Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Royal Falooda

Refreshing Summer Drink
My at-home version


Summertime!! The weather is all heated up and you need to cool your body down! Hydration is the key of course! But, my favourite part of summer is having an excuse to indulge a little too much on ice-creams and anything chill, without the fear of falling sick! ;) Here's a perfect recipe you might want to try on a beautiful summer weekend! Refreshing and Enticing! Have a great weekend folks!! :)

It's tough to give an accurate measure! But, I'll try my best! :)

Ingredients :







Basil seeds
-

1 teaspoon per serving
Vermicelli
-

1 tablespoon per serving
Jelly
-

1 sachet
Pistachios (crushed)
-

1 tablespoon per serving
Strawberry syrup
-

As required
Fresh or canned fruits
-

As required
Rose essence
-

2-3 drops per serving
Cold Fresh Milk
-

1/2 cup per serving



(depending on the glass size)
Ice-cream



(any 2 flavours. Preferably
Kulfi, Vanilla, Pineapple or strawberry)
-

1 scoop each per serving



Preparation Method :

Basil seeds are usually available in all Asian-stores. It's basically the seeds of Basil and is believed to have many health benefits. I cannot acclaim any of the benefits since its all just heard from here and there. I've heard that, when it's added to sweet drinks, it neutralizes the effects of sugars, since it naturally controls the blood sugar level. Nooo idea! :) I have also heard that it helps cool the body. Again, I have no idea how much of that's true!! :) Anyway, let's move on.. :)


Soak them in lukewarm water and leave aside for 10 minutes. I'd like to do this the night before and leave it covered in the refrigerator. Just before using sieve it and rinse it with some cold water and scoop from the top.


Into a pan, add the vermicelli and pour in some boiling water, add a pinch of salt, stir well and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat.


Then sieve it and rinse in cold water. Strain off all the water and allow to cool. Once cooled, transfer into a refrigerator friendly container and refrigerate. I'd like to do this the night before as well. But, if you want it cool quickly, keep in the freezer for an hour or two.


Make your Jelly! choose the strawberry flavour. Instructions on how to make the jelly would be printed on the packet. Usually it's 
1. Empty the powder in the sachet into a bowl.  
2. Add a cup of boiling water to it to dissolve the crystals.


3. Then add a cup of chilled water. 
4. Pour into a flat dish. 
5. Refrigerate.


Crush some pistachio. You could also add some almonds.


Now, it's all about assembling the layers.. Make sure you use a long glass. Into the walls of the glass, swirl some strawberry syrup and pour some into the bottom of the glass.


Next add the crushed nuts.


Next add some fresh or canned fruits of your choice. Usually mangoes, pears, papaya and pineapple. 



Top that with some jelly and then the soaked basil seeds.


Then add the cooked and chilled vermicelli. Pour on a dash of the strawberry syrup again.


Then, flavour some chilled milk with couple of drops of Rose essence. Then pour in the milk to half way through. 


This is a really stomach filling drink, therefore, less is more! I'd recommend never to top it to the brim. It will be difficult to mix and enjoy.


Then, scoop out the two flavours of ice-cream. I like mine with Kulfi / strawberry/ pineapple and vanilla ice-cream.


 Top it with some more of the jelly.


For the finishing touch, garnish with some nuts.


.. and here we go! The most Refreshing and Enticing delight ever! :)



Make sure you serve it with a long spoon. Before drinking, gently stir so that all the flavours blend. Choice is your's. Enjoy! :)


Friday, April 18, 2014

Wildfire Chicken

Deep-fried Chicken in hot and spicy Peri-Peri sauce
My version


To shortly describe, I'd say, "a recipe that's 'Wildly Fiery Delicious'". Spicy enough to get your nose sniffling, but not as much to stream tears down your eyes! :) 

So, it turns out that even people who are non-spicy eaters, could enjoy a dish, if it is yummy! :) I say so, 'coz I myself am quite fussy when it comes to overly spicy food. Can't handle the aftermath heartburn! Though I feared a tummy ache with the fieriness, this was absolutely gentle on the expected trouble! My dad who is equally sensitive to spicy food too enjoyed this dish without a heartburn! Which I believe should be a sign that it's courteous to one's health! 

Courtesy for the name 'Wildfire Chicken' goes to my brother :) Thank you :)

Ingredients :







Chicken (Boneless breast piece)
-

200 g




For the marinade :







Soy sauce
-

1 tablespoon
Corn flour
-

1 tablespoon
White pepper powder
-

1 teaspoon
Black pepper powder
-

1 teaspoon
Egg
-

1 no.
Salt
-

To taste
Peanut oil or Vegetable oil (to fry)
-

1 cup




For the Stir-fry :







Peanut oil or Olive oil
-

2 tablespoons
Ginger
-

2 inch piece
Green chilli
-

4 mildly spicy
Garlic
-

5-6 large cloves
Red Chilli flakes
-

1 teaspoon
Spring onion (chopped)
-

1/2 cup
Black pepper powder
-

1 teaspoon
Soy sauce
-

1 teaspoon
Tomato sauce
-

1 tablespoon
Extra Hot Peri-Peri sauce
-

1 tablespoon
Salt
-

To taste.
Bell peppers (red/green/ yellow/ orange)
-

1/2 of each
Celery
-

1 long stem
Corn flour
-

1 tablespoon
Water
-

1 cup

Preparation Method :

Marinade :

Into a mixing bowl, add the soy sauce and corn flour.


Add the white and black pepper powder.


Add the egg and salt to taste. Do not forget that soy sauce is already seasoned with salt. So add salt accordingly.


Whisk everything into a fine marinade. Add the washed and cubed or striped chicken pieces and marinate well. Cover and refrigerate this for 2 hours.


