carrots and cut into into sticks about 1 -1½ inches long.
  3. Slit the green chillis lengthwise into 2.
  4. Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
  5. Add fenugreek seeds and then the mustard seeds.
  6. As the seeds begin to crackle, add the green chillis.
  7. Immediately add asafoetida and the turmeric powder.
  8. Mix and add the carrot sticks and cabbage.
  9. Mix it very well.
  10. Add salt, mix and cover the pan. Reduce the heat.
  11. Cook for 3 - 4 minutes.
  12. Add sugar, lemon juice and chopped coriander. Mix and serve.
Tips:
  • Add a few thin slices of raw mango along with the cabbage and carrots. Reduce the amount of  lemon juice.
  • You can add thinly sliced raw papaya or capsicum along with the cabbage and carrot if you like. Make sure you peel the papaya.
  • When you add chillis to the hot oil, be careful as you don't want the chilli seeds that will pop to burn you. Add the chillis and cover the pan immediately. Remove the lid to add the rest fo the ingredients.
  • Adjust the amount of sugar and lemon juice accordingly to your taste. Sambharo is usually a balance of sweet and sour.
  • If you are going to serve sambharo a bit later, do not cover it with a lid while it is hot. This will result in overcooked cabbage. 
  • Heat it up before serving.
You may want to check out the following:

chundo (mango pickle)

lemon pickle
raiwala marcha (chillis with mustard powder)
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Motions and Emotions
Citrus spice and all things nice

Thursday, 25 September 2014

435. apple dessert pizza

a delightful treat

   When Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen suggested we bake pizzas for the 'We knead to bake September challenge', I thought yum... the options can be endless. The base and?or topping had to be different from the ones we make usually. I read the posting during my trip to Italy. Everywhere from then I was looking out for a different type of pizza. Unfortunately, didn't find any except when we stayed in a hotel in Baveno. They served a fruit pizza for breakfast. The fruit was beautifully arranged on the base. That gave me an idea... I would bake a fruit pizza. As other fellow bloggers posted their baked pizzas, most of them were savoury ones so my decision to concentrate on a fruit one became more solid. Initially I wanted to bake a banana chocolate pizza, but the idea of baked banana didn't sound too appealing. The next best bet was apples. Recipe ready, ingredients ready but I didn't get time to bake it till today! No power, busy at home, busy with Lionism, busy with community work etc etc. As the saying goes, everything happens at a certain time for a reason. The reason the chance to bake it came today was because today is Nunu's birthday. Though she is in Mumbai, hubby and I got to have a sweet treat. 
     Coming to Baveno, its a small quaint town with beautiful villas on the shores of Lake Maggiore. Milanese come to stay at Baveno for a weekend getaway or during the summer holidays.With gentle sloping hills as the back drop and a blue expanse of water as the front yard, Baveno is a romantic town. It also has a beautiful view of the Borromeo Islands in front. From Baveno we visited the fishermen's island or Isola dei Pescatori as its known to Italians.They have a regular ferry and boat service to the island. Its the only island inhabited by people. The other islands are open to visitors during the day but no one lives there at night. 
    Getting back to the recipe, I decided to use my apple crumble recipe to top the pizza base instead of just putting slices of freshly cut apples and decorating with cream.







Early morning Lake Maggiore
fruit pizza served at Dino Hotel Baveno



APPLE DESSERT PIZZA
Makes 2 small ones or 6 mini ones

For the base:
1 cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp instant dry active yeast
¼ -⅓ cup warm water

For the apple topping:
2 medium apples
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp cinnamon powder

For the crumble layer:
2 tbsp plain flour (all purpose flour)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar

For the glace:
⅓ cup powdered sugar
1-2 tsp milk
2-3 tbsp mixed lightly roasted nuts

Preparation of the base:
  1. Put flour in a bowl. Mix in the sugar, salt and yeast.
  2. Rub oil into the flour.
  3. Using warm water form a soft dough.
  4. Lightly flour the work top and knead the dough for 5 minutes till it is smooth and soft.
  5. Place the dough in a greased bowl.
  6. Cover with a cling film and let the dough rise till its double the size. This will take about an hour.
Preparation of the apple topping:
  1. Peel, core and dice the apples.
  2. Put them in a pan along with the butter and sugar.
  3. Cook the mixture over medium heat till the apples are done and the sauce is slightly thick.
  4. Add the cinnamon powder and mix well. Leave the mixture on the side till required.
Preparation of the crumble:
  1. Place the flour and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Add the butter and lightly rub it into the flour mixture.
Final preparation:
  1. Gently knock down the risen dough using your knuckles.
  2. Divide it into 6 parts if you are making mini ones or into 2 for bigger ones.(6 inch)
  3. Grease a baking sheet lightly with oil.
  4. Take one part of the dough and roll it into a circle of 3 inches.
  5. Place it on the baking tray.
  6. Roll circles with the remaining dough.
  7. Let the rolled base rest for ten minutes.
  8. In the meantime preheat the oven to 200°C.
  9. Prick the base in a few places with a fork.
  10. Place it in the oven and bake for 5 minutes.
  11. Remove the tray from the oven.
  12. Put the apple topping on each base.
  13. Top it with the crumble.
  14. Bake the pizzas for 10 more minutes or till the edges are golden brown.
  15. Remove the pizzas from the oven and let them cool slightly on a wire rack.
  16. Mix powdered sugar and milk to form a smooth glace icing.
  17. Drizzle it over the pizzas.
  18. Garnish with chopped roasted mixed nuts and serve.
Tips:
  • You can use banana instead of apples. If using bananas no need to precook them. Mix sugar and butter with the bananas and top the bases.
  • You can replace the apples with pears.
  • Serve the dessert pizza on its own or with some fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
You may want to check out the following:

apple cinnamon icecream

Sending this recipe for the following event :





