Thursday, 12 October 2017

Cherry Tomato Risotto in Lakeland Pressure Cooker


My childhood memories stem back to recollection of my mother cooking in the kitchen. She did not have any electrical gadgets and all the grinding, crushing and pulsing was done in the pestle and mortar or on a large stone. She would grate all her vegetables using a hand held grater there was no kitchen aid on hand or blenders either. The only gadget I ever saw that she had was her trusted pressure cooker. I would hear it hissing and steaming as she cooked her pulses and grain in it every day.

Pressure cookers if you are not used to them can appear rather frightening to use but actually they are not. Some care and attention and safety rules are required such as never use a pressure cooker with out any liquid in it, ensure the seals are not damaged or broken, the gasket is not damaged and the valves are not blocked. Lastly its important not to overfill a pressure cooker but close the lid properly before putting it on the heat. Once the cooking process is compete ensure that the steam release vent is opened and all the steam has escaped before opening. These few instructions will ensure a very happy relationship with your pressure cooker.


I recently needed to upgrade my pressure cooker which was getting old and I could not get the correct spare parts for it, so keeping safety in mind I sourced a new pressure cooker. My new pressure cooker is the  Sitra Pro Graphalogie 8L pressure cooker from Lakeland. It comes complete with silicon steam basket and a lifting tool. The pressure cooker can be operated with one hand, has a quick glance cooking times and built in safety features. I like the cooker as its easy to clean, has good heat distribution, can be used on gas cooker or hob and it preserves flavour and nutrients. It cuts cooking time of pulses by 60 percent. This is important to me as I cook with a lot of pulses since I am a vegetarian. The Pressure cooker retails at £109.00 and its available from Lakeland website and in store too.




print recipe

Cherry Tomato Risotto
Creamy and delicious risotto cook with simple Italian flavours.
Ingredients:
  • 250 g Cherry Tomatoes
  • 250 g Risotto Rice
  • 500 ml Passatta
  • 250 ml Water
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium white onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon White Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chilli flakes (Optional)
  • 60 g Parmesan Cheese (Optional)

Method:
1. In the pressure cooker add the oil and wait for it to heat up. Once hot add onions and garlic and saute the onions until pink and translucent.
2. Add the rice and then add the pasatta, water, salt, pepper, chilli flakes and mix together. Bring the liquid to boil.Add the tomatoes, I like to keep them whole.3. Put the lid on the pressure cooker and press the regulator down and into the cook position.(This is indicated by the pressure cooker symbol) and cook the rice for 18 minutes on medium heat 4. Release the pressure from the cooker and stir the risotto, it should be quite wet and the rice should be cooked but a l dente. At this point if the mixture appears dry add a little bit more water. The risotto should be rich and creamy in texture.The rice grains should be holding shape.5. Stir in the oregano and transfer the risotto to serving bowls, add grated Parmesan cheese on top if desired.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: Serves 4


NB- This recipe can be made on the stove top instead of using the pressure cooker but the cooking time will be longer.

***I was sent the Sitra Pro Graphalogie  8L pressure cooker from Lakeland to test it out in my kitchen, all views and opinions are my own as are the photographs.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Vegetable Kebabs in the Von Shef Cook Robot Digital Air Fryer.


My family love vegetable kebabs and I make them often but I do find that shallow frying them still means that they are unhealthy and I restrict them to once a month only. This is not the case anymore, this month we have had vegetable kebabs every week thanks to my new Von Shef Cook Robot Digital Air Fryer.


This amazing air fryer has many functions, it can grill, stir fry, steam and stew. It comes with an easy to use digital timer and  removable cooking pan with handles, removable stirring arm, steaming rack and utensil kit. The advantage of having the removable pan and stirring paddle makes it convenient to wash. Once the central removable stirring paddle is removed it makes  room to place the steaming rack  in the pan.





