Scary Menu for the Halloween Party

Hey pals! Hope you my Halloween cocktails were spooky enough to be on the menu list of Halloween cocktails. I have yet amazing stuff to stuff you with. Check out my scary menu right away.

Deadly Meatloaf
Deadly Meatloaf

Deadly Meatloafs – There is flesh (minced beef), there is blood (tomato sauce), there are eyeballs (mashed potato) and teeth (stir-fried onions) and this is what makes a perfect meatloaf for the Halloween’s dinner table. Take a wok and add in ginger-garlic paste plus red chillies. Now add grated onions and tomato puree. Lastly add in minced beef or any minced meat of your choice. Stir-fry! Cover and cook till the meat is chewy and soft. Present it my way. Rest add in your creativity!

Spooky Fingers
Spooky Fingers

Spooky Fingers – Talking about spooky food, these Halloween fingers are really creepy for all the kids and adult on the party. The process is super easy and the treat is really yummy. Beat sugar, almond and vanilla extracts in a bowl. Add in flour, baking powder and egg. Make a dough. Form into fingers, using forks. Add strawberry jam on tips. Thereby place and press sliced almonds as shown. Bake till done. Serve the spooky, bloody yet tasty and nutty fingers!

Bloody Eyes Pasta
Bloody Eyes Pasta

Bloody Eyes Pasta – Fond of pasta? Boil spinach pasta. Prepare a sauce of basil, chillies and tomatoes. You can add in minced meat too. I always do that for real meaty craving. Scoop crumbled cottage cheese to make eyeballs. For pupil, use black olives. Add saffron threads as shown on the eyeballs. Enjoy the fiery and feary pasta! The kids are actually gonna love it. So what crazy are you trying this Halloween?

Happy Halloween!
Happy Halloween!

Have a Deadly Halloween. Ho ha ha ha!

Advertisements

Celebrate Birthday of Mahatma Gandhi with Milk Peda

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi, was the preeminent leader of Indian independence movement when Britishers ruled India. I admire his quote, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony”. Happiness has many definitions. For most of us happiness is love, and for me happiness is “Love for Food”. BTW did you know some of the food that Mahatma Gandhi relished includes yogurt, brinjal, radish, beetroot, bottle gourd and fruit juice?

Milk Fudge Sweet or Milk Peda
Milk Fudge Sweet or Milk Peda

DYK that Mahatma Gandhi was strict vegetarian? Mahatma Gandhi relished simple Indian food such as daal, rice and chappati. Daal, dhal or dal is lentils stew or curry. Hope you enjoyed my Indian recipe cooked with lentils called “Dalma”. Among the desserts, Mahatma Gandhi relished Peda. Peda is traditional Indian milk fudge sweet. So let’s celebrate Gandhi Jayanti or birthday of the “Father of the Nation” with delicious Peda.

Ingredients:-

1 pinch of Saffron,

¾ cup Milk Powder,

4 Green Cardamoms,

1 pinch of Nutmeg Powder,

200 grams Condensed Milk,

½ tablespoon Clarified Butter.

Preparation Method:-

1. Mix condensed milk, milk powder plus clarified butter in a microwave bowl. Blend well and make sure that no lumps are left out. Crush cardamoms in to a fine powder. Discard the peels.

2. Microwave the mixture on high for a minute. Add cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and saffron. Stir this, microwave on high for a minute. Remove and stir again.

3. Microwave for 20 seconds on high, then check. If the mixture looks a bit liquid, microwave it for next 20 seconds. The mixture will thicken automatically.

4. If the mixture still has moisture and is in liquid form, then microwave again on high for 20 seconds.

5. When the mixture becomes warm, shape it into small balls. If the mixture is sticky, apply some oil or clarified butter while shaping into small balls. You can also give them beautiful shape with the help of cookie mould, creating an impression on the top as I have done.

6. On cooling, store these sweets in an airtight box. Refrigerate. Serve the milk pedas/milk fudge sweet when required.

Happy Gandhi Jayanti!
Happy Gandhi Jayanti!

Enjoy birthday of Father of the Nation with milk fudge sweet!

Diabetic Friendly Chocolate Trifle

It was my grandma’s birthday and I decided to prepare a sweet treat for her. She is diabetic, but who says not to consume chocolate while we are watching our sugar intake. She is very fond of desserts just like me. Last time I prepared Diabetic-friendly Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe to cheer her up on this special day. I have something yet special for her this time. She loves cake recipes. Enjoy making rich and moist trifle for your loved ones and bring a huge smile on their face. Whatever ingredients I am using are diabetic friendly. Chocolate lowers cholesterol level. It prevents memory decline. It reduces heart disease risk and also prevents stroke. Cherries on the other hand is booster of Vitamin C and antioxidants. It also helps in reducing bad cholesterol. So let’s bake the cake.