Cooks Joy

434. Eggplant mini pizza

not eggplants again !

  During my holiday in Italy, I was a bit disappointed that the choice for vegetarians was very limited. Margherita pizzas, pasta with tomato sauce, pasta with mushrooms or cold grilled vegetables. Usually it would be grilled eggplants, zucchini and pepper. No garlic or onion flavour and forget about getting any chilli flakes. Pizza hut and Dominos spoil us by giving us endless satchets of chilli flakes. Italian restaurants in India and Kenya give us chilli oil, yummy chilli sauces, pestos that are chilli. However, visit any restaurant in Italy and its difficult to find any of those extra condiments... no extra olive oil, chilli oil, chilli flakes, salt or pepper !
I had vowed to my hubby dear that once we get back to Mombasa, I was not going to buy any eggplants for a long time. On my return, dear Esther, the veggie lady who comes door to door, brought lovely huge eggplants. I didn't buy them. She comes the next day with fresh ones again and I just couldn't resist. To make me not hate eggplants I prepared my usual brinjal potato shaak to bring bake the taste of eggplants with masalas and spices and not bland as served to me in Italy. Third day she comes with more eggplants. I bought them and hubby dear thought I was going nuts. Going through my diary and trying to get back to routine remembered that I had to make my pizza for the We knead to bake challenge. The challenge is a different topping, different base or both. Wanting to eat a bit healthy after all the sweet croissants and pizzas I decided to bake the following pizzas for dinner. I loved it, hubby dear missed the normal base. Did you know that a normal cheese topping slice of pizza has about 290 calories. The calories go up with additions like extra cheese, chicken, pepperoni, paneer,etc. I love having pizza at our local Italian restaurants. Even the thin crust ones add up to 1200 -1400 calories for a 8 to 10 inch pizza.
   Our last day in Rome was a relaxing one as we had booked a room at Relais Il Casale, Ostia Antica. It was a beautiful place, an agri touristic place with lots of greenery around. They had a bbq place where families come during the weekend to bbq and have fun. Besides the natural bbq place they had an antique pizza oven. It was apparently used long time ago by the forefathers to bake pizzas.
    Pizza actually originated in Naples as a poor man's meal where the bread was topped with tomato puree, meat and cheese.Since then pizza has become an international dish. The Italians believe that the typical pizza with tomato (red), basil (green) and mozzarella cheese(white) represents the Italian flag, just as Queen Margherita preferred. Thus the name Margherita pizza in her honour. 






    





So here is my pizza recipe:

EGGPLANT MINI PIZZA
Makes 4
Each slice : 273 calories
Recipe source : our small hours

1 large eggplant (approx 500g)
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
¾ cup pizza sauce/ marinara sauce
1 small onion sliced thinly
10 -12 cherry tomatoes, cut into thick slices
8 olives cut into slices
few fresh basil leaves and/or dried herbs

½ tsp salt
1-2 tbsp olive oil
½ -1 tsp chilli flakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with foil or grease it lightly with oil.
  2. Trim the stalk off the eggplant. Cut it into 4 thick slices lengthwise.Each slice should be about ½ inch thick.
  3. 2 slices will have a curved bottom. Slice it slightly to make it sit well on the tray.
  4. Place the eggplant slices on the tray.
  5. Brush oil over it.
  6. Sprinkle salt over the slices.
  7. Spread the pizza sauce over the slices.
  8. Sprinkle the cheese over the sauce.
  9. Top it with the sliced onions, chopped tomatoes and olives.
  10. Sprinkle chilli flakes and dried herbs.
  11. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or till the eggplants are done and the cheese has melted and is bubbling.
  12. Top with fresh basil leaves and serve immediately.
Tips:
  • Make sure that the eggplant slices are not thicker than ½ inch or else it will not bake well. 
  • Add topping of our choice.
  • Add cheese of your choice.
  • The knife should cut through easily if the eggplant is done.
You may want to check out the following:

veggie pizza rolls
mashed avocado and tomato bruschetta

 Sending this recipe for the following event:


