Monday, February 19, 2018

Cauliflower rice, Fried Rice - Chinese style fried rice with cauliflower rice

Cauliflower rice, my new found love. No, i m not on a paleo/Keto diet. I have been eating Low carbs for a long time now. I try to eat a variety of complex carbs like millets, quinoa, matta rice, parboiled rice etc. I felt like my body got used to the food i m eating, so wanted to give it a jolt by eating something totally new and at the same time healthy, that fits my eating style and lastly my budget. I have planned to eat atleast one meal of the day as zero-carbs. And now being a south-indian, who is used to idly/dosa/poha for breakie and rice, sambar and rasam for lunch, this decision is too tough. But i m trying, i cannot live without carbs, so trying to replace one meal, that will reduce my overall carb intake of the day.  
I have tried cauliflower rice, sometimes back, when it was a craze, it is still a craze. But somehow, i didn't like it and had to use up that batch into other gravies, so that awfully raw smell vanishes. This time, i read thru some blogs, websites that are so popular making this, finally checked our BM baking guru, +Gayathri Kumar blog for her cauliflower pongal and tried it again. 
Loved the fluffy cauliflower that steamed so beautifully in the microwave. First day i made pongal with it and next day i made this yumm chinese style fried rice with the cauliflower rice. It was absoultely delicious and no i m not exaggerating the taste of it. It was really good, and i m not person who would eat nonsense just for the sake of diet! As one of my yoga buddy says, "Eating is Believing" you should eat this to believe it!
Those chopsticks are gifted by +Vaishali , got to use them finally!!! :)
I m quite regular at instagram and keep posting my daily banter in insta stories. This cauliflower chinese fried rice too made into my insta stories, the day i made it. One of my yoga buddy tried it the same day and sent me some pictures, i was so happy to see that somebody tried and they too liked it. It was a welcome change to a healthy diet.
300 grams cauliflower florets
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 a capsicum, sliced thin
1/2 a carrot, sliced thin
1/4 cup of spring onions, chopped
2 green chilies, slited lengthwise
2 fat cloves of garlic, finely chopped
small piece of ginger, finely chopped
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp tomato sauce , i used Tomato chili sauce
1 tsp freshly pounded pepper powder
salt to taste
fresh greens of spring onions for
1 tbsp oil, i used gingely oil
  • Clean and cut the cauliflower florets. Using a grater, grate them fine. you can also use your food processor.
  • Take the grated cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl, sprinkle water 2 or 3 times and microwave cook at power 80 for 8 minutes. This steam cooks the cauliflower soft. This step can be done on a stove-top/ in a steamer also.
  • Heat a wide pan, add oil. When it is hot, add chopped onions,garlic, ginger, green chili and saute until the onions turn pink. Add chopped spring onions to this and saute for a minute.
  • Now add the chopped capsicum and carrots to this and saute until they turn little crisp.  To this add soy sauce and tomato chili sauce and saute in high for a minute.
  • Now add the steamed cauliflower to this and mix well. Season with salt and pepper powder. Garnish with spring onions greens and take it off the stove. Serve it warm with side of your choice.I enjoyed it as such.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Gobi Manchurian dry - Cauliflower Manchurian Dry - Indo-chinese starter

Gobi manchurian, only handful of, saint-like people would not love these cute lil deep fried florets in chinese flavors. My kiddos love them. This is a regular order whenever we eat outside. My lil one enjoys the dry version, whereas elder one prefers gravy. Two peas from the same pod, but totally different!
So, if you read my Chili paneer post, i have told that we are avoiding eating out in the restaurants. That eventually is giving me opportunities to try our restaurant favorites at home. Chinese being one of them, i was happy to try these recipes for our BM theme, adapted cuisines. 
Gobi manchurian was made along with Paneer chili for our saturday meal. Which we relished along with some soft soft roti's. This can be served as a starter or snack or along a meal as a side. Either way you would love them. The tough job is frying the gobi, that too if you are making it for a crowd. If you cross that successfully, then sauteing them with flavors is a minute job.
For the frying the cauliflower
600 grams of cauliflower florets
1/2 cup  Whole wheat flour
1/2 cup besan/gram flour
1/4 cup rice flour
1/4 cup corn flour
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp chili sauce
1 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp pepper powder
salt to taste
oil for deep frying
I dont use All purpose flour in my kitchen, so i have used a combination of flours for frying the cauliflower. You can use 3/4 cup of all purpose flour and 1/4 cup corn flour in place of the above flours!

