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Soupy Noodles

When I’m at work, I do not crave for food. However, coffee is my major craving during work hours. But on days when I am home early, my tummy starts its hunger pang cries and I am desperately looking for something to shush it up. During those times of struggle, quick is the word.

Considering that most of the times I am cooking for hours, anything that I can cook within half an hour is quick for me.

One of my quick soul happy dishes is noodle soup. I have to say, it’s quite a favourite of my family.

So here is what you need

Ingredients

  •  A big bowl of seasonal vegetables finally chopped. (I generally go for cabbage, carrot, beans, spring onions because these you can find in your kitchen or market during any season)
  • Small bowl of sliced mushrooms (if you don’t have any you can skip it)
  • One small onion/shallot finally chopped
  • Two cloves of garlic chopped
  • Half a teaspoon of ginger finally chopped
  • A handful of egg noodles (you can take any flat noodles if you don’t have egg noodles)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • A handful of fresh coriander leaves finally chopped.
  • Fresh lemon juice (half a lemon is good enough)
  • Water
  • Butter

Method

  1. In a thick based pan, put a small cube of butter. Put the gas to low flame
  2. Add chopped onions, garlic and ginger and let it cook till onions turn brown.
  3. Add spring onions and let it cook for a minute or two
  4. Add rest of the veggies. If you wish, you can boil the carrots before you put them in the soup
  5. Cover the lid of the pan and let the veggies cook in their own steam for around 5 min
  6. Add water to the veggies. I generally don’t measure the water as i add it as per the requirement. But it is close to around 500 ml of water. Make sure your veggies are submerged and a lot is still left for noodles to soak in and the final dish to still look like a soup.
  7. Cover the lid and let the veggies cook in the water for around 10-15 min. This is also a good process to make vegetable stock.
  8. Once the veggies are soft and cooked, add salt, pepper as per your taste and a pinch of turmeric.
  9. Add noodles and let the noodles cook in the stock
  10. Once noodles are cooked, add coriander, lemon juice and switch the gas off.
  11. Serve in bowls and enjoy the soup

 

The best thing about this soup is that there is plenty of room for improvement and scope for innovation. You may add chicken or fish as per your liking. Add green chilli paste to give it a Thai twist, or just add a bit of cream or milk to give it more texture.

Let me know if you made any changes or if you tried it.

Quick at Sandwich

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Breakfast is my favourite part of a meal. For me breakfast is like that perfect beginning to a perfect day. The way a good breakfast can make my day, only a great vacation comes anywhere close to that feeling.

However, thanks to the hurried busy work life of a weekday, all that I can offer myself during those rushed hours is toast and butter. Not that I hate it, I think a well toasted bread when topped with butter makes a perfect comfort food on go.

Come weekends and my heart crave for something more but that is when my lazy brain whispers “Why bother. Take it easy, its weekend”. And either my heart or my head wins.

This weekend I decided to listen to my brain and heart at the same time and come up with a yummy breakfast which can be made quickly, easily and would make me feel the weekend happiness. End result?

A simple tomato mushroom open sandwich:

Ingredients:

  • One medium fresh red tomato
  • Two-three big button mushrooms (if you have medium or small button mushrooms, maybe you would need to keep few more handy, in case you run short of them)
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Dried basil or parsley (you can always go for fresh if you are lucky)
  • Bread slices (type of bread you ask?? One which will make you more happy I say J )

Method

  • Slice tomato in round slices and slice mushroom in long slices
  • Spread butter, a little generously darlings, on the bread slices
  • Sprinkle a pinch of salt, pepper and dried basil/parsley
  • Put tomato and mushroom slices on the bread randomly
  • Put a cheese slice on top and sprinkle basil/parsley
  • Put the sandwiches in the oven for toast
  • Toast the sandwich till the cheese starts to melt, but don’t over toast it as bread will turn hard
  • Take it out and enjoy it with your favourite dip or sauce or just a humble cup of cold coffee

 

Note: To add more kick to your sandwich you may replace tomatoes with sundried tomatoes and add olives or jalapenos. Since I love my breakfast sandwich with less complication and simple flavours I preferred to keep it basic.

Coffee Choco Chip Cake

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Sometimes my love for coffee and chocolate gets into a war, and it becomes impossible for me to take sides.

