Creamy mango chickpea curry

Meatless Monday? No Problem ! creamy mango chickpea curry

With this 30 minute out-of -this- world, high protein,  chickpea mango curry , you won’t miss the meat at ALL !

creamy mango chickpea curry

Let me clear up something before you freak out ,NO, these chillies  didn’t end up in this  curry!

These Chillies are from my garden. My husband maintains the herb and veggie garden , he brought them in, while I was trying to shoot the pictures.These  were too darn cute and  thought the colours would bring some life to this post.

creamy mango chickpea curry

I used  dried chickpeas . I soaked them in water the previous night , and pressure cooked it for 3 mins. But, canned chickpeas works well too.

We will be using whole spices namely, cloves , cardamom and cinnamon barks to flavour this dish, followed by ginger and garlic paste for fragrance and metabolism , then turmeric for color and antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, followed by chilli powder to cut the sweetness of the mangoes and richness of the coconut milk and coriander powder for binding/thickening this curry .

I try to incorporate  fresh, organic , wholesome produce as much as possible. I try and  avoid using  canned products, the only canned item that I am struggling to get rid off from my pantry is coconut- milk. This is because most of the fresh coconuts are imported  from Thailand and  Indonesia and  by the time they hit the Australian supermarket shelves the coconuts are already spoilt.

I personally think that , switching to whole foods  is not so much of an inconvenience, all that is required is a little bit of ‘Planning’ and an organised Pantry . Easier said than done, I know , but trust me , once you get used to eating clean , wholesome food , you will not go back to the canned stuff . Canned foods contain low quality produce, BPA (bisphenol) which is a toxic plastic coating to keep food fresh , high Sodium (Salt) content,and Aluminium  leakage, just name a few .So please avoid canned food items if you can.

Where were we? Umm..  yea the curry ,

This curry is sweet , mildly spiced  and  CREAMY  where the sweetness and the thickness comes from the mangoes , creaminess from chickpeas and the the luxurious taste and flavour from coconut  milk. If we are talking about curry and comfort this is it ! 🙂

Random thought – the whole spices mentioned above when roasted on low heat and ground is called –Garam (hot) masala – meaning, hot, aromatic spice mix. And, in saying that, there is no set- recipe for garam masala, combination of the spice differs from state to state, and also on individual’s preference and availability. But the base for most garam masala mix includes, Fennel, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, star anise, bay leaf and dried red chillies. I will try to post a recipe for homemade garam masala the spice addiction way , shortly .

creamy mango chickpea curry

Creamy Mango Chickpea curry
 
Prep time
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This curry is sweet , mildly spiced and CREAMY where the sweetness and the thickness comes from the mangoes , the creaminess from the chickpeas and the the luxurious taste and flavour from coconut milk. If we are talking about curry and comfort this is it !
Author:
Recipe type: Lunch / Dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp of Sunflower or vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 small cinnamon sticks (broken into small pieces )
  • 2 cloves
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds (optional)
  • 2 cardamon pods, bruised
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • 1 sprig curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 cup chickpeas cooked /canned
  • ½ cup fresh ripe or frozen mangoes (thawed)
  • 1 medium red onion finely chopped
  • 2small tomato chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch of ginger
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • Salt - according to taste .
  • 1 tsp lemon /lime juice
Instructions
  1. Pressure cook the chickpeas for 3 mins ( 2 whistles ), please don't overcook as this will result in mushy chickpeas . If using canned chickpeas, wash and drain them and keep aside .
  2. Blend the onion ginger and garlic to a smooth paste .set aside .
  3. Blend the tomatoes until smooth .set aside .
  4. Heat oil in a non stick pan on medium heat , add curry leaves , mustard seeds , cinnamon , cloves and cardamom .Saute
  5. Add the Onion , ginger garlic paste , fry well for 3- 4 mins .
  6. Add the tomato puree , cook for 3 mins.
  7. Add turmeric powder , followed by chilli powder and coriander powder .Mix well .
  8. Add the mangoes, chickpeas and coconut milk and salt .Give it a stir and cook for 6 to 8 mins .
  9. Add Lemon /lime juice , stir and Garnish with cilantro (coriander leaves)
  10. Serve with rice , bread , or just spoon it into a bowl and serve with crusty bread on the side.
Notes
you can replace the spice with 1 tsp of store bought garam masala . Omit step 4 and add the garam masala powder in step 7 .

