Monday, 31 May 2010

Mexican Salad.

Mexican couscous salad-A rich and vibrant Mexican salad with a spicy aromatic cumin and mexican herb dressing.


2 tablespoons dry couscous
1/2 cup water (enough to cover couscous)
1/2 cup pre cooked kidney beans
1/2 cup pre cooked sweet corn kernels
1 small tomato deseeded and diced
1/2 cup diced mixed peppers red/yellow/green
2 inch piece cucumber diced
1 small red onion finely diced
1/2 avocado diced

For Dressing;

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder or paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon fresh garlic paste
Pinch of Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt


1. In a dish put the couscous and add just enough boiling water to cover it. Cover and leave for 15 minutes till couscous swells up and all the water is absorbed.
2. In another bowl add the kidney beans, sweet corn kernels, peppers, red onion, tomatoes, avocado and cucumber and mix.
3. Stir in the prepared couscous.
4. In a jar with a lid add the chilli powder, cumin powder, garlic, cilantro, oil, lime juice mexican oregano and salt. Shake the jar to mix all the ingredients.
5. Pour the dressing onto the salad and toss to mix thoroughly. Chill the salad for 30 minutes to allow all the flavours to infuse.

You may like:
Couscous salad

Submitting to
SARA'S CORNER-Cook with cumin seeds event idea conceived by Priya


Thanks to LOVE2COOK

Thanks to LOVE2COOK  and Treat your Tongue for sharing these awards with simplyfood.

Thanks Creative Sanyukta and Treat your tongue for this lovely award.

I would like to share these awards with all my blogger friends, Please feel free to accept awards on your visit here.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Daring Bakers Challenge May 2010 - Piece montée

The classic piece montée is a high pyramid/cone made of profiteroles (cream-filled puff pastries) sometimes dipped in chocolate, bound with caramel, and usually decorated with threads of caramel, sugared almonds, chocolate, flowers, or ribbons.

The