You can see how I made my delicious and healthy Vegetable Kebabs with very little oil in the Von Shef Cook Robot Digital Air Fryer.




print recipe

Vegetarian Kebabs
Delicious vegetarian kebabs cooked in the actifry, perfect served in a wrap with some crisp salad and dips.
Ingredients:
  • 4 Medium boiled Potatoes mashed
  • 1 Medium Carrot peeled and grated
  • 60 g Frozen Green Peas
  • 60 g Frozen Sweet Corn
  • 1 Small white onion finely chopped
  • 60 g White Bread Crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chilli flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon White Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil for cooking
  • 2 tablespoons milk
Method:
1. In a shallow glass dish add the carrots, peas and sweet corn. Place the cooking rack inside the air fryer and fill water in the pan to the water fill line. Place the vegetables dish onto the rack and steam the veg for 4 minutes on the steam mode .2. In a frying pan add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and saute the onions until translucent, add the mashed potato, salt, chilli flakes,white pepper, garam masala, lemon juice and mix well.3. Add the cooked vegetables to the potato mixture and cook all together.4. Take the mixture off the heat and add half the bread crumbs.5. Leave the mixture to cool, once its cooled pinch lime sized balls of the mixture and shape them into mini sausage shapes.


6. Dip each sausage shape into milk and roll it in the remaining bread crumbs.
7. Repeat for all the mixture. Chill the kebabs for half an hour or longer in the fridge.8. Brush the kebabs with the oil using a pastry brush and place them in the actifry pan 9. Place the pan into the actifry and set on the stirfry setting. 10. Cook the kebabs until golden brown (approx 15 minutes) turning them intermittently to ensure even cooking.11. Remove the cooked kebabs from the air fryer and serve with wraps, salad and dip.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 18


We love eating our vegetable kebabs wrapped in warm tortilla wraps topped with lots of green salad and topped with a fiery chilli sauce.


The kebabs can also be made as party appetisers, as they serve well as finger foods. Although the kebabs are super delicious when warm they taste equally good cold and we often use the left overs as sandwich fillings with houmous. They also freeze really well.


This post is in collaboration with Von Shef, who sent me the Von Shef Cook Robot Digital Air Fryer to test in the simplyfood kitchens. 

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Homemade Organic Condensed Milk and a visit to Cockhaise Organic Farm


Being a vegetarian, it is really important to me knowing where the foods I consume are coming from and their quality. So when I was invited by Arla Foods UK to visit Arla's cooperative Cockhaise Organic Farm in Haywards Heath, West Sussex to find out about Organic farming, I did not need much persuasion to agree to the visit.

So what do we understand when we read it's Organic?

During my visit at the farm, I have learnt that organic means “Working with nature, providing a high standard of animal welfare, no use of artificial fertilisers and totally GM free.”



To be classified as free range, the cows at Cockhaise Farm graze outdoors in the grass and clover fields, which are free of artificial pesticide and herbicides. The grass in the fields also have many species of herbs such as chicory, plaintain, yarrow, burnett, red clover, sweet clover and rye grass. The farmers rely on crop rotation and careful selection of crop varieties and cultivation to avoid the use of pesticides.

The cows are milked twice daily and the milk is graded for its quality according to the Organic Standards. This ensures that the Arla Organic Free Range Milk is of the highest standard. It is available in most supermarkets such as Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys, Morrisons, OCADO and Nisa stores.





Today I am going to make my own condensed milk with Arla Organic Free Range Milk. I use a lot of it in my Indian Sweets and often baking but I have never been able to find an organic variety of condensed milk. The recipe is simple to make and tastes amazing.





print recipe

Homemade Organic Condensed Milk
Creamy and rich homemade organic condensed milk, full of flavour and delicious.



