Double chocolate banana bread

This is a ‘bread’ for chocolate lovers. From Deb of the famous Smitten kitchen blog. Decadent, with chunks of chocolate and cocoa powder, and some banana to, um, make it healthy? It’s definitely a keeper of a recipe.

1 cup of mashed banana

115 g melted butter

145 g brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 tsp baking soda

1/ 4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup plain flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

200g chocolate chips or chunks of chocolate

Mix the melted butter, sugar, egg, vanilla essence and banana.

Sieve the flour, soda, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon.

Mix dry to wet ingredients. Add the chocolate. Gently fold.

Grease a 9×5″ loaf pan fill it with the mix and bake in a 170C fan forced oven for 55- 60 minutes.

Cool in the tin for ten minutes before turning out.

Keeps for 4 days

Recipe source: Smitten kitchen

Vegetarian samosa shepherds pie

The moment I saw the title I knew I had to make it. I mean samosa, shepherds pie and vegetarian to boot? Had to be good. And it is good. Although you might have to suspend your disbelief a tad, because a samosa made with lentils and mushrooms?

But apart from that it is a delicious way to cook lentils and potatoes like a pie. I tweaked the original recipe to make it taste like a samosa, well sort of, and amped up the spice to suit my chilli oriented taste buds.

INGREDIENTS

750g potatoes

2/3 cups coconut milk

1 onion

4 garlic

1″ ginger ( my addition)

3 green chillies ( not in original recipe)

250 g mushrooms

1 cup crushed tomato ( I used crushed can tomatoes)

1 cup puy lentils ( this lentil, also known as French lentils, holds its shape after cooking and is best here. You don’t want mashed lentils) ( original recipe used split peas)

1 cup frozen peas

1 tsp each coriander powder, cummin powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and Garam masala powder ( original recipe used just two tsp Garam masala powder)

1 tsp kasuri methi ( my addition)

some curry leaves ( my addition)

Coriander leaves ( my addition)

salt to taste

METHOD

Cook the peeled and chopped potatoes in salted water till soft. Drain and mash, adding the coconut milk. Set aside.

Cook the washed lentils in water till done. Drain and add salt to taste.

Cook the peas and keep.

In some olive oil fry the onion, chilli, ginger and garlic all chopped fine. Add the curry leaves too. After 5-6 minutes add the mushrooms, chopped fine. Stir for a few minutes then add the crushed tomatoes and all the spices. Cook till almost dry, then add the lentils and peas. Season well and finally add the kasuri methi.

Take an 8″ dish, fill it with the lentil mix. Spread the potato mash on top and cover the surface. Create lines with a fork.

At this point you can leave the dish as is and bake it when you want it.

Bake in an 180C preheated oven for 35 minutes. If you want some colour you can grill it for a few minutes.

Serve with micro herbs or with plenty of  chopped coriander as I did.

Serves 6

Recipe source: 101 cookbooks.com

 

 

Strawberry drink

There seems to be a glut of strawberries where I live. After gorging on strawberries, making jam, cakes, smoothies and what not I was looking for something a little different. And along came this drink. Simple, sweet, delicious. Done.

Wash and prepare 500g of strawberries. Chop roughly and add 1/2 cup sugar and leave it for half an hour.

Now whizz it with a cup of milk. Add 2 more cups of milk and a cup of buttermilk. Cool in the fridge overnight and serve next day. Or serve chilled well.

Recipe source: smitten kitchen

 

 

Capsicum fry

My favourite vegetable capsicum fried with the usual spices is always delicious but the addition of ground peanuts or some idli powder at the end makes it even better.

Fry in a little oil some cummin seeds, mustard seeds then one big red onion diced. When soft add 1 big green capsicum chopped into small pieces.

Add 1 tsp of coriander powder, 1 tsp cummin powder, some turmeric powder and a little chilli powder. Add salt to taste and cover and cook for 5-7 minutes. It should be cooked but not mushy.

