A Recipe Which Saved Me from Blushes

Often people get embarrassed not because of their mistakes but due to others. Recently I experienced the same when my sister boasted about my culinary excellence in front of her best friend, just because once I expressed my liking towards her friend. But the blunder was, I do not know how to cook. And soon I got into a fix, when her friend once landed up my place suddenly anRaindrops Reciped expressed her desire to eat something exotic. But thankfully I managed to get hold of my mother’s cook-book and produced something which even I never had before. The good thing about my savior recipe is it can be made from simple available ingredients without any preliminary culinary training and the best thing is, I found my love. Even you can make use of this wonder recipe. Enjoy cooking.

Basmati Rice Salad with Mango and Cucumber

1 Cup Basmati Rice
1 Tbs. Vinegar

1 Tbs. Olive oil
1 Tbs. Sesame oil
2 Tbs. Finely grated fresh ginger
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cups diced mango (1/2-inch)
1/2 cups diced peeled cucumber (1/2-inch)
1/2 cup thinly sliced spring onion
Fresh cilantro leaves

Salt to taste

Rinse the rice under cold water and drain. Put the rice in a microwave safe container and add 2 cups of water and little olive oil. Place it in microwave oven for 15 mins.

Transfer the rice to a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 1 Tbs. of the sesame oil, and toss lightly to coat. Spread the rice on the baking sheet and cool completely in the refrigerator.

Put the vinegar in a small bowl and gradually whisk in the remaining olive oil. Whisk in the sesame oil and ginger. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and additional vinegar or olive oil needed.

Put the cooked and cooled rice in a large serving bowl and toss to break up any clumps. Add the mango, cucumber, spring onion, cilantro and toss. Taste and season as needed with more salt, pepper, and serve.

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Rice Krispies Base

X-Mas is too near to attempt and try for a recipe. So here we bring to you a well-thought recipe, a yummy one to leave your X-Mas eve a fantabulously delightful one.

Here you go:

Rice-Krispies

Rice Krispies Base

  1. Melt ¼ cup (50 ml) of butter or margarine over low heat
  2. Mix a 250g package of marshmallows with butter or margarine until completely melted and remove from heat
  3. Stir in a dash of vanilla extract (optional) and mix in six cups (1.5 L) of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal until well coated; allow to cool; and form into shape

Once the shape is formed, finish the ball with confectionary decorations such as fondant, sugar beads and sugar crystals. For the more advanced bakers, you can make your own fondant but it’s also available pre-made. Decorations are available at grocery stores, online or at your local crafting store or cake decorating supply shop.

Once complete, package the ornament in a clear cellophane bag, secure the closure with a fabric ribbon tied in a bow with a Holiday trinket like a jingle bell, tiny candy cane or sprig of holly; add a hang tag with your greeting and it’s ready to go!

COCONUT RICE NOODLES – Hungry already? ;)

coconut rice noodle

Ingredients:

1 tbsp oil

1 tbsp garlic (lehsun) paste
4 to 5 stalks of celery, cut into 25mm. (1″) pieces
1 cup coconut cream
1/2 cup tofu (bean curd/ soya paneer) or paneer (cottagte cheese) cubes
1/4 cup sliced tomatoes
1/4 tsp finely chopped green chillies
1/2 cup thinly sliced spring onions whites
1/2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp sugar
salt to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (kalimirch)
3 cups cooked rice noodles
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup finely chopped spring onion greens

For the garnish:

chopped coriander (dhania)
roasted peanuts

Method:

Heat the oil in a wok, add the garlic paste and the celery stalks and stir-fry for 1 minute.
Add the coconut cream, tofu, tomatoes, green chillies, spring onion whites, chilli powder, sugar, salt and pepper and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add the noodles and mix well.
Just before serving, add the bean sprouts and spring onion greens and toss once.
Serve hot garnished with coriander and peanuts.

Know Screwpine Leaves – Love Them!

pandan-leaves-in-knots

Alternate Names: Screwpine Leaves, Kewra/Kewdaa, Rampe, Ban Lan, Toey/Taey/Tey Ban

These are Screw Pine Leaves. For those who have no idea or little, it’s a shrub with fragrant flowers.

In the ancient India, Chanakya has described the flower stressing the pleasant smell of it in following manner:

O ketaki flower! Serpents live in your midst, you bear no edible fruits, your leaves are covered with thorns, you are crooked in growth, you thrive in mud, and you are not easily accessible. Still for your exceptional fragrance you are as dear as kinsmen to others. Hence, a single excellence overcomes a multitude of blemishes.

screwpine xx

But why is it important for foodies like us? The flowers of Screw Pine Leaves are used to extract perfume, aromatic oil (Kevda oil) and fragrant distillations (otto) called “Learro-ka-arak”. These are stimulant & antispasmodic and are used against headache and rheumatism.

But what would interest the foodies is the fact that its flowers are also used to flavour food, kewda essence is used in numerous Indian sweets like Rasgulla & Petha (candied gourd or winter squash)

These hard-to-find leaves are known to give your dish authentic taste as well as aroma making it even more sumptuous. Also known as Pandan leaves, they themselves are not typically eaten – they are used to enhance other flavours and to offer its distinct aroma. This is achieved in a few different ways, either by steeping the leaves in hot liquids (tie them in a knot and drop them in, remove when cooking is done), pounding the leaves to extract the oil, processing the leaves with a liquid then straining the solids out, wrapping the leaves around foods, or even by creating a cooking vessel out of the leaves.

pandan1

The aroma it imparts also gives jasmine and basmati rice and white bread it’s scent. (YAY!)

It can be described as slightly nutty, grassy and generally “plant-y”, like what you’d smell if you were in a greenhouse.

Typically, it’s used for rice dishes such as nasi lemak (coconut rice), pulaos, and rice puddings. It’s also used for a pandan chiffon cake and apparently pairs well with chocolate in addition to coconut. In India, kewra water is used to flavour sweets and drinks.

A non-food related benefit of pandan is that the volatile oils responsible for its flavour and aroma act as a cockroach repellent. Something to remember, anyway.

 

Love Rice? Why So?

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For people crazy about rice, the question, “Why you love rice?” can make their mind come up with equally crazy answers. Ask them any moment and they will flood you with valid to not-so-valid reasons. 

Apart from nutritional values of rice which makes it important for any diet, rice is loved for reasons beyond the obvious ones. We have wholeheartedly charted down a few for you – 

– Rice stores well without requiring costly refrigeration or freezer space.

– Rice is a low-cost ingredient that provides great plate coverage.

– Rice roams the globe. It accommodates all the ethnic flavors — from Thai, Indian, Brazilian, Salvadoran, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish, Turkish cuisines and beyond.

– Rice holds well and takes no special skill to prepare.

– Mastering the techniques of rice cookery can open the door to a rich assortment of dishes that are on trend with today’s global tastes.

– Rice is so versatile; many types can be used interchangeably in your dishes bringing excitement for you and your family.

– You can love rice for no specific reason at all, as true love whatsoever needs no reason. 😉