Roasted Bell Pepper Dip

roasted bell pepper

This recipe is sure a keeper! It is  easy to make for any occasion or for snacking.  This dip can be had with pastas, crackers or can smeared on your sandwiches.

Ingredients

1 large red bell pepper

1tbs green olives, chopped

1tbs capers

5-6 basil leaves, chopped roughly

2tbs olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

  • Roast  bell pepper on the stove top or oven. Discard the skin and the seeds. Chop roughly.
  • Blend in all the ingredients into a course paste or use a mortar pestle.
  • Spoon the prepared paste into the serving bowl and drizzle some olive oil on top.
  • This dip can be refrigerated for about a week. Serves 2.

You might also like Fig Olive Tapenade,  Mexican Seven Layered Dip

Whole Wheat Seed Cracker

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Lemon Curd Recipe & Lemon Coffee Cake with Almond Streusel to go with it!

lemon curd 1

A crazy week of positives and negatives…

At the beginning of this week I was worried about the lemon curd which was lying in the fridge for quiet some time. Discovery of some kinda new allergy attack made my week  depressing. So I decided that I had to take care of two things this week – 1. the lemon curd and 2. bring back the positive energy in me. I chose to bake!

I  discovered my local chicken shop selling free range eggs, a little smaller but cheaper than the super market ones.  I decided to make some lemon curd and perhaps some dessert too!  This was about 10 days back, when I was positive and with no signs of allergy.

Last week I’ve been diagnosed of some allergy (not sure yet) and I had to drastically change my diet. Now I’m following a vegan diet (temporarily). I must admit that I feel much better now! 🙂

Lemon curd is so easy to make that you can really wow your friends or guests! In 15 minutes you have yourself a jar of deliciousness!

lemon curd 2

Ingredients for Lemon Curd with free range eggs

Adapted from Simple Sundays

3 egg yolks

1 whole egg

1/2 cup raw sugar

1/2 cup lemon juice

4tbs salted butter

zest from 2 lemons

  • In a pan, whisk together egg yolk and egg until combines.
  • While whisking, pour in sugar, lemon juice and zest, and continue whisking until creamy and well incorporated, about one minute.
  • Place over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the custard thickens and can coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the butter.
  • Strain into a bowl or jar and chill in the refrigerator, covered.
  • You can refrigerate for two weeks and you get about 150gms of lemon curd.

You can lick  lemon curd straight up from the jar or slash it on your toast. Nothing can beat the satisfaction of a home made lemon curd! You can also use them in making bars, muffins or cakes. Don’t worry I have figured out the right recipe for you ;). When I first looked at this recipe, I knew that I’m going to feel positive again!  It didn’t matter to me if I can eat it. But, all I knew is that I’m creating something divine!

lemon curd cake 1

Ingredients for Lemon Coffee Cake with Almond Streusel

Adapted from Kitchen Confidante

for cake

140gms all purpose flour

80gms whole wheat flour

1stp baking powder

1tsp baking soda

100gms salted butter

150gms raw sugar

2 large eggs

180gms yogurt

zest of 2 lemons

for streusel

50gms almond meal (coarse ground almonds with skin in a mixer)

25gms raw sugar

50gms salted butter

50gms whole wheat flour

  • Make the streusel by combining the almond meal, flour, sugar and butter in a bowl. Mix until the streusel comes together into a course crumble. Chill in the refrigerator until later.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder and baking soda.
  • Cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest in the bowl until light and fluffy, for about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, incorporating them one at a time.
  • Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture, alternating with yogurt.
  • Put half the batter in the cake pan (8″) and smooth evenly. Drizzle about 75gms of the lemon curd on top, making sure to leave a 1 inch border from the inner and outer perimeter (to avoid the risk browning the edges of the cake). Top with the remaining batter, using a spatula to smooth. (I added more lemon curd in the center and due to  it’s weight, my cake was a little sunken in the center)
  • Pour remaining lemon curd on top, again leaving room around the perimeter. Spread the streusel on top.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow it to cool completely. Serves 6. Best had with your evening coffee or with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

So enjoy your cake with a lot of Vitamin C and positive energy! 🙂

lemon curd cake 3

lemon curd cake 2


Desi style chicken & winning a cookbook by master chef New Zealand winner

Nadia & me

I  visited Taste of Mumbai yesterday, an international event which takes place in other parts of the world and for the first time it is happening in Mumbai. The spread of international or fusion food is something to experience. I had some sushi and some Spanish nibbles, which were really good. However, I did miss the real Mumbai taste of pav bhajji or keema pav or maybe even desi chicken. Kalyan of finely chopped also had similar thoughts.

