Wholewheat bagels


Do you ever wake up and suddenly remember something delicious you had months ago and feel the sudden need to recreate that moment or eat something similar? I’d ordered a bagel sandwich while out for brunch and though the sandwich was pretty lacklustre, the bagel in question was extraordinary and so it stuck and one day I woke up craving a bagel.

Bagels aren’t as easily available where I live and so it’s better and more entertaining to make some yourself which is exactly what I did and these came out pretty good, though I do intend on tinkering and tweaking a bit more with the recipe.

Whole wheat bagels with absolutely everything on top, fluffy on the inside and chewy on the out!

The premises are the same as any leavened bread. Start with some risen whole wheat dough. Recipe here. You also need some sugar, baking soda, and a mixture of whatever seeds or toppings you’d like on the bagel. It could be as simple as salt and sugar or a mixture of poppy, sunflower, black and white sesame seeds as I have here.

Divide the dough into equal sized dough balls. I made a total of eight from a kilo of dough for medium sized bagels. Each dough ball is 125g. You can make larger fewer bagels or smaller.

Make even sized balls

and let rest covered for 25-30 minutes.

Once they’ve slightly risen poke a hole in the centre and stretch the dough around to create a doughnut shape which is essentially also the bagel shape.

Like so.

Bring some water to the boil and add in sugar and baking soda.

Once the water comes back to a boil slowly drop in the bagels

and let boil for a couple of minutes on each side

use a long spoon or chopstick to flip them over.

Fish them out of the boiling water once you see them floating, cover generously with the toppings and bake for 15-20 minutes at 200ºC until crisped and browned at the top.

Enjoy!


Ingredients and recipe instructions for whole wheat dough.
Ingredients for bagel

Wholewheat bread dough: 1 kilo
Sugar: 1tbsp
Baking soda: 2tsp
Poppy seeds: 1tsp
Black sesame seeds: 1tsp
White sesame seeds: 1 tsp
Sunflower seeds: 1tbsp


Recipe Instructions

Make the whole wheat dough a day before and let rise overnight in the fridge. Let rest at room temperature for an hour before dividing the dough into eight equal sized portions.

Roll each portion into a ball and let rest once again, covered, for 25-30 minutes.

Poke a hole in the middle of each dough ball and stretch around the hole to create a doughnut like shape.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add in the sugar and baking soda.

Once the water comes back to a boil slowly drop in the bagels carefully, not spilling any water. Let boil for a couple minutes on one side before carefully flipping using a chopstick or a long spoon and boiling on the other for the same time.

Fish out onto a baking tray and sprinkle over the toppings.

Bake at 200ºC for 15-20 minutes until the top has browned.

Let rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing. The outside should be chewy and the inside fluffy, and since these are whole wheat bagels the texture within will be a bit denser than the usual refined flour ones, but they will be just as delicious.

Black pepper chicken curry


The first time I ever had this chicken curry was at my brother’s house and he’d tweaked several version over the years to find a perfect format to cook this delicacy because one bite and I was hooked, so lush and delectable was this particular chicken curry that I had to ask him for the recipe which he most graciously provided and so here I am, trying to do justice by cooking it exactly as he’d asked me, because the point of this whole recipe is the different stages and the precise ways of cooking.

The gravy is a rich velvety emulsion of tomatoes, onions and spices and the consistency can vary according to what one likes to eat it with. Thicker gravy for when you eat it with bread and a bit thinner if eaten with rice, though I must say that it’s rice which brings out, almost helps to bloom each flavour of this curry. Rice provides, in my opinion, a better base than bread for this chicken curry and so I’ve cooked this accordingly.


Spices for chicken marinade. Turmeric, Black pepper and some lemon.

add spices to the chicken

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squeeze in the lemon and throw in the rind while marinating and add some oil.

Rub the spices into the chicken and cover to let marinate for an hour.