Yummy Chocolate Trifle
Yummy Chocolate Trifle Cups

Ingredients:-

3/4 cup Water;

2 cups fat-free Milk;

1 package pitted Cherries;

2 drops of Red Food Coloring;

Sugar-free Chocolate curls to taste;

2 cups thawed Fat-free frozen Whipped Topping;

1 package Chocolate Sugar-free, Low-fat Cake Mix;

1 package Chocolate Sugar-free, Fat-free Instant Pudding Mix.

Preparation Method:-

1. Preheat oven to 375 D.F.

2. Mix cake mix using 3/4 cup water. Bake till cake is done, use knife to check this.

3. The cake mixture should not stick to the knife. Let the cake cool in pan. Remove from pan. Cut into small cubes.

4. Prepare pudding mix using 2 cups of fat-free milk. Chill for at least 40 minutes.

5. Thaw cherries reserving 1/4 cup juice. Mix cherries, food coloring and juice together.

6. Place half of cake cubes in a 3-quart trifle bowl. Spoon half of cherries over cake. Spread 1 cup pudding over cherries, and top with half of whipped topping.

7. Repeat layers. Garnish with chocolate curls. Cover and chill at least 8 hours. You can also serve in glasses as I have, in the same manner with feasible proportion. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday Grandma!
Happy Birthday Grandma!

Celebrate the chocolate treat!

Add Colors on Independence day with Chicken Dopiaza

Hey pals! How are you doing? Hope you have enjoyed my vegetarian recipe, Dal Makhni (Black Lentils, Red Kidney Beans and Indian Spices Gravy). India is not only popular because of it’s vegetarian recipes but non-vegetarian delights equally rule over the heart of millions. I am preparing Chicken Dopiaza today, wherein Hindi language “Do” means two and “piaza” means onion. Nevertheless Chicken Dopiaza is all about the rich chicken gravy with prominent flavors of onions. Not only this but “Lamb Dopiaza” is one of the most demanded curries in Indian homes and restaurants. I have used Garam Masala (Indian Powdered Ready-made Spices) here. It is available on general stores pretty easily. I also have a remedy for it if it isn’t available.

Spicy Chicken Do Pyaza!
Spicy Chicken Do Pyaza!

Garam masala is powdered mixture of black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and mace, black and green cardamom pods, bay leaf and cumin seeds. Hence you can prepare it easily at home to enjoy real flavors of any spicy Indian recipe. I have already kept a bottle at my home, you don’t require grinding these ingredients each time. Just like Dal Makhni, this recipe is best paired with Naan (oven baked flatbread), lacha parantha (multi-layered fried North Indian flatbread) or steamed rice, if you are a rice eater just like me. I also like pairing it with Dry Fruit Fried Rice or Kashmiri Pulao. You must try this recipe also, rice lovers are gonna love it, I can bet. Let’s add some more colors and spice on the India’s Independence day with “Chicken Dopiaza”.

Ingredients:-

4 diced Onions,

1 teaspoon Salt,

8 Chicken Thighs,

2 chopped Tomatoes,

4 tablespoons Yoghurt,

3 chopped Garlic Cloves,

½ tablespoon Chilli Powder,

1 tablespoon of Mustard Oil,

1 teaspoon ground Turmeric,

½ tablespoon Garam Masala,

1 tablespoon Coriander Seeds,

1 1/2 tablespoons grated Ginger,

1 tablespoon Cumin Seeds Powder.

Preparation Method:-

  1. Blend onions, ginger and garlic. Set aside. Take a pan and heat oil. Put in the sliced onions and fry until golden brown. Remove the onions and set aside.

  2. Remove pan from the heat. Add the blended onion paste. Place the pan back on heat. Keep stirring the paste for 3 minutes, till it turns golden brown.

  3. Add coriander, cumin, turmeric plus chilli powder. Stir well. Add in two tablespoon of yogurt. Mix well. Add chicken. Stir for a minute. Let chicken be well coated with the spicy mixture in the pan.

  4. Add in tomatoes and salt. Stir thoroughly. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Sprinkle over garam masala and fried onions. Cook till the chicken is completely cooked.

  5. Serve with naan, lacha parantha or steamed rice.

Happy Independence Day!
Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day!

