Friday, 15 April 2011

Pear and Rasberry Muffins

Pear and raspberry muffins

  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk*
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup tinned pear pieces, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 2 tbsp rolled oats for topping
  • 2 tbsp raw sugar for topping
* To make buttermilk: add one tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice to 250 millilitres of milk. Stand at room temperature for five minutes, then it's ready to use.

Muffins are a mainstay of school lunches, easy to make on the weekend for the comingweek. Get the kids involved and use this recipe as a base, substituting different fruits to change the flavour.


Preheat oven to 170C fan-forced (190C conventional). Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
Mix flour with brown sugar in a large bowl and set aside.Whisk eggs with oil, buttermilk, lemon zest and vanilla. Gently stir into flour mix until just combined. The mixture will be thick and slightly lumpy. Do not over mix or your muffins will be tough.
Fold through pear and raspberries. Divide mix between 12muffin cases. Sprinkle oats and rawsugar over the top.
Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and coolon wire racks.
Makes 12 

Tropical pavlova

Tropical pavlova

  • 4 egg whites
  • 330g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour, sifted
  • 375ml pouring cream, whipped
  • 2-3 carambolas, sliced
  • 2 ripe sapodillas, peeled and sliced
  • Pulp from 3-4 passionfruit


Preheat oven to 120C. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites (add a pinch of salt) until soft peaks form, then add a quarter cup of sugar and beat for about 3 minutes until sugar dissolves. Add remaining sugar a quarter of a cup at a time, beating until sugar dissolves, before adding the next addition. Beat until mixture is smooth and glossy. Add vanilla and vinegar and beat until combined. Fold in cornflour and spread mixture into a 15x20cm rectangle on a greased oven tray lined with baking paper. Reduce temperature to 100C and bake pavlova for 1 hour. Turn oven off and leave to cool in oven. To serve, spoon whipped cream over pavlova and top with carambolas, sapodillas and passionfruit pulp.
Serves 4-6

Dal Bati Churma

Panchmela dal
Prep Time: 10 minutes plus 30 minutes soaking time
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 6-8
Toor Daal – 1 cup
Mung Daal without Skin – 1/2 cup
Mung Daal with Skin – 1/2 cup
Chana Daal – 1/4 cup
Urad Daal – 2 Tbsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Water – 4 cups
Oil – 1 Tbsp
Ghee – 1/2 Tbsp
Bay Leaf – 1
Dry Red Chili – 1
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
Cloves – 5, roughly crushed
Black Peppercorns – 5, roughly crushed
Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Onion – 1 medium, finely chopped
Ginger – 1 Tbsp, minced
Garlic – 1 Tbsp, minced
Green Chilies – to taste, finely chopped
Tomato – 1 large, pureed
Salt – to taste
Coriander Powder – 1 Tbsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder – 1/2 tsp
Water – 3 to 4 cups
Lime/Lemon Juice – to taste
Cilantro (Coriander) – 10 sprigs, chopped for garnishing
For Seasoning:
Ghee – 1 to 2 tsp
Red Chili Powder – to taste
1. Combine all Daals and wash thoroughly. Soak for 30 minutes.
2. Drain soaking water and add soaked Daals to a pressure cooker.
3. Add 1 tsp Salt, 4 cups Water and pressure cook for 1 whistle. Switch off stove and do not open cooker until internal pressure is gone.
4. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp Oil and 1/2 Tbsp Ghee in a pan on medium heat.
5. Add Bay leaf, Dry Red Chili, and Cumin Seeds. Allow Cumin Seeds to sizzle.
6. Add Cloves, Black Peppercorns, Asafoetida and Turmeric Powder. Mix.
7. Immediately add Onions and a little Salt. Mix well and cook for 1-2 mins.
8. Add Garlic, Ginger and Green Chilies and cook for 2-3 minutes.
9. Add pureed Tomatoes and cook until oil separates from the mixture.
10. Add Coriander Powder, Garam Masala, Cumin Powder and Red Chili Powder. Mix and cook for 1 minute.
11. Add cooked Daals and mix well.
12. Add 3-4 cups of Water allow Daal to come to a boil.
13. Garnish with Lime/Lemon Juice and Cilantro.
14. For additional seasoning, heat 1 to 2 tsp of Ghee in a small skillet, just until warm
15. Add Red Chili Powder, mix and add to top of prepared Daal.
16. Serve hot with Bati, Rice or Chapati.