 

Glowing Green Goddess Smoothie

Ok, I hope the previous post would have gone down much smoother . How about ramping it up a bit by adding  veggies ?oh God NO ! not to  fruit salad ,this time to my smoothies , although adding veggies to  fruit salad seems like a good idea   , but  I’ll experiment with  that idea  later .

Green Goddess Smoothie

Raw(anything) and Me are like oil and water , my kind of Salmon  should be cooked to perfection – ‘White ‘ , chicken  – ‘charred ‘ Yep ,that’s me , I don’t do ‘RAW ‘.

But all this changed recently , when I decided to join the green smoothie cult and find out what the hype was all about . I started this challenge  by adding Leafy greens and vegetables to my smoothie , I was ready to gag and give -up,instead I was amazed that I couldn’t taste the greens or the veggies in my smoothie AT ALL! Can I tell you , It was just like sipping on a tropical slushies.

Green Goddess Smoothie

here’s what goes into my ‘Green Goddess’ smoothie

Kale /spinachwe all know that ‘kale is King ‘– it ranks number one among vegetables on the ORAC ( oxygen radical absorbance capacity scale ).There are numerous articles on the benefits of kale on the  internet , but to sum it up , kale has no fat , loads of fibre , vitamin K , A, C, Folate ,and  potassium .kale has more iron per calorie than beef and more calcium per calorie than milk and loaded with phytochemicals to fight  cell damaging free radicals

Antioxidants – we keep hearing them quite frequently , from green tea to red wine , but what are they ?

Antioxidants are vital in fighting against the free radical damage to cells caused by oxidation  These nasty guys a.k.a ‘Free Radicals’ are unstable molecules within  our  cells , that steal electrons from other molecules causing damage to DNA and other cells . External factors  also contribute to production of free radicals and one such example is radiation from the sun , which results in sagging of the skin ,lines , wrinkles and dullness  .

Although we  cannot control the free radical occurrence and oxidation , we can certainly help neutralise  the damage by consuming antioxidant rich  fruits and vegetables.

Pomegranates – This intricate fruit contains  ‘Punicalagin‘ – a compound high in  Antioxidant Pomegranate  seeds and juice  increase oxygen levels to heart , reduce vascular inflammation , helps fight arthritis , reduces cholesterol and diabetes This is the reason why I  add these   gorgeous little  dynamites to my green smoothie. You can also add them  to fruit salads , green salads , and sprinkle them on top of yoghurt pots .

If you are on prescription medications kindly consult your  doctor  prior to consuming this fruit as it may sometimes  react with certain medications .

Green Goddess Smoothie Kiwi –  We all know  Kiwi fruits  are rich in Vitamin C, K and E  , a good source of potassium , folate and manganese, I add them for their High  Dietary fibre element .I strongly believe  that overall well being starts with the proper functioning of the gut (gastrointestinal system) and its  ability to absorb the nutrients and circulate it to other parts of the body.  In order for   effective absorption , residual toxin needs to be removed from the gut .Fibre  plays a crucial role in binding and removing  toxins from the stomach. Numerous research have  indicated  that diets high in dietary fibre can reduce cholesterol , which in turn may reduce  heart attack and diabetes .

Banana , Mango & Pineapple : Bananas have a  flavour masking ability , when blended with  strongest – tasting greens ,  can transform the strong flavours  into a creamy , smooth , delightful drink . Mango and pineapple  for their tropical flavour and natural sugar content and high  vitamin C , which is the key for collagen formation resulting in  healthy – glowing skin.

Chia ,Cinnamon & Coconut water : Chia Seeds are high in Omega 3 , cinnamon for its ability to stabilize blood sugar and increase metabolism  and coconut water for rejuvenation and hydration . 

 Sorry about the long post ,  i just wanted  to capture the benefits of this smoothie and the impact that this  might have on you and your body .Give this smoothie a  try and, like me , you will soon  become a devout member of the green smoothie cult  😉

You will shine from inside out!

