Paella

 

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My daughter and her fiance Pete,  are majorly into cooking these days. I love hearing about all the exciting recipes they try out.   One of their really hit recipes is  the classic Spanish dish of Paella, which Pete recently made.  This Paella has a bit of everything in it and is flavorful, nourishing and looks colorful besides being really delicious.  

What you need:

* Herb Blend:

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 large garlic cloves, minced

* Paella:

1 cup water

1 teaspoon saffron threads

3 (16-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium seafood broth

8 jumbo shrimp (about 1/2 pound)

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 skinned, boned chicken thighs, cut in half

2 links Spanish chorizo sausage (about 6 1/2 ounces) or turkey kielbasa, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

2 cups finely chopped onion

1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

1 cup canned diced tomatoes, undrained

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

3 large garlic cloves, minced

3 cups uncooked Arborio rice or other short-grain rice

1 cup frozen green peas

8 mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

How to make:

1. To prepare the herb blend, combine the first 4 ingredients, and set aside.

2. Combine water, saffron, and broth in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer (do not boil).

Keep warm over low heat.

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3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; sauté 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan. Add sausage; sauté 2 minutes. Remove from pan. Add shrimp, and sauté 2 minutes. Remove from pan.

4. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion and bell pepper; sauté 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Add tomatoes, paprika, and 3 garlic cloves; cook 5 minutes.

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6. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

7. Stir in herb blend, broth mixture, chicken, sausage, and peas.

8. Bring to a low boil; cook 10 minutes, don’t stir once the broth has been added.

9. Add mussels to pan, nestling them into rice mixture. Cook 5 minutes.

10. Arrange shrimp, heads down, in rice mixture, and cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup lemon juice.

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11. Remove from heat; cover with a towel, and let stand for 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.  Enjoy!

 

Spinach and cheese balls

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Melting in the mouth spinach and cheese balls

Guest recipe by Pratima:

Pratima loves making innovative recipes especially for snacks.  When I was at her place last week, she came up with these really delicious Spinach and Cheese Balls.  This tasty and savory treat combines the goodness of spinach and cheese!  So here is her recipe:

What You need

½ cup boiled spinach

4 bread pieces with edges cut off

¼ cup grated cottage cheese

¼ cup grated processed cheese

Salt, red chilli, chaat masala to taste.

Oil for frying

 How to make:

1.  Knead the bread pieces with the boiled spinach in a bowl..The water of the spinach is enough to make the dough- if too dry then add 1 tbsp of water. Season with salt to taste.

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2.  Make filling of both types of cheese with salt, red chilli powder and chaat masala

3.  Make small ball of the dough, and make space to put the filling inside.

4.  Let balls rest in fridge for half hour and then deep fry.

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Serve hot  with salad and sauce!

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Garlic potatoes (Lehsuni aaloo)

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I absolutely love the delicious garlicky potatoes made by my Mami.  I have fond memories of devouring them during family dinners, whilst growing up.  Now that I am in Delhi, I cajoled Mami to make these for me and also teach me how to make them.  This is her recipe below:

What you need:

1 kg  baby potatoes (If using big ones, peel and cube them)

3 tbsp garlic paste

1 tsp red chilli powder

Salt to taste

2 tbsp oil

How to make:

1.  Boil and peel the potatoes.

2. Take oil in a pan and heat. Toss in the potatoes and stir them well till they change color.

3.  Add salt and chilli powder to the potatoes and stir well.  

4.  Add a tbsp water to the garlic paste and mix. Now add this little by little to the potatoes and keep stirring.

5.  When the potatoes turn nice and crispy, remove from heat.  Garnish with cilantro.

6.  Serve with hot with paratha/rice.

Matar (Peas) Kachori

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The next dish that Pratima demonstrated was matar kachori (stuffed peas bread).  They were delicious and we just couldn’t stop eating them!

“The traditional Indian snack-Kachori- with a filling of green peas is nutritious and a change from the usual daal(lentil) filled ones. These light kachoris go very well with green chutney or tamarind sauce.”

~Pratima

WHAT YOU NEED:

1 cup boiled green peas

1 tbsp finely diced ginger and green chilli

a pinch of hing (asfoetida)

½ tsp garam masala

¼ tsp ground roasted cumin seeds

a pinch of red chilli powder

salt to taste

1 cup of flour

1/3 cup water to make dough

1 tbsp clarified butter ( ghee)

oil for frying

HOW TO MAKE:

1.  Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add the peas.  Toss in the spices and hing and ginger/chilli to peas. Stir well and cover cook till tender.