My Diverse Kitchen




Cooks Joy
Nalini's Kitchen



Pepper, chilli, Vanilla

Zesty south indian kitchen



Spicing your life



Sunday, 21 September 2014

433. Dry tindora shaak/sabji

Simple but delicious

  I am posting a traditional recipe after a long time. Dry tindora (tondli, giloda,kovakai) shaak or sabji is a simple but delicious vegetable to prepare. Some prepare it using just dry spices, some add the fresh spices like ginger and some use both. Whichever way you prefer to make it, its important to make a dish that suits the taste of your family. Some find cooking a chore, some find it therapeutic and for some its a passion. 
   There was a local cookery competition taking place on tv sometime back and while I was watching it I was wondering how you can really judge someone's cooking? Some like their food a bit more spicy, some like it mild, some like it a bit tangy, and some prefer a wee bit more salt. So how is it possible to judge ones taste buds? If I were to judge a competition, I would be put off if I found a dish slightly more salty or chilli. Would that mean the cook is a bad cook? No, that cook just cooked the food the way her or his family likes it. When judges actually comment on how it could have been better if there a bit more lemon or bit more cinnamon, I feel that that is what they prefer, but the next person may not. Basically what I am trying to say is that cook from your heart and what your family likes. Most recipes are just a guideline. Add whatever spices you prefer.
 Coming to my dry tindora shaak or sabji, some people like to fry the tindora slices before its tempered to make it more crunchier. However, from the healthy point of view, I prefer not to fry them. I find that this shaak goes well with tuvar dal or moong dal and hot rotis. Did I miss my traditional Indian vegetables while touring Italy? Yes I did. As mentioned in my previous post, vegetables and salads were a rarity in the hotels set menus unless we bought them during our walking tours or ordered a different menu. So whenever I saw any fresh vegetables or fruits, that would be my breakfast. However, in Venice, very few tomatoes were put out so we had to sort of share them. That day my breakfast was a crispy croissant, tomatoes and mozzarella. 






DRY TINDORA SHAAK/SABJI
4 Servings

500g tindora, ivy gourd
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
1 tsp green chilli paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
a gnerous pinch of asafoetida (hing)
1-1¼ tsp salt
2-3 tbsp water
½ tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander cumin powder (dhana jiru)
2 tbsp fresh chopped coriander


  1. Wash the tindora well. Pat them dry on a kitchen towel.
  2. Trim of the ends. Cut it into half lengthwise.
  3. Slice each half lengthwise. The slices should not be too thin or too thick.
  4. Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
  5. When it is hot, add mustard and cumin seeds.
  6. Add garlic, ginger and chilli paste and stir fry for a few seconds.
  7. Add turmeric powder and asafoetida.
  8. Add the sliced tindoras.
  9. Add salt and the water. Mix well gently.
  10. Cover the pan with a lid and lower the heat. Cook the vegetable for 10 to 15 minutes.
  11. Mix the vegetable in between so that it does not get burnt at the bottom.
  12. Cook till done and the tindoras appear dry.
  13. Take the pan off the heat and add red chilli powder and coriander cumin powder.
  14. Mix well.
  15. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve. 
Tips:
  • You can cut the tindora into round slices if you prefer.
  • Check each tindora when you cut it into half. Sometimes there could be white tiny worms in them.
  • Tindoras that have turned red, usually don't cook well. I use the ones(red ones) which slice easily. If I can't slice it easily, I don't use them.
  • After you have sliced the tindoras, a slimy substance will get stuck to your fingers. Either oil your hands before cutting, but its tricky as the tindoras keep slipping off from your fingers or when washing your hands, rub some salt to remove the slime.
  • Adding too much water will make the tindoras too soft and overcooked. 
  • Add a bit of sugar at the end if you prefer. I prefer vegetables without sugar.
You may want to check out the following recipes:

sweet corn and tindora shaak

bhinda nu shaak

pumpkin shaak or sabji
Sending this recipe for the following event:



Pepper, chilli, Vanilla

Zesty south indian kitchen

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

432. mini taco salad cups

I missed my salads

  My dream holiday to Italy was worth ever penny. I cannot thank hubby dear enough for organizing the trip. It was the first time we booked the whole tour through Cosmos, and what a wonderful experience. Organized tours have advantages and disadvantages, but the advantages definitely outweigh the disadvantages as age creeps up on us. We met people from different cultural backgrounds, different countries and maybe some may develop into friendship.During our daily briefings, everyone complained about having to get up really early, but next day everyone would be on the bus 5 minutes earlier all eager to discover Italy through the eyes of our ever smiling and friendly tour leader and our very capable and careful driver. Italy is all about cararra marble, duomos, prosecco, olives, sculptures, history, fiats and vespas. Our friends and family ask us which was our favourite place. Its such a difficult question to answer as each place we visited had its own beauty and charm. The colourful homes in Burano or the Colesseum, how can one choose? I must admit you may get to read a lot more about the trip in the forth coming postings. 
   I never imagined I would miss salad so much during our 13 day trip. We got salad at very few places where we dined. Mostly, a slice of tomato, a few lettuce leaves, julienne of pepper used a decor was all we got. If we ever got proper salad, mostly everyone on our table would have a heapful on their plate. From a vegetarians point of view, Italian cuisine can be full of carbs. Pizzas and pastas with hardly any topping and sauces barely clinging to the pasta! When others got chicken, fish or meat as their main course, I was usually served cold grilled zucchini (3-4 slices), a big slice of grilled eggplant and a grilled half pepper. When I got back home and noticed in my diary that I still had to work with my two secret ingredients tomato and wheat,(shh cooking secretly challenge) given to me by Nirmala Gurunathan, the initial plan was to make a bread or paratha. However, the craving for salad made me change my mind and I made mini taco salad cups.Even a simple salad of lettuce, carrot and tomato is so appealing at the moment. I do so believe that our bodies crave for different types of foods. At the moment mine is craving for salads. 









