Thai recipes

Thai recipes are different from Indian recipes but taste good with different names. Here we want to provide different Thai recipes to try when planning for a trip to Thailand.

Cranberry Kafir Lime Refresher

It was a delicious combination of thinly sliced loot root dusted with flour and deep fried then tossed in the sweet and sour dip. To accompany this was a refreshing Cranberry Kafir Lime Refresher.

Salads

There were four different varieties of salads in the next course. I loved the Raw Mango Salad which was made of shredded raw Thai mango in a tamarind dressing and Pomelo Salad. A Pomelo is a South Asian fruit and it was tossed with peanuts and served in a spicy Thai dressing. The other two salads were Larbkai – Minced chicken served mixed with mint leaves and roasted rice and Beans and Bamboo Shoot Salad – Juliennes of green beans, bamboo shoot black fungus and water chestnut tossed in light soy, sesame and red chili dressing.

Appetizer

For appetizers, we were served Grilled Prawns – Tiger prawns in black pepper sauce with some spring onions. Roast Duck – Roasted duck served with cucumber, leeks and a plum sauce. This is a house specialty and the process of making this is fascinating and tedious. This dish is truly a labor of love. Chicken Satay – Grilled chicken on bamboo skewer served with peanut sauce. And finally Crispy Morning Glory – Flour dusted, batter fried and topped with sweet chili dressing. This was a show stopper. The tempura batter fried morning glory was delicious and crisp on the outside and had an amazing crunch. Chef Rajiv let us in on a secret. He told us that to make a really good tempura batter add an egg yolk to the flour and cold water batter and you will get crispier fries.

Soup

The Laksha was a delicious combination of coconut milk and seafood broth served with noodles, egg, and shrimps. It was even better than the few Lakshas I had tasted on my trip to Singapore.

Main course

The Main Course is that we began this with the delicious Singaporean Chili Crab – the Whole piece of crab cooked (steamed and stir-fried) in homemade Singaporean chili sauce. The crab was fresh and the sauce was delicious in its sweet and sour avatar. I really loved the Chicken Rendang Curry – A rich spicy curry with the base of coconut, lemongrass, and chilies. The flavors of the different ingredients were an amazing symphony. The Sambal Beans – Long beans cooked in sambal sauce, were a new experience and were delicious. We also had Stir-fry Baby Pokchoy,

Penang Vegetable Curry – Mild Thai curry with the base of coconut, lemongrass, and turmeric.

Meegoreng Vegetable – Malaysian style wok fried noodles (mama style refined flour) tossed in light curry sauce with vegetables, Steamed Pomfret – Deboned Pomfret steamed with ginger and spring onion, served in superior soya sauce and Egg Fried Rice.

The meal was completed with an assortment of delicious desserts. The Icekachang which constitutes – shaved ice, milk, custards and fruits served with different jellies was a perfect end to the delicious meal. We were also served Black rice pudding – Sticky black rice pudding with coconut glaze and Fried ice-cream – Vanilla ice-cream, deep fried in homemade buns. So, if you are looking to eat so delicious and authentic South Asian Cuisine, look no further, head straight to Mei Kun for an amazing and memorable evening.

Pickled Cucumbers

My introduction to pickled cucumbers was through my first Subway sandwich. I was fascinated by all the layers of ingredients that were being piled up on my 6” sub and agreed to add all the different fresh and pickled ingredients they had to offer. My first bit into the sub sent me to a crunchy, gooey heaven of goodness. Then I decided to open up the sub and analyze all the new elements that they had piled in. My first discovery was a rather limp piece of cucumber that I thought had gone bad. I promptly went back to the counter and showed it to the manager. He looked at me with a ‘which planet are you from’ look and said, “Ma’am this is a pickled cucumber. It is supposed to be like this.” Well, I was a small town girl new to the big city, but I wasn’t impressed. I pulled all the pickled cucumbers out of the sub and that was that.

Then with time and more subs I realized that pickled cucumber is actually rather delicious, it just depends on which outlet you choose to eat your sub. Yes, all the outlets differ when it comes to the taste of the ingredients, their freshness and also how they are made.