Ingredients for onion gravy

To make onion gravy, which is really the base of this curry we need a bay leaf, a cinnamon stick, some cardamom seeds sans green shell, a few cloves, some garlic and onions which will go into a blender to get a smooth spice enriched onion paste.

So we have an onion paste made with all the spices and some crushed tomatoes which I made by blending one large tomato.

To make the curry, add some oil to a wok or pan of choice and let it come to near smoking, after which add the now marinated chicken and let sear boldly on one side until deliciously bronzed before turning.

make sure both sides are nicely golden.

Let it sear on the second size and bear with me while I do this because it might come as something odd, but we will make the curry in the wok with the chicken still in it instead of fishing it out.


Add the onion paste and cook continuously taking care that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.

the onion paste should begin thickening after a few minutes

Once thickened add garam masala, salt and plenty of black pepper and stir well to combine

Once all the spices are mixed in add the crushed tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until you reach a thickened gravy consistency

Once the tomatoes have cooked in with the onions add some chicken stock or water.

Little by little while continuously stirring

Add some more black pepper and stock/water until you reach the desired consistency and let cook.

Add a half teaspoon of sugar to balance out the tastes. This won’t sweeten the curry. Cook and check for seasonings. Add salt if needed and let bubble away covered for at least 5 minutes.

Serve Hot!


Ingredients

For the marinate

Chicken: 300g
Black pepper: 1 tsp
Turmeric: 1tsp
Oil: 1/2tsp
Lemon: 2 tsp

Marinate the chicken with the spices, lemon and oil and let rest for an hour or overnight in the fridge.

Ingredients for curry

Chicken: 300g bone in
Cicken stock or water: 250-400mls
Onion: 1 large or 2 small
Garlic cloves: 3-4
Bay leaf: 1
Cloves:2-3
Cinnamon stick: 1
Caradmom seeds: from 2-3 pods
Black pepper: 2-3 tsps
Garam masala: 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Sugar: 1/2 tsp
Tomatoes: 1 large or 2 small

Blend together the onions, cinnamon stick, garlic cloves, bay leaf and cardamom pods to a paste and crush tomatoes separately.

Note:  use only the seeds and not the green shells of the cardamom pods.


Recipe instructions

In a large wok heat oil and add the marinated chicken to sear on both sides. Once each side is evenly brown add the onion paste and cook until golden and fragrant.

Sprinkle in garam masala, salt and a teaspoon of black pepper and cook for a minute before adding in the crushed tomatoes and cook until gravy is thickened and the tomatoes aren’t raw anymore.

Add in the stock or water in small batches stirring it in continuously to homogenize with the mixture until the desired consistency has reached and add in the remaining black pepper and sugar and let the curry bubble away another 5 minutes covered.

Finally check for seasonings and add salt if needed.

Serve over a bed of hot rice or with flatbreads.

Taiwanese pineapple cakes


It was a new dimension of desserts for me the first time I ever ate these little cakelets which somehow blur the thin line between shortbread cookies and cakes and in fact these are stuffed in the middle with a sweet pineapple filling, one bite is all it takes get transported into a sweet dreamy land of flaky crust and delicious jam.

These are irresistible if anything and my dear Taiwanese friends who were kind enough to share these treats informed me of their importance in their culture as a staple during coffee, tea or snack time and even shared the recipe which I used to make a version of my own which though not nearly as beautiful as the ones they shared comes decently close in taste. 

The pineapple cakes have a particular mould which one can easily buy but I tried improvising and came to the conclusion that making them in their particular moulds would be a far better option, however, if you want to try them just as then, by all means, use a muffin tin as I did as I’m about to show you.

Ingredients for the pineapple jam filling

 Cook the crushed pineapples on medium hot flame 

until they begin releasing water and add lemon juice

once most of the water is cooked off add cinnamon

and sugar

the pineapple mixture will become wet once again after the addition of sugar so keep cooking and stirring until it’s thickened to a paste. Chill the jam for an hour before forming cakes so that it slightly firms up.

ingredients for shortcrust pastry case

I made this using a processor but you can use these just as easily with a wooden spoon. Mix together the butter and sugar

until evenly combined

add egg yolk and mix

and tip in flour, baking powder, cheese and milk powder mixture and evenly combine

until it comes together and begins to clump

form into a dough without kneading it much and shape into a log

and slice into equal portions. You don’t have to be precise because you can always add or remove some dough during the cake forming process.