MINI TACO SALAD CUPS
Makes 12

For the tortilla:
1 cup wholewheat flour (atta)
¼ cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ -⅔ cup warm water
1½ tbsp soft butter

For the salad:
½ cup cooked corn
½ cup cooked red kidney beans
1 tomato, diced
½ medium avocado
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper powder
¼ cup chopped spring onion
½ cup fresh chopped coriander (cilantro)
2 tbsp olive oil

For the salsa:
1 cup tomato puree
1 medium onion finely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
¼ cup finely chopped red pepper
2 tbsp fresh chopped coriander
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp vinegar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp pepper powder
¼ tsp red chilli powder

For garnish :
a few strands of cheddar cheese (optional)

oil for greasing the muffin cups
extra flour for dusting

Preparation of the tortillas:
  1. Sift flours, salt and baking powder together into a bowl.
  2. Add butter and rub it into the flour.
  3. Add water and form a soft pliable dough. The dough should not be too hard or sticky.
  4. Cover the dough and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Heat a tawa or frying pan over low heat.
  6. Divide the dough into 5 parts.
  7. Roll each part into a ball.
  8. If necessary using little flour, dust the board and roll the ball into a circle of about 8 to 9 inches in diameter.
  9. Put the rolled tortilla onto the tawa. Cook on both sides lightly.
  10. Put the tortilla in a clean kitchen towel and fold it.
  11. Repeat steps 7 to 10 using rest of the dough.
Preparation of  salsa:
  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and stir fry till they are soft.
  3. Add red pepper and garlic. Stir fry till they are soft.
  4. Add tomato puree.
  5. Mix well. Cover and let the sauce simmer over low heat till the water evaporates and the sauce becomes thick.
  6. Add salt, pepper, chilli powder, sugar, vinegar and coriander. Mix well.
Preparation of the cups:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Take 12 muffin cups or tray. Rub oil lightly.
  3. Take a 4 inch cookie cutter and cut 12 circles from the tortillas.
  4. Place each circle in the cup and press it down gently. 
  5. Add some baking beans or rice (kidney beans or chickpeas). This is to hold the cups in shape while baking.
  6. Bake the cups for 8 to 10 minutes. After 8 minutes, keep an eye on them so that they do not burn. You want a nice golden brown colour.
  7. Remove the cups from the tray. Remove the cooking beans and place the cups on a wire rack to cool down.
Preparation of the salad:
  1. Peel the avocado. Remove the seed. Chop one half of the avocado.
  2. Add lemon juice and oil. Mix well.
  3. Add rest of the salad ingredients. Mix well.
Final preparation:
  1. Put about a heaped tablespoon of the salad in each cup.
  2. Add a few strands of cheese.
  3. Top with a bit of the salsa sauce.
  4. Serve.
Tips:
  • I found it difficult to cut the tortilla with the cutter, So I placed the cutter and ran a sharp pointed knife around it. 
  • You can prepare the cups using store bought tortillas.
  • I added cumin powder to the tortilla flour. Add flaxseeds, sesame seeds, or dried herbs if you like.
  • Can add salad leaves, olives, bell pepper etc to the salad.
  • Do you sometimes get a badge of beans that don't cook too well? Don't throw the away, use them for blind baking. Blind baking is where a pastry has to be baked without a filling. Beans or rice are used to maintain the shape of the pastry and prevent bubbles from forming on the pastry. 
You may want to check out the following:

veg tacos
mexican vegetable soup
Sending this recipe for the following event:






Spicing your life



Pepper, chilli, Vanilla

Zesty south indian kitchen

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

Monday, 29 September 2014

436. Gujarati sambharo

Narendra Modi rocks!

