Shakshouka

A staple in the Middle East, Shakshouka is a one-pan wonder of eggs poached in spicy tomato sauce. The traditional recipe calls for eggs along with the other spices. However, you can create your own versions by adding sausages, meat balls, boiled potatoes or even cheese for that matter.
It is usually on the breakfast menus, but can make a wholesome meal as well.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
6 eggs
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium sized onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 green or red peppers, diced
4 large ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsps chili powder. Add more if you like it hot.
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp sugar. Just enough to lift the flavors
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Finely chopped coriander for garnishing

Method:
1. Heat oil in a wide-bottomed pan. Add onions and saute until soft and translucent.
2. Add minced garlic and saute till fragrant.
3. Add diced peppers and cook on medium till soft.
4. Add tomatoes and tomato paste. Mix and let it simmer so the tomatoes are soft enough to blend well into rest of the mixture.
5. Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin powder, salt and pepper. Stir and let it simmer till the sauce starts to thicken.
6. Break the eggs, one at a time, directly over the tomato mixture, spacing evenly.
7. Cook till done to your liking, garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot.

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Old-fashioned Bread Butter Jam Pudding

We all love puddings, right. I mean, who doesn’t? You’ll go nuts reading and then wondering about their variety, the diversity of recipes out there and the way they look and taste. It’s like, they have a happy little world of their own.
This old-fashioned BBJ pud is absolute bonkers. Super fun, easy-peasy and a total showstopper.
Here, the major part of excitement lies in leaving the sandwich overnight in its creamy, eggy bathtub and then baking it in the morning… until it rises and takes on those gorgeous sunny hues. Moment of truth! 🙂

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Refrigerating time: Overnight
Baking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
8 slices of white or brown bread. Fresh or stale, crusts trimmed
Butter, enough to slather four slices and line the baking dish
Mixed fruit or apricot or strawberry…basically, any jam of your liking. And enough to smear on four slices of bread
4 Eggs
315 ml Milk,
125 ml Cream
125 gm Brown Sugar,
1/2 Cinnamon Powder
A pinch of Nutmeg Powder
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Method:
1. Make 4 sandwiches by spreading jam and butter on 4 slices each and cut them into quarters.
2. Arrange them in a baking dish and leave it aside.
3. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla and pour this gorgeous, creamy mixture over the quartered sandwiches.
4. Cover the dish with a cling film and refrigerate overnight.
5. In the morning, take the dish out from the fridge, an hour before baking.
6. Remove the cling film and bake in a preheated over at 160 degrees for 30 minutes or until you see the pud rising well and the crust is beauteously golden with specs of brown.
7. Serve warm with whipped cream, custard or ice-cream. I personally love it cold, without any sides for company. It’s lovely as it is!

Creamy Cold Coffee

What’s so different about this, you ask. Well, it’s creamier. Yep, the cream. It’s that one secret ingredient which adds density and character to your otherwise regular coffee.
Whoever I’ve served it to, I’ve always got an “ummmmm, it’s awesssomeee”… There can’t be a better welcome drink than this 🙂


Ingredients: (This will make one glass)
200 ml cold milk
40 ml fresh cream
3 tsp sugar
1 tsp instant coffee powder. Add more if you like it strong.

Method:
1. In a coffee shaker bottle, add all the above ingredients and give a good shake till dissolved.
2. Take a glass and pop in 4-5 ice cubes.
3. Now pour the above mixture over the cubes for a super-chilled frothy delight.

Peach Melba

Is there anything as pretty as a Peach this season? I don’t think so. Sitting proudly in all the fruit stalls, this gorgeous, sunset-stained fruit looks as if it’s blushing whenever you pass by.
Coming to nutrition, this good-looking tangy fruit is packed with Vitamin C – a strong antioxidant, Iron and Zinc. Its Beta-carotene is important for healthy eyes and high dietary fiber aids digestion.
When applied tropically, it can reduce wrinkles, improve overall skin texture and help fighting skin damage caused by the sun and pollution.
Peach Melba is mandatory in my kitchen, whenever the fruit arrives in the markets.
Time to do a happy dance, because, making Peach Melba is a shamelessly simple.

Ingredients: 
8 peaches, halved and destoned
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves
3 cardamoms (whack gently, just so the pods open up a little)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups sugar
3 cups water
2 tbsps lemon juice
Pinch of salt

Method:
1. Put all the ingredients (except peaches) into a wide sauce pan and heat on medium, stirring occasionally, till the sugar dissolves.
2. Bring the pan to boil and let it bubble away for about five minutes. Reduce the flame and let it simmer for another 3-4 minutes.
3. Now, gently slide the peaches into the pan, cut-side down and poach for 4-5 minutes each side on medium heat.
4. Test the cut side with a knife. It should be soft.
5. Poach in batches if all the halves do not fit at one go.
6. Take out the poached fruits with a slotted spoon and leave them on a plate.
7. Peel off their skins and let them cool.
8. Serve with Vanilla / Strawberry ice cream or Raspberry Sauce

P.S.:  Refrigerate the syrup in an air-tight jar for poaching later.

So, hurry up and get this beauty home before it makes its final appearance.

Pasta Verduras – Pasta in Veggies, Wine And Tomato Sauce

Every dish has a story to tell. Like my Pasta Verduras. The idea was to rustle up a quick stew for Sunday lunch. Pasta just came waddling around for a stroll. But, glancing at this inviting, aromatic stew bursting with colors, the pasta decided to take a dip. So, that’s that 🙂
It’s a one-pot recipe that’ll make for a quick, hearty lunch and also a comforting dinner.
All you need to do is get chopping 🙂

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
2 red peppers, deseeded and diced
2 yellow peppers, deseeded and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 medium size red onions, finely chopped
1 medium aubergine, cut into big chunks
1 medium broccoli, roughly chopped
1 large courgettes, diced
1/2 cup green peas
2 tbsp, garlic, grated. I use lots of it. I’m a huge garlic fan 🙂
1 ripe tomato, roughly chopped
3 ripe tomatoes, pureed
3 tbsp, tomato ketchup or sauce
1/2 cup any red wine. I used Port Wine
400 gm macaroni, penne or spaghetti pasta
A cup of grated parmesan cheese. Save a little for garnishing.
Chopped coriander for garnishing
2 tsp lemon juice
Olive oil for frying
Salt and pepper for seasoning

Method:
1. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes, or until they are soft and translucent.
2. Toss in all the chopped peppers. Put the lid on and cook on medium, till soft.
3. Now add carrots and courgettes and cook.
4. Once the carrots are soft, add peas, aubergine, tomatoes, broccoli and cook with lid on.
5. Add the tomato puree, sause and the seasoning and cook on medium for another 3-4 of minutes.
6. Lastly add the slosh of wine and lemon juice and stir. Let it simmer on low for 5 minutes. Do the taste test and add more seasoning if needed.
7. Add the grated parmesan, stir and let it cook on low for a minute. Save some of it for plating.
8. Meanwhile, put a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the packet instructions. When cooked, drain in a colander, reserving some of the cooking water.
9. Now pop the pasta and cooking water into the stew, add the chopped coriander and give a good toss.
10. Serve hot with a garnish of coriander, gorgeous long ribbons of grated parmesan and a poached egg mounted on the top, its sun-kissed yolk streaming down.
I like it medium-poached.

Good and nutritious food isn’t always the outcome of lengthy, rigorous cooking. It can also be like that story, short and simple; yet it leaves an indelible effect on you that lasts forever…

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