Mum's end to tiffin box tantrums......

Friday, 15 April 2016

Left over fish? challange accepted - Machchi vada at your service!


   
Machchi vada- yummy treat!

This weekend I had a lot of fish left overs from the menu I prepared for my family. I was wondering what to do with these left overs and to dispose was the last idea I ever had. I had fresh bread at my home and an idea struck my mind. Never the less, we homemakers are truly clever whenever there is a scope of innovating some new dish and thereby controlling  wastage in the house.

Serves: 3-4 persons

Ingredients:
1. Fish  left overs ( 1  1/2 cups ),
2. 1/2 teaspoons of garlic paste,
3. 1/2 teaspoon of ginger paste,
4. 1 medium sized mashed potato,
5. 3 bread softened and squeezed,
6.  1/2 teaspoon of salt,
7. 1/2 cup of bread crumbs,
8. 3 tablespoons of white flour prepared to a paste with water.

Procedure:
1. Heat oil in a frying pan and then add the ginger garlic to it.
2. Add this to the fish left over and then mix with mashed potato and softened bread.
3. Add salt to the mixture.
4. Make equal sized dough and the  dip into the flour paste.
5. Remove and then coat with bread crumbs.
6. Pour oil in a frying pan and add oil to it.
7. Shallow fry the doughs.
8. Remove and then absorb the excess oil with a tissue paper.

Serve in a dish topped with sauces of your choice. Enjoy the yummy snack. It's truly a wonder made form left over fish.


Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Fish with palak? .....not kidding..it's delicious!

Palak and fish- lovely combination!
This weekend was Easter and I was wondering what to cook for my kids especially with fish and make the lunch table a bit more exciting. Tilapia fillet is common here and my creative mind signaled  me to combine with freshly bought palak leaves. For some time I thought , it should not go crazy but a little later the dish was awesome and the kids enjoyed with slurps. Believe it will be worth to share with my food lover friends.

Serves: 3-4 persons

Ingredients:
1.  2 bunches of palak,
2. 1 teaspoon of ginger garlic,
3. 1 kg of tilapia fillets chopped into smaller pieces,
4. 1 teaspoon of salt,
5. 1/2  teaspoon of turmeric powder,
6. 1/3 cup of green peas,
7. 1 teaspoon of cumin,
8.1  teaspoon of coriander powder,
9. 1/2 teaspoon of red chili powder.
10. 2 medium sized onions chopped.

Procedure:
1.
Cook the fish




Heat oil and then add the chopped fish fillets. Add salt and turmeric powder to it. Cook for some time till it becomes nicely fried and changes color.

2. 
Cook the veggies
Heat oil and add the ginger garlic paste, onions, cumin and coriander powder to it. Saute well and then add the blanched palak leaves. Add green peas and then again stir so that the contents mix well. The palak will release water.

3.
Mix the content and cook till




Now add the cooked fish and then mix the content nicely.

Remove and then serve with roti/chapati/rice as per your taste demands. Addition of lemon juice while serving will even enhance the taste.








Thursday, 24 September 2015

Awesome mangsho ghugni [ mutton n yellow peas curry]

Mouth watering mutton ghugni
Now I am sure this post will set many of my food lover friends salivating. Yes, ghugni or yellow peas is a very commonly used lentil in the Eastern and North Eastern India. I was tired with the normal process of cooking mutton and lentils, I thought why not combine the two do justice to the taste buds? It turned out to be awesome and a very palatable snack to be shared with friends. Goes well with chapatti for dinner. I am sure my food lover friends will definitely give it a try. This is not a very uncommon dish. I believes combinations with ghugni or yellow peas is quite common.

Ingredients:
1. 1/2 cup of ghugni ( dried yellow peas ) soaked overnight,
2. 1/4 kgs . of mutton ( boneless only chunks),
3. 3 medium sized onions chopped,
4. 2 medium sized tomatoes chopped,
5. 1 teaspoon of ginger garlic paste,
6. 1 teaspoon of coriander powder,
7. 3/4 teaspoon of cumin powder,
8. 1 teaspoon of garam masala ( a blend of cinnamon, cardamom and black pepper ),
9. 1/2 teaspoon of red chili powder.
10. 1/3 cup of chopped coriander leaves,
11. 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder,
12. 1 teaspoon of salt,
13. 1-2 pcs. of bay leaf,
14. Oil for cooking
15. Lemon for decoration ( also for those who prefer )

Procedure:
1. The ghugni is to be soaked overnight and cooked in a pressure cooker.
2. Cook the mutton pieces inside a pressure cooker with salt and turmeric powder. After repeated whistles remove; the mutton should be tender and soft.
3. Heat oil in a frying pan and add bay leaf, ginger garlic paste to it.
4. Add the onion and tomatoes, cook till it becomes softened.
5. Add the boiled ghugni ( yellow peas) to it and then cook.
6. Add spices to it- turmeric, red chili, cumin, coriander  to it.  Stir well till the spices blend and it emits the characteristic smell.
7. Boiled mutton should be cooked and then added to the ghugni.
8. Top with chopped coriander leaves and lemon. You may add lemon juice for tantalizing taste.