For the saute
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped spring onions
2 green chilies, slited lengthwise
2 fat cloves of garlic, minced
a small piece of ginger, finely chopped
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp tomato sauce ( i have use chili sauce)
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp freshly pounded black pepper
Fresh spring onions for garnish
Let us fry the cauliflower first.
  • Take all the flours in a wide bowl, whisk well to combine. To thsi flour add red chili powder, pepper powder, soy sauce, chili sauce and around 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of water and make a thick batter.
  • The batter should be neither too thick or too thin, the florets should get well coated with the batter.
  • Clean and separate the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Take water in a wide sauce pan and boil it. Once it comes to a rolling boil, remove it off the stove, add the florets to this water and let it sit for 2 minutes. Then drain the water completely, let the florets sit in the drainer until fried. 
  • Dip each floret into the batter and deep fry until golden brown. Again take care while deep frying, do not crowd the pan, then you might not get crispy florets. Keep the flame medium, while frying. Too high you might burn them, too low it will turn soggy, so medium is the best. Drain the golden brown florets on to a kitchen towel. Repeat the same with the rest of the florets.
Let us saute the florets now

  • In a wide pan, heat oil, when it is hot, add chopped onions, chilies, garlic and ginger and saute until onions turn pink. Next add chopped spring onions to this and saute
  • Add soy sauce, tomato sauce and vinegar to this and mix well and saute on high heat. Now add the deep fried florets to this and toss to combine.
  • Finally finish off with pepper and fresh spring onions greens for garnish and take it off the stove.
  • Serve it warm along with rice or enjoy it as such as a starter.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Chilli Paneer Gravy/Paneer chilli Gravy - Indo-chinese SideDish for Roti/Naan

We at home, love paneer a lot, i try to make paneer curry atleast twice a week. Capsicum paneer dry, is one of our favorites and also paneer butter masala. When i chose the theme of Adapted cuisines for this week's Blogging Marathon, i wanted to make indo-burmese cuisine, i even chose two recipes, saw some videos and collected some articles on that line. But somehow, i wasn't satisfied enough with all the reading i did, so at last minute, i changed mind and did Indo-chinese cuisine, a very famous adaptation indeed! 
We have such a variety of chinese recipes in our cuisine, even the chinese would be astonished!!! I have to admit, this is the first time i m trying indo-chinese at home. When  we eat at restaurants we order chinese, but i was never tempted to try at home. Recently we stopped eating outside, yes it is almost 2 months now, we ate just once since December. So kids are not getting to taste their usual manchurian and chilli paneer regularly, obviously it is time to learn to make tham at home. 
I cannot quote just one source for this recipe today, i read and saw numerous videos to get the consistency,color and taste right. Voila, it is a hit! Kids and hubby were so delighted to taste Paneer chili and Gobi Manchurian dry for Lunch today. My lil one brightly exclaimed "Hey, this taste exactly like kamat Gobi" there i earned my masterchef title!!!! 
Let us move the recipe today, the only work here is to fry the paneer, if that is done, rest is a breeze. I have used a combination of flours for the batter as i dont use all purpose flour at home. If you are ok to use maida, kindly go ahead and replace the besan, wheat and rice flour with maida

For the Paneer
200 grams paneer
1/4 whole wheat flour
1/4 gram flour/besan
2 tbsp rice flour
2 tbsp corn flour
a pinch of turmeric powder 
1/2 tsp red chili powder (optional)
salt to taste
Oil for frying
Notes: Since i don't use All purpose flour, i have used a combination of flours. you can use 1/2 cup All purpose flour and corn flour alone to make the batter for frying the paneer