For Baati:
Prep Time: 10 min + 15 min for resting
Cook Time: 25 min
Serves: 3-4 (approx 12-13 pieces)
Chapati Flour/Atta – 2 cups
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda – 1/2 tsp
Carom Seeds (Ajwain) – 1/4 tsp
Oil – 2 tbsp
Green Chillies – to taste, chopped
Ginger & Garlic – 1 tbsp, minced
Yogurt – 1/2 cup
Water – 3 tbsp (approx)
Oil – few drops, for drizzling
Ghee for garnish
Finely chopped Onions for garnish
Finely chopped Cilantro for garnish
Finely chopped Green Chillies for garnish
Julianne Ginger for garnish
Fresh Lime /Lemon Juice for garnish
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F/ approx 180 degrees C.
2. Sift the Flour, Baking Soda and Salt.
3. Add Carom Seeds and mix
4. Add Oil and incorporate into the Flour.
5. Add Green Chillies, Ginger & Garlic, Yogurt and Warm Water to form a stiff dough.
6. Knead for 2-3 minutes.
7. Drizzle a few drops of Oil, rub and cover the dough.
8. Allow the Dough to rest for 15 minutes.
9. Make golf-size round balls and transfer into a baking tray or a pizza stone.
10. Bake for 15 min., turn and bake for another 10 min.
11. Once done keep them warm until ready to use.
For Assembly:
1. Crumble the hot Baati in a bowl.
2. Drizzle some Ghee and lots of Panchmela Dal on it
3. Garnish with Onions, Cilantro, Green Chillies, Ginger and Lime Juice.
4. Enjoy with some Choorma on the side.
For Choorma:
Prep Time: 10 min + 15 min for resting
Cook Time: 25 min
Serves: 4 (approx 4 pieces)
Chapati Flour / Atta – 1/2 cup
Baking Soda – 1/8 tsp
Oil – 1 tsp
Warm Water – 2 tbsp + 2 tsp
Oil – few drops
Ghee – 2 tbsp, melted
Powdered Sugar – to taste
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F/ approx 180 degrees C.
2. Sift the Flour and Baking Soda.
3. Add Oil and incorporate into the Flour.
4. Add Warm Water to form a stiff dough.
5. Knead for 2-3 minutes.
6. Drizzle a few drops of Oil, rub and cover the dough.
8. Allow the Dough to rest for 15 minutes.
10. Make golf-size round balls and transfer into a baking tray or a pizza stone.
11. Bake for 15 min., turn and bake for another 10 min.
12. Once done, dip into melted Ghee, roll, pull out and keep aside.
13. Allow them to cool a bit, crumble by hand or in a Food Processor.
14. Add additional melted Ghee and mix.
15. Add Powdered Sugar and mix in.
16. Serve with Daal-Baati on the side as an accompaniment.