       Last night got back from a late show of the movie Equalizer and couldn't fall asleep immediately. One shouldn't watch violence before bed time as sleep disappears. I decided to check out my facebook page and the first thing I see was the speech by Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi at the Madison Square Garden shared by a friend.
http://goo.gl/47tJIi
     A true leader, a great orator and a humble man. His speech captivated the audience and was inspirational. For a person who wants to do so much for India its every Indian's duty inside and outside India to support this great cause. We all dream of a better, cleaner India and if we put our minds to it, it is possible.
     I am usually not interested in politics as everywhere in the world, politicians promise a lot and leave the people disillusioned. However, what I have noticed about Narendra Modi is that you cannot help but get capitvated by what he says. Today our mid morning host on the local Asian radio kept on saying again and again that no world leader has been able to attract so many people to the Madison Square Garden. Madison Square Garden is filled to this capacity only when there is a rock or pop star! I think after hearing this speech,she too has greater respect for him. Previously when listeners would praise the Prime Minister, she would voice her doubts about what he can achieve. It was difficult convincing her as she is orginally from Pakistan. But I guess today it was a different ball game as she was full of praises for him.         Having so much faith in the youth of India should be a great motivator for them. It is also an eye opener to all the Hindus around the world that following ones religious belief does not mean we compromise it to suit others need. A few days back I read that the great chefs of White house were put in a dilemma as to what to serve Narendra Modi as he is fasting for the whole Navratri festival. They didn't think it was right for the others to be served with scrumptious courses when their guest was fasting. I would really like to know how and what everyone was served on that day.
   So today I think it is befitting to post a Gujarati recipe. I decided to post my sambharo recipe. What is sambharo? Sambharo is like a warm salad made with the two main ingredients cabbage and carrot. To this you can add raw mango, raw papaya or capsicum. Sambharo is usually made as a side dish when making the whole Gujarati meal or it is served with papdi ganthia and jalebi as a Sunday breakfast or brunch. I love sambharo as the vegetables are not overcooked. I love to have it with roti, with  papdi ganthias or on its own.






GUJARATI SAMBHARO
4 servings

approx 500g cabbage
2 medium carrots
2 fresh green chillis
2 tbsp oil
¼ tsp asafoetida (hing)
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
¾ - 1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp fresh chopped coriander (dhana)

  1. Shred the cabbage, or cut into thin strips not too thin or not too thick.
  2. Peel the carrots and cut into into sticks about 1 -1½ inches long.
  3. Slit the green chillis lengthwise into 2.
  4. Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
  5. Add fenugreek seeds and then the mustard seeds.
  6. As the seeds begin to crackle, add the green chillis.
  7. Immediately add asafoetida and the turmeric powder.
  8. Mix and add the carrot sticks and cabbage.
  9. Mix it very well.
  10. Add salt, mix and cover the pan. Reduce the heat.
  11. Cook for 3 - 4 minutes.
  12. Add sugar, lemon juice and chopped coriander. Mix and serve.
Tips:
  • Add a few thin slices of raw mango along with the cabbage and carrots. Reduce the amount of  lemon juice.
  • You can add thinly sliced raw papaya or capsicum along with the cabbage and carrot if you like. Make sure you peel the papaya.
  • When you add chillis to the hot oil, be careful as you don't want the chilli seeds that will pop to burn you. Add the chillis and cover the pan immediately. Remove the lid to add the rest fo the ingredients.
  • Adjust the amount of sugar and lemon juice accordingly to your taste. Sambharo is usually a balance of sweet and sour.
  • If you are going to serve sambharo a bit later, do not cover it with a lid while it is hot. This will result in overcooked cabbage. 
  • Heat it up before serving.
You may want to check out the following:

chundo (mango pickle)

lemon pickle
raiwala marcha (chillis with mustard powder)
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Citrus spice and all things nice
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Thursday, 25 September 2014

435. apple dessert pizza

a delightful treat

   When Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen suggested we bake pizzas for the 'We knead to bake September challenge', I thought yum... the options can be endless. The base and?or topping had to be different from the ones we make usually. I read the posting during my trip to Italy. Everywhere from then I was looking out for a different type of pizza. Unfortunately, didn't find any except when we stayed in a hotel in Baveno. They served a fruit pizza for breakfast. The fruit was beautifully arranged on the base. That gave me an idea... I would bake a fruit pizza. As other fellow bloggers posted their baked pizzas, most of them were savoury ones so my decision to concentrate on a fruit one became more solid. Initially I wanted to bake a banana chocolate pizza, but the idea of baked banana didn't sound too appealing. The next best bet was apples. Recipe ready, ingredients ready but I didn't get time to bake it till today! No power, busy at home, busy with Lionism, busy with community work etc etc. As the saying goes, everything happens at a certain time for a reason. The reason the chance to bake it came today was because today is Nunu's birthday. Though she is in Mumbai, hubby and I got to have a sweet treat. 
     Coming to Baveno, its a small quaint town with beautiful villas on the shores of Lake Maggiore. Milanese come to stay at Baveno for a weekend getaway or during the summer holidays.With gentle sloping hills as the back drop and a blue expanse of water as the front yard, Baveno is a romantic town. It also has a beautiful view of the Borromeo Islands in front. From Baveno we visited the fishermen's island or Isola dei Pescatori as its known to Italians.They have a regular ferry and boat service to the island. Its the only island inhabited by people. The other islands are open to visitors during the day but no one lives there at night. 
    Getting back to the recipe, I decided to use my apple crumble recipe to top the pizza base instead of just putting slices of freshly cut apples and decorating with cream.