Celebrate Independence Day with Dal Makhni

15 August plays very important role for Indians. Overthrowing colonial British rule led to India’s tryst with destiny, which was a major speech delivered by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. Independence day is also celebrated in New York and other major cities in US. It is observed that more than 50,000 Indians showcase and enjoy the colors of their cultural extravaganza in New York City wherein dance performances are among the highlights of the programme. The atmosphere is nevertheless charged with vibrancy and festive spirit of Indian culture. If such is the spirit of Indians in US, imagine the celebration throughout India.

Dal Makhni
Dal Makhni

We may not be present there but we can definitely taste popular delicacy of India and cheers for Indians. So let’s prepare Dal Makhni or Daal Makhni. To add onto this, I am very fond of Indian recipes. Hope you have tried Traditional Rajasthani red meat recipe. Dal Makhni is a spicy and heavy vegetarian recipe prepared of black lentil, red kidney beans, butter, heavy cream and lots of Indian spices. It is best paired with Naan (oven baked flatbread), lacha parantha (multi-layered fried North Indian flatbread) or plain boiled rice, if you are a rice eater just like me.

Dal Makhni (Black Lentils, Red Kidney Beans and Indian Spices Gravy)

Ingredients:-

4 cups Water,

Salt as required,

1 chopped Onion,

2 chopped Tomatoes,

6 cloves minced Garlic,

1 tablespoon Salted Butter,

1 teaspoon Cumin Powder,

½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder,

½ teaspoon Red Chili Powder,

3 tablespoons Full Fat Cream,

1 tablespoon shredded Ginger,

½ cup Red Kidney Beans (Rajma),

1 cup Whole Black Gram (Urad dal),

3 tablespoons Clarified butter (Ghee),

1 tablespoon Garam Masala (Indian Powdered Ready-made Spices).

Preparation Method:-

  1. Soak whole black lentils and red kidney beans overnight. Take a pressure cooker. Add all the ingredients with water.

  2. Pressure cook with 15 whistles. Let the cooker cool. Check if the lentils are cooked. Check by mashing them up with spoon. They must easily mash.

  3. If not cooked thoroughly, again pressure cook for 3 whistles more with 2 cups of water. Now again open the cooker, after cooling. Let the dal simmer in the cooker for 15 minutes. By this time, you achieve smooth and creamy consistency.

  4. Add one tablespoon of cream if desired. Simmer for 5 minutes more. Add on salted butter while serving.

  5. Serve with Naan, Lacha Patantha or Steamed Rice.

Happy Independence Day!
Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day!

Dragon’s Zongzi – Food for Health

Name a festival celebrated by many but with different stories of its evolution? There are a lot of them and this goes on to prove that though we have different stories, we reach the same end or a beginning, may be. However, in China you call it “Duanwu Festival” AKA The Dragon Boat Festival. Chinese have this ancient thing with Dragons – I guess we all do. According to Chinese mythology, Dragons are evolution ancestor of humans and control Water, Rainfall, Hurricanes and Floods. They are the symbol of power, strength and good luck. If we look closely, we realise that every important thing which can affect our lives is either controlled or represented by Dragons- they do matter a lot. Stories behind Dragon Boat Race fest are quite amusing. One story says, “Qu Yuan”, a poet and minister committed suicide by drowning in river due to a disagreement with the King.

Zongzi
Zongzi

His followers searched for him with their boats – hence the Dragon Boat race- and threw rice dumplings – the food of this blog- so that fishes won’t eat Yuan and go for rice instead. Other one says a girl named “Cao E” jumped in river to save her drowning father but both of them drowned instead. So this day is to remember her sacrifice. I see Duanwu as a festival to celebrate and respect sacrifice. On this day people go for the Dragon Boat race(obviously!), wear perfumed medicine bags, MAKE AN EGG STAND at Noon and eat ZONGZI with realgar wine. Even you should try to make an egg stand at noon and get good luck for the next year! All in all people pray for a healthy and happy life. Chinese food is my all time favorite. Since this festival is in June, let’s try Zongzi for a healthier, safer and a ‘Food Full’ year.

Ingredients:-

4 Strings,

4 Mushrooms,

100 gms Abalone,

4 salted Egg Yolks,

4 Japanese Conpoy,

600 gms Green Beans,

600 gms Glutinous Rice,

4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce,

280 gms chopped Pork Belly,

1/2 Tablespoon Five-spice Powder,

4 dried round large size Lotus Leaves.

Preparation Method:-

1. Soak rice and green beans for 5 hours. Then drain. Now soak mushrooms and Japanese conpoy for 2 hours. Drain well.

2. Marinate the pork belly with five-spice powder plus soy sauce for 2 hours. Lay down the lotus leaf on table with stem side facing down. Place rice in the centre of the leaf.