Dal Dhokli

Prep Time: 30 minutes to cook daal (prep other steps during this time)
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4-5
For Daal:
Toor Daal – 1/2 cup dry (washed, soaked for 30 mins (optional) and drained)
Whole Raw Peanuts – 2 Tbsp
Fenugreek Seeds (Methi) – 1/8 tsp
Water – 2 cups
For the Dhokli:
Chapati (Whole Wheat) Flour – 1 cup
Chickpea Flour (Besan) – 1 Tbsp
Ajwain (Carom Seeds) – 1/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Red Chili Powder – 1/2 tsp or to taste
Oil – 1 Tbsp
Warm Water – 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp
For Seasoning:
Oil – 1 Tbsp
Ghee (Clarified Butter) – 1 tsp
Cinnamon Stick – 1 inch piece
Cloves – 4
Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Ajwain (Carom Seeds) – 1/4 tsp
Dry Red Chili – 1
Asafoetida (Hing) – 1/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves – 1 sprig
Ginger – 2 tsp (minced)
Green Chilies – to taste (minced)
Frozen Green Peas – 1 cup
Tomato – 1 large, chopped
Water – 5 cups
Salt – 2 tsp or to taste
Jaggery – 2 Tbsp or to taste (sugar or brown sugar may be substituted)
Tamarind Pulp – 1 Tbsp or to taste
Red Chili Powder – 1/2 tsp or to taste
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
Coriander Powder – 2 tsp
Lemon/Lime Juice – to taste
Cilantro (Coriander Leaves) – chopped, for garnishing
Ghee or Oil – drizzle over the top at the time of serving
1. In a pressure cooker, add drained Toor Daal, Peanuts, Fenugreek Seeds and 2 cups Water. Pressure cook for 2-3 whistles for soaked daal or 5-6 whistles for unsoaked daal. Allow pressure to go down by itself before opening pressure cooker.
2. In a bowl, add Chapati Flour, Chickpea Flour, Ajwain, Turmeric Powder, Salt and Red Chili Powder – mix well.
3. Add 1 Tbsp Oil and mix again to incorporate the oil into the flour.
4. Add Warm Water little at a time to form a stiff dough. Knead for 1-2 minutes.
5. Drizzle a few drop of oil and coat the dough ball. Cover and let dough rest for 15-20 minutes.
6. In a large pot, heat Oil and Ghee. Once hot, add Cinnamon Stick, Cloves, Mustard Seeds (allow them to pop), Ajwain, Dry Red Chili, Asafoetida, Turmeric Powder, Curry Leaves, Ginger and Green Chilies. Mix.
7. Immediately add Green Peas and cook for 1 minute before adding Tomatoes. Mix.
8. Add cooked Daal, 5 cups Water, Salt, Jaggery, Tamarind Pulp, Red Chili Powder, Garam Masala, Cumin Powder and Coriander Powder.
9. Allow mixture to come to a boil.
10. Meanwhile, knead dough once again and divide into 2-3 portions. Lightly grease rolling surface and roll out dough balls into thin discs (thinner than chapati). With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut dough into small diamond shapes (roughly 1 inch pieces).
11. Once Daal comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium and add in dough diamonds while stirring. Roll out remaining dough and add diamonds quickly.
12. Cover and cook for approximately 30 minutes, stirring in between. Dhokli should not have a raw taste.
13. Once cooked, switch off stove and add Lime or Lemon juice to taste.
14. At the time of serving, garnish with Cilantro Leaves and drizzle Oil or Ghee over the top.

Tomato curry served with Biryani

Cherry Tomatoes – 8 (or medium sized tomatoes, each cut into two semi circles)
For masala paste:
Khus Khus/White Poppy seeds – 1 tbsp
Till/Sesame Seeds – 1/2 cup/50 gms
Groundnuts/MoomPhalli – 1/2 cup/50 gms
Dry Desiccated Coconut – 3/4 cup/50 gms
Coriander seeds/Dhania – 1 tsp
For gravy:
Canola oil – 1/4 cup
Yellow Onions – 3, large, each quartered into 4 pieces
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
Salt – 1 tbsp
Red Chilli Powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric/ Haldi – 1/4 tsp
Cilantro/ Kothmir – 3 tbsp, finely chopped
Thick tamarind pulp – 3 tbsp
For baghaar/tempering:
Cumin seeds/ Zeera – 1 tsp
Curry leaves/ Kariyapaak – 2 sprigs
Mustard seeds/ Rai – 1/2 tsp
Nigella seeds/ Kalaunji – 1/3 tsp
Fenugreek seeds/ Methi dana – 1/8 tsp

1. Wash the cherry tomatoes well. Discard the stalks and make four incisions, perpendicular cuts (an X) from the stem end of each cherry tomato, taking care the other end is intact. Keep aside.
2. Puree the onions into a smooth paste. Also, smoothly/finely grind all the ingredients seperately under the heading ‘for masala paste’ adding just a few drops of water if needed.
3. Heat oil in a heavy non-stick pan at medium heat and as soon as it is warm, add thebaghaar ingredients – cumin seeds, curry leaves, mustard seeds, nigella seeds and fenugreek seeds. Once they start spluttering, add the pureed onion paste and mix. Cover with a lid for a minute. Uncover and keep frying until the raw smell of the onions goes away. Add ginger garlic paste, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and chopped cilantro and the masala paste and mix well. Keep cooking until the raw smell of the masala paste goes away and you can see the paste leaving oil on the sides. Add a few drops of water if needed during the process. This might take about 5-10 minutes. Later add tamarind pulp and mix well. Now pour in about 4-5 cups of water and mix. Let it come to a boil. Once boiling, add the prepared tomatoes and cover with a lid. Let cook for 5 minutes. Once the tomatoes are soft, remove from heat and serve the curry along with Pulao or Biryani.