Roll each part into a rough circle about 1.5-2 inches in diameter.

and now for the fun part that’s filling each casing with the now cooled pineapple jam. Add about 2 tsp worth in the middle of the pastry.

and fold so that opposite ends meet in the middle. Squeeze them together with thumb and index finger smoothing the seam and form into a ball.

Place into muffin tins if you do not have a mould and press gently before baking at 170º for 10 minutes

and then flipping them over to brown on both sides. Bake again for another 10-15 minutes

until they’re lightly golden. Some of them broke in the process but that didn’t keep them from tasting remarkable. Let them cool for at least 10-15 minutes before eating because they’re hot and extremely soft. Their shortcrust casing gets firmer with time and somehow I like them better when they’re firm so I let mine be for a couple hours.

I also tried making some free-form ones and concluded that these are better off aesthetically in their respective moulds but they taste just as divine even in their unorthodox shapes.

They aren’t as difficult as one would think, just a little time consuming if you are new to their realm which I was and to eat one of these is to know how different these cookie cakes can be and the pure pleasure that something so tiny is capable of imparting in each bite.


Ingredients for the jam filling 

  • Pineapple- 500g (use fresh or tinned)
  • White sugar- 50g (1/4 cup)
  • Brown sugar- 50g (1/4 cup)
  • Lemon juice: 1 Tsp
  • Cinnamon powder- 1/4 tsp (optional)

Ingredients for shortbread dough

  • Butter- 100g
  • Sugar – 45g
  • Parmesan cheese- 10g
  • Milk powder- 10g
  • Egg yolk – 1
  • Baking powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Flour- 130g

Recipe instructions

Make the jam filling by crushing the pineapples in a food processor and cooking over medium heat until the water begins evaporating. Add lemon juice, cinnamon powder if using and brown and white sugar and cook until the jam is thickened.

Chill until further use.

Mix together the flour, parmesan cheese, baking powder and milk powder in a bowl and set aside.

Make the pastry by mixing butter and sugar using a processor or wooden spoon. The butter shouldn’t be cold. Add the egg yolk to the mix and evenly combine before adding the flour mixture. Mix them but do not knead and form a shortcrust pastry until the mixture begins to clump.

Lightly form into a log shape and cut into even pieces.

Roll each piece into a 1.5-2 inch circle and fill the middle of each with 1-2 tsp of the now chilled pineapple jam.

Form into a smooth ball by squeezing together the opposite ends and smoothening the seams.

Press into moulds or muffin tray putting gentle pressure to flatten each cake.

bake at 170ºc for 10 minutes and flip over the cakes to bake on the other side for another 10-15 minutes until evenly browned.

Let cool on a wire rack before serving.

Can be eaten fridge cold or warm.

Enjoy!

Black rice salad


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This was a sudden salad in that it came to happen rather abruptly in my repertoire while I was experimenting with a bit of culinary expansion in terms of recipes and cuisines and the sight of black rice always invited me with such fascination and enigma that I caved in and bought a few kilograms to experiment with and this salad was the result of a thrilled happenstance.

I hadn’t expected the results to be as delicious because this is a fairly simple recipe but seeing how it’s near impossible to be content with a small bowl of this black rice salad I found myself making it more of it almost every chance I got.

Black rice tends to be far less starchy and more pronounced in its nuttiness and provides a perfect vehicle to harmonize with simple, accurate flavours that work in tandem.