Ingredients:
  • 600 ml Arla Organic Free Range Milk
  • 150 g Fairtrade Organic granulated cane Sugar
  • 6 tablespoons Organic Butter (unsalted)

Method:
1. In a heavy bottom, pan add the milk, butter and sugar and bring the milk to a simmer.2. Once all the sugar has melted, simmer on a steady low heat for 35-40 minutes, stirring intermittently.3. The milk will reduce in quantity and thicken. It is ready when it starts to coat the back of a spoon.4.Turn off the heat and pour the condensed milk into a sterile jar and leave to cool. The condensed milk will thicken more when it gets cold.5. Store in the fridge.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 jar


This post is in collaboration with Arla Foods UK who invited me to visit Cockhaise Farm to learn about the production of Arla Organic Free Range Milk. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions and photographs are my own and may not be reproduced in any form without my written permission.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Pizza Making at Pizza Express


Meeting friends and catching up over a nice pizza is something that is always fun. It's even more enjoyable if you are all thrown into a room with lots of flour, pizza dough and toppings and you get to create your own pizza. This is exactly what I did at Pizza Express in Fulham Road, when group of us attended the Pizza Express Pizza making party.

The Pizza Express has recently been revamped, it has a Pizziaolo kitchen space and new bar area.
The restaurant has an exciting new d├ęcor which has new Jacobean oak stained timber wall panelling, elegant pendant lighting and comfortable banquette, booth and settle seating. The restaurant decor which is rich in colour and patterns is inspired by the artwork of De Morgan and Burchell. On warmer evenings you can dine outside as it also has a patio outside seating area under an awning that is kitted out with furniture, planters, lighting and heaters.



Before we were covered in a white cloud of flour we enjoyed some drinks, nibbles and delicious dough balls.We then ventured into the party room and watched a demonstration on how to pat, toss and roll the perfect pizza base from our chef John.

Once the demonstration was over the pizza making fun began as we practiced with some dough. There were some truly memorable moments as each of us tried to toss our pizza in the air and catch it. I am really pleased that I did win the Best Tosser Award for my pizza tossing skills. Not everyone managed to catch their pizza and there were lots of pizza bases on the floor. It was good that they were only practice pieces and we were given fresh dough to create the pizza we were going to eat.

The practice run over we set about to make our pizzas.The dough was gently patted into the pans and topped with lots of delicious toppings and mozzarella cheese. Once we had all finished our pizza masterpieces, we enjoyed more dough balls and drinks whilst our creations were baked in the oven to perfection ready for us to devour.


There was of course the option of dessert too if you can manage it. The dessert menu had some lovely desserts and drinks on offer. I finished off my meal with a cup of latte and a mini lemon tart.


The pizza making party is great for team building, corporate events and birthday parties too. A perfect way to cook and eat together and get messy. If you would like to book an adult pizza party do check out this link.

I was invited as a guest to Pizza Express pizza making party, all the opinions shared are of my experience as are all the pictures.,

Monday, 25 September 2017

Knead to Know Bread making class -Jamie Oliver Cookery School


I enjoy cooking and baking but I have not really got into bread making yet. I make bread rolls and sometimes pizza base but that is as far as my bread making skills take me. I have always wanted to create beautiful loaves of bread so when I had a chance to try out a bread making class hosted by Hotpoint and Currys PC World at the Jamie Oliver Cookery school, I did not need much persuasion to say yes.


The Jamie Oliver Cookery school is part of the Jamie Oliver restaurant and it is located in The Westfield shopping centre in Shepherds Bush. The cookery school is bright and airy and is fully kitted with all the newest kitchen equipment and Hotpoint ovens. Our lesson started with a brief introduction to the Hotpoint ovens that we were going to use in the kitchens. As all new electrical equipment, oven too have come along way. The new Hotpoint ovens have a multi flow technology that distributes heat evenly so everything in the oven will cook evenly, this is an important factor in baking especially bread.


Next we watched a demonstration by the resident chef to make the bread dough for the bread rolls and Focaccia bread.We learnt the key skills of bread making such as knocking, kneading, proving and shaping the dough. These skills are of utmost importance in creating the perfect loaf.


I  realised whilst attempting to make my own bread rolls and Focaccia bread that baking bread is actually very messy but at the same time extremely therapeutic and a great way to unwind. The best bit is that the kitchen smells heavenly and the taste of hot bread straight out of the oven is absolutely delicious.