Oats Chaat

Oats Chaat

Oats – 1/2 cup
Curd – 1/2 cup
Tomato, Chopped – 1
Apple, chopped – 1/2
Pomegranate – 3 tbsp
Meethi Chutney – 1 tbsp
Zeera Powder – 1/4 tsp
Chilly Powder – 1/2 tsp
Black Salt – 1/2  tsp
Chat Masala Powder – 1/2 tsp

1) In a pan roast the oats for 2- 3 Minutes. Keep it aside.

2)Mix Oats, tomato, apple, pomegranate,chilly powder, zeera powder, chat masala powder, rock salt, meethi chutney.
3) Garnish with sev, pomegranate, meethi chutney and serve .

Tomato Dosa

Tomato – 1
Dosai Batter –  3 Ladle full
Hing – ¼ tsp
Chilly Powder – ¼ tsp
Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
Tomato Sauce – 1 tbsp
Coriander, Chopped – 1 tbsp
Curry Leaves, Chopped – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste.

1) Grind the chopped Tomato coarsely.
2) In a bowl add the ground tomato paste, tomato sauce, chilly powder, coriander powder,turmeric powder, Hing, salt , coriander leaves , curry leaves and mix well.
3)Add dosa batter to this and mix well.
4)Heat a tava and pour a ladleful of the batter and spread like a dosa.
5)Drizzle a little oil around the dosa and cook on a medium flame till done.
6)Serve it with sambar or chutney.

Bread dahi vada

Bread – 6 slices
Butter milk – 1.5 cup
Thick curd- 1/2 cup
Red chilly powder – 1/2 tsp
Chat Masala  powder – 1/2 tsp
Black Salt – 1/4 tsp
Cumin / Zeera powder – 1/2 tsp
Sugar – a pinch
Pomegranate – 3 tbsp
Coriander, chopped – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

1) Cut the edges of the bread and cut it in to square pieces.
2) Whip the curd and add this to the butter milk and mix well.
3) To the curd buttermilk mixture add the cumin powder, red chilly powder, salt and sugar. Mix well and keep this curd mixture aside.

4) Pour 4 tbsp of curd mixture in a serving dish .Place the bread slices over the curd mixture.
5) Apply a spoon of curd mixture over each piece of bread. Sprinkle a pinch of chat masala powder, chilly powder , back salt and chopped coriander.
6) Apply the curd mixture over the left over bread slices and place it on the bread slices place on the serving dish. I.e the bread with the curd side facing downwards.
7) Pour the left over curd to cover all the bread slices. Sprinkle a pinch of chat masala powder, cumin powder, chilly powder, red chutney, green chutney, sev and pomegranate. Refrigerate for some time and serve chilled.

Sweet and Sour Fish

2lbs tilapia, cod, halibut or any other whitefish (cut into 1” chunks)
1 large green pepper (cut into 1” chunks)
1 large tomato (cut into 1” chunks)
1 large onion (cut into 1” chunks)
1 can pineapple chunks (with juice)
Oil (for deep frying)
Breading-¼ cup cornstarch
2 cups flour
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 cups water

Sweet and Sour Sauce-
½ cup vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup pineapple juice
¼ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons cornstarch 

Cooking Instructions:Step 1: Toss fish with cornstarch in a bowl and coat well. In another bowl whisk together flour, 6 tablespoons of oil, baking powder, seasoning salt, and cayenne pepper. A little at a time, add 2 cups of water whisking until the batter has become smooth. Pour batter over the coated fish pieces and stir to coat.  
Step 2: In a deep frying fry fish pieces in batches for 4 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in the oven.
Step 3: In a wok heat a tiny bit of oil. Stir fry green pepper and onions for 3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
Step 4: To make sweet and sour sauce – In the wok mix vinegar, sugar, salt, orange juice, pineapple juice and ketchup. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch in 1/8 cup of juice, pour into the sauce and stir until sauce has thickened.  Add tomatoes and pineapple chunks to the sauce and heat.
Step 5: In a large serving dish mix fish pieces, sauce and green pepper and onions. Serve with white rice.