IMG_2587

 

Glowing Green Goddess Smoothie
 
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Super Easy Green Goddess Smoothie packed with full of antioxidants and fibre .
Author:
Recipe type: Smoothie
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 frozen ripe bananas sliced
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut water *
  • 1 cup chopped pineapple
  • ½ cup chopped mangoes
  • 1 kiwi fruit sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh pomegranate arils
  • 1½ cup kale/spinach leaves *
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
Instructions
  1. Blend bananas with coconut water until smooth, scrape down the sides .
  2. Add the other ingredients.Blend for 2 mins until combined and serve .
Notes
*If kale is too strong for your liking , reduce kale to ½ cup and add 1 cup of spinach .
Almond milk , regular milk , soy milk can be used instead of coconut water .
This recipe is just a guide , you can mix any of your favourite fruits , like apple,melons , avocados etc.

Summer Fruit Salad with Exotic Star Anise and Cardamom Syrup

Summer Fruit Salad with Exotic Star Anise and Cardamom Syrup

Going 2 & 5.  What in the world?!

Summer Fruit Salad with Exotic Star Anise and Cardamom SyrupHealth critics are arguing that we don’t eat enough  fruits and vegetables as per our daily requirement and have encouraged to take 2 servings of fruits and 5 servings of vegetables.

Let’s pretend like we didn’t read the last part and concentrate on ‘Fruits’. Sounds easier to the eyes , right ?! 😉

Summer Fruit Salad with Exotic Star Anise and Cardamom Syrup

As much as I love baking, there are times, where I like  to entertain with fresh, simple, throw -it -altogether desserts .Let’s  be real here , after preparing entrees  and mains  the last thing I want to do is spend  time in  preparing a quality dessert to compliment the food.

Summer Fruit Salad with Exotic Star Anise and Cardamom Syrup

Fresh fruits have always come to my rescue and have never disappointed in delivering a quality dessert.And for a decadent dessert I always try to pair exoctic /tropical fruits with a  bright summery syrup like  this star anise and cardamon syrup . This simple-spiced syrup  with  liquorice notes is the one that brings  out the flavour of the fruits  and is sort of a marinade and trust me, it only gets better, as it sits.

Summer Fruit Salad with Exotic Star Anise and Cardamom Syrup

Serves 6

Preparation 30 mins 

Ingredients 

1 big star fruit sliced thinly  (carambola)

1/2 small paw paw /papaya

1/2 small rock melon/honeydew melon

10 cherries, seeded.

1 Medium mango

2 kiwi fruits, sliced .

Vanilla Ice cream

Star Anise and Cardamom Syrup

1 cup (220 gms) caster sugar

1/2 cup  water

4 star Aniseed

3 cardamom pods bruised

Juice of 1 lime

Directions :

1.Peel and cut the fruits into small pieces .

2.Combine , star anise , bruised cardamom pods , water, sugar and lime juice in a medium saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves .Increase the heat and bring the syrup to a slight boil ,until it reaches the consistency of a thick syrup , remove from heat allow it to cool completely  .

3.Arrange the fruits in a serving bowl and strain and drizzle the syrup and allow to macerate in the fridge or 30 mins  . Serve with a Scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Additional Notes :

  • Syrup can be made 1 week ahead and stored in in a clean crew top jar in the refrigerator.
  •  This syrup will go well with others fruits like , apples , strawberries , pineapple,pear , grape fruits, blood oranges etc.

Summer Fruit Salad with Exotic Star Anise and Cardamom SyrupSummer Fruit Salad with Exotic Star Anise and Cardamom Syrup

Peppercorn Mutton Fry

Peppercorn Goat (Mutton) fry

Lately I have been busy  with  attending my son’s school interviews,   soccer training  and so on . Can’t believe my  baby  is starting school next year. I will be jumping on  the bandwagon soon, hunting for school shoes ,uniforms ..err.. what else ?(GOOOgle ???)  ahh my life !!

Peppercorn Goat (Mutton) fry

Wait! Please don’t leave.. This post it not all about kids and school…

On that note, I wanted to ask you -Have you tried goat meat? NO?!!

May I just suggest that you do, coz, once you try you will fall in love with this tender, low cholesterol, highly nutritive red meat .We can tackle crocodile and kangaroo meat later 😉

A little about goat meat . Did you know that 70 %of the world’s population eat goat meat ? this is because , goat meat ( Mutton )is the most nutritious red meat , naturally lean and low in saturated fat and cholesterol, especially for people who are watching what they eat .