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It’s a fairly large amount of ingredients and this salad works to serve not just as a side dish but also as a meal. Great as a post-workout snack or dinner this salad does double duty. The vegetables you use depend on their seasonal availability but as long as there’s crunch, piquancy and dried fruit to balance it all it can’t go wrong. A bit of sweetness in terms of dried fruit is most desirable because it elevates the mood, texture and taste of this salad.

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Chop the vegetables, cheese and chillies in fairly small pieces. Deseed the chillies if they’re too spicy.  I have also scooped the seeds out of this cucumber. It’s an optional step.

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Chop oregano and rosemary fairly fine. Use dried herbs if you can’t find fresh ones.

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Put the chopped cheese and vegetables into a bowl

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along with the herbs

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and raisins

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Add lemon and salt

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followed by a drizzle of olive oil

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and mix

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until evenly combined

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add cooked black rice to the vegetables and mix well.

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There we have black rice salad. Cover and let rest for at least an hour before serving.

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It is delicious, colourful and nutritious. Won’t you please try it.


Ingredients

Black rice: 250g

Tomatoes: 3-4 small

Cheese: 100g

Chillies: 2

Herbs: rosemary and oregano fresh or dried mixed herbs

Capsicum red: 1 small

Raisins: 2-3 tbsps

Olives: 2-3 tbsps

Cucumber: 1

Lemon: 1 tbsp

salt to taste

Olive oil: 2 tbsps

NOTE: To cook black rice soak them the night before or for at least 5-6 hours and cook using 1:1.5 black rice to water ratio.

Use whatever vegetables and cheese are seasonally and easily available.


Recipe instructions

Chop the vegetables and cheese into small bite-sized pieces. If using fresh herbs mince them fairly fine and add to the bowl with vegetables and cheese along with the raisins, salt, lemon juice and olive oil.

Mix well until evenly incorporated and add the cooked black rice and mix again.

Let sit in the fridge for an hour before serving.

Green coriander chutney


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It’s an amplification of harmonious flavours put together in a way as to extract the maximum potency of their parent ingredients is what chutney I believe is and this recipe extracts, exaggerates and emboldens every flavour that found itself in the making of this luridly green almost viciously spicy and flavour festooned green chutney.

Chutneys are of course not meant as a solitary treat because of their main purpose in life as an enhancer, that is they upgrade any dish from their current pedestal and double as dips, dressings even spread and this particular coriander chutney especially works hard to earn its keep not least because it’s an old recipe using few readily available in season ingredients.

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The spice levels on this depend on the creator but it’s good to have it on the not so mild side of the spectrum and keep them a bit on the more tear-jerking levels, not to be vulgar or anything but because that’s really how this stuff works and it’s meant to. Ingredients are few and simple. Coriander, green chillies, garlic, dried red chillies, salt, cumin seeds and dried mango powder.

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It’s just a question of blending everything together. So along with the coriander leaves and the stalks which contain most of the flavour

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add the garlic and chillies, halved or chopped to convenience

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the dried red chillies

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and the spices that are cumin, dried mango powder and salt and blend

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until you have a somewhat smooth paste. Make sure that all the ingredients have been incorporated and that there aren’t any large chunks left. Add a little water but not too much and use a spoon to clamp down the leaves and chillies to avoid too many air pockets.

And that’s it. Your green coriander chutney is ready.

I especially love it sandwiched between two slices of bread with lashings of butter and a dollop of this chutney. But really, over rice, in salads, as a dip for anything fried, this chutney is where it’s at!


Ingredients

Coriander: 100g

Chillies: 3-4 (use fewer for a milder taste)

Garlic cloves: 2-3

Cumin seeds: 1 heaped tsp

Salt: 1.5tsp (or to taste)

Dried red chillies: 2-3

Dried mango powder: 1tsp heaped



 Recipe instructions

Wash the coriander well and rinse under running water until no grit or dirt remains and add to a blender with green chillies, garlic cloves, salt, cumin powder, dried red chillies and dried mango powder.

Blend to form a smooth paste. Add a tablespoon of water if it feels too dry but do not add extra because it can make the resulting chutney watery. Clamp down with a spatula or spoon for even blending.