However, it was only recently that I was inspired to pickle some cucumbers myself and that was after seeing this delicious Bread and Butter Pickle on the Brown Eyed Baker. That jar, of pickled cucumbers with the thin strings of onions and mustard and celery seeds, had me hypnotized. I just had to make myself a jar and it came out delicious and heavenly. Add them to your sandwiches, into your salads or pour some of that delicious vinegar into your green chutney for a different flavor, this pickle will fill your life with delicious wonder. Have fun & go pickle.

Cucumbers (thinly sliced) 2 cups

Salt ¾ tbsp.

Onion (thinly sliced) ½ cup

Granulated sugar ½ cups

White vinegar ½ cups

Apple cider vinegar ¼ cups

Brown sugar 1/8 cup

Yellow mustard seeds ¾ tbsp.

Eggless Peach Cardamom Cake and some Sugar craft

Eggless Peach Cardamom Cake and some Sugarcraft

It has been quite a while since this place has been silent. I have even received a few emails from fellow bloggers asking my whereabouts. Those emails have lifted my spirit and made me realize that it is possible to have close connections with people who are continents and cities apart as they can still have a deep impact. My son turned 1 on 30 July 2014. We celebrated with family and friends and had an amazing time. The young toddler is now walking and talking and turning the home upside down with his naughtiness. It has been a roller coaster ride. From a very comfortable and event-less pregnancy to a recovery that really pulled me down, now I am back to my former self, though quite a few kilograms heavier, but working on that too.

I am in the process of finding my new self its place in the scheme of things. A baby really does change everything, albeit for the good. After all his bright shining eyes and his toothy smile makes even the worst days seem better. He is the permanent silver lining in the cloud, my north star. Even though I have gone back to planning my life and future again, he has the primary spot in it.

I have been baking and cooking all this while. It has been me go to a thing on days when I have been low and stressed or just plain bored. The one thing that I did not do was click pictures or write. I resolve to change that. The pictures may not be very well planned and beautifully executed, but I will write. It helps me unwind my sole to people I know really understand me. Well, enough for now. Let’s talk cake. This recipe was sent to me by my sister. A lady who is an amazing cook, but way to lazy to write a blog. This cake comes out beautifully soft and delicious and its beauty lies in the fact that it can be adapted in many different forms by the creative mind. So here is to simple beauty and food for creativity.

Eggless Peach Cardamom Cake

Notes

  • When I say yogurt it means the thick curd that comes from straining the watery part out. This does not need to get to the hung curd stage. It just needs for the water to drain gently but still be soft.
  • Flour Dusting: simply mean tossing your peaches in a tbsp. of flour and then straining the excess flour out. This helps in the even distribution of the peaches in the batter. If you don’t do this all the peaches will sink to the bottom while baking and give you a sticky base.

Ingredients

All-purpose flour 1 ½ cups

Baking powder 1/2 tsp. for the eggless peach cardamom cake

Baking soda 1 ¼ tsp.

Yogurt 1 cup

Sugar 1 cup

Oil ½ cup for the eggless cake

Vanilla essence 1 tsp. for the eggless cake

Dried and flour dusted peaches/apricots ½ cup

Peach Cardamom Jam 1 tbsp.

Preparation

Preheat the oven at 180ºC for 10 minutes and grease a round or square 8” baking dish.

  • Beat the sugar and yogurt for around 3-4 minutes with an electric beater and set the beater aside.
  • Add in the baking powder and baking soda and give it a good mix by hand. Let the batter sit for 2-3 minutes till the mix becomes foamy and increases in volume.
  • Add in the oil and the essence and mix in with a light hand.
  • Fold in the flour into the creamy batter but be careful not to over mix.
  • Add in the dusted peaches and fold.
  • Bake for 35-50 minutes. Do the skewer test to see when the cake is done.
  • While still warm poke a few holes on the top of the cake and drizzle with the peach cardamom jam. If the jam is too thick simply add in 1 tbsp. of water and heat a bit to make it syrupy.

Enjoy!!!

Vegan Chocolate Cake

I have been reading about the concept of veganism for quite some time now. The history – how and when the concept came into being, the basic philosophy behind the idea, when the term was coined and the different aspects and form of veganism that are followed all over the world.

Who are Vegans?