For the rest of us, who have tried and love cooking with goat meat, I have this mutton dish decoded for you .This recipe takes less than 20 mins in the pressure cooker.

On a side note, I prefer to cook with a pressure than a slow cooker. I love both and I have both , but, I am a huge fan of pressure cooker , not only  because of its  convenience to make healthier food in less time by preserving the   nutrition  and retaining the texture  , but also,  helps in  reducing  energy bill 🙂

Back to my recipe

If you are working mom   running short of time to provide quality meal for the family, this recipe will definitely come in handy.All you have to do is make some rice , saute all the ingredients  for this mutton recipe in the pressure cooker, put the lid on and cook for 10 mins and BAM! dinner is ready.

Peppercorn- Goat (Mutton)-fry

Few thing to note before we start;

Indian cooking is based on Ayurvedic principle , every little spice has a unique part to play , they are not used haphazardly but for a purpose , I am not going into details as this deserves its own post .But for this recipe,please take time in sautéing the spices and the ingredients in the order mentioned . This allows the flavour of the spices to infuse the oil for maximum taste . Please let the onions cook and  caramelise this will add a subtle sweetness to the curry and will cut the spiciness of the chilli powder /pepper . For a tangier version just squeeze half a lemon/lime  at the end .

Serves :4

cooking time :30 mins

Ingredients:

500 g Goat meat*  cut into 1 inch pieces

1 medium onion finely chopped

1 sprig curry leaves

1 tbsp chopped coriander

2 cinnamon barks

2 cloves

1tsp fennel seeds

1 tbsp black peppercorns

1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste

1 tsp  chilli  powder* (1/2 tsp pepper powder for milder version )

½ tsp pepper powder

Salt  according to taste

1/3 cup sunflower  oil

½ tsp pepper powder

¾ cup of water

  1. Heat oil in the pressure cooker on medium flame. Add curry leaves, followed by fennel, cinnamon, cloves and black peppercorns. Close with a lid for 1 or 2 seconds as cloves and peppercorn may splutter.
  2. Open the lid, sauté the spices. Add onions.  Sauté well until onion is translucent and caramelised for about 3 to 4 mins.
  3. Add ginger garlic paste. Mix well for 1 min.
  4. Add chilli powder followed by salt .Mix well.
  5. Add the mutton pieces; mix well, until the masala is coated. Leave it to cook for 2 to 3 mins.
  6. Add ¾ of water, Mix to combine and close the pressure cooker.
  7. When the pressure starts building, put the weight on.
  8. Cook for 10mins. Remove and allow the pressure to settle.
  9. Open the lid and allow gravy to boil on a medium heat for 3 to 4 mins.
  10. Finish off with pepper powder and coriander leaves.

Tastes amazing with steamed rice, roti’s or even with a slice of wholemeal bread. Just serve it with plain / Greek yoghurt on the side

Additional Notes :

*Lean beef stir strips can be used instead of goat.

Highly recommend to  buy fresh goat meat from your local butcher  as frozen ones are imported from overseas .

Peppercorn Goat (Mutton) fry

White Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla frosting

Bringing you  the world’s most  easiest , most requested , hands down yummiest , white chocolate cupcakes  !

best-white -chocolate- cupcake

Where do I start with describing this cupcake ?

Should I start with the velvety texture of the cupcake that is brought forth by mixing white chocolate , milk , butter and sugar ?

Or the taste that would leave you begging for more ?

best-white -chocolate- cupcakeEither way  this is a winner .

I Love baking – one of the  main reason for me to start this blog . And, I can boldly say that this  recipe  is the one that started it all !

Melt- in- your- Mouth- White- Chocolate- Cupcakes

Ok ,I’ve got  to confess ..I am more of a baker than anything , but when my father-in law came for a visit , he introduced me to  a whole new world of  cooking  which includes game meats , traditional  style curries  etc, which needed to be documented , and voila! Spice Addiction was born .

Anyway back to my first love .. BAKING ! 🙂

This recipe was originally intended  for  a coffee cake but I adapted  this recipe from  ‘Everyday Gourmet with Justine Schofield’  and made this into cupcakes .