Early morning Lake Maggiore
fruit pizza served at Dino Hotel Baveno



APPLE DESSERT PIZZA
Makes 2 small ones or 6 mini ones

For the base:
1 cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp instant dry active yeast
¼ -⅓ cup warm water

For the apple topping:
2 medium apples
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp cinnamon powder

For the crumble layer:
2 tbsp plain flour (all purpose flour)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar

For the glace:
⅓ cup powdered sugar
1-2 tsp milk
2-3 tbsp mixed lightly roasted nuts

Preparation of the base:
  1. Put flour in a bowl. Mix in the sugar, salt and yeast.
  2. Rub oil into the flour.
  3. Using warm water form a soft dough.
  4. Lightly flour the work top and knead the dough for 5 minutes till it is smooth and soft.
  5. Place the dough in a greased bowl.
  6. Cover with a cling film and let the dough rise till its double the size. This will take about an hour.
Preparation of the apple topping:
  1. Peel, core and dice the apples.
  2. Put them in a pan along with the butter and sugar.
  3. Cook the mixture over medium heat till the apples are done and the sauce is slightly thick.
  4. Add the cinnamon powder and mix well. Leave the mixture on the side till required.
Preparation of the crumble:
  1. Place the flour and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Add the butter and lightly rub it into the flour mixture.
Final preparation:
  1. Gently knock down the risen dough using your knuckles.
  2. Divide it into 6 parts if you are making mini ones or into 2 for bigger ones.(6 inch)
  3. Grease a baking sheet lightly with oil.
  4. Take one part of the dough and roll it into a circle of 3 inches.
  5. Place it on the baking tray.
  6. Roll circles with the remaining dough.
  7. Let the rolled base rest for ten minutes.
  8. In the meantime preheat the oven to 200°C.
  9. Prick the base in a few places with a fork.
  10. Place it in the oven and bake for 5 minutes.
  11. Remove the tray from the oven.
  12. Put the apple topping on each base.
  13. Top it with the crumble.
  14. Bake the pizzas for 10 more minutes or till the edges are golden brown.
  15. Remove the pizzas from the oven and let them cool slightly on a wire rack.
  16. Mix powdered sugar and milk to form a smooth glace icing.
  17. Drizzle it over the pizzas.
  18. Garnish with chopped roasted mixed nuts and serve.
Tips:
  • You can use banana instead of apples. If using bananas no need to precook them. Mix sugar and butter with the bananas and top the bases.
  • You can replace the apples with pears.
  • Serve the dessert pizza on its own or with some fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
You may want to check out the following:

apple cinnamon icecream

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434. Eggplant mini pizza

not eggplants again !

  During my holiday in Italy, I was a bit disappointed that the choice for vegetarians was very limited. Margherita pizzas, pasta with tomato sauce, pasta with mushrooms or cold grilled vegetables. Usually it would be grilled eggplants, zucchini and pepper. No garlic or onion flavour and forget about getting any chilli flakes. Pizza hut and Dominos spoil us by giving us endless satchets of chilli flakes. Italian restaurants in India and Kenya give us chilli oil, yummy chilli sauces, pestos that are chilli. However, visit any restaurant in Italy and its difficult to find any of those extra condiments... no extra olive oil, chilli oil, chilli flakes, salt or pepper !
I had vowed to my hubby dear that once we get back to Mombasa, I was not going to buy any eggplants for a long time. On my return, dear Esther, the veggie lady who comes door to door, brought lovely huge eggplants. I didn't buy them. She comes the next day with fresh ones again and I just couldn't resist. To make me not hate eggplants I prepared my usual brinjal potato shaak to bring bake the taste of eggplants with masalas and spices and not bland as served to me in Italy. Third day she comes with more eggplants. I bought them and hubby dear thought I was going nuts. Going through my diary and trying to get back to routine remembered that I had to make my pizza for the We knead to bake challenge. The challenge is a different topping, different base or both. Wanting to eat a bit healthy after all the sweet croissants and pizzas I decided to bake the following pizzas for dinner. I loved it, hubby dear missed the normal base. Did you know that a normal cheese topping slice of pizza has about 290 calories. The calories go up with additions like extra cheese, chicken, pepperoni, paneer,etc. I love having pizza at our local Italian restaurants. Even the thin crust ones add up to 1200 -1400 calories for a 8 to 10 inch pizza.
   Our last day in Rome was a relaxing one as we had booked a room at Relais Il Casale, Ostia Antica. It was a beautiful place, an agri touristic place with lots of greenery around. They had a bbq place where families come during the weekend to bbq and have fun. Besides the natural bbq place they had an antique pizza oven. It was apparently used long time ago by the forefathers to bake pizzas.
    Pizza actually originated in Naples as a poor man's meal where the bread was topped with tomato puree, meat and cheese.Since then pizza has become an international dish. The Italians believe that the typical pizza with tomato (red), basil (green) and mozzarella cheese(white) represents the Italian flag, just as Queen Margherita preferred. Thus the name Margherita pizza in her honour. 