I was rather pleased with my bread rolls and Focaccia bread, although I did learn that if you add too many pumpkin seeds they can burn!!!!I am rather proud at my plaiting skills demonstrated in the picture below.


As the saying goes "the proof of the pudding is in the eating" this we did as we enjoyed our hot freshly baked bread rolls, served with a lovely cheese fondue and roasted pumpkin soup made at Jamie Oliver's Kitchen.


The whole bread making session was excellent and I have definitely come home with much more confidence at attempting to bake bread. If you are keen to learn how to bake bread or just need to boost your confidence than you can book classes at the Jamie Oliver school. You can also check out the recipes for the Rosemary Focaccio and the Roasted Pumpkin soup at the Currys Tech Talk Blog

I was invited to the bread making class by Currys PC World  and Hotpoint. All the views expressed in this post are my own as are all the photos.



Friday, 22 September 2017

Single Serve Steamer Pots giveaway


When you are often cooking for one it's nice to have containers that you can cook one portion in. The Tomorrow's kitchen single serve steamer pots are ideal for cooking small portions. The borosilicate glass bowl with a silicon lid is designed to steam one portion of vegetable, meat, fish or poultry. The special silicon lid can be lifted to draining position to drain out any access water and then the lid can be removed and the bowl can be taken straight to the table as it doubles up as a serving dish too. The bowl is microwave, oven and dishwasher safe too.


The glass bowls are are made from tempered glass and help to preserve nutrition and flavour. The pots can be used for storing fruits and left overs too. They retail at 10.99 each and come in two colours grey and green. You can get these from Lakeland, Tomorrows world website and on Amazon too.

As always I love my readers to try out products, I use in my kitchen. I have two steamers to give away to one lucky simplyfood winner.





How To Enter


·         Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
·         Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
·         Please read the rules they form the terms and conditions of this Giveaway
·         Closing date – 12th October 2017 12.00 am Open to over 18 and UK residents only

How Rafflecopter works:

  • You will need to complete the mandatory entry first – usually making a blog comment. You can do this by clicking on leave a comment at the bottom of the post and leaving your reply in the comment box. Please note your comment will not show immediately as it needs to be moderated however rest assured it will appear on the site, so carry on with rest of entries.
  • Login to Rafflecopter – click to see what the question is. Make a comment answering the question on the blog.
  • Go back to Rafflecopter and click the green button to tell me you have made a comment, this will unlock all the other options. All entries are checked to see that the mandatory question is answered, if its not all bonus entries will become void. 
  • Rafflecopter will tweet, like and follow on your behalf.
  • For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here
  • For bonus entries you can return to this page and enter the daily bonus entries. 
  • If you are still unsure as to how Rafflecopter works please do check out this short video.

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Saturday, 2 September 2017

Strawberry Smoothie Bowl


I look forward to having a leisurely breakfast on Sunday mornings. I am not a big fan of fry up breakfasts, instead my my favorite is coffee with pastries and having yoghurts with fruits and nuts. There are so many combinations of flavours you can create by combining different flavours of yoghurts and fruits that you would never be bored.


This simple strawberry smoothie bowl is so tasty and delicious and it really looks so pleasing to the eye served in this beautiful Sainsburys Home Bloomville range of dinnerware. The Bloomville range comes in a pretty floral design in pastel colours, it is really cheerful and would grace any breakfast or dinner table beautifully. Available in the range are dinner plates, side places, pasta bowls, mugs, cake plates, coasters, trays, spatulas and wooden spoon  and matching tea towels and oven gloves.

The dinnerware is made from porcelain and is dishwasher and microwave safe. It is reasonably priced as most items start from as little as £3.00 each and you can purchase as many pieces as you want to make a set for two place setting to six place settings depending on your family size. You can also buy separate pieces should you need replacing anything.


