Saturday, 25 February 2012

Instant Khatta Dhokla

Yay! I couldn't wait to blog about this recipe I LOVE IT!!! When cooked it is a lovely WHITE colour! It is made with rice flour and curds and that is what gives this dish a wonder full colour that makes this dish soooo inviting to look at. At the end of the day food should be a feast for the eye's as well as the stomach!

I have had the offer to learn a few recipes, but because of silly reasons, i didn;t take up the offers!!! I know i know!! This is one of my life regrets, that i didn't take up the offer to learn how to make home made Indian food as it is a really good way to learn how to cook real Indian food.

The reason i adapted this recipe was because i simply didn't have the right amount of ingredients, but i really wanted to try this recipe, even though i had never tasted this version of dhokla before. This sound strange i know but i had seen the recipe for khatta dhokla many times and always thought it sounded really nice. I had only ever seen the yellow kind of dhokla before, it is a big favourite farsan of mine, so it is only natural for me to want to try something that sounds and looks so yummy.

This is now also one of those recipes that i like to cook on a regular basis. I think i almost get cravings for this recipe on nearly a daily basis!! OINK OINK little piggy! i could eat them all to my self too!!!!! ;-)

So here is my version of Instant khatta dhokla:-


1 heaped cup of ground rice ( or you could coarsely grind your own from normal rice)
1/4 cup of gram flour ( besan )
1/4 cup of coarse semolina (rawa)
1 tsp salt ( or to taste )
1 - 2 tsp sugar
pinch of asafoetida ( hing )
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup yogurt
2/3 tbs oil
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp green chilli paste
1 heaped tsp eno ( not to be used untill the very last minute )

Seasoning ingredients :-

1 1/2 tbs sunflower oil
1 tsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seed chilli ( or julienne )
10-12 curry leaves ( curry patta )

Directions :- Get the water to simmering point in a steamer on the hob.

1) Mix all of the dry flour's together, until well Incorporated.
2) Add the salt and sugar and mix well.
3) Add the yogurt and mix until it is well Incorporated.
4) Whisk in the right amount of water. I know that i haven't given any measurements for water but you need the consistency to be not quite poring consistency, but not dropping consistency. I find that this batter is better if is slightly thinner than the normal dhokla batter.
5) Add the ginger and chilli pastes and mix well.
6) This is the point that i like to add the oil, because if you add it to the flour it makes it much harder to get a lump free batter.
7) Lightly grease a dhokla stand or a cake tin which will fit into a steamer.
8) When the water is simmering and you have mixed in all of the ingredients together and greased whatever you are steaming your dhoklas in, you can add the eno to the batter. I i try to mix as quick as possible in a folding and cutting technique so that i don't loose all the bubbles from the eno.
9) Quickly transfer the batter to the steamer and steam for 10 min if you are making thinner dhokla or 20 min if you are using a deep cake tin
10) When the timer has gone, lift the lid and check the dhoklas with a butter knife. If the knife comes out clean, your dhokla's are done. Set aside to cool down.
11) Heat the oil in a pan and fry the mustard seeds until the pop and crackle.
12) Take off the heat and add the Curry leaves, sesame seeds and red chilli. Stir for 30 seconds and poor onto the dhokla's
13) Garnish with coriander and a sprinkle of Kashmir chilli powder.
Enjoy with coriander chutney and chilli with mustard seed pickle.

For a nice variation you can sprinkle some crushed black pepper

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Mixed vegetable Pakora recipe

MMMMMMMM!!!! I tell you something!!! These are one of my most FAVOURITE things to eat in the world!!! It takes me back to when i first discovered Belgrave road in Leicester. I still go to the same shop now and by the pakora's from this little tiny restaurant. From the outside of the shop it really doesn't look that appealing, but once you walk inside, it is like a little Aladdin's cave for foodies!!!! The front of the counter has all sorts of Delicious farsans which are Indian savouries. At the back of the shop is all the array of brightly coloured sweets. Every time i go into this shop i absolutely drewl over the sights and smells.

One of the thing i really like about this shop is that the owner of the shop is so so friendly! Because we have been shopping there for years he knows me and my family and if i ever go in there on my own, he always asks how my family are and i can tell that he is truly genuine ( which seems to be a rarity ) This friendly attitude definitely helps to entice us into the shop, but REALLY! as if i need to be persuaded to go into this shop. OH! and how can i forget the green chutney that makes there pakoras really special. I have never been able to find a recipe which is even similar to their green chutney, but oh well i suppose it makes us go back for more every time.
When i cook these i seem to go on a mad spice Marathon and make as many snacky recipes possible. Somehow these little nuggets of love make me go bazerk! i just cant help it! i would make all the pickles and chutney too! My husband always spins his eyes at me when he can see me preparing the batter! I think he knows now that when he sees me making these, he knows that he is probably not going to be eating anything else for a couple of days until all the the different snacks are eaten up.