3. Add the marinated pork, Japanese conpoy, mushroom, abalone, salted egg yolk and green beans on top of rice. Add glutinous rice until the filling is covered.

4. Carefully wrap four sides of lotus leaf over the filling in a cone shape. Tie tightly with help of a string. Place zongzi in boiling water. Cover and cook for 3 hours. Serve hot!

Dragon Boat Festival
Dragon Boat Festival

Enjoy the fest!

Stuffed Apple and Cranberry Pork on Mother’s Day

You filled my days with rainbow lights,

Fairy tales and sweet dream nights,

A kiss to wipe away my tears,

Gingerbread to ease my fears.

You gave the gift of life to me,

And then in love, you set me free.

I thank you for your tender care,

For deep warm hugs and being there.

I hope that when you think of me,

A part of you, you’ll always see.

Stuffed Apple and Cranberry Pork
Stuffed Apple and Cranberry Pork

Hey pals, how was your Mother’s day? Mine was really a special one. Hope you enjoyed the Strawberry Layered Crunchy Cake on Sunday. I and my sister gifted mom tiny but an elegant pair of diamond earrings and a red color silk scarf on this auspicious occasion. What did you gift your mother? Both gifts were adored by her. To make the day even more special, I prepared her favorite recipe, Stuffed Apple and Cranberry Pork. The dinner table really looked sumptuous with tangy Pork, mushy Cake, seasoned Garlic bread and blood Red Wine. Here it goes..

Stuffed Apple and Cranberry Pork

For the Pork Loin

Salt to taste,

4 lbs Pork Loin,

Pepper to taste,

1 tablespoon Olive Oil,

2 minced Garlic Cloves,

Sliced bacon as required,

1 tablespoon chopped Thyme,

1 tablespoon chopped Rosemary.

For the Sauce:-

1 cup Vinegar,

1/4 teaspoon salt,

3 diced red onions,

olive oil as required,

1/2 bottle Lager Beer,

1 1/2 cup Brown sugar,

1 teaspoon Cinnamon,

1/2 cup chopped ginger,

2/3 cup dried cranberries,

1 teaspoon Mustard Seed,

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves,

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper,

3 lbs peeled and chopped Granny Smith Apples.

Mother and Child
Mother and Child

Preparation Method

  1. Cut a pocket through one end of the tenderloin. Place the centrist downwards. Don’t slice through the other end. Season in and out properly with salt and pepper.

  2. Mix rosemary, thyme, garlic and oil in a bowl. Spread the mixture over pork. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

  3. For the sauce, heat olive oil in saucepan, add onion and cook until brown. Add ginger and apples. Cook for 2 minutes. Combine remaining ingredients and lower heat.

  4. Allow to cook. Reduce until thickened. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Stuff sauce into tenderloin. Wrap with bacon.

  5. Using a roasting rack and baking sheet, put pork into 350 D. F oven. Remove from oven. Don’t remove foil till 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

Happy Mother’s Day!
Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!


Interstellar Food – A Meal with the Stars

“This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” Neil Armstrong said this and started jumping around on the moon. Whenever I watch this video, I feel as if in the end, everybody loves ‘space’ to jump around (pun intended!). Let it be on earth or on the moon. Astronauts stay in space for days and sometimes even months. It’s like a home away from home but just ‘too’ far away. So the question which always grills my mind is – WHAT DO THEY EAT IN SPACE? Though I knew that they used to have those toothpaste like tubes to have the food from times are changing and so is the ‘Interstellar Menu’. To keep the food edible for longer missions, it is dehydrated and packed in a solid form. Imagine taking a ‘bite’ of your chicken stew. All the fluid items like milk, soup etc. are dehydrated too in a powdered form.

Shrimp Cocktail
Shrimp Cocktail

Thanks to the NASA scientists, who made it possible to hydrate the food by mixing hot or cold water when in space and make food a ‘bit’ tastier. But no matter what, the mesmerizing aroma of the food drifts away before it can stimulate an astronaut because of almost zero gravity. So the exulting sensation of the food felt by the tongue and the nose is absent. But these men and women, do all this ‘in the name of science’. I respect these guys because if I would have been an astronaut, my kitchen would’ve followed me. Since food is important, astronauts are invited for tasting session where they can recommend the dishes for future missions. Though these days they have freeze dried sausage patties and much more but there is one thing Buzz Aldrin enjoyed in one of the missions – “Shrimp Cocktail”. From the work cocktail, I remember that I am very fond of preparing hot or warm cocktail recipes. He had something to say about it- “they were chosen one by one to make sure they would be tiny enough to squeeze out of the food packet, and they were delicious!” Let’s try this appetizer for our brave astronauts ‘in the name of science”.