You can easily turn this into a cake , which I usually do for birthdays .

This cupcake has always  made an appearance  in our household at birthday parties , dinner tables and even when visiting friends  for coffee .

This  cupcake is incredibly easy  to make ,even my 4yr old helps me with  baking  his favourite cupcakes . Did I tell you that he is very picky ?

This is his favourite cake and   you will see why,  after you give this  recipe a try . OMG ! that rhymed 🙂

This cake is  versatile , due to its density , this cake can withstand decoration and  if you are looking  to use  fondant  , look no further .best-white -chocolate- cupcake-

These cupcakes  tastes great on their  own without any fancy frosting, but ,i ‘m going to take these  cupcakes one step further  by adding Sally’s Vanilla Frosting ? why you ask  ? because  , when  I have  decided to indulge , I  better do it right . Don’t you agree ?

best-white -chocolate- cupcake

Serves :12

Ingredients :

2  large eggs  at room temperature

250 gms Butter

1 cup (200  g )caster sugar

1 cup (125 g )self raising  flour*

1 cup(125 g ) plain flour

1 (200 G) block of white chocolate ( I used cadbury )

1 cup Milk

Vanilla  Whipped  Cream Frosting:

¾ cup  (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

3  cups (360g) Icing sugar*

1 teaspoon vanilla extract ( I used queens )

¼  cup heavy cream

Salt, to taste

*You can substitute  self raising flour with  plain flour /All purpose flour by adding 1 ½  teaspoon of baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt .

Directions :

Preheat  oven to 160 degrees .

Combine   Butter , white chocolate , sugar , milk  in a saucepan heat gently , Stirring occasionally , until melted and smooth .

Set aside and let it cool slightly .

Beat in the eggs to the cooled mixture . Slowly mix in the dry ingredients , until combined.  until no lump remains , do not over mix .

Divide the batter among 12 cupcake liners (or 24 mini ) and bake for up to 20 mins  or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean .Bake for 8 to 10 minutes if making mini cupcakes . Allow to cool .

Vanilla Frosting :

Beat butter in a bowl using electric hand held  mixer  or stand mixer using paddle attachment  on  medium speed until light and fluffy for 3 minutes .

Add vanilla Extract

Turn off the mixer and add in icing sugar  and cream. Mix on low for 1 minute  and increase the speed  and beat on high  for 5 minutes .

If frosting is too thick , gradually add in more cream , if too thin then , add icing sugar .

Add ¼ teaspoon of salt  if the frosting is too sweet . Frost  the  cooled cupcakes .

For those of you who are good with self-control,  these cupcakes can be stored in  airtight containers  for up to 2 days and in the refrigerators for 4 days .

Additional notes :

As mentioned earlier you can very well turn this into cake  by simply  spooning  the mixture into a greased  and base lined  8 inch /22 cm springform cake pan .

best-white -chocolate- cupcake

 

Best Coconut Flour Chocolate Chips Banana Muffin with Streusel Topping

Best -Coconut- Flour- Chocolate -Chips Banana -Muffin

Hello World !!

We have tried cooking with coconut milk , coconut oil  and desiccated / flaked  coconuts , now let’s take coconuts  to the next level –  Baking !

Healthy -Banana- Muffin

This muffin is packed with full of flavour and goodness and the taste that will make you reach for  2   4 of these .

I wouldn’t   mind  feeding these muffins  to  my kids   for breakfast, lunch , and dinner – not really , really , maybe …

This muffin is super healthy and knowing that there are no yucky bits and refined sugar, I try to  bake them  quite frequently .These muffins store really well and serves as a great lunchbox snack .

This super healthy  Paleo / gluten free muffin is made of  coconut flour,replacing wheat (plain )flour,coconut oil instead of butter  honey and banana instead of sugar.When I tried these muffin for the time I was honestly surprised that they didn’t have the overpowering taste of coconut.

why coconut flour you ask , well , the benefits of coconut are incomparable .This nutrient dense  flour is high in fiber and protein ,it has easily  digestible carbohydrates  and helps  regulate blood sugar and  prevents heart disease. Since coconut flour is rich in dietary fibre , it keeps us satiated and curb cravings, which in turn aids weight loss. Above all, the mild flavor and the  light and airy texture make this flour ideal for baking .

wholesome-best ever- coconut flour-banana- muffins

Coconut flour tips:

Due to its density , coconut flour absorbs more liquid .therefore, you will need to use 4 to 6 eggs  along with 1 cup of liquid .If you are not a fan of using 6 eggs , you can combine 1/2 cups of coconut flour with 1/4 almond flour .This will not alter the texture too much but will result in dense, moist , fluffy muffins .