I am so surprised that neither of us are over weight aseptically my husband, but then again he always stays nice and slim! or sick of the sight of them but we are not. Well I am not :-)

In the early days of my cooking, for some reason i could never quite get them right. But after a while i think that my pakora's have been finally perfected. I now cook these little goodies on a monthly basis.

You could do a slight variation of the recipe too instead of chopping the vegetables into small cubes you could thinly slice the vegetables and just simply did the slices into the batter

Here I present to you My Mixed vegetable pakora recipe:

Makes about 15-20

1 cup of sieved gram flour (besan)
3 tbs rice flour (optional but makes the pakoras nice and crispy)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tsp ajwain seeds
a pinch of asafoetida (Hing)
1 tsp coriander-cumin powder (dhania-jeera)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1/2 - 1 tsp chilli powder (1/2 tsp is very mild)
1-2 tbs fenugreek leaves (methi)
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 inch piece of ginger
1 green chilli finely chopped (optional)
1 small onion finely chopped
1 cup boiled finely diced mixed vegetables ( i use frozen )
1-2tbs sunflower oil
about 3/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp soda bi carb
Enough water to make a thick batter


1) Pre-heat some oil in a pan, ensuring that you use enough oil to cover the pakoras

2) Sieve the flours into a large bowl

3) Add all of the powdered spices ond mix well

4) Add the ginger and the chilli if you are using. Mix well

5) At this point i add the water and salt to the mix. You have to mix everything together to make a nice smooth batter, that does not contain any lumps. This batter is better when it is dropping consistency because the vegetable still contain a lot of water.

6) Now add the soda-bicarb, the oil, and the coriander and fenugreek leaves, and mix really well, especially to incorporate all of the oil.

7) Add all of the vegetable of choice and mix really well. I forgot to mention that you can add fresh spinach leaves right now and mix well. I haven't used it in this recipe but i recommend it as it tastes really nice. When you mix all of the veg i try and break up the onion, but try and leave a few nice and chunky.

8) By this time your oil should be really nice and hot, so get some spoons ready to form the pakora's.

9) With a tsp or Tbs, which ever your preference to how big you pakora's are. ( i prefer my pakora's bigger and softer)

10) The tip to frying is to not crowd the pan to much as it slows down the cooking process and your pakora's will be oil soaked.

11) spoon the mixture into the oil. I like to try and keep mine roundish so i try to have a heap of the batter and vegetables on my spoon and then put it in the oil quickly so that it retains a nice shape.

12) Fry for a few moments , Oh and another tip, I always fry a tested one and let it stand for a few moments to set in the middle and to cool down to a temperature that is comfortable in your mouth. This is to help distinguish all of the flavours so that you can balance them out if you need to. They should be to your liking in chilli hotness, balancing of spices and salt etc

13) Fry the rest of the batter if you are happy with the flavours in your pakora

14) Drain on kitchen paper and serve with, coriander, or tamerind chutney, fresh coriander leaves, salad or pickle of choice. Really nice with plain yogurt

Saturday, 18 February 2012

simple pork kebabs

This recipe is very dear to me as my father used to cook this at family bar-b-ques.
In this recipe i don't use any marinades so it is really fast to do. You can use what ever marinade you want with this. If i have time to marinade i would do a tikka marinade or a tandoori one, but what ever is you taste really.
This recipe is also great for kids and you could even get them to help assemble the kebabs together if you want to save time and to make the interaction with food more fun. You don't even have to use pork if you don't want to, you could quite easily substitute the meat for beef of chicken! You could even do a variation with the vegetables to suit your taste, all though i definitely think that onions and pepper go best, my Dad sometimes adds mushrooms too.

Whenever i have these kebabs the memories come flooding back to me from my teenage-hood. My Mum and Dad would always get up early to prepare for the bar-b-Que and i would be awoke with the smells and noises of the kitchen. Our family bar-b-Que's were always done on a summers Sunday, so i would usually be very fragile after a night out partying with my friends. When this was the case i used to lay in bed for a while watching t.v and soaking up the smells of the dinner. When i would eventually decide to venture downstairs i would be greeted with the banter of my Mum, Dad, Sisters and their children. Because of some of the states i was in, in the mornings it, was usually my appearance that would be the center of the friendly banter! Served me right really, but i still believed in having a good time over anything else at that stage, but is there any other goals for a British teenager if studding wasn't a priority? ( as you can probably tell that it wasn't at all a priority of mine! :-)

When we had all chipped in to help we were always shoved outside by my Mum to enjoy the very very rare English summer sun. In those days we were always in the sun, when it came out and probably had no sun protection on either! shock horror i know with all the health concerns we have about the UV rays! But any way Its was all really good fun! We would have the paddling pool out, with my nephews and niece's running around and having a brilliant time, all the nice garden furniture with a matching parasol. I can still remember the pattern and the bright colours of the garden furniture. My mum loves a bit of colour, so of course the garden was always full of colour. Anyway enough of my memories and down to my recipe.