For the sauce
2 nos onions
1 green chili,slited lengthwise
2 fat cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
1/4 cup of spring onions, chopped
1 green capsicum, cubed
1 tbsp corn flour
1 tsp peppercorns, freshly pounded
1.5 cups of water
salt to taste
1&1/2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp tomato sauce (i used tomato-chili sauce)
few greens of spring onions for garnish
Prepare the paneer first
  • Mix  together wheat flour, besan, rice and corn flour in a large bowl, whisk to combine. To this add turmeric powder, red chili powder an salt, mix well to combine. Now to this add 1/4-cup to 1/2 cup water and make a batter. The batter should neither too thick nor too thin. It should coat the paneer well.
  • Heat oil in a sauce pan for deep frying the paneer, Dip the paneer slices into the batter and drop into hot oil and fry until golden brown. While frying do not add more paneer cubes into the oil, they might clump together and not fry well. Believe me, been there, done that, so i m giving you heads up! Drop only 4-5 cubes at a time, and do not crowd them together.
  • This frying part is a bit of a job, once this is done, rest is all breezy. So take care while fring the paneer slices.
  • Once the paneer turns golden brown, remove them with a slotted spoon, onto a kitchen towel. Repeat the same with rest of the paneer, keep aside until use.
Let us make the gravy 

  • Heat a pan, add oil, once it is hot, add chopped onion, garlic, chili and ginger to it and saute until translucent. Take care not to burn them, it will spoil the taste bad.
  • Now to this add spring onions and saute for a minute in high. Now to this add chopped capsicums and pepper to this and  saute for a minute in high.
  • To the veggies now add soy sauce and tomato sauce and stir. In a small bowl, mix corn flour and water together and add this to the pan, stir well. The sauce will start thickenining almost immediately. Keep stirring for a minute.
  • Now add the fried paneer, mix well. Take it off the stove. Garnish with spring onions greens and serve it warm with Fried rice or Roti.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Apam Balik - Malaysian Pancake filled with roasted peanuts #BreadBakers

Apam Balik a traditional pancake from malaysia, with many names terang bulan (full moon) in Indonesia, Kuih Malaya, Dai Gau Min, Kuih Haji, Ban Jian Kueh, and there are some more which needs more practise to spell and write.
For this month’s Bread Bakers, our host for the month Wendy (A Day in the Life on the Farm) wanted us to make Pancakes, to celebrate the National Pancake week.  While looking for some interesting pancakes, i came across this Apam Balik from Malaysia. The name immediately clicked with our holidays last summer in Malaysia and Singapore with our friends. Oh what a lovely 10 days we had. We visited just Genting Highlands in Malaysia and stayed a night at Kualalumpur. I made sure to taste the exotic Durian and delicious dodol and had a scrumptious treat with Nasi Goreng and Roti and their Dal curry during our stay. So this Apam Balik is in celebration for those wonderful moments we spend their and to many more to come.
This Apam balik pancake is made of flour,eggs, the traditional filling is peanuts , sugar and creamed corn, along with some butter, but now we have chocolae and cheddar too. The texture of the pancake depends upon the batter used, while looking for recipes i came across recipes that use rice flour to make crisp pancakes, i chose to keep it simple thick fluffy pancakes with yumm peanut filling and some good old butter. Interestingly, this dish is also declared the Heritage food by the Malaysian Department of National Heritage.
Inspired from here
For the Batter (Makes 6-8 pancakes, depending on size)
140 grams wheat flour, approximately 1 cup wheat flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2tsp baking soda 
1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 tbsp flaxseed meal
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup -1 cup water 
Notes: Whole wheat flour can be substitued with All purpose flour, if using APF, use less water, as you might not require 3/4 cup.

1 cup roasted peanuts, crushed roughly
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of butter

  • In a large bowl add all the batter ingredients together except water. Whisk them Well to combine.
  • Now slowly add 3/4 cup water first and combine to form a thick pancake batter. If the batter is too thick. Add 2 tbsp of water at a time to bring it to the correct consistency. Since i have used whole wheat flour, i have used this amount of water, if using All purpose flour start with 1/2 cup and then proceed as needed.
  • Once the batter is ready, Cling-wrap and refrigerate overnight or a minimum Of 3-5 hours.
  • Once the batter rests for the required time, take it out of the fridge, let it rest on the counter for 10 minutes.
  • Heat a pan, i used my iron skillet. Keep the flame medium, you dont want to burn your pancakes, as they take a bit of time to cook.
  • Pour a ladle of batter in the center of the pan, spread it into a thick circle.
  • Dot the edges with butter and put some in the center too. Sprinkle 1 or 2 tbsp of crushed peanuts over the pancake, Cover and cook for a minute or until it is done.
  • The bottom will turn into a beautiful golden brown, fold and remove the pancake on to a serving plate. Cut it into two using a pizza knife. Serve warm with some butter and crushed peanuts on top.
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Strawberry Chia pudding - Vegan Dessert