You can make your own coconut flour by soaking 1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes in  4 cups of water for 4 to  5 hrs and then processing it to a smooth paste using a food processor . Drain and squeeze as much   liquid  as possible (coconut milk )using a muslin /cheesecloth. you can use the coconut milk for later by storing it in the refrigerator to make curries or laksa.Transfer the pulp to a  baking sheet and bake in a 200°f (93° C)oven until dry , the time depends on the amount of coconut flakes  used . So please keep checking to avoid burning.Allow this to cool and process until you get the desired texture .For a visual  step by step process click here .

Now let’s get onto baking these muffins . I know, Finally ! 🙂

Ingredients :

4 medium eggs (at room temperature )

1/2 cup of coconut flour

1/4 blanched almond flour

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp Honey (optional)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp coconut oil

1/4 milk(coconut/almond or regular milk can be used )

4 medium overripe bananas

1/4 dark chocolate chips (optional)

Streusel topping:

1/4 cup walnuts

1tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp dark chocolate chips

Directions:

1 Preheat oven to 170°C/350° F ,and grease and line 12 cup muffin tin.

2.In a medium bowl , mix the flour , cinnamon , baking soda and salt .

2.Using a handheld /electric mixer cream coconut oil , honey and vanilla , on a medium speed until light and fluffy .

3.Slowly add in one egg at a time and beat for 1 minute until smooth and creamy. Add in  the apple cider vinegar .

4.Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on a low speed until smooth and combined . Fold  in chocolate chips .

5. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin . fill up to 3/4 full  Sprinkle the streusel topping and bake for 15 to 20 mins until browned lightly .

6. To make the streusel topping , Process walnuts , cinnamon and 1 tbps of chocolate chips,   Mix  remaining  chocolate chips to the processed mixture .

Recipe from Against all Grain.

 

 

 

 

Australia’s Best Carrot Cake

Best-Carrot-cake-in Australia

Really ? I was on the same page as you and decided to put this claim to test .

Best-Carrot-cake-in Australia

And boy was I glad  that I tried baking  this cake , it did live up to its name !

Crunchy pecans,  pineapples  and carrots , the flavour of the spices, and glaze topped with chopped pistachios and  cream cheese icing – just DIVINE !

The process might look tedious but  the end result  would be well worth your time.

Best-Carrot-cake-in Australia

lBest-Carrot-cake-in Australia

Few tips that I found useful while baking this cake

  • Finely grate the carrots,
  • Weigh your ingredients -successful baking relies on exact measurement. Invest in a good digital scale to eliminate the guess work and the need to wash the measuring cups.
  • Try to use fresh walnuts / pecans/ pistachios.
  • When using baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) bake straight after the batter is mixed.
  • Do not overmix the batter; over mixing can cause gluten to form and result in a tough cake.

Best-Carrot-cake-in Australia

Ingredients:

375g (close to 3 cups) plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 ½ tsp bicarb soda

2 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground nutmeg

½ tsp allspice

2 tsp salt

345g castor sugar

375ml (1 ½ cups) vegetable oil

4 eggs

3 medium carrots, finely grated

220g tin crushed pineapple, drained

200g pecans, chopped

GLAZE

2 tbsp vegetable oil

110g brown sugar

2 tbsp milk

40g pecans, chopped

ICING

250g cream cheese, room temperature, cut into cubes

125g unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into cubes

500g icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

1.Preheat the oven to 180 C /160 C fan forced. Grease a 23cm round springform cake pan and line base and sides with baking paper.

2.Sift the dry ingredients together into a bowl.

3.Beat the eggs and oil until thick, and then add to the dry ingredients. Mix well.

4.Add the carrots, crushed pineapple and pecans. Mix until smooth and pour into the cake pan and bake for 30 mins.