However, in India, the concept of vegetarianism is time immemorial. There are different forms of vegetarianism here. The three distinct ones that I can understand are 1. Vegetarians, who will not consume onions and garlic, but consume milk. 2. Vegetarians, who will consume onions and garlic and eggs only in cakes. 3. Vegetarians who will not consume any animal products or by-products. The third category can be clearly classified as vegan, but again it is not essentially a lifestyle choice, it is about religious practices in most cases.

One of the bigger differences I understand is that vegans do not consume any form of animal products. This leads to making baked goods a rather tricky job. However, with a little permutation and combination, all can be managed just fine. So, I did try to make a few changes myself and also tried out a few recipes from blogs. The best result is what I am presenting today.

  • The recipe below has been halved. The original recipe can be found in the link above.
  • The cold coffee can be substituted with water. However, the coffee does impart a rather unique flavor to the cake.
  • The batter must not be over mixed. It will cause the dough to become tough. Mix only till the ingredients all a well combined.

Preparation

Flour 1.5 cups

Sugar 1 cup

Cocoa 1/2 cup

Cold Coffee 1 cup

Oil 1/3 cup

Salt ½ tsp

Vanilla essence 1 tsp

Baking soda 1 ¼ tsp.

White vinegar 1 tsp.

  • Preheat the oven at 180ºC for 10 minutes. Grease and line a 9” round or square cake dish.
  • Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, coffee or water, oil, salt, and vanilla essence till it forms a smooth batter.
  • Mix the baking soda and vinegar until soda is dissolved. The mix will sizzle when the soda hits the vinegar. Quickly add it to the batter and stir till the solution is thoroughly incorporated. Pour into your baking dish. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean from the middle of the cake which shows that the cake is completely cooked.

Two Seed Crackers

Cookbooks are acquired when we feel this strong attraction towards them. When we really like the recipes we read, when we love a certain author, when we get them as gifts and in my case when I salvaged a huge pile of them from office. They were about to be sold as scrap. So I jump into a huge pile and pull out as many of them as I could. On a closer inspection back home a few turned out to be total disappointments but I did find a few gems as well. We provide you the recipe of the Two Seed Crackers.

Where can you find such recipes?

This recipe comes from a book that is a compilation of recipe and it is published by Bay Books, an imprint of Murdoch Books Pty Limited, Australia. It has no author and has no interesting stories or anecdote. Plain recipes developed by the Murdoch Books Test Kitchen and brilliant pictures to compliment. This is my first recipe from this book. Each recipe gives you a feeling. The ingredients used, the process followed, the complications or simplicities, it is like an adventure with a preview of what to expect.

Simple Ingredients

The two seed cracker is a simple recipe. Just 6 basic ingredients, always easily available in pantries made mouth-watering cookies. The process of putting together the cracker is rather simple and the baking time given in the recipe is near perfect. The complication for me occurred during the rolling process. The recipe talks about adding a little extra liquid to help bring the dough together. I think I added too much and then when it got sticky I added flour and things got a little out of hand. So I am not sure whether this is how the crackers are supposed to really turn out. I think they are meant to be flaky and less dense. However, this is a good cracker to serve with jam or salsa as the snack. A little more salt and pepper and they could pass off as tea time cookies.

Two Seed Crackers Preparation

Makes: 30 crackers.

Notes

  • I will reduce the number of seeds to 1 tbsp. each. Each mouthful has too many seeds.
  • This is not a recipe to make during Indian summers. Poppy seeds and sesame seeds are meant to heat the body and thus these are best made during the cold winters.
  • I’ll try replacing a little flour with whole wheat flour to see how it turns out.
  • The cookie dough should be a smooth ball. To crumbly or too watery won’t work. It will get stuck to the parchment paper while rolling.

Plain all-purpose flour 2 cups

Baking powder 1 tsp.

Poppy seeds 2 tbsp

Sesame seeds 2 tbsp

Butter 60 grams, chilled n chopped

Iced water 125 ml

  • Pre-heat oven at 180ºC for 10 minutes.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
  • Add in the seeds and some pepper and stir.
  • Add in the butter and work it into the flour with hands to get to a grainy texture.
  • Add in the ice cold water and mix with a knife. Do not knead.
  • Add a little more water to form a ball but be careful to add a tsp at a time.
  • Once the softball is formed, roll half the dough between sheets of parchment paper to 2mm thickness. To be on the safe side sprinkle the parchment paper with just a little flour.
  • Cut to small rounds and bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or till golden. Do not knead the leftover cookie dough after cutting, just gather it together gently, roll and cut.