Remove to a clean container and store in the fridge. It will stay fresh for at least 3-4 days.

Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin soup 2.0 (Vegan)


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Pumpkin soup has a special place in my repertoire and I’ve been dabbling with a lot of different recipes and ways to make this soup and not that I’m trying to be smug or anything but looks like I’ve finally perfected a recipe that I might sick to, and that it needs no pottering over a stove really does help.

The thing about soups and pumpkin soup, in general, is that it’s a very non-fussy way to create deliciousness from a rather humble looking vegetable and it’s versatile in a way that there’s never just the one way of cooking it just like there’s never one way of eating something and this particular recipe can be adapted to make pasta sauce, pizza sauce and curry base as well. Just a question of thinning or thickening it to your liking and I like it on the thicker more velvety side of things and that’s what I said and say.

Right, this blog is no stranger to pumpkin soups and in fact, I’m linking a previous pumpkin soup recipe here as well which is just as delicious but not nearly as quick and mad with flavours.

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Did I mention it was simple as simple as can be? The taste and colour are amped up with spices and how much or how little you add is up to you but I like it very spicy especially in this weather and turmeric helps with the goldenness of it all. Like molten sunshine on a chilly afternoon. There’s pumpkin, onion, garlic, salt, turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, nutmeg and black pepper.

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Chop the vegetables to an almost equal sized thickness and add some oil. The amount of oil you want to add is up to you. It could be a drop, a drizzle or a glug. Did I mention this is an atrociously healthy recipe as well?

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Next, come the spices and this is really what maketh the soup. I’ve been known to add almost three times the amount of pepper I show here and so can you. The spiciness is really a personal choice and so is salt. No nutmeg at this stage. It comes in later.

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there you go. All in.

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Time to smoosh it all together. Coating the vegetables with spices and oil.

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Bake at 190º for 15-20 minutes until the pumpkin is almost falling apart and the onions and garlic have softened but not burnt.

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At this stage, you can modify it to how you’d want the final results to be. You can add stock, cream, coconut milk, regular milk or just plain water which is what I’m doing because it’s choke full of flavours but having said that I do add coconut milk to it on days when I’m in an altogether different mood.

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grate in a bit of nutmeg and add that as well. Not too much or it’ll overpower. Just enough to haunt the soup with a peripheral kiss of the exotic and blitz.

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Pulse until it’s all emulsified and you have glorious golden soup. Oh, how it glows. taste for seasoning and thickness and adjust by adding more of whatever is required.

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and lo and behold!


Ingredients

Pumpkin: 250g

Onion: 1 small

Garlic: 3-4 cloves

Turmeric: 1heaped tsp

Paprika: 1tsp

Black pepper: 1/2tsp

Salt to taste

Cinnamon: 1/2tsp

Nutmeg: 1/4tsp

Oil: 2tsp

Water: 200mls



Recipe instructions 

Chop the vegetables into equal sized portions and drizzle over oil and mix in the spices and salt except for nutmeg. Place in a baking tray and bake at 190º for 15-20 minutes or until the pumpkin is very tender and the other vegetables softened.

Add the vegetables to a mixer, grate in the nutmeg and add hot water and blend to a smooth puree.

Serve hot with bread or even rice.

 

 

 

 

Earl Grey tea cookies


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There isn’t any particular fondness for Earl Grey tea that I nurse in my heart, in fact, I never much thought about it but that was before I had an Earl Grey cookie at a speciality speculoos shop and one bite had me converted. The subtlety in its aroma bonded so luxuriously with the flavours of butter and a very slight hint of cinnamon that there was only so much I could do to not go through them like a savage.

I had tried unsuccessfully after that to recreate the magic of those crunchy bites but almost every time they came out too dense for my liking, until a few weeks ago when finally I found myself biting into one of these and finding them admirably crunchy and deliciously fragrant. Easy to make and all too easy to devour.