SHRIMP COCKTAIL

Ingredients:-

For Court Bouillon:

1 lemon,

2 bay leaves,

1 diced onion,

5 sprigs thyme,

2 diced carrots,

1/2 bunch parsley,

10 cups cold water,

2 diced stalks celery,

5 diced garlic cloves.

For Shrimp:

Cocktail Sauce,

Lemon wedges,

1 pound rinsed shrimp,

1 tablespoon kosher salt.

For Cocktail Sauce:

1 cup ketchup

1 juiced lemon,

Hot sauce to taste,

4 teaspoons prepared horseradish,

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce.

Astronaut on Moon
Astronaut on Moon

Preparation Method for Shrimp Cocktail:

  1. Add water, onion, garlic, lemon, parsley, carrot, celery, thyme and bay leaves in a pot. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes.

  2. Add shrimp into the liquid. Turn off the heat. Cook shrimp. Stir occasionally for 3 minutes. Drain and cool. Peel them. Refrigerate if you are not serving immediately. If refrigerated, bring shrimps to room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.

  3. To serve put the cocktail sauce in glasses as shown. Loop the shrimp over the edge of the glass. Top the glass with sauce. Garnish with the lemon and serve.

Preparation Method for Cocktail Sauce:

  1. Combine ketchup, lemon zest, juice, Worcestershire sauce and horseradish in a bowl.

  2. Add hot sauce. Mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Space Food
Space Food

Can you guess the food in packets above?

Sansa Stark and her Love for Lemon Cake

Do you like always write on festivals?”

Oops. Thanks. I’ll make sure that I change my ‘routine’ ASAP”, I replied with a confused smile.

She was my 23 year old neighbor. This conversation happened before my Jazz Fest and Jambalaya blog. I needed to move on from Festivals. “I’m going to watch Game of Thrones. Talk later” she said this and hurried to her home. Game of Thrones is an American fantasy drama television series, loved by millions.

Voila! It helped. I was on a GOT marathon and consequently fell in love with “Jaqen H’ghar”, mumbling ‘Valar Morghulis’ at almost everything. This marathon ceased after the 4th season . I called her up and she was like “This is the year when they air season 5. They actually started it and two episodes are out”. Immense relief! There is one character which I noticed has grown up from a sweet little beautiful girlie girl to a damsel in distress and gradually to an alert and an astute woman when wisdom and tragedies hit her hard. Irrespective of all the troubles she has been through (including Joffrey), she walked through fire with tears and survived. Partly because of her will to survive and partly because of Lemon Cakes. When Lady Olenna of House Tyrell offers lemon cake to a ‘sad’ Sansa-

Olenna Tyrell: “Shall we have some lemon cakes?”

Sansa Stark: “Lemon cakes are my favorite.”

Olenna Tyrell: “So we’ve been told.”

I was like ok, people know this affair. Even Little finger tries to woo her by offering Lemon Cakes.

They are appetizing enough for me to try them in my kitchen. I love cake recipes. So let us make these Lemon Cakes for this sweet damsel in distress.

Lemon Cake
Lemon Cake

Ingredients for Cake:-

6 Eggs,

1 teaspoon Salt,

1 cup Sour Cream,

1 cup Unsalted Butter,

1 teaspoon Baking Soda,

3 cups All-purpose Flour,

1/3 cup Fresh Lemon Juice,

2 tablespoons Lemon Zest,

2 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar.

Preparation Method for Cake:-

1. Preheat oven to 350 D.C. Take a pan and butter and flour it. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, lemon zest, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

2. In a blender, beat butter and granulated sugar for 5 minutes. Add eggs. Mix in lemon juice.

Keep adding flour mixture and sour cream, until incorporated. Do not overmix. Add to the bundt cake pan.

3. Bake until knife inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Bake for 50 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.

4. Turn out onto a rack to cool completely. Poke holes all over the cooled cake, and brush with lemon icing.

5. If the cake does not absorb all the syrup at once, allow to sit for 20 minutes before continuing to brush with any remaining syrup.

Lemon Icing
Lemon Icing

Ingredients for Lemon Icing:-

1/2 cup butter,

2 tablespoons lemon juice,

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract,

3 cups confectioners’ sugar.

Preparation Method for Lemon Icing:-

1. Combine butter, lemon juice, vanilla, and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.

2. Add more sugar or lemon juice. Adjust the consistency as needed.

Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones

Enjoy “Game of Thrones” with authentic Lemon Cake!

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