Back to my Strawberry smoothie bowl recipe, actually there is no set recipe!!! All you need is some yoghurt and fruits.


print recipe

Strawberry Smoothie Bowl
Creamy strawberry yoghurt garnished with fruits, granola and honeyed almonds.
Ingredients:
  • 100 g Strawberry Yoghurt
  • 1 Kiwi peeled and sliced
  • 8 Strawberries hulled
  • 15 Blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon Granola
  • 10 Honeyed Almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chia Seeds
Method:
1. In a blender add three strawberries and the yoghurt and blend it for a minute.2. Pour the strawberry smoothie into a serving bowl .3. Garnish with the remaining strawberries, blueberries, kiwi fruit, granola and almonds and sprinkle with chia seeds.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 serving




** The dinnerware featured in this post was sent to me by Sainsburys Home, all opinions expressed in this post and pictures are my own.

Giveaway tickets to VegFestUK London - 21st and 22nd October



I am really excited to attend the VegFestUK Festval in London between 21st - 22nd October.   There will be around 250 stalls, 23  vegan caterers, and  over 100 speakers at the show. Together with the opportunity to sample lots of lovely food and drinks you will opportunities to view cookery demonstration, attend many interesting talks and partake in many activities. The show is held at Olympia London.

It is the perfect place to mingle with friends, sample some great vegan chocolate, dairy-free cheese, meat free meats and also purchase some great edible Christmas presents. For more ticket information to visit the VegFestUK Official site.

 As always I love my readers to have the opportunity to attend events that I enjoy. VegFestUK have been very generous and have offer to send one simplyfood reader a pair of weekend tickets worth £50.00


How To Enter


·         Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
·         Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
·         Please read the rules they form the terms and conditions of this Giveaway
·         Closing date – 20 th Sept 2017
Open to Adults over 18 and living in UK only.

How Rafflecopter works:


  • You will need to complete the mandatory entry first – usually making a blog comment. You can do this by clicking on leave a comment at the bottom of the post and leaving your reply in the comment box. Please note your comment will not show immediately as it needs to be moderated however rest assured it will appear on the site, so carry on with rest of entries.
  • Login to Rafflecopter – click to see what the question is. Make a comment answering the question on the blog.
  •  Go back to Rafflecopter and click the green button to tell me you have made a comment, this will unlock all the other options. All entries are checked to see that the mandatory question is answered, if its not all bonus entries will become void. 
  • Rafflecopter will tweet, like and follow on your behalf.
  • For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here
  • For bonus entries you can return to this page and enter the daily bonus entries. 
  • If you are still unsure as to how Rafflecopter works please do check out this short video.

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Friday, 18 August 2017

Tidbits from my Pantry- Homeware

Last few weeks I have had the opportunity to attend many events where brands showcase their products. I love attending these homeware shows as you get a chance to see new products that are being launched on the market, together with some old time classics.
I am sharing below a round up of some really lovely samples, I have had the privilege to test out and use in the simplyfood kitchens.


1. Gourmet Gadgetry Vintage Tea Party Mini Toasted Sandwich Maker has non-stick baking plates to make 8 cute little toasted sandwiches ideal for a tea party.

2. Tala Salt and Pepper Mills are adorable novelty mills that are perfect for the dinner table.

3. Tower Veggie Peeler and Brush is very convenient as it is placed on your finger whilst peeling vegetables. The accompanied brush is handy for cleaning vegetables and fruit.

4. T and G Crush Grind Spice Mill crushes and grinds all types of spices and herbs. It has an adjustable setting for coarse and fine.


5. Addis Pop and Store is a collapsible container that can be used to keep your food fresh.

6. Sparq Home Hammered finish Copper Mule Mug is a really lovely size for serving chilled drinks in a stylish way.

7. Sistema Bento Lunch Box comes complete with compartments, food tray and a yogurt pot makes taking packed lunches very convenient keeping various foods separated.

8. JWP Good 2 Go Portion Perfect is a storage container collapses down for easy storage and helps to maintain healthy portion sizes for a balanced diet.