    





So here is my pizza recipe:

EGGPLANT MINI PIZZA
Makes 4
Each slice : 273 calories
Recipe source : our small hours

1 large eggplant (approx 500g)
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
¾ cup pizza sauce/ marinara sauce
1 small onion sliced thinly
10 -12 cherry tomatoes, cut into thick slices
8 olives cut into slices
few fresh basil leaves and/or dried herbs

½ tsp salt
1-2 tbsp olive oil
½ -1 tsp chilli flakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with foil or grease it lightly with oil.
  2. Trim the stalk off the eggplant. Cut it into 4 thick slices lengthwise.Each slice should be about ½ inch thick.
  3. 2 slices will have a curved bottom. Slice it slightly to make it sit well on the tray.
  4. Place the eggplant slices on the tray.
  5. Brush oil over it.
  6. Sprinkle salt over the slices.
  7. Spread the pizza sauce over the slices.
  8. Sprinkle the cheese over the sauce.
  9. Top it with the sliced onions, chopped tomatoes and olives.
  10. Sprinkle chilli flakes and dried herbs.
  11. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or till the eggplants are done and the cheese has melted and is bubbling.
  12. Top with fresh basil leaves and serve immediately.
Tips:
  • Make sure that the eggplant slices are not thicker than ½ inch or else it will not bake well. 
  • Add topping of our choice.
  • Add cheese of your choice.
  • The knife should cut through easily if the eggplant is done.
You may want to check out the following:

veggie pizza rolls
mashed avocado and tomato bruschetta

 Sending this recipe for the following event:


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Cooks Joy
Nalini's Kitchen



Pepper, chilli, Vanilla

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Sunday, 21 September 2014

433. Dry tindora shaak/sabji

Simple but delicious

  I am posting a traditional recipe after a long time. Dry tindora (tondli, giloda,kovakai) shaak or sabji is a simple but delicious vegetable to prepare. Some prepare it using just dry spices, some add the fresh spices like ginger and some use both. Whichever way you prefer to make it, its important to make a dish that suits the taste of your family. Some find cooking a chore, some find it therapeutic and for some its a passion. 
   There was a local cookery competition taking place on tv sometime back and while I was watching it I was wondering how you can really judge someone's cooking? Some like their food a bit more spicy, some like it mild, some like it a bit tangy, and some prefer a wee bit more salt. So how is it possible to judge ones taste buds? If I were to judge a competition, I would be put off if I found a dish slightly more salty or chilli. Would that mean the cook is a bad cook? No, that cook just cooked the food the way her or his family likes it. When judges actually comment on how it could have been better if there a bit more lemon or bit more cinnamon, I feel that that is what they prefer, but the next person may not. Basically what I am trying to say is that cook from your heart and what your family likes. Most recipes are just a guideline. Add whatever spices you prefer.
 Coming to my dry tindora shaak or sabji, some people like to fry the tindora slices before its tempered to make it more crunchier. However, from the healthy point of view, I prefer not to fry them. I find that this shaak goes well with tuvar dal or moong dal and hot rotis. Did I miss my traditional Indian vegetables while touring Italy? Yes I did. As mentioned in my previous post, vegetables and salads were a rarity in the hotels set menus unless we bought them during our walking tours or ordered a different menu. So whenever I saw any fresh vegetables or fruits, that would be my breakfast. However, in Venice, very few tomatoes were put out so we had to sort of share them. That day my breakfast was a crispy croissant, tomatoes and mozzarella. 






DRY TINDORA SHAAK/SABJI
4 Servings

500g tindora, ivy gourd
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
1 tsp green chilli paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
a gnerous pinch of asafoetida (hing)
1-1¼ tsp salt
2-3 tbsp water
½ tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander cumin powder (dhana jiru)
2 tbsp fresh chopped coriander


  1. Wash the tindora well. Pat them dry on a kitchen towel.
  2. Trim of the ends. Cut it into half lengthwise.
  3. Slice each half lengthwise. The slices should not be too thin or too thick.
  4. Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
  5. When it is hot, add mustard and cumin seeds.
  6. Add garlic, ginger and chilli paste and stir fry for a few seconds.
  7. Add turmeric powder and asafoetida.
  8. Add the sliced tindoras.
  9. Add salt and the water. Mix well gently.
  10. Cover the pan with a lid and lower the heat. Cook the vegetable for 10 to 15 minutes.
  11. Mix the vegetable in between so that it does not get burnt at the bottom.
  12. Cook till done and the tindoras appear dry.
  13. Take the pan off the heat and add red chilli powder and coriander cumin powder.
  14. Mix well.
  15. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve. 
Tips:
  • You can cut the tindora into round slices if you prefer.
  • Check each tindora when you cut it into half. Sometimes there could be white tiny worms in them.
  • Tindoras that have turned red, usually don't cook well. I use the ones(red ones) which slice easily. If I can't slice it easily, I don't use them.
  • After you have sliced the tindoras, a slimy substance will get stuck to your fingers. Either oil your hands before cutting, but its tricky as the tindoras keep slipping off from your fingers or when washing your hands, rub some salt to remove the slime.
  • Adding too much water will make the tindoras too soft and overcooked. 
  • Add a bit of sugar at the end if you prefer. I prefer vegetables without sugar.
You may want to check out the following recipes:

sweet corn and tindora shaak

bhinda nu shaak

pumpkin shaak or sabji
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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