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The ingredients are few. Just flour, butter, sugar, salt, earl grey tea, cinnamon and vanilla extract.

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To get the tea to impart maximum flavour it’s best to lightly toast it first on a very low flame. Toss it on a dried pan until fragrant, for a minute or so and then let cool.

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mix it with sugar and pulse it a few times to disperse equally,  this enables the sugar to absorb the tea scent.

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Like so

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In a separate clean bowl cream the butter

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and add in the tea and sugar mixture

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beating it thoroughly

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add in the flour

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vanilla extract

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cinnamon (it’s better mixed in with flour)

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and salt

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and mix the ingredients. It should begin to clump once everything is well incorporated. This mixture here was still a little crumbly and so I remedied it by adding a spoonful of full-fat milk.

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and thoroughly mixing

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to get a cohesive mixture

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which clumps if you press it together.

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for this mixture to form cookies we need to shape it into a log. Place plastic wraps over the work surface and scrape the cookie dough on it.

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Cover the dough with the wrap and roll it like it were a rolling pin to form a longish log shape which is not too thin because we should be able to slice fat coin shaped cookies out of it.

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Once you’re satisfied with the shape and dimensions of the log, refrigerate for an hour until it firms up, making it easier to slice.

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Unwrap and place on chopping board once firm.

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and slice into cookies, ensuring they’re neither too thick nor too thin because the former won’t be that crunchy and the latter might catch too quick.

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something like this. these are about quarter of an inch thick.

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place on baking mat and bake at 180ºC for 12-15 minutes or until the edges turn light gold.

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Let cool before serving. These keep well in an airtight jar for up to a week.


Ingredients 

Earl Grey tea: 6g

Sugar: 120g

Flour: 160g

Butter: 100g

Vanilla extract: 1tsp

Cinnamon: 1/2 tsp

salt: 1/2 tsp

Milk: 1-2 tbsp (optional)



Recipe instructions:

Lightly toast the tea on a low flame for a minute until lightly fragrant and let cool. Pulse it with sugar until evenly dispersed.

In a clean bowl cream together the butter and sugar and add flour, cinnamon, vanilla and salt and mix to form a dough. The dough should begin to clump together and if it doesn’t then add a spoonful of full-fat milk and mix again.

Form the dough into a log by placing it on a cling wrap sheet and rolling it to an even log shape.

Refrigerate for an hour until firm and slice into even sized cookies.

Bake at 180º for 12-15 minutes until lightly golden on the sides.

Enjoy.

Instant chilli pickle


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For when you want to add a little something-something to a dish that doesn’t taste just there yet or feels flat or maybe you just want a tiny spice kick and spicy texture to enhance and complement the food then this is the pickle of instant dreams because it adds that fresh zing and unique flavour that you could have been looking for but didn’t know where to find.

It’s quick in that it’s instant and depending on the chillies you put it can vary from anything naughtily mild to demonic hot.

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Doesn’t hurt that it’s full of ingredients really good for you and how they come to marry in perfect harmony to form this delicious pickle.

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Chop and dice the green chillies into smaller than bite-sized pieces and remove any seeds if you want. These chillies though large in size are rather tame in taste, in fact, they’re almost sweet and so I didn’t much bother with deseeding them.

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Crush the yellow and black mustard seeds till some are fine dust and some still intact.

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Find a suitable bowl for mixing the pickle.

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Add crushed mustard seeds to the chopped chillies

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followed by salt and turmeric

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In with apple cider vinegar

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mustard oil

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and lemon

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give everything a thorough mix

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until spicily combined

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This is ready to be eaten immediately. Alternatively, you can cover and keep for a day for the flavours to mingle and mellow before transferring to a clean jar. This will keep well for several weeks or you can transfer to a fridge after a few days.

(Note: the flavours will intensify with each day and the mustard seeds lend a pungent spiciness of its own which is most desirable in such pickles.)

