Date and Walnut Cake

Middle-east and Dates are like a match-made-in-heaven. 12 years back I was introduced to this wonderful fruit! Dates are incredibly sweet and healthy alternative to artificial sweeteners.

The benefits of these outstanding fruits include relief from constipation, intestinal disorders, heart problems, anemia, diarrhea, abdominal cancer, and many other conditions. Dates are good for gaining weight also. Rich in several vitamins, minerals and fiber too. These delicious fruits contain oil, calcium, sulfur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium which are all beneficial for health. Some health specialists have said that eating one per day is necessary for a balanced and healthy diet.

Looking at all these incredible health benefits, I try and incorporate dates wherever possible in my cooking.

Dates & walnuts make a wonderful pairing option, the sweetness of the dates and earthiness of the walnuts gives an excellent balance. A soft and spongy cake recipe, Dates, Sultanas and chopped walnuts add to the looks and taste of this perfect cake recipe.

Date And Walnut Cake.

Date And Walnut Cake.

 

Ingredients

  • Plain flour  (maida) -1 cup
  • sunflower oil -1/3 th cup
  • sugar – 1/4 th cup
  • date pulp – 3/4 th cup
  • baking powder – 1 1/2 tsp
  • vanilla essence – 1tsp
  • cinnamon powder -1 tsp
  • eggs  – 2
  • salt  –  1/4 tsp
  • crushed  walnuts  and black raisins/sultanas   – 1 cup
  • milk   – 1/2 cup  ( or much as you require)

Garnishing

  • chopped walnut pieces
Black Pitted Dates

Black Pitted Dates

Method –

  • Take seedless Dates, cut into pieces, put warm water on this, cover and leave for 1 -2  min, strain Dates and make puree.
  • Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.
  • Mix flour, cinnamon powder, salt ,baking powder in a large bowl.
  • Mix eggs,sugar,oil,vanilla essence and date puree in a big bowl, beat the mixture 2-3 min in mixer or hand held mixer.
  • Add all dry ingredients and beat for another 2-3 mins
  • Now add flour dusted Walnuts and Raisins in above mixture.
  • Pour  this mixture in oil greased tin dusted with flour.
  • Bake the Cake  until the knife or toothpick comes out clean from middle portion of cake.
  • Cool for 10 minutes.
  • Then remove from tin, garnish with stir fried Date pieces.

Enjoy! 🙂

 

— Until next post

Nisha.

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Achari Chicken

Achari Chicken or Pickle-styled chicken is a classic Indian curry. It utilizes all the spices normally used in any Indian pickle. This recipe is full of flavour and has a unique spicy and sour taste. It tastes heavenly with freshly made chapattis (Indian flat-bread)  or butter naan.

My family’s favourite chicken curry. It involves use of simple masala made from scratch, without any preservatives. A delicious dish for everyone’s palate. Read on! 🙂

Achari Chicken

Achari Chicken

Ingredients ( serves 3 )

For Achari Masala

  • Dry red chillies – 3 or 4
  • Fenugreek seeds (methi seeds ) – 1/4th tsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Onion seeds (kalonji ) – 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander seeds – 1 tsp
  • Cumin – 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

For Achari chicken curry

  • Chicken – 500gm
  • Yoghurt – 1 cup
  • Tomato – 2 (medium sized, finely chopped )
  • Chilly powder – 1 tsp
  • Achari Masala – ( made previously )
  • Ginger-garlic paste – 1tbsp
  • Lemon juice – 2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Cooking oil – 3 tbsp

For Garnishing

  • Chopped coriander/mint leaves

Method

For Achari masala

  • Dry-roast fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, onion seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds. Cool this mix and keep aside
  • Mix dry red-chillies and turmeric powder in above mixture and grind all the ingredients coarsely.

For Achari Chicken Curry

  • Cut the chicken into pieces and add yoghurt, mix well. Marinate the chicken in yoghurt for half an hour.
  • Sauté ginger-garlic paste for a few seconds. Add the marinated chicken and as well as the yoghurt into the pan. Fry the chicken for a few minutes.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and cook on low heat for a few minutes.
  • Add chilly powder, Achari masala and salt. Stir the chicken curry for a few minutes, till the oil separates.
  • Add 1 cup of warm water. Cover and cook on low heat, till the chicken is cooked just perfectly. Add lemon juice and cook for another few seconds.
  • Remove the pan from heat and rest the chicken for 10-15 minutes, with the lid on. In order to allow the chicken to soak up all the flavours and juices.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve !

