Archive for April, 2009

Puri (Fried Indian Flat Bread)

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

puri

Puris are flat bread that can be made savoury or spicy and puff up into balls when fried (if cooked and rolled out properly). Puris are considered to be a little treat, something different to the normal rotis. These savoury little balls were a little bit of naughty food, something that was not really healthy because it is fried as opposed to roasted. It used to be eaten mostly on special occasions or just to make a slight difference to the normal meal. Puris are good eaten as a snack or for breakfast / lunch or as a accompaniment to curries, or with sweet foods such as kheer (rice pudding) and shrikhand (made with yoghurt and sugar, saffron & nuts or fruit added to it). They also go well with mango pickle and equally with a nice hot cup of tea.

I remember my mother telling us to learn how to roll out small round shapes and allowing me and my sisters to make a few which used to be such an achievement when we actually came to eating them. Our father would help with the frying and always used to try and assure that each of the puris would become small round balls of yummy food. Last year while visiting my older sister in Hong Kong we made puris together and her younger daughter was helping us make little hearts and flowers shapes. My son enjoyed that, so now when ever I make at them at home he helps and makes little star shapes and ‘puri men’ and of course the cut-out of his hands. It is so much fun and then he says to everyone ‘I made them’ 🙂

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Leek & Potato Soup

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

leeks

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Leeks! Why did I not try these before now? It is the question I asked  myself when I bought them and made this soup the first time last month. They are visually amazing with wonderful layers and colours, so fresh and vibrant, just like the colours of new life coming up in Spring. Then there is the taste, subtle yet very distinct. Coming from the onion family it has a very delicate onion taste. I decided to use leeks to make a soup just to try the basic taste, not to mention many recipes I have read include putting leeks in soups and stews.

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Barfi Easter Eggs on Chocolate Cornflakes Nests

Friday, April 10th, 2009

easter-eggs

I have lots of fond memories of Easter when I was young because we would go away for short breaks to lake Malawi. Then when we moved to Birmingham from Malawi, Easter would mean coming over to London to visit relatives. All of us getting together, keeping in touch and having wonderful food, with lots of chocolate of course!! So exchanging easter eggs became a new tradition for us. After the initial binging on the easter eggs we would find creative ways of using the remaining chocolate.

Recently we went visiting relatives and in a conversation we were having, as the children were given easter eggs, was – “how much we pay for a hollow egg – just chocolate !  It should be filled ??!!”. My cousin (Raju) and I were talking about it and she mentioned a conversation she had with her son Rushil about how to make a filled easter egg. So this recipe is his patent idea! I loved his idea of making pistachio barfi and then coating it with chocolate. As I got thinking about it more, I thought let me give his idea a go and this year give everyone home made easter eggs. So I made orange flavoured barfi then coated them with chocolate and placed them on crunchy nests made with chocolate covered cornflakes. The result – wonderful fun thing to do with children over easter and the taste match made in heaven – orange and chocolate 🙂

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Scrambled Tofu

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

scrambled-tofu

Tofu is fairly recent regular addition to my kitchen /cooking. It is very similar to paneer, which is an Indian cheese that does not have any particular taste and can be used for sweet and savoury recipes. As a result I use tofu more regularly. It absorbs all the flavours and hence makes it very versatile.

A few years ago I bought a basic quick vegetarian recipe book from a supermarket and Scrambled Tofu was one of the recipes in it. It was a simple red capsicum, tofu and chives scramble. I like the idea and added a few other ingredients to give extra taste and flavour to the tofu. This is a good breakfast / brunch recipe, or even to eat as a healthy snack and a good alternative to scrambled eggs.

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