Earthquake Cookies

This month is going to be all about cookies. With an almost 2-year-old toddler on hand, I am running out of snacking options really fast. Especially because he does not have anything close to a sweet tooth. He likes his savory food to the hilt and main meals are always quite manageable. What has me really in a fix is a quick snack that can be made ahead and is something he will lap up happily. A cookie seems like a really good option in this category. However, this cookie has nothing to do with my toddler as this was way too sweet and chocolaty for his liking. This is for mommies’ indulgence. Here we provide you with passion the recipe of Earthquake Cookies.

Tips for preparation

These cookies are out of the world good and come from Baking – A Commonsense Guide. I think I am going to focus on this book. This is the second recipe out of this book and I really love it. I have another recipe for the same cookie on the blog under Crack cookies. That recipe is equally good and used olive oil as the fat content is less.

  • You can substitute olive oil in place of butter. I have given the measurement in the main recipe.
  • Don’t go overboard with the chocolate. Stick to the exact quantity or reduce the amount of sugar comparatively. I added an estimated amount of chocolate as I had some on hand that was already melted. I knew I was adding extra. It made the cookies overly sweet.
  • If you divide the dough to the exact number as in the recipe the baking time is perfect.
  • I have made two batches. One with butter and the other with olive oil. They both came out equally good.
  • When mixing the butter and brown sugar I mixed them in my grinder to get the sugar to powder form. You can do that to the sugar before adding to the butter. Brown sugar naturally is sticky as compared to normal white sugar. I have always powdered it first and then used it in the recipes. However, I had a problem while powdering it this time and had to add the fat to help the process. It could have been because of the summer heat.
  • My butter, sugar and vanilla mix never reached the light and creamy stage. It became smooth, but the fat was separate. It only came together when I added the eggs. So this is the stage my mix became light and creamy.
  • If you use olive oil the rolling process may get messy during the summers.

Ingredients

Unsalted butter 125 grams (cubed & softened)

Or

Olive oil 100 grams

Soft brown sugar 2 cups

Vanilla essence 1 tsp

Eggs 2

Dark chocolate 60 grams (melted)

Milk 80 ml

Plain flour 2 ¾ cups

Cocoa powder 2 tbsp

Baking powder 2 Tsp

Ground Allspice ¼ tsp (didn’t add)

Chopped pecan nuts 85 grams (didn’t add)

Icing sugar for coating

Making of Earthquake cookies:

  • Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla essence until light and creamy.
  • Add in one egg at a time and mix well.
  • Stir in the chocolate and milk.
  • Sift in all the dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Refrigerate the mix for 3 hours to overnight.
  • Line two baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Preheat the oven at 180C and then roll ½ tbsp. full of mixture into balls and roll it in icing sugar and finally place it on the baking sheets 2” apart.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • Cool completely.

Enjoy!!!

A Delectable Indian Feast

Dinner time in India can be a wonderful experience, with whole families coming together to sit around a table and partake of several different types of food – some savory, some sweet, some spicy, but all delicious. While sitting down for an Indian feast is amazing, and all guests are sure to enjoy it, preparing for the party can be a completely different experience. There are hundreds of thousands of delicious dishes in Indian cuisine, and often, the struggle comes from deciding what to prepare, especially if you’re not very familiar with Indian dishes. With so many wonderful options, you may want to consider using a quick bingo game to plan out your menu. Let me see in detail about a Delectable Indian Feast, all With a Round of Bingo.

Variety of food with themes

Bingo isn’t quite as archaic a game as it’s often thought to be. In fact, some years ago, when the show National Bingo Night premiered in India, it broke records for the highest television viewership ratings (TVR) for an opening night. Bingo is also becoming a rather popular game in other areas of the world, and Free Bingo Hunter, a website dedicated to cataloging bingo portals, has shown that there are now hundreds of bingo websites operating in the UK, each with its different theme and take on the classic game.