9. Mason Cash Wooden Spoon is a 3 in 1 utensil which stirs and blends, measures and scrapes.

10. Victorinox swiss made handheld grater with a curved silicone handle and safety cover to protect the blades.

11. Viners spoon, fork and knife set.

12. Kitchen Aid Silicone Spatula is perfect for all baking tasks.


13. Bobble make water better filter bottle is a reusable bottle that filters water as you drink. This is perfect for on the go in the car to work or at the gym.

14. Zoku Shooter Ice Moulds create edible ice glasses perfect for serving desserts or cold shots.

15. Jersey Pottery sardine run designed Jug is a cute little jug for milk or cream and would look perfect on any table.

16. Aladdin Bistro To-Go Hybrid Bottle keeps drinks cool for 12+ hours and ice for 16+ hours which is perfect for picnics.


17. Kilner Jar is a perfect little glass jar that is ideal for serving mini drinks.

18. Kuhn Rikon Scourer is a stay clean silicone scrubber that is hygienic and dishwasher safe.

19. Any Sharp is a kitchen knife sharpener with a powerful suction grip securing the sharpener to the table or flat surface and is good for straight or serrated blades.

I am totally thrilled with all these new items. They are going to be very useful in and around my home, especially the storage and cooking utensils which you can never have too many off.

I would like to thank all the brands that are featured in this post who have gifted me these wonderful products to try.


Sunday, 13 August 2017

Lobster Apron Review and Giveaway.



There is one place in my house where I spend the most time and that is in the Kitchen. I am always trying out new recipes for the blog, but more cooking means more cleaning and one thing I find I always get wrong is that I get stains on my cloths from splatters or just touching my hands on my clothes and marking them. Indian spices such as turmeric are very healthy but the colour stains terribly. Keeping this in mind, I make sure I always wear an apron whilst cooking. I go through so many aprons each year that I have to keep replacing them frequently. I hate to wear discoloured aprons so always keep clean fresh ones in the drawer. When Lobster Homeware asked me if I would like to receive one of their new Lobster Aprons I jumped at the chance. You can never have too many aprons in the home.

My Lobster Apron arrived in a lovely white fabric bag. When I opened it, I found the cutest apron ever, white heavy duty cotton with red  lobster pattern all over it. It has a button adjustment on the neck strap so that it can fit anyone and it also has sturdy ties for the waist. However the best thing about this apron is that it is no ordinary apron. Integrated into it, is a pocket on the bib for holding a mobile phone. No more losing the mobile phone when you need it for that quick photo whilst cooking.



There are two detachable oven gloves attached to the apron, so that you always have gloves at hand when you need to lift something hot. The gloves can also be used as heat mats.This is brilliant innovation as I can never find gloves nearby when I need them and often use a tea towel which is not really safe. The apron has two loops on the waist line for holding tea towels so I am less likely to wipe my hands on the apron itself!! The apron also has two large pockets, I love this as it allows me to have a pen and pad ready at hand when I am developing recipes to jot down.





The apron is well thought out and perfect for a foodie like me as I have everything I need at hand within the apron. The apron retails at £ 35.00 and you can purchase it from Lobster Homeware. It may sound pricey but it is fantastic quality, and has so many more extras incorporated in it that it's worth it.

The aprons are also available in different designs. Lobster Homeware also support the ssafa-The armed forces charity. For every camouflage barbecue apron, they will make a small donation to the charity. That is so noble of the company, don't you think???

*** I was sent an apron to test out in my kitchen, all views and opinions shared are my own as are the photos.

As always I love my readers to try out products I use in my kitchen. Lobster Homeware have been very generous and have offered to send one simplyfood reader an apron.