Enjoy this with your friends, let the remember the evening with tea and mutton ghugni!



Monday, 17 August 2015

Amboselli- a plethora of natural beauty

African continent is a place of immense resources; starting from mineral reserve, floriculture and ending in tourism industry, Africa is the most happening place in the world presently. I stay in Kenya since the last five years and I am a voracious traveller. Whenever I chance upon a holiday, I pack my bags and set off for the next adventure. This time my target was Amboselli, a national reserve which is a 4 hour drive from Nairobi. Situated at 230 km south of Nairobi, a reserve forest 8,000 sq. kms. , bordering Tanzania – Amboselli had attracted huge number of foreign and domestic tourists every year. But a trip to the place had actually revealed the beauty and the ambience- a reason why travellers call it the ‘homeland of the wild animals’.

   
Mt. Kilimanjaro- the highest peak is Africa attracts thousands of tourists for it's magnificiency

I started early in the morning so that I could actually reach the place before lunch hours. Amboselli offers a wide range of hotels suiting your budget. Starting from lavish 5 star hotels and ending in tented camps – you may choose any accommodation depending on your affordability and comfort. The rates of hotel and other accommodation are highly seasonal.  A non -resident is charged 90 $ per night while a resident is charged 1200 KSH. Charges for children and students are lower. The car parking charges are generally done in US dollars or Safari card.

   
The entrance to Amboselli National Park





The entry into the hotel was a ‘great feel’. The rustic décor and arrangement will give you a real ‘wild life ‘ambience. Generally hotels have electric fencing thereby allowing you a full view of the jungle and your eyes will follow miles before you see herbivores grazing near the hotel area. This is an enthralling experience.

After having an awesome lunch we proceeded towards our first game drive at 4 in afternoon. The first view that enthralled was the mighty Kilimanjaro. I had goose bumps viewing the highest peak. It was like viewing the rooftop of Africa. We climbed a small hill from where we had the best view of the highest peak. With buffalo skulls all around as a part of the décor, we had a feel that this must be a challenging place. We came down to board the car while other travellers preferred to have their tea and snacks at the hill top.

            
Herbivores seen at the Amboselli
We saw various herbivores- impala, giraffe, hippos, wildebeest, zebra and elephant. The number of elephants in Amboselli is quite plenty. There is an elephant research centre which conducts various researches on elephants and emphasize towards a better future of the beautiful animals.

           
Birds of various types 

Amboselli is said to be the shelter of 400 species of birds. We were not so lucky to see all the types. Our eyes caught – Africa sacred Ibise, Ostrich, Ardea and White pelican.  Various migratory birds too are seen seasonally. We observed a scintillating view of the sunset and recorded every moment of it. Nowhere in the world can a sunset be so beautiful and serene. The chirping of birds and returning of animals were clearly observed.

 
The best sunset ever

             
It’s mandatory to reach hotel and camps by 6:30 evening. We had a nice time in the hotel and slept comfortably. Early next morning I was enthralled to see the full view of Kilimanjaro from the hotel.  Mount Kili is seen best during the morning hours and evening hours before sunset.

Swampy lands are a favorite shelter of Amboselli animals


  

     
When we were set for the game drive for the next day we were lucky to see a group of lions who were finishing off a zebra, the lioness killed for the family. We stopped and took photographs as the lions nibbled through the meat.  Lions happen to be a lazy animal and feed on zebra, wildebeest. The habit and habitat of the animals were explained to us by the guide.  We were lucky to see a python.
We drove elsewhere where our eyes caught the sight of wild boar, hyena and buffalo. We were not lucky to view a cheetah. A cheetah is said to be a very active animal and runs after gazelle for prey. We saw hyenas and vultures waiting to finish off the rest of the meat after the lion family.  Lions are generally social animals and prefer to stay in groups. The kids are cared by the lioness and she hunts prey for the family. The male lion prefers to get the first share of the meat followed by the lioness and the cubs.
  
The carnivores stay  in groups and share their prey

The masais are an inevitable part and a good attraction to the tourists. They will invite the guests and give a glimpse of their culture. Various artifacts and souveneirs sold by them can  be a good gift item to a person you love.

The flora in Amboselli is savannah grassland type which consists of rolling grassland and swampy marshy lands. Amboselli was established in 1968 and was gazetted as a National reserve in 1974 by the Kenyan Government.

Amboselli which means ‘salty dust’ is the remains of the volcanic ash that resulted 360,000 years before when the Mount Kilimanjaro erupted last. If you are fond of bird watching, camping, , wildlife viewing, photo graphing or watching the mighty Kilimanjaro  then Amboselli will be the most desired place of your choice.

I will simply not forget the serene flora, enchanting animals and lastly the majestic view of Mount Kilimanjaro. The awesome hospitality is not to be forgotten. Kenya is loved for a number of reasons and tourism will always remain a priority.


,





Friday, 16 January 2015

The Paperback is finally in ....................


Dear Friends and Readers,
 I heartily thank you for the support provided by you towards my work ‘Magical Tiffin box’. In fact the e version was released last year and after an overwhelming response, the publisher has decided to bring the paperback version.
                                      


The paperback version is available in Amazon exclusive; you may book and get ordered.  Please follow the link.