(Makes 6 Servings)


Chickpea, olive and feta cheese salad

1 cup dried chickpeas
8 oz. Greek sheep's milk feta cheese, cubed
4 oz. kalamata olives, pitted and halved
8 oz. cherry or grape tomatoes
large handful of parsley, coarsely chopped
5 tablespoons olive oil
juice of one lemon
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons harissa / chilli garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon salt

Soak the chickpeas overnight in water with a little yogurt whey or lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover, cooking for one and a half hours or until soft. Drain and add to a large bowl.

If using cherry tomatoes, halve first and add to the chickpeas, along with the feta cheese, olives and parsley.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, harissa and salt to make the dressing. Pour over the salad and mix gently together. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Watermelon and feta salad

1 watermelon, preferably seedless
3 tbsp fine chopped mint
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
The first step is to simply cut up your watermelon.  My melon baller  is one of my favorite kitchen toys! It’s always fun to use it!
I have found that it’s best to mix the watermelon with the mint first, either in a mixing bowl or in the same bowl that you will serve the salad.  Then sprinkle the crumbled feta on top of the watermelon and avoid further mixing the salad.

Crab Cakes Recipe
Although crab cakes feel like an indulgence,
they’re actually very easy to prepare, and make a great weeknight supper
 with salad and crusty bread.
Don’t be tempted to skip the step of chilling the cakes before frying—
you could end up with a crumbly mess in the pan.

Crab Cakes seafood recipe

Serves 14–16 2-inch cakes
Crab Cakes
1/2cupminced celery
3tablespoonsItalian parsley, chopped
1/4teaspoonTabasco sauce
1 1/2teaspoonsOld Bay Seasoning
1/8teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
1poundlump crab meat
2tablespoonsolive oil
Tartar Sauce
1/4cuppickle relish
1tablespoonchampagne vinegar
1teaspoonDijon mustard
1/8teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
  *Make fresh breadcrumbs easily in your food processor and freeze the leftovers in zip-lock bags. Homemade breadcrumbs taste better, lack all the chemicals and additives—and are much cheaper.
Crab Cakes
1.Combine the celery, scallions, parsley,
Tabasco, Old Bay, pepper, salt, and crab and mix lightly with a fork.
2. Mix in the breadcrumbs.
3. Whisk the egg and add it to the
 crab mixture, blending well.
4. Form the crab mixture into 2-inch cakes
and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for
at least 30 minutes, ideally several hours.
6. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan
 over medium-high heat.
7. Fry the crab cakes in batches until golden,
adjusting the heat as required.
8. Drain on paper towels.
Tartar Sauce
1. Mix the mayonnaise, relish, vinegar,
mustard, pepper, and salt in a small bowl.
2. Refrigerate or serve immediately.

Fruit Salad

Ambrosia Salad recipe

Serves 2 3/4 cups
1cupMandarin oranges
1cuppineapple chunks
1/2cupsweetened shredded coconut
1/2cupseedless green grapes
1 1/2cupsminiature marshmallows
1cupsour cream
1/2cupmarshmallow creme (fluff )*
1/4cuppineapple juice
1teaspooncoconut extract
* You'll find marshmallow creme (fluff) in your local supermarket.

1. Combine the oranges, pineapple, shredded coconut, grapes, and marshmallows in a medium bowl.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, marshmallow fluff pineapple juice, and coconut extract.
3. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and mix to blend.
4. Cover and chill 4–6 hours or overnight.
5. Remove from the refrigerator 20 minutes before serving.

Fruit Salad

Tropical Fruit Salad recipe

Serves 6-8
1fresh, ripe pineapple, cubed*
4oranges, segmented
2kiwis, peeled and sliced / Grapes
3bananas, sliced
1pintstrawberries, slices
2tablespoonsclover honey
2tablespoonsfreshly squeezed lime juice
*Substitute canned pineapple chunks if the fresh fruit is unavailable.