Grind 2 tablespoon of peanuts and add. Mix well. Or add a Tablespoon of dosa/idli powder. I used peanut powder.

A nice slice

A shortbread like base topped with jam and lots of nuts what’s not to like? Bill Granger’s nutty slice.

Ingredients

210g butter

55g + 110g castor sugar

2 tsp vanilla essence

200g almond flakes

2 Tb milk

225 g plain flour

40 g corn flour

1/2 -3/4 cup jam

Method

Preheat oven to 180C

Line a 24x20cm rectangular tray.

In a pan, heat 55g sugar, milk, almonds, 1 tsp of essence and 60g of the butter, stirring to make sugar melt. Remove and cool the mix.

Rest of butter beat with the remaining sugar and vanilla till creamy.

Sift the flours and add to the beaten mix gradually beating on low speed.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Now spread the jam on then top it with the nut mix.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Makes about 20 x 5cm slices.

Recipe Source: Bill Granger

 

Mixed vegetables

An assortment of veggies cooked with a few spices and your daily dose of vegetable intake is solved in one go.

Chop about 200g of green beans, a big carrot, one small potato into small cubes.

Fry in a little oil the following:

1/2 tsp mustard

1/4 tsp fenugreek

1 tsp pepper

4-5 red chilies dry

Paste this with a tiny ball of tamarind, half a marble size.

Heat oil in a pan, fry little cummin seeds and mustard seeds. Now add the diced vegetables and cook. When nearly done add the paste, salt to taste and turmeric powder. Cover and cook till done.  Don’t add any water to cook. It should be a dry dish at the end of cooking.

 

Puliinji

This is the best pulinji recipe ever. Just make it. No need to say more. From Ammupatti’s thoughts blog.

INGREDIENTS

250g tamarind

200g fresh ginger

100g green chilli

150g jaggery

1 cup gingelly oil

1Tb urad, channa dal, mustard

4 dry red chillies

1/2 tsp asafoetida powder

some curry leaves

salt

1 tsp turmeric powder

METHOD

Chop the ginger and green chillies into fine pieces. Soak tamarind in a cup of water and take the juice.

Melt jaggery in a little water to melt and strain.

Heat a thick pan add all the oil. Season with the dry chillies, mustard, dals, curry leaves, asafoetida and turmeric powder. Now add the ginger and chillies. Fry for five minutes on high heat. Add the tamarind juice and jaggery. Reduce heat and cook for half an hour, stirring in between to prevent it burning. Add salt to taste. Cool and bottle.

Lasts for at least six months in the fridge but it is so delicious, let me add, it won’t last much😜

Makes about  600ml

Recipe source: Ammupatti’s Thoughts

 

 

 

 

Lunch

My lunch today. Spring onions and asparagus stir fried and tossed with soy sauce, caster sugar and salt. Garnished with coriander leaves and  peanuts and drizzled with sesame oil. Delicious. Served with a little rice on the side.

Adapted from Heidi’s 101 cookbooks

Eggplant curry

A spicy tasty curry with eggplants, tomatoes and potatoes cooked with spices.

Ingredients

1 tsp mustard

1 tsp tur dal

1/2 tsp fenugreek

some curry leaves

pinch of asafoetida

4 garlic cloves

1 big onion sliced thin

1 cup tomato

200g eggplant

1 small potato

2 tsp sambar powder

1 tsp chilli powder

small lemon size tamarind soaked

3 Tb coconut

1 tomato

salt

oil

Method

Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard, tur dal, asafoetida, curry leaves and whole cloves of garlic. Then add the onions. Fry till golden. Add the tomato pieces. After 5 minutes add the chopped eggplant and potato. Fry for 5-8 minutes till soft. Add the spice powders, then the tamarind juice. Check for salt. Add enough water to just cover the veggies. Boil for a few minutes.

Grind the coconut and tomato to a smooth paste and add to the veggies. Boil for 5 minutes. Serve hot.