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You can add this to rice, slices of bread and anything you feel could do with a boost. I have tried mixing it with boiled pasta during days of lazy inactivity and loved every morsel of it.


Ingredients

Chillies: 250g

Lemon: 1

salt: 2tsp

Turmeric powder: 1tsp

Mustard seeds (crushed): 30g (you can use either all black or all yellow or a mixture of both)

Mustard oil: 70mls (or use olive oil if mustard oil is unavailable)

Apple cider vinegar: 60mls



Recipe instructions

Crush the mustard seeds until some are pulverized and some whole. Chop chillies into small pieces and add to a bowl.

Mix in the mustard seeds, turmeric, salt, oil, vinegar and lemon juice.

Cover and keep for a day or decant into a clean jar to be eaten immediately.

Note: The addition of vinegar increases its shelf life and this pickle can be stored for several weeks, however, you can store this in the refrigerator after a week as well.

 

Oxblood smoothie (Vegan)


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No animals were harmed in the creation of this idiotically vibrant pink smoothie that suffuses your insides with a similar blazing glow of health and wellness, not least because this delicious lambent drink is made in mere moments and serves as a fantastic post-workout snack or a cool supplement with any meal.

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The ingredients can be easily substituted with what you have on hand and what kind of flavour profile you need in a particular smoothie. I gravitate towards resplendent reds and thusly red pitaya for the colour and nutrition boost along with bananas, strawberries, cashew nuts and soy milk.

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There’s just the one step to it that is blending all the ingredients.

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strawberries in with pitaya or dragonfruit as we call it and I have frozen strawberries here.

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in with cashew nuts

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banana and soy milk,

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a couple of pulses followed by a long whizz and there we have it. Luminous and bloody red.

(I have on previous occasions used boiled beetroot instead of pitaya with similar results.)

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Your daily nutrition boost with fruits and fixings.


Ingredients

Red Pitaya: 200g

Banana: 200g (2 small or 1 big)

Strawberries: 100g

Cashew nuts: 50g

Soy milk: 100mls



Recipe instructions:

Chop the fruits into smaller portions for even blending and blend along with cashew nuts and soy milk until smooth.

Feel free to add sweetener or a squirt of lemon to enhance the sweetness and tang.

 

 

Garam masala


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I know, I know, a garam masala recipe when you can just buy one in a pinch so why bother etc, but here’s the thing, this isn’t just any other garam masala. No sir! this is garam masala with its party hat on. It’s the kind of all-inclusive, multi-purpose, dangerously fragrant aromatic that should replace any scented candle inside your home. This deep earth coloured spice melange has a disco-like quality to it which makes each dish that it’s added to get up and sing in full swing and make your taste buds dance.

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The ingredients list though long isn’t out of the ordinary to make something so extraordinary. Black and green cardamom pods, cinnamon, nutmeg, dried bay leaves, star anise, black peppercorns and cloves.

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Ordinarily, you’d only need put these spices in a processor and whizz to a powder but to amplify the flavours and have them announce themselves on a megaphone we need to roast these a bit, only until the oils of all the spices wake up and lose their subtlety. A few minutes on medium-low heat on a hot pan until the combined fragrance hits you. Steadily stir to keep them from catching.

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Once they’ve cooled down we can grind them to a fine powder. It’s best to do it in short burst of pulses.

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There shouldn’t be any lumps.

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Transfer to an airtight container.

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and add it to curries, gravies, roasts, cakes.


Ingredients

Cinnamon sticks: 8gms

Black cardamom pods: 5g

Star anise: 1 in nos

Dried bay leaves: 4-5 in nos

Nutmeg: 1/2 Tsp

Black peppercorns: 15gms

Green cardamom pods: 10gms

Cloves: 10gms



Recipe instructions

Roast the whole spices on a medium-low flame for a minute or two until fragrant. Keep stirring to avoid burning and let them cool.

Process to a fine powder and store in an airtight container.

This multipurpose spice blend can be used in many sweet and savoury dishes for a spicy kick.