Enjoy this delicious recipe with your friends and family!

Achari Chicken

Achari Chicken

– Until next post

Nisha 🙂

Basbousa – A classic Middle-Eastern dessert

Middle-east has always been close to my palette. Having stayed in UAE and Oman for almost 12 years. Me and my family has been closely associated with Arabic cuisine.

Today I’m going to show you how to prepare a very classic Turkish Dessert – Basbousa. It’s called by various names across different regions including Halva de semolina, Love Cake, Harissa, Namourrah and many more. It is usually a sugary cake made of cooked semolina soaked in a simple syrup.

Basbousa is a versatile dessert. It can be amended as per your taste with various flavouring ingredients such as orange, lemon, coconut, chocolate or even nuts. Read on ! 🙂

Basbousa topped with blanched Almonds

Basbousa topped with blanched Almonds

Ingredients

For Semolina Cake

  • Semolina – 1 Cup
  • Egg  – 1
  • Butter – 1/4th cup ( softened )
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup ( Finely ground )
  • Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Yoghurt – 1/2 cup
  • Salt – 1 pinch
  • Yellow food colouring – 1 drop ( optional )

For Sugar Syrup

  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Lemon juice – 1 tsp

For Garnishing

  • Blanched Almonds – 11/12

Method

For sugar syrup

  • Boil sugar, water and lemon juice until it thickens for about 5-6 minutes.cool the mixture and keep aside.

For semolina cake

  • Add butter, sugar, vanilla essence and egg. Beat until its light and fluffy.
  • Mix semolina, baking powder and salt. This forms our dry ingredients Add this to the butter mixture made previously.
  • Pre-heat the oven at 180 degree
  • Grease pan with oil/butter, pour the batter. Decorate the cake batter with halved almonds.
  • Bake the batter in the oven for 20-22 minutes.
  • Remove the semolina cake from oven make sure that it’s crust is light golden in colour.
  • Pour warm sugar syrup and leave the cake for 2 hours, so that the sugar syrup is adequately absorbed by the semolina.
  • You can add a couple of drops of rose water or any juice like orange juice in order to bring out more flavours to Basbousa.

Savour this classic Arabic Dessert with a dollop of whipped cream! Enjoy! 🙂

Until next post –

Nisha 🙂

Guava And Paneer Kofta Curry.

After two titillating desserts, its time for some savoury dish. Here’s a recipe for one-of-a-kind Kofta combination you might have ever tasted- Guava and Paneer! Go ahead read on, and try this wonderful dish! Enjoy.

Guava Ad Paneer Kofta Curry.

Guava And Paneer Kofta Curry.

Ingredients –

For Kofta –

  • Guava – 1 (grated – make sure that you remove as many seeds as possible.)
  • Paneer – 100gm ( mashed )
  • Bread crumbs – 1 cup
  • Green chillies – 2 ( chopped )
  • Sugar – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for shallow fry

For Gravy –

  • Onions – 2
  • Tomato – 2
  • Almonds – 5-6
  • Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Garam Masala – 1 tsp
  • Cooking oil – 3 tbsp
  • Ginger-Garlic Paste – 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste

For Garnishing –

    • Fresh Cream – 2 tbsp
    • Chopped coriander leaves

guava 2

Method –

For Kofta-

  • Take all ingredients of Kofta, mix well into dough-like consistency. Make small patty/balls and shallow fry them in a non-stick pan.

For gravy –

  • In a pan, add 1 tbsp of oil heat on medium flame. Add chopped onions, sauté for 1 minute. Till the onions a golden brown, then add chopped tomatoes and crushed almonds. Stir fry for few seconds. Rest this mixture for a while, till it gets to room temperature. Blend it, into  smooth paste.
  • In another pan, add 2 tbsp of oil, ginger-garlic paste and tomato-onion-almond paste cook for 1 minute.
  • Add chilly powder, salt, turmeric powder and garam masala. Fry till the oil separates. Add 1 cup of water and cook for another minute.
  • Make sure that the gravy is thickened.

Serve the gravy with the cooked Kofta and garnish with fresh cream and chopped coriander leaves. Enjoy!

Green Apple and Cashewnut Halwa.