5.Meanwhile prepare the glaze by placing brown sugar milk and pecans in a small saucepan over medium heat, stir until combined.

6.Pull the cake out of the oven and carefully pour the glaze over the cake.

7.Continue to bake roughly for 35 to 40 minutes or until a bamboo skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. 6. Remove the cake from the oven and cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Run a butter knife around the inside to free up the cake as the glaze would have melted onto the tin. Remove the cake from the spring form pan and allow it to cool on the wire rack.

 Icing

 Please make sure that butter and cream cheese are at room temperature when preparing the icing.

 Beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy; gradually beat in sifted icing sugar, add vanilla extract and beat for 1 – 2mins.

Put the cake, bottom side down, and cover the top and sides  of the cold cake with frosting.Add chopped pistachios on top of the icing. Allow to set for a few hours before serving. You can easily freeze the left over icing for upt0 4 weeks.

Store the cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3– 4 days.

Best-Carrot-cake-in Australia

Recipe from Good Food

 

Game Meat – Traditional Spatchcock Curry

Traditional -Spatchcock-curry

Let me  start with ..this curry will give you a run for your money !

Traditional -Spatchcock-curry

Coconut , cumin , garlic , onion and Sesame oil – if you like this combo .. then stick on . Although , I must admit that the flavour is a bit intense but tastes great !

I bring you my father-in –laws  spatchcock recipe .

You cannot  go wrong with this   basic  5 ingredients dish . Anyone can make  this  curry !! when I say anyone , there is a prerequisite  i.e. you should know how to use a food processor  . if you do , then read on .

Let’s go !

Traditional-spatchcock-curry

Traditional -Spatchcock-curry

Ingredients:

1 kg Spatchcock *– chopped into medium pieces

Fresh coconut chopped  -1/2 cup

Cumin – ¼ cup

Garlic -5

Onion -2 medium sized  chopped roughly

Curry leave – 1 sprig

Sesame oil – ½ cup

Chili Powder -1 teaspoon

Turmeric – ½ teaspoon

Coriander Powder – 1 tablespoon

Salt – According to your taste

Coriander leaves – 1 sprig

Method :

1. Add coconut, cumin and garlic in the food processor, and grind it  to a coarse paste . Keep aside .

2.Grind onion to a paste .Keep aside .

3.Heat  oil  in the pressure  cooker ,  add curry leaves , followed by onion paste , sauté well

4.Now add the coconut , cumin and garlic paste , sauté  for 3 mins .

5.Add the spatchcock meat and sauté  for  2 mins .

6.add the chilli and turmeric powder , mix well. Add Salt .

7.Add ½ of water , mix well and place the lid  and cook for 10 mins .

8 . When the pressure is released ,open the lid and  on a medium flame cook the curry the excess water evaporates. ( you can omit this step  if you prefer  a bit of gravy ).

9.Add coriander leaves . Stir well . Serve this  with rice or Roti’s.

Additional Note :

Chicken can be used instead of spatchcock .

Soft chewy irresistible Anzac Biscuits

Soft-chewy-irresistible-Anzac Biscuits

Soft chewy irresistible  Anzac Biscuits

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Today is Anzac day, here in Australia- a day of remembrance for the soldiers who fought  during World War 1 .Supermarkets are flooded with these traditional, Australian cookies . I decided to bake my own batch .

Just in case, if you are wondering  what does this biscuits have to do with war ?Anzac biscuits -as it is know today  , made with oats , coconut , golden syrup and no eggs , had the unique ability to stay fresh  for a long time , until it reached the Anzac  soldiers fighting overseas.Baked by moms , wives  and sweethearts , these biscuits symbolized love and care from home.

Here is my take on the famous, Australian classic   -rolled oats , coconut, golden syrup ,  flour and macadamia nuts .I hope you enjoy these biscuits as much as we did !

Soft-chewy-irresistible-Anzac Biscuits

Ingredients :

Preparation :30 mins

Makes 20

125 g butter , chopped .

1 cup (90 gms) rolled oats

1 cup (150 gms) plain (all purpose )flour

1 cup (220 gms) brown sugar, firmly packed .