432. mini taco salad cups

I missed my salads

  My dream holiday to Italy was worth ever penny. I cannot thank hubby dear enough for organizing the trip. It was the first time we booked the whole tour through Cosmos, and what a wonderful experience. Organized tours have advantages and disadvantages, but the advantages definitely outweigh the disadvantages as age creeps up on us. We met people from different cultural backgrounds, different countries and maybe some may develop into friendship.During our daily briefings, everyone complained about having to get up really early, but next day everyone would be on the bus 5 minutes earlier all eager to discover Italy through the eyes of our ever smiling and friendly tour leader and our very capable and careful driver. Italy is all about cararra marble, duomos, prosecco, olives, sculptures, history, fiats and vespas. Our friends and family ask us which was our favourite place. Its such a difficult question to answer as each place we visited had its own beauty and charm. The colourful homes in Burano or the Colesseum, how can one choose? I must admit you may get to read a lot more about the trip in the forth coming postings. 
   I never imagined I would miss salad so much during our 13 day trip. We got salad at very few places where we dined. Mostly, a slice of tomato, a few lettuce leaves, julienne of pepper used a decor was all we got. If we ever got proper salad, mostly everyone on our table would have a heapful on their plate. From a vegetarians point of view, Italian cuisine can be full of carbs. Pizzas and pastas with hardly any topping and sauces barely clinging to the pasta! When others got chicken, fish or meat as their main course, I was usually served cold grilled zucchini (3-4 slices), a big slice of grilled eggplant and a grilled half pepper. When I got back home and noticed in my diary that I still had to work with my two secret ingredients tomato and wheat,(shh cooking secretly challenge) given to me by Nirmala Gurunathan, the initial plan was to make a bread or paratha. However, the craving for salad made me change my mind and I made mini taco salad cups.Even a simple salad of lettuce, carrot and tomato is so appealing at the moment. I do so believe that our bodies crave for different types of foods. At the moment mine is craving for salads. 









MINI TACO SALAD CUPS
Makes 12

For the tortilla:
1 cup wholewheat flour (atta)
¼ cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ -⅔ cup warm water
1½ tbsp soft butter

For the salad:
½ cup cooked corn
½ cup cooked red kidney beans
1 tomato, diced
½ medium avocado
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper powder
¼ cup chopped spring onion
½ cup fresh chopped coriander (cilantro)
2 tbsp olive oil

For the salsa:
1 cup tomato puree
1 medium onion finely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
¼ cup finely chopped red pepper
2 tbsp fresh chopped coriander
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp vinegar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp pepper powder
¼ tsp red chilli powder

For garnish :
a few strands of cheddar cheese (optional)

oil for greasing the muffin cups
extra flour for dusting

Preparation of the tortillas:
  1. Sift flours, salt and baking powder together into a bowl.
  2. Add butter and rub it into the flour.
  3. Add water and form a soft pliable dough. The dough should not be too hard or sticky.
  4. Cover the dough and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Heat a tawa or frying pan over low heat.
  6. Divide the dough into 5 parts.
  7. Roll each part into a ball.
  8. If necessary using little flour, dust the board and roll the ball into a circle of about 8 to 9 inches in diameter.
  9. Put the rolled tortilla onto the tawa. Cook on both sides lightly.
  10. Put the tortilla in a clean kitchen towel and fold it.
  11. Repeat steps 7 to 10 using rest of the dough.
Preparation of  salsa:
  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and stir fry till they are soft.
  3. Add red pepper and garlic. Stir fry till they are soft.
  4. Add tomato puree.
  5. Mix well. Cover and let the sauce simmer over low heat till the water evaporates and the sauce becomes thick.
  6. Add salt, pepper, chilli powder, sugar, vinegar and coriander. Mix well.
Preparation of the cups:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Take 12 muffin cups or tray. Rub oil lightly.
  3. Take a 4 inch cookie cutter and cut 12 circles from the tortillas.
  4. Place each circle in the cup and press it down gently. 
  5. Add some baking beans or rice (kidney beans or chickpeas). This is to hold the cups in shape while baking.
  6. Bake the cups for 8 to 10 minutes. After 8 minutes, keep an eye on them so that they do not burn. You want a nice golden brown colour.
  7. Remove the cups from the tray. Remove the cooking beans and place the cups on a wire rack to cool down.
Preparation of the salad:
  1. Peel the avocado. Remove the seed. Chop one half of the avocado.
  2. Add lemon juice and oil. Mix well.
  3. Add rest of the salad ingredients. Mix well.
Final preparation:
  1. Put about a heaped tablespoon of the salad in each cup.
  2. Add a few strands of cheese.
  3. Top with a bit of the salsa sauce.
  4. Serve.
Tips:
  • I found it difficult to cut the tortilla with the cutter, So I placed the cutter and ran a sharp pointed knife around it. 
  • You can prepare the cups using store bought tortillas.
  • I added cumin powder to the tortilla flour. Add flaxseeds, sesame seeds, or dried herbs if you like.
  • Can add salad leaves, olives, bell pepper etc to the salad.
  • Do you sometimes get a badge of beans that don't cook too well? Don't throw the away, use them for blind baking. Blind baking is where a pastry has to be baked without a filling. Beans or rice are used to maintain the shape of the pastry and prevent bubbles from forming on the pastry. 
You may want to check out the following:

veg tacos
mexican vegetable soup
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Pepper, chilli, Vanilla

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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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Cooks Joy



Kachuss Delights
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UK Rasoi

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