This Diwali I thought of making something interesting, instead of using the usual ingredients I thought of giving it another dimension! While the Red Apples are sweet and juicy, the green apples tend to have a unique sweet and sour taste. Today I’m using this exquisite fruit into a wholesome Cashewnut Halwa. Enjoy!

Green Apple and Cashewnut Halwa.

Green Apple and Cashewnut Halwa.

Ingredients ( serves 4 ) –

  • Green Apples – 3 (grated)
  • Cashewnut powder – 1 cup
  • Khoya  – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Green food colouring – 1 drop (optional)
Fresh and juicy green apples.

Fresh and juicy green apples.

Garnishing

  • Almonds – Roasted and finely chopped.
  • vanilla ice cream

Method –

  • Add grated green apples and sugar in a non stick pan. Cook the mixture on medium flame for few seconds. Make sure that the apples do not get mashed completely.
  • Add cashewnut powder and cook on high heat, stirring continuously.
  • Reduce the flame and add Khoya. Mix well and cook till you get Halwa consistency.
  • Add one drop of green food colouring and mix well.
  • Refrigerate for an hour! And serve!
  • This Halwa tastes wonderful with a dollop of vanilla ice cream as well. 😉

Diwali Delight – Kiwi Phirni

Kiwifruit as most us know is an exotic fruit with a brilliant green colour and unique taste, but most us here don’t know that this fruit is packed with enzymes, manages blood pressure, boosts immunity and protects from DNA damage. so why not incorporate this wonderful fruit in our Indian cuisine.

So here is a delicious recipe of Kiwi Phirni packed with health benefits and incredible taste. 🙂

Kiwi Phirni

Kiwi Phirni

Ingredients ( serves 6 ) –

  • Kiwi fruit – 2
  • Sugar – 4 tbsp
  • Rice flour – 1 and 1/2 tbsp
  • Milk – 2 cups
  • A pinch of salt

Garnish –

  • Sliced kiwi pieces
  • Crushed almonds

Method

  • Chop kiwi, and blend it into puree along with 1 tbsp of sugar.
  • Cook this puree preferably in a microwave for 1 minute or in a non-stick pan for 1/2 a minute. Cool this mix to room temperature.
  • In another saucepan add milk and 3 tbsp of sugar and bring it on heat.
  • Add rice flour and 1/4th cup of water in a bowl. Stir this mixture into the milk, heating in the saucepan.
  • Add pinch of salt. Cook this Phirni for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously.
  • Remove the saucepan from heat, and cool the Phirni to room temperature.
  • Now lastly mix the Kiwi-sugar mixture and Rice Phirni properly
  • Garnish the Kiwi Phirni with sliced pieces of kiwifruit and crushed almonds.
  • Refrigerate it for one hour (optional) and serve!

Kiwi Phirni is ready in minutes and ready to savour!

Until next recipe-

Nisha

Corn Chicken Korma

A simple and easy chicken curry with succulent pieces of chicken, corn and a hint of capsicum. Its a quick recipe for wholesome goodness and exquisite flavours. Enjoy 🙂

Chicken And Corn Korma

Chicken And Corn Korma

 Ingredients

  • Boneless Chicken  – 200gm
  • corn kernels  – 1 cup
  • Green capsicum  – 1
  • Onions  – 2 (medium sized)
  • Ginger  Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
  • Tomato puree  – 1/2 cup
  • Red chilly powder  – 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric Powder  – 1/2 tbsp
  • Biryani masala  – 1 tbsp (any brand shall suffice)
  • Cooking Oil  – 3 tbps
  • Cashewnut Paste  – 1 tbps
  • Salt to taste

For Garnishing

  • Chopped Coriander Leaves

IMG-20141021-WA0005

Method

  • Cut chicken into small cubes.
  • Boil corn kernels with a pinch of salt as per necessary.
  • Cut green capsicum and onions into small pieces
  • Heat oil in a vessel/pan, add onions. Sautee’ till they become golden brown.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste and cook for 1 minutes
  • Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and Biryani masala. Stir for a seconds.
  • Pour tomato puree into the above mix. Cook till the oil separates, stirring constantly.
  • Add chicken, stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water and let it simmer for a few minutes.
  • Add capsicum and boiled corn kernels. Stir well, keep the flame on low heat until the chicken is cooked.
  • Add the Cashewnut paste and mix well.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves, and serve hot!!

Enjoy this simple  chicken delicacy with your friends and family!

until next recipe-

Nisha