How To Enter:
  •         Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
  •         Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
  •         Please read the rules they form the terms and conditions of this Giveaway
  •         Closing date – 10th September 2017  12.00 am
  •         Entries open to over 18 years old and UK residents only

How Rafflecopter works:

  • You will need to complete the mandatory entry first – usually making a blog comment. You can do this by clicking on leave a comment at the bottom of the post and leaving your reply in the comment box. Please note your comment will not show immediately as it needs to be moderated however rest assured it will appear on the site, so carry on with rest of entries.
  • Login to Rafflecopter – click to see what the question is. Make a comment answering the question on the blog.
  •  Go back to Rafflecopter and click the green button to tell me you have made a comment, this will unlock all the other options. All entries are checked to see that the mandatory question is answered, if it is not all bonus entries will become void. 
  • Rafflecopter will tweet, like and follow on your behalf.
  • For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here
  • For bonus entries you can return to this page and enter the daily bonus entries. 
  • If you are still unsure as to how Rafflecopter works please do check out this short video

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Bakar Khani ~ Sweet Puff Pastry Biscuits from Pakistan


I love cookery books, not only do I like cooking from them but I like reading them from cover to cover. I admire the beautiful photos and imagine the author creating all the wonderful dishes in far away places. I own many recipe books but my most favorite ones are those that tell a story and take you back to the roots.

Mountain Berries & Desert Spice by Sumayya Usmani is one book that I totally fell in love with even before I had opened the front page. I loved the beautiful bold orange and pink cover with a paisley intricate flowery design. I immediately wanted to touch the book and peer at what it contained.

When I  looked at the book, I can say I was totally thrilled with the content. The book has recipes that are inspired from the Hunza Valley to the Arabian Sea. The book has authentic Pakistani sweet and dessert recipes using amazing spices and Eastern flavours. The desserts are very lavish and beautifully captured.


Included in the book is a chapter explaining all the authentic ingredients used in the recipes which is extremely helpful for those who are creating the recipes for the first time and are new to the ingredients. The book takes you on a sweet and aromatic journey through mouth watering desserts.


There are so many recipes that I want to make from the book such as the Pakistani Jalebis which are crunchy spirals dipped in a sugar syrup. The Qawwami Seviyan, a roasted vermicelli topped with nuts and Bakar Khani which is a sweet puff pastry biscuit. I finally started with the Bakar Khani, you can see my recreation below which was made with a few minor changes from the original recipe .



print recipe

Bakar Khani (Sweet Puff Pastry Biscuits)
Sweet Puff Pastry Biscuits with nuts and poppy seeds
Ingredients:
  • 1 sheet (320 g) Ready to Roll Puff Pastry
  • 2 tablespoons Caster Sugar
  • 60 g Pistachio, almonds and cashew nuts (coarsely ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon Milk
  • 2 tablespoons Butter (melted)
  • 1 tablespoon Poppy Seeds
Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 degrees F 2. In bowl add the nuts, cardamom powder and sugar and mix together well.3. On a lightly floured surface unroll the puff pastry and smooth it out.4. Brush the pastry with the melted butter and sprinkle the chopped nut mixture on top.5. Roll up the pastry from the long side and make a swiss roll shape.Secure the end by pressing the pastry down with your finger, so that the biscuits don't unravel whilst cooking.6. Cut the pastry swiss roll into 1 cm thick rounds and place them on a grease baking tray.7. Using your fingers apply pressure to the outer edges of the discs to flatten them slightly to thin them so that when baking the centre of the biscuit rises to form a dome shape.8. Brush the biscuits with some milk using a brush and sprinkle them with poppy seeds. 9. Bake in a pre heated oven for 18-20 minutes, until the biscuits are a light golden brown in colour. 
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 16

The original recipe did not have nuts in it , that was my personal addition. The Bakar Khani, turned out delicious and they were really flaky and delicious served with a cup of strong Arabic coffee. You can store them in an airtight container for up to a week.


I totally loved the book and would highly recommend it to anyone who likes Eastern desserts.

Book Details :
Mountain Berries & Desert Spice Book  by Sumayya Usmani
ISBN978-0-7112-3852-7
Retails  £20.00

My score for the book: 14/15 this is a high score but the book is definitely worthy of it.

Content -5/5
Illustrations-5/5
Recipe Instructions-4/5

 I was sent a copy of the book to review as always all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
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