Wooden meat skewers
6 or 7 strips of butchers pork belly
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 red onion
a few mushroom (optional)
marinade of choice (optional)

Directions:- Pre heat a griddle pan on a medium heat. Drizzle some oil on a plate and dip the prepared kebabs in the oil before cooking.

1. Soak the skewers in water so that they don't burn during cooking.
2. chop the pork belly into roughly 1" chunks and remove any rind that may remain.
3. Wash and chop the peppers int roughly the same size.
4. Peel and slice the onions into roughly the same size.
5. Do the same with the mushrooms if using.
6. Gradually assemble the kebab ingredients but i like to put the juicy fleshy side of the vegetables next to the meat. I find that this helps to keep the meat nice and juicy and tender. Assemble all of the kebabs and set aside on the plate which you prepared with the oil. Drain any excess oil before cooking.
7. Place the kebabs carefully onto the griddle and cook over a medium heat, turning occasionally until cooked through and nice black crispy bits appear at the edges.

Serve with salad, sundried tomato cous cous, and a dollop of mayonaise

Friday, 17 February 2012

And tonight's dinner is..... Scallops on pea puree

Well i think that my husband will be pleased!!!! I'll tell you why, i am actually going to cook him a few dishes that don't contain any chilli what so ever. That's right, with NO CHILI!!! I'm telling you now, he will think that iv gone even more bonkers than i already am :-)
The trouble is that i am absolutely obsessed with all food Asian ( especially all things Indian!) I know that he likes curry very much, but i know that he doesn't as much as me and i would definitely say that i have got a higher tolerance level than he has in the chilli department lol.. now now, its not a competition, but I'm sorry, i cannot help it!!! No, perhaps i do enjoy the thought of having a high tolerance level for chillis, but that's just me playing games really. Anyway i really do mean it that he will be supprised about tonight's dinner, because dinner usually consists of lots of lovely Indian food, so here goes something new.
I thought i would treat him to something really nice to eat for dinner tonight because on Tuesday night he took me to a fabulous restaurant in a village close to our town for valentines night. The food was amazing and very upmarket and the staff were too equally deserving of lots of praise. So this is what has inspired me to try and cook this for him. i have never cooked this before, but i have cooked scallops before so I'm sure the pea puree will be nice too. because i want to make it a bit of a special meal I'm also going to do a main course of simple pork kebabs and couscous. These pork kebabs are a recipe of my dear father who used to cook these kebabs at familly bar-b-que's, so this recipe is extresmely dear to my heart but i must say one of the most simple too.

For the starter:- Scallops and mint puree...

200-250g frozen peas
1 tbs cream of choice ( optional )
6 scallops
1 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil
a splash of lemon juice

1. Boil the peas in lightly salted water for about 6-7 minutes.
( this is longer than normal! you need the peas to puree nicely. )
2. When the pea's are cooked, dunk them in ice cold water to retain the nice green colour.
3. puree untill you have a nice slightly course consistancy, season with salt pepper an a dash of lemon juice and keep to one side for re-heating and keep covered.
4. heat a pan on a medium heat untill the pan is really hot.
5. Add the butter and oil, and wait untill the frothyness cooks out.
6.Add the scallops carefully flat side down.
7. This part i always find difficult because you have to just leave the scallops alone for a few minutes to ensure that you get a nice chrispy seared texture. If you move them about in the pan, they wont chrisp up!
8. After a few minutes you can cheack to see if they are searing, if they are you can now turm them over to the other side.
9.Just cook for another minute or so on the other side as the last thing you want to do is to over cook them. If you press them lightly with you finger they should feel soft and springy and not tough. if they do they are over cooked! They also want to still be slightly opake in the center
10. Take the scallops of the heat, turn the heat right up and re-heat the pea puree with the buttter and stir so that the butter is well incorperated.
11. Serve the pea puree in the center of your plate and serve the scallops on the top

Serve imediately while it is pipping hot! ENJOY!!!!!

Welcome to my life, thoughts and recipes!!

Hiya!!! Well, welcome to my blog!! My reason for starting up a blog is so that i can record the recipes that i am completely obsessed with and the things that happen in my life!! I have a fantastic little boy who is sooooo cute and funny, I'm sure ill be blogging lots about him! My husband ( whom I adore with all my heart ) takes us all out for lovely food and outings on regular occasions, so I'm sure all of that will be blogged too! Oh and of cause!!! how can i forget to mention i have two, very different in personality, but both Siamese cats who i both love to bits. they will definitely be in this blog for all the things they get up to. All in all everything is good and entertaining, but there can be some lows too. But all this to me makes all the good times well worth-it and after all would you really appreciate the good times if there was no bad? COUCH-COUGH :-) soz I'm making everything sound all serious now which i don't wanna do!! ;-) Right then i suppose id better get on with it......