So call it peace between the two, I decided to make a fusion cake this weekend. Result was a harmonious Coffee Choco Chip Cake. Here is the recipe of peace.

Ingredients:

  1. 1/2 cup fresh cream
  2. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  3. 2 tbs diluted coffee (see notes to know why diluted)
  4. 1 tsp chocolate essence
  5. a pinch cinnamon (See notes to know why cinnamon)
  6. 1 cup all purpose flour
  7. 1 tsp baking powder
  8. 1 pinch baking soda
  9. 1 pinch salt
  10. 2 tbs kahlua and bailey’s cream
  11. handful of chocolate chips (dark, milk or white)

 

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven on 200° C
  2. Mix all the wet ingredients in a bowl, sugar, fresh cream, eggs, essence, coffee. Add a pinch of cinnamon to the same. Beat the mixture till it is a little fluffy. Since its a tea cake, we are not trying to make it soft and fluffy.
  3. Sieve the dry ingredients together, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt. Add the mixture in the wet ingredients in small portions.
  4. Mix the batter till all the lumps are gone
  5. Add choco chips to the mixture, and slowly mix it to the batter
  6. Grease the baking tin and dust it with flour
  7. Add alcohol to the mixture and mix it well, and pour the mixture in the baking tin
  8. Put the batter for baking in the over, on 180° C, for 30-40 min or till well baked.

Take the cake out of oven, cut into small pieces and enjoy it till it’s still hot 🙂

Note:  The reason why I have added diluted coffee is because I feel that diluted coffee gives more flavor of coffee than adding coffee in powdered form. A pinch of Cinnamon gives the dish an earthier flavor and enhances the richness of coffee. This of course is just my opinion.

This one for my mother

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My mom, although the best cook on this planet as per me, is a very fussy eater. She would prefer not to eat stuff which is generally cooked by me.

I know it puts me in a wrong spot, but it’s simply because she is not a big fan of chocolates when it’s baked. And my baking generally revolves around chocolates as it’s my first love.

So while I was recovering from cold and lethargy over a boring Monday, I decided to makes something for my mom, for a change. She is big fan of ginger and lemon. She has to have her cup of lemon and ginger tea to make her day better.

My creation for my mum? Lemon and ginger cookies.

She loved them so much; she has already finished half the stock by herself, with no help what-so-ever from my Dad.

 Ingredients

  •  250gm butter
  • 250gm icing sugar
  • 250gm all purpose flour
  • One table spoon lemon rind
  • One teaspoon fresh ground ginger

  

Method:

  • Grate rind off a fresh lemon
  • Take a piece of ginger and roughly beat it up to create a kind of paste or rough small pieces. The aim is, that the pieces should not come in mouth while eating the cookies, but the flavor of the ginger should definately be there in the cookie 
  • In a bowl, mix butter, lemon rind, and ginger pieces. Beat it for some time till the butter is creamy
  • Add sugar to the mixture till mixture turns a little fluffy or doubles up a little
  • Add flour to the mixture.
  • If you feel the need, mix yellow color or lemon essence to the mixture, I on personal account prefer to keep the color and flavors as natural as possible.
  • Cover the mixture with a cling wrap and keep in the fridge for 30 min
  • Preheat the oven on 180° C
  • Take the mixture out of the fridge, take small piece of one teaspoon, make them in small balls and press, or you can give it a desired shape.
  • Put the cookies on a greased cookie plate and put it in the oven
  • Cook it for 15-20 min or till light golden brown
  • Take it out of the oven when done, and let it cool till it’s turned into crispy crunchy constancy

Note: If you want, you can keep the cookie batter in fridge and use to make fresh cookies everyday

Chocolate cookie

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When I think about baking, the name cookies give me fright. I was under the impression that cookies require more of baking knowledge and a perfect combination of oven temperature and cookie batter.

But being the stubborn idiot that I am, I decided to catch this cookie bull by its horn. And to my surprise, I learned that cookies are easier and less time consuming than my beloved cakes. The feeling was of pure ecstasy when in front of me was a jar full of crispy, yummy cookies waiting to be eaten.