The highlight for me at the event was meeting and winning (through a twitter contest organized by taste of Mumbai & HTCafe) Nadia  Lim’s (winner of master chef New Zealand, second series) cookbook, Nadia’s Kitchen. The book not only focuses on eating healthy but also seasonal eating and the recipes in the book has been beautifully showcased.

If you have read my earlier post about free range chicken and how/why I like my chicken free range. The free range chicken works really well for Indian style curry. Try this recipe once to taste the difference between a broiler and a free range. You can also watch my recipe video shared at the end of this post 🙂

desi chicken

Ingredients

400g of chicken marinated overnight in curd, chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder

1 tbs oil

4-5 curry leaves

½ tsp of mustard seeds

1 tsp kachampuli/tamarind/kokum

Salt to taste
fresh coriander leaves & grated coconut for garnish
 for masala/gravy
1 tsp of oil
1 tbsp of mixed spices – cumin, pepper and cloves
20g coriander seeds
1–2 inch piece of ginger, cut roughly
4-5 garlic cloves
1 medium sized onion cut roughly
1 medium sized tomato cut roughly
100g of grated coconut
1 inch cinnamon stick/ cinnamon powder
4-5 dried red chillies

Procedure

  • Add 1 tsp of oil. Add 1 tbsp of mixed spices – cumin, pepper, cloves, coriander seeds and dried chillies.Roast the spices.
  • Add the onions. Toss them around until translucent. Add ginger,  garlic and tomatoes. Do not overcook the ingredients.
  • Add the grated coconut. Toss the ingredients around and add cinnamon powder. Turn off the gas and allow the mixture to cool for 15-20 mins.
  • Blend the mixture into a fine paste.
  • Add oil into a pan. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  • Add the prepared masala and some water to to lighten the gravy.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and let it simmer on a medium flame for 20-25 mins.
  • When you see a layer of oil on top of the masala, it means that the masala is ready.
  • Add the chicken,  salt and mix well.
  • Let the chicken cook on a medium flame for 20-25 mins with the lid on.
  • When chicken is cooked, add 1 tsp of kachampuli/ tamaring pulp/ kokam or any other souring agent
  • Cook for another 2-3 mins and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice or chapatti. Serves 4.

Grilled chicken with warm peanut butter sauce

grilled chicken 3

I love grilled chicken in any form, plain or marinated. One of my favourite ways to eat chicken breast. Those striking lines looks so gorgeous. The best part about grilling is that you have to do very little prep to make your dish delicious and bask in the glory of your guests going ga ga over it!

Here is one such recipe which is not only easy but uses a different twist of ingredients. A warm peanut butter sauce is what makes this dish so worth while! Inspired by Thai. I’ve added ingredients which were easily available from my home garden like lemon grass and basil.

What makes this dish extra special is that I’ve plated it in a hand painted plate made by a dear friend of mine. You can find more such lovely hand painted stuff on her facebook page.

grilled chicken 2

pic 454

Ingredients

200gms boneless chicken breast

1tbs chopped lemon grass

4-5 kaffir leaves

1/2tsp chopped ginger

1/2tsp chopped garlic

1/2 cup peanut butter (I used i2cook’s organic peanut butter)

3-4 chopped Thai red chillies

1tsp tamarind paste

salt & pepper to taste

some oil for grilling (used a mix of vegetable & toasted sesame oil)

finely chopped basil for garnish

some fresh salad to serve (I served mine with sunflower leaves & cherry tomatoes)

Procedure

  • Cut the chicken pieces into desired size and pat dry.
  • Blend the peanut butter, kaffir leaves, lemon grass, ginger, garlic, red chillies and tamarind paste with some water into a smooth paste.
  • Add the prepared paste, salt and pepper to the chicken. Refrigerate for an hour or overnight.
  • Grill the chicken pieces on both sides until cooked.
  • Make the sauce by bringing  the paste with a little water to a light boil. Take care not to make it runny and should have a sauce like consistency.
  • Plate the grilled chicken topped with some warm peanut butter sauce, garnished with some chopped basil.
  • Serve hot with some salad to add some crunch. Serves 2.

grilled chicken 1

Some more peanut butter recipes.