Heat the vegetable oil in a wok and deep-fry the marinated chicken pieces. Once they are golden brown, drain them on a kitchen towel.


Finely chop the Green chilli, Garlic and Ginger.


Heat oil in a wok and add the finely chopped mixture and sauté. Add the Red chilli flakes and sauté for a minute on high heat.


Add the chopped spring onion and crushed black pepper and continue sautéing.


Add the soy sauce and the tomato sauce. Please do not use the thick soy sauce. You could use tomato ketchup or in case you would want to use homemade tomato puree, add half a teaspoon of sugar extra.


Then goes in the key ingredient, The Extra Hot Peri-Peri sauce. If peri-peri sauce isn't available at your nearest store, you could also make a paste of 1 or 2 peri-peri chillies with a teaspoon of vinegar. Peri-peri or piri piri or also called African bird's eye chilli is a very hot red chilli.


Sauté that well and season with salt.


Wow! I just love those colours :) Bliss! :) :) :)


Into that, add the diced bell peppers and celery.


Sauté that well and allow it to cook for 2-3 minutes on high heat. I like the peppers a little raw and crunchy. Let's not overcook and deprive it of its nutrients, flavour and colour. 


Add the deep fried chicken pieces in this and sauté well.


Sauté that for 2-3 minutes until the chilli and sauces stick well onto the chicken pieces.


Now reduce the heat and allow that to cook on low flame for another 2 minutes. Then mix the corn flour in a little water and pour that onto the chicken and stir well.  If you want a little gravy, you could pour in a little hot water. But make sure you do not add too much water! Bring the gravy to a quick boil, turn off the flame and cover with a lid and leave for 2 minutes.


Goes well with steamed rice, fried rice, noodles or even with bread. Choice is yours. :) 


Serves 6-7 people.

Hope you enjoy it with all the sniffle :) Warn you! It's really Hot! :)




Wednesday, April 2, 2014

SUNRISE

(Refreshing Fruit Punch) 

My version



It's the beginning of warm and humid in this part of the world I live in, which means time for more liquids into one's diet. Hydration is the key! This time around, I suppose it's almost a similar story in most parts of the world. Well, eating fruits whole is considered more healthy and ideal. But, sometimes it's 'something better than nothing'.. :) My mom is a very health conscious person who believes in incorporating "healthy" into anything and everything she serves us and wouldn't fail to remind us of the benefits of incorporating each colour of fruits and vegetables into our diet. I sure have lots to learn from her, considering my easy going attitude sometimes.. ;)  

If you aren't much of a fruit and vegetable eater or if you have kids who are very fussy about eating fruits in general or certain fruits, (like how I hate eating fresh guava and pomegranates 'coz the seeds get stuck to my teeth) then, the best alternative is to consume fruits as juice.. I know so many moms out there, who have to try all possible tactics to get that little fruit factor into their kids! Some blend in as many different fruits possible into one drink, ending up ruining the whole juice.. and the colour definitely wouldn't be appealing enough.. What if both those are taken care of?? :) well, try this one then. Trust me, not only is it appealing to the eyes, but, each sip tastes unique.. YES! I mean it! :)

SUNRISE?? Well, my husband named it so.. :)  A perfect name for a colourful treat and yes, an appropriate title best suited for a new come back in a long while.. :)


I am in for the season's freshest and most flavorful produces, because I personally do not like refined sugar poisoned into my juices and smoothies. Seasonal fruits are naturally flavorful and sweet. But, sometimes freezing and saving certain fruits come handy throughout the year. It's not always possible to have fresh fruits at home, I know. Well sometimes the bottled juices help too. I'd recommend the 'no sugar added' ones. It sure comes handy when you want to fix up something brilliant in a jiffy for guests who walk in totally unexpected or want to serve something exotic and fancy for a party. If you are extracting your own fresh fruit juice at home, make sure you soak your fruits in water with vinegar and salt before thoroughly washing them. And yes! I like my fruits cold during summers.. :)

You don't have to stick strictly to my recipe. Try being creative and adventurous.. :)

Ingredients :







Apple juice



Mango Puree



Strawberry juice



Guava juice



Mixed berry juice





Preparation Method :

What makes this juice unique from any other is the way it is layered. Each fruit pulp floats one above the other in its own distinctiveness. Therefore every sip you take is unique and magical. Shifting from one flavour to another in itself brings in a burst of new flavours in the mouth.. :) Trust me, it's more like a piece of art and a game of combining varying tastes, densities, textures, and of course colours.. Work your magic, and delight your family and friends in amazement.. :)

Base the glass with a light juice first. I choose apple juice. The bottled one in this case.


Next, gently pour down the mango puree in a way that it slides down the wall of the glass into the apple juice without mixing with it. It should be easy.. But, sometimes, you may require a little practice to perfect.. I like some chunks of mangoes going in with it for a slight chew..



Next, pick some fresh and sweet strawberries and blend them really well.. Make sure the strawberries aren't sour.. If you are using the bottled ones, make sure it's thick and not of a watery consistency.


Follow the same step of gently pouring it down the wall of the glass into the apple and mango.


Next I choose Guava. blend well and sieve away the seeds. It has a perfect thick consistency. So now we have a Brown, Yellow, Red and off-White colour incorporated..



Kiwi would be nice as well for a tint of green. But, it wouldn't have been 'Sunrise' then ;) 
Finally some bloody red mixed berries..



You could also try incorporating Pineapple, Kiwi, Orange etc.. But, for a guaranteed success, I recommend following my choice of fruits. :)


Hoping this recipe would gain you a lot of compliments.. Don't forget to share your experiences here.. :)