Here is my story (read ingredients and method) of success

Ingredient

  • 125 gm unsalted butter
  • 85 gm powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 125 gm all purpose floor
  • 1 tbs dark coco powder (even normal coco powder will do)
  • Few chocolate chips for decoration
  • 

Method

  • Put your oven on a pre heat on 180° C
  • In bowl mix butter, sugar and vanilla essence till sugar has been mixed and mixture turns a little fluffy.
  • Add flour and cocoa powder and mix into dough.
  • Make small balls, of around one tsp quantity, of cookie balls.
  • Place it on greased baking plate and press them slightly to give a flatter shape.
  • Place a chocolate chip of your liking on the top for decoration; you can do without them as well if you want.
  • Put the tray in the pre heated oven for 12-15 min
  • Take them out, and let them cool. Cookies will be moist when you take them out of oven, you need not worry because they will grow hard and crispy as they cool down.

Your cookies are ready to be consumed by the cookie monster living inside each one of us 🙂

Happy munching and share your experiance with me, so I know how you liked them 😉

A quick fix up

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There are times when we wish to eat something yummy, something soulful and sinful. But we don’t really feel like going into the long lengthy preparations. Those are the times when our lazy self overtakes the chef side of us and we either stick to something not so amazing for our taste buds, or we switch to something that can be eaten in three easy steps of pick the packet, cut the packet and eat.

If only there was something like taste quick fixes.

I have one for me. Now I’m not saying that what I make is something that is as tasty as a gourmet meal well prepared, but it sure is something that makes me happy and keeps me away from those packet munchies.

One of my quick recipes is called 5 min corn-peas.

It’s basically a corn and pea salad, which taste best when served hot.

This is how the yumminess looks like, very colorful, just how I like it.

Ingredients

  • Small bowl of corn ears
  • Small bowl of peas
  • One small tomato finally chopped
  • One small cube of butter (optional)
  • Dried Italian herbs (Parsley and Basil are my fav choice)
  • Chili flakes
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper
  • 

Method

  • In a microwave safe oven, put corn ears and peas and fill the container till the contents are submerged in water.
  • Put the dish in microwave for 5-6 min to boil, settings would depend on your microwave. On general I put the content on micro high as per my microwave.
  • Once our corns and peas are boiled as per our liking, take the container out of microwave and drain the water out.
  • Add chopped tomato, Italian herbs, chili flakes, salt and pepper as per our taste and liking.
  • Add the butter on top; if you’re on a diet you can skip this step.
  • And lightly mix the ingredients till all is mixed and butter has melted.

Your quick fix of corn peas salad is ready and warm to be consumed.

P.S. – This is one healthy dish

Carrot Orange Muffin start

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The New Year has started with a nice sweet entry. It was a big bang for me, which is completely ok as far as I go. But since it was a new year, I had to make or bake something special to herald this new beginning.

So I thought of making something which I had not baked before. What better way I say. And the end result??? This marvellous looking golden coloured delight called Carrot and Orange muffins. As you can see and guess, in the enthusiasm to make something new, I ended up with a little bit extra batter, which turned into my tea cake.

Im sharing the recipe in hope that maybe you would like to try it out too. In case you do, don’t forget to let me know how you liked it or didn’t.

Ingredients:

  • 150 g – self raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 75 g – caster sugar
  • Finely grated 1 orange rind and juice
  • Medium sized 1 carrot grated
  • 100 ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoon fats/margarine
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 5 drops orange essence (optional)
  • Orange marmalade for glace

 

Method:

  • Preheat your oven on 200˚ C (400˚ F)
  • In a bowl, mix together milk, eggs, orange juice, margarine, nutmeg and essence.
  • In another bowl sift together flour and baking powder, mix it with a spoon and add grated carrot and orange rind.
  • Add the flour mixture to the liquid egg and milk mixture and mix until blended well. You do not have to beat it up till fluffy, like we do in the case of a sponge cake.
  • Line your muffin bowls with muffin paper cases and fill the cases two-third with the mixture. Incase you are making a tea cake, grease or line in your bread tin and pour in the mixture.
  • Cook in the preheated oven for 20-30 mins or till a skewer, when inserted, comes out clean.
  • Once cooked, take it out of the oven and take the muffins and place it on a tray or wire rack to cool. You can let the cake be in the mould till it cools down a little.
  • Brush the tops with marmalade and serve while its still warm and hot

 

End result 🙂

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