Chia puddings, a new found craze in me. I m trying a lot of chia recipes, mostly for my  breakfast. Today i tried a savory chia bowl with buttermilk and veggies and topped it with delicious mint-turmeric chutney. 
This chia dessert was made last week, when i made some fresh strawberry jam for my lil one.  Yes, i call it dessert, because it has got a delicious strawberry jam in it and it is little too much for breakfast.
Coconut milk and chia are match made in heaven. The natural sweetness in coconut milk so beautifully soaks up the chia, and you get a lovely feel when you a taste a mouthful of it. Flavors that are, not so dense, light and delicious. When you pair this coconut milk chia with fresh fruits, you get amazing desserts to end your meal. 
Strawberry jam used in this recipe needs just 20-30 minutes if your are making fresh, i dont like store-bought jams as they have too much sugar and god knows what all preservatives, if making for someone you love, why not make good stuff.
These puddings are light on your tummy,  you wont feel that you have gorged on something unhealthy, that said, this too, should be in moderation. The below recipe will make two glass tumblers (IKEA Chai glass) of chia pudding.
With Valentine's day on the cards, this is one delicious dessert to make for your loved ones, even my elder one loved the pudding, especially those chopped almonds on top added a great texture to the dish. If you are a health food junkie, then this is definitely your style of dessert! Go on, try it and let me know how you liked it!!

1/2 cup of coconut milk 
2 tbsp Chia seeds
1/2 cup freshly made Strawberry jam 
4-5 nos almonds, chopped
  • Soak chia seeds in coconut milk for a minimum of 3-4 hours. I prefer soaking it overnight when i making it desserts like this.
  • Once the chia is soaked, it is done, you just need to assemble them and enjoy. Take glass tumblers or mason jars or any dessert bowl in which you want to servet them.

  • Layer the bottom with 2 tbsp of freshly made strawberry jam, top it with 2 tbsp of chia, if your jar/tumbler allows, do another layer of strawberry jam and chia. Top it with chopped almonds. Refrigerator for an hour or two and serve.

Pin for later

Monday, February 05, 2018

Strawberry Jam (No added pectin), Homemade Jam from Fresh strawberries

Strawberries, i m seeing them everywhere near me. After the super gorgeous Strawberry Mocha cake and Strawberry white chocolate cake, here is yet another strawberry recipe in my kitchen. A recipe that is repeated almost every week, or will be repeated until i stop getting fresh strawberries.
Homemade strawberry jam, both my kiddos do not faovr sweet jams, so i never buy jams or chocolate spreads at home. My hubby loves marmalade, if not you find a jam bottle, it will be his marmalade, which i despise, urggghh!😒
When i made fresh strawberry compote for my cakes and desserts my lil one started relishing it with his roti and bread. This time, i made a small jar for him to enjoy. I have added some spices to bring some zingg to the jam, feel free to add or omit any of the spices below. But i would strongly recommend cinnamon and cloves, they really give a nice spice to the jam.
The jam can be refrigerated and stays good for 2 weeks, it never lasts that long at home, 1 week max that's it. Do try, it is way better than store-bought with lot of preservatives or any colorants. 

3 cups chopped strawberries, approximately 500 grams of berries
1/2 cup - 3/4 cup sugar
4 nos cloves
a small stick of cinnamon
a pinch of nutmeg powder
4-5 pieces of candied ginger

  • Wash and hull the berries and chop them. Take the berries in a heavy-bottom sauce pan, put it on heat in a simmer flame.
  • Add sugar to berries and mix well.The sugar will start to melt and the berries will nicely cook in the sugar. Now add the spices, cloves, cinnamon bark, nutmeg powder and candied ginger. I added them as whole, you can also pound them and add it to the jam.
  • Now let this cook in simmer, after 10-15 minutes, the liquid will be fully absorbed and berries would lose their shape and all come together as you stir the jam. 
  • Another way to check the doneness is, put a drop of jam on a plate and it should stay, if it runs, it still needs little more time on the heat.
  • Take it off the stove, let it cool completely. Store this in an air-tight container in refrigerator. It will stay good upto 2 weeks, make sure you use clean spoons. 

If you are thinking of what to do with fresh strawberries, i have got you covered, here is a list of recipes made using them
 Strawberry Recipes

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