3/4 cup(60gms) dessicated coconut

1/2 cup(65 gms) finely chopped macadamia nuts

2 Tbsp golden Syrup*

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 Tbsp boiling water

Directions:

1.Preheat oven to 180° C /160 ° C fan-forced .Grease and line a baking tray with baking paper .

2.In a medium saucepan , combine  butter and golden syrup , and stir over low heat until smooth .

3. Mix the baking soda with water and add to the butter mixture , stir to combine .

4.Add the other ingredients , stir to combine .

5. Roll level tablespoons of this mixture into balls . Place  5cms apart  on the baking tray and slightly press to flatten .Bake for 10 to 15 mins , until golden brown. Please make sure to remove  the tray from the oven when the biscuits turn slightly golden brown , if you leave it too long , you will end up with hard , brittle biscuits .Cool completely and  enjoy .

Cookie Tips:

Most Cookies will feel a little bit softer after they have been removed from the oven , they will become firm , when cooled . When in doubt about firmness , remove the cookies from the oven , then ‘push’ one of the cookies on the tray , if it slides, then it’s done , if it sticks to the  baking paper ,it needs more baking.

Additional Notes :

*Treacle, Maple syrup or honey can be substituted for Golden Syrup .

Almonds or cashews can be substituted  for Macadamia nuts.

Soft-chewy-irresistible-Anzac Biscuits

Recipe adapted from Australian Macadamias.

Egg Puffs

Egg-Puffs

Nothing glorious like a warm savoury snack with a cup of tea (chai ) on a rainy day!

Egg-Puffs

So ,With 2  freshly laid eggs  , I decided to bake Egg Puffs (hard boiled eggs stuffed in pastry )

Just to give this humble puff a makeover , I decided to jazz this up into a  braided version .

Nothing fancy here ,what we are talking here is puff pastry stuffed with boiled egg and caramelised onion . Yep ! couldn’t get easier  than that ,  unless you want to make the  pastry dough from scratch  , haha .

Egg -Puffs

I’m   going to keep my  filling simple  with boiled Eggs , sliced onions , ginger garlic paste, pepper, salt  and ohh, a pinch  of garam masala   , but, you can go crazy  and add your favourite ingredients . You can by all means use, cheese , spring onions , bacon , chicken, capsicums , mushroom ,  or even use scrambled eggs. Did I mention that this is a very easy and  forgiving  recipe to bake ?!

Egg -Puffs

Spread a sheet of defrosted puff pastry onto a baking tray , lined with baking sheet. Cut horizontal strips 1/3 of the way down the length of both sides of the pastry. Lay the boiled eggs topped with caramelised onion mixture down the centre, then fold in the sides of the dough like braid to cover the eggs. Bake until the pastry is browned and puffed.

You could very well serve this for  this for breakfast or Brunch . I  like to have these  as a afternoon snack with a hot cup of chai .

Random thought .. did you know that ‘Chai’ in Hindi means- Tea , not the spiced- up version , but just plain ‘Tea’. Spiced up version is called ‘Masala Chai’. That’s right ! masala  in everything 🙂

Ingredients:

2 eggs, boiled and cut into halves

2 sheets of defrosted puff pastry

1 egg white

1 tsp water

2 tbsp unsalted butter

1 big onion sliced

1tsp ginger garlic paste

1/4 tsp garam masala

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp pepper

salt according to taste.

Directions:

  1. In a large non-stick pan, melt butter and sauté the onions until caramelised for 3-4 mins.
  2. Add ginger garlic paste and cook for 1 min.
  3. Add turmeric powder, pepper powder followed by garam masala. Mix well.
  4. Add the eggs, and mix gently to coat the onion mixture. Set aside and cool to room temperature.
  5. If using other ingredients like  Chicken , bacon ,mushroom, capsicum,  etc., just add them along with the onions and sauté for 2 -3 mins . Please take care not to overcook as we will be finishing this off in the oven.
  6. Heat oven to 200 degrees.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk egg white and water.
  8. Spread one sheet of puff pastry on a baking sheet . Trim the sides of the pastry to form slanting strips,Place  2 halves (1 egg ) topped with the onion mixture and braid using alternate strips to enclose the egg mixture . Repeat with other pastry sheet.
  9. Brush with egg wash and bake for 20- 25 mins or until browned .Enjoy with a hot cup of tea or coffee .

Egg-Puffs