In fact several Institutions and hospitals have come forward and booked a copy of ‘Magical Tiffin box’ for the sake of their customers and readers.




There have been some amazing remarks from the readers of the book on websites that sold copies.
“The book has huge number of easy but new recipes. Especially when my wife is away for a few days on her business trip it becomes easy for me to prepare and enjoy meals…………..My wife has also tried a few items...they are delicious and palatable.”
-          
S           - Sanjib Debray,  Flipkart customer,  New Delhi
-           
“ ……………………The beauty of her book is , the recipes are modern and panoramic……………….”
-                                          Sudipto Chakraborty, Flipkart customer , Ranchi
-           
-          “…………………….. the book is really a magic, recommended for everyone…………………………it’s really an excellent creation by the author”
                   Tanmay Ray, Flipkart customer, Mumbai


The response across the nation and also globe is truly inspiring. Please book your copy in case you have not booked the paperback version till date.



Thursday, 31 July 2014

The quick schezwan chicken- a difference in taste!



           
Yummy schezwan chicken- a difference to normal dining!

Long time I had thought of  preparing something which is easy, quick and a yummy deal. Chicken being the most widely available source, I thought let’s do something different with chicken. Off to my ‘laboratory’ (kitchen of course) and my plethora of ingredients, I started an experiment and that was a grand success. Especially if you are trying with chowmein, this will be a great recipe to try with. Quick and easy this recipe will be liked by many, my food lover friends, I guess. A total of 25 minutes in the kitchen, it’s a real good dish that can be tried with a ‘main course’ of your choice.

Ingredients:
1. 750 gms. of boneless chicken,
2. 2 tablespoons of dark soya sauce,
3. 1 teaspoon of salt,
4. ¾ teaspoon of black pepper blend,
5. 1 ½  tablespoons of hot n sweet sauce( tomato n chilli),
6. 1 ½  tablespoons of green chilli sauce,
7. 2 tablespoons of schezwan sauce,
8. 1 teaspoon of vinegar,
9. ½ medium sized garlic minced,
10. Butter or white oil for frying,
11. 2 tablespoons of coconut milk,
12. Lemon grass for garnishing,
13. 1 big sized bell pepper ( capsicum)chopped,
14. 1 cup of spring onions chopped,
15. ½ cup of tomatoes chopped.

Procedure:
The procedure is illustrated in steps.      

 Step 1:  Marinate the chicken with salt, vinegar and dark soya sauce for 10 minutes. Heat oil in a frying pan and start frying the chicken. Add minced garlic to it.
  
Frying the chicken.


Step 2: Add the veggies- capsicum, spring onion and tomato to it. Cook for some time till the veggies becomes soft.

Adding the veggies to it.

Step 3: Add tomato chilli sauce, vinegar , soya sauce and salt to it. Cook for about 10 minutes till the veggies become soft.

           

 Step 4: Add coconut milk. Stir till it attains the consistency.

Remove and serve it with chinese fried rice or chowmein. Make a difference to a normal dinner with a bit of innovation. 

Friday, 14 March 2014

Pork chops n apple sauce- try the difference of a 'paleo' meal!

Awesome combination of pork chops in apple sauce and snapped beans



This weekend I found some excellent collection at the supermarket. It was a packet of pork meat,spare- rib portion. I was going through a cookery programme in the television while an idea came to my head. Why not try a pure 100% paleo dinner. And I decided that there should be no traces of gluten in my plate. I tried and it became a success. Let me share for all my health conscious friends.
Ingredients:
  1. 400 gms. of pork meat- spare ribs ,
  2. Lime juice extracted ( 4 tablespoons),
  3. Olive oil ( 2 tablespoons),
  4. Black  pepper ( ½ teaspoon),
  5. Sea salt ( ½ teaspoon),
  6. Garlic paste ( ½ teaspoon),
  7. Rosemary leaves dried ( 3/4th teaspoon),
  8. Apple ( 2 medium sizes de skinned and chopped into smaller pieces),
  9. Honey ( 2 tablespoons),
  10. Yoghurt (1 teaspoon).
Procedure:
  1. Take the meat and separate the ribs. Marinate with olive oil, black pepper, sea salt and lemon juice extract.
  2. Keep in marinated condition for 15 minutes.
  3. You may take the green beans snapped on both sides. Trim them to equal sizes.  Rub black pepper, lemon juice extract and sea salt over it.
  4. Now it’s time to prepare the apple sauce. It can be prepared in a very simple manner. In a microwave proof bowel keep the apples, honey and 1 table spoon lime juice extract. Cook for 10 minutes. When the apples soften and the juices come out then allow to cool down. Add 1 teaspoon yoghurt and mix evenly for the consistency. You may use a hand blender for the even texture.
  5. Pre heat your oven at 400 degree Fahrenheit. Lay the marinated meat pieces over the grid and cook in grill mode for 30 minutes. You may change the sides when you observe one side to change colour.
When it’s ready serve the lamb chops accompanied with green beans. Enjoy the meat with apple sauce. This dish is truly awesome and mouth watering.