2.  Coarsely mash the peas with a heavy spoon.  Keep aside.

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 3.  Take flour separately and add ghee and salt to taste . ( can add a pinch of bicarb soda for extra crispness)

4.  Add water to the flour and knead well. Leave covered with wet cloth for 20 minutes in warm place.

5.  Roll out to 2-3 inch rounds, and fill each with 1 tsp of pea mixture.

6.  Secure ends well, and pat to 3-4 inch small rounds again- taking care that the filling does not spill out.

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7.  Deep fry till golden brown ( tip- put in hot oil, turn gently and fry on low flame- they will swell up ).

8.  Serve hot with green coriander chutney or tamarind sauce.

Dahi Kebabs

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My friend, Pratima, was visiting me from India.  Part of all the fun we were having included showing each other some new recipes!  I totally loved what she made, and asked her to contribute these new dishes  for my blog.  In Pratima’s words:

“This delicious snack is easy to make and nutritious . The surprise element is the yogurt filling with a tangy taste.”

~ Pratima

 What you need:

( makes 8 )

 4 tbsp yogurt

 ½ cup small diced onion, red+green+yellow bell pepper

¼ tsp chilli sauce

¼ tsp mustard sauce

 1 tbsp fresh coriander

salt and pepper to taste

7) 8 plain white bread slices

8) 2 tbsp oil for shallow fry

How to make:

1.  Tie the yogurt in a muslin cloth and hang to drain for 5-6 hours

2.  Add the onion, bell peppers

3.  Add seasoning, sauces.. mix well

4.  Cut edges of bread and roll out with a rolling pin so that the air spaces even out and the slices become thin

5.  Put 1tsp of filling in the middle and roll the slice gently.. close ends with wet hands

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6. Heat oil in shallow pan- should be medium hot

7.  Put in kebabs gently..flip over in 2-3 minutes or till golden brown

8.  Drain on tissue

9.  Serve hot with green chutney!

Walnut topped golden cake

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My friend Jyoti baked this delicious cake yesterday for a dinner that I was giving.  The cake was outstanding with everyone wanting seconds! Wonderfully moist and soft, it had great texture as well.  

What you need:

For cake:

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1/2 cup milk

2 tbsp butter

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla essence

For topping:

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup melted butter

1/4 cup cream

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

How to make:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8×8 inch baking dish with cooking oil spray.

1.  In a mixing bowl take the eggs, sugar and vanilla essence and beat them well till creamy.

2.  Sift the flour and baking powder together.

3.  Heat the butter and milk to boiling point in a saucepan.

4.  Alternately fold in the flour(2) and the butter and milk mixture(3) to egg mixture(1) in the mixing bowl. 

5.  Pour in the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake in hot oven for 35-40 minutes or until  a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Let it cool for 10 minutes and invert onto a rack.

6.  For the topping:  Whip together all the ingredients for the topping and spread on top of the cake.

7.  Set the oven on Broil and put the cake back in the oven for about 8-10 minutes till the topping is nicely brown.  Remove from the oven.  Let it cool and then cut into slices and enjoy!

 

Pumpkin Apple Bread

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Dinner at my friend Robin’s house is always exciting as she tries out different and exotic recipes!  I just love her cooking and asked her write some of her recipes for my blog:

“I clipped this recipe as a newlywed, excited to make it in my first autumn as a wife.  We had just moved into a new townhouse and the development was still under construction.  I used to hang out in the construction trailer with the sales team, as they were nice people and I knew I would miss them when all the homes were finished.  I used to surprise them with things I cooked and baked, using them as guinea pigs, and knowing how much pleasure it gave them.  Food at the workplace has always been a real upper for people.  I remember a beautiful fall day, the air crisp, the leaves crunching beneath my feet and the smell of this very fragrant bread being delivered to the trailer.  It was received, still warm, with raves.  My husband loved it too.”

Ingredients:

For topping
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

For bread
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 (15-oz) can solid-pack pumpkin
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2-1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 Granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (2 cups)

Directions:
1) To make the topping: Blend together flour, sugar, cinnamon, and butter in a small bowl with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside.
2) To make the bread: Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9 X 5 inch loaf pans. Set aside. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice into a medium bowl. Whisk together pumpkin oil, sugar, and eggs in a large bowl. Add flour mixture, stirring until well combined. Fold in apples. Divide batter between buttered loaf pans. Sprinkle half of topping evenly over each loaf. Bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of bread comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool loaves in pans on a rack for 45 minutes, then turn out onto rack and cool completely, about 1 hour. Yield: two loaves.