The game’s versatility has led to it being used by various different causes as well; even to promote healthy eating choices among kids. By making your own custom bingo cards, you could take the hassles away from planning out a full menu for your next Indian dinner party.

Indian plate

The nine components of an Indian meal are listed down to plan for a bingo card. The nine components are Condiments, Salad, Snacks, Raita, Dal, Curry, Rice, Mithai, and Beverages as an initial step to plan dinner. Once you have all the options listed down, use a free bingo card generator to arrange the items into two bingo cards, arranging the items so each column is dedicated to one component. Indian food is enjoyed along with starters, desserts, and beverages. Indian food is spicy and tasty with a huge variety of food. The VIP personalities like Mrs. Hillary Clinton (US Secretary of states) visited India and enjoyed the Indian food in the year July 2009. The Menu served to her was fresh tropical fruit juices, dal bukdhara, snacks (paneer tikka, tandoori aloo, murgh malai kebab, tandoori jhinga, and seekh kebab), mixed raita, Main entree, naan, and kulfi. There are so many simple recipes from India like the curd rice with pickle and the roti with Lehsun-chatni (ground garlic, salt, and pepper).

Condiments mean pickles, murabba means sweet preserves prepared with mango or bottle gourd, papad, chatni. The salad consists of onions, sliced tomatoes, sticks of mooli, sliced cucumber, wedges of limes, matchsticks fresh ginger-root, fresh green hot chili peppers with salt, ground cayenne and few drops of sirka (sugarcane vinegar) is used for the dressing. Snacks consist of deep fried foods, dry cooked kebab, and chaat. Raita is like a cold soup prepared with yogurt. Different types of raitas are onion raita, tomato raita, cucumber raita etc. Dal can be prepared with urad dhal (black beans), moong dal (green mung beans), toor dhal (pigeon-peas) and cholay (chickpeas). There are so many types of curries like the stir-fry and soupy. Some curries are also prepared as non-vegetarian curry like the goat, meat. The staple food can be rice, Naan or Roti. Sweets and desserts are of many types in South India and north India.

Plan your Dinner

Number the items from 1-5 vertically, and when you’re ready to play, roll a die and list down the dish that corresponds to the number you rolled. Rolling a six means you can choose whichever dish you want to serve. Do this for each of the components, until you have a full meal planned out!

Telapia in Mustard Gravy

The availability of a variety of fish is not very common in India. Certain areas in metros may offer you a good variety of fish. However, when it comes to small towns and cities, the only good fish available is locally produced and sourced. So, I grew up in an environment where a fixed variety of 4 – 5 kinds of fish were easily available, fresh and of good quality.

I was never a great fan of eating fish. So, my connection with fish was formed after I married a complete fishitarian. I slowly started learning to cook and appreciate fish. Then I made a friend who is a complete foodie and fish lover and my knowledge of fish and its varieties increased.

In this whole process of discovery and experiment, I discovered Telapia. So the very first preparation, like a true blue Bengal had to be with sorshebatta/mustard paste. The fish took on the flavor of the mustard beautifully and it made a great combination with steamed rice for a sumptuous lunch.

Preparation

  • When cleaning any small fish always remove the balloon near the throat. That is one of the main things that burst when the fish is fried.
  • Also clean all the scales close to the fins well. Those are the places that fish seller ignore to give a thorough cleaning and you don’t want fish scales in your food.
  • Smoothly skinned fish is more prone to bursting. The trick to reducing the chances is to also apply 1 tbsp of mustard oil along with the salt and turmeric while marinating. However, this is not the ultimate solution when frying all types of fish. Always be very cautious while frying fish. All kinds of fish burst with oil now and then when cooking.
  • Soak the mustards in ½ cup of hot water for ½ hour before making a paste.
  • It is best to use a Sil-batta for the paste, but a good wiz in the chutney grinder will also do the job.

Tilapia 2-3 pieces/250 grams

Salt ½ tsp

Turmeric powder ¼ tsp

Mustard oil ½ cup

Kala Jeera/Kaloinji ½ Tsp

Green chillies 2 – 3 (slit)

Black mustard seeds ½ tbsp

Yellow mustard seeds ½ tbsp

Green chilies 2

Onions 1 (finely chopped)

Garlic 2 – 3 pieces (finely chopped)

Red chilli powder ¼ tsp

Turmeric powder ¼ tsp

Salt to taste

Sugar ¼ tsp

  • Wash the fish thoroughly and clean the insides well. Marinade with salt, turmeric powder and 1 tbsp of mustard oil and set aside for 30 minutes.
  • Make the mustard paste with black mustard, yellow mustard and green chillies.
  • Heat the mustard oil in a heavy bottomed kadhai and let smoke. Switch off the heat and let the smoke disappear completely. Now switch on the heat and keep on low and slowly and carefully slide in the fish 2 pieces at a time.
  • Increase the heat to medium and fry for 1 minute on both sides. If the oil gets too hot then lower the heat. The fish should be lightly fried.
  • Once the fish is fried, reduce the oil to 2 tbsps. Add the kalonji and green chillies to the oil and let crackle.
  • Add the chopped onions and fry till translucent.
  • Add in the chopped garlic and fry.
  • Add the turmeric powder and red chili powder and fry.
  • Now add 1 cup of hot water and bring to a boil.
  • Add in the fish and cover and cook till almost done.
  • Add in the mustard paste and bring to a boil.
  • Switch off the gas and add 1 tbsp of mustard oil and cover and let rest.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice.

Enjoy !!!

Simple Sugar Cookie

The concept of a good homemade cookie has always fascinated me. Those delicious well-balanced flavors that crumble and melt in the mouth at the same time fill my mind with fantasies. I have tried quite a few recipes and even though I have liked most of them I have been waiting for the perfect one. For me, a perfect recipe is one that I will go to every time I want to make a particular dish.
A sugar cookie is a very simple recipe. Yet, finding one that has a good balance is difficult. After having tried a few different recipes this is one that I will make over and over again. The sugar content is perfect for it to be had as a plain cookie and a little decoration will completely transform it into something beautiful.
I have always been a huge fan of all the beautiful delicacies that are made by Heather at Sprinkle Bakes. So when I read that she was releasing a book I just had to get myself a copy. This is the first recipe in the book and the first one I have tried and I love it. I am looking forward to making all of these beauties.
Simple Sugar Cookies

Preparation
(Adapted from the book: Sprinkle Bakes)
Butter softened 100 grams
Granulated sugar ½ cups
Egg, lightly beaten 1
Vanilla essence ½ Tsp.
All-purpose flour/Maida 2 cups
Notes :
•The original recipe had salt in the list which I did not add as I was using salted Amul butter.
•The recipe I have made is half of the original recipe. However, I decided to add in the full egg which made the batter soft and I further added ½ cup Maida, thus the quantity is 2 cups.
•The next time I make this recipe I will add ¾ cup sugar. Or use half an egg and keep the Maida at 1 ½ cups.
•The dough softens very quickly if you follow my recipe. But it rolls out beautifully and is firm for 5 – 7 minutes. So ready all your ammunition before pulling it out of the fridge. Also during summers, it is best rolled out in an a.c. room.
•I will remake this recipe with ½ eggs and report the changes.
Since I have given so May options it is only fair I give you the original to compare with.
Butter, softened 2 sticks/ ½ pound
Granulated sugar 1 cup plus 2 tbsp.
Egg, lightly beaten 1
Vanilla extracts 1 Tsp
All-purpose flour, plus more for rolling 3 cups
Pinch of salt
Procedure:
•Mix the butter and sugar till just incorporated. You may use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand blender. Do not over mix or the cookies will spread while baking.
• Mix the egg and vanilla essence with low speed

•Add the flour and mix on low till a dough forms.
•The texture of the dough should not be sticky. Wrap the dough tightly in a clip wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
•Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
•Work on a well-floured working area and knead the dough slightly and flatten to a disc.
•With a floured rolling pin, roll dough to ¼” thickness.
•Cut out desired shapes and transfer to baking sheet.
•Refrigerate for 30 minutes. This will help the cookies hold their shape while baking.
•Preheat oven at 175ºC.
•Bake for 15 -20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes: 15 (3 inches) cookies

This cookie tastes really great and to impart the habit of eating healthy food preparation and give these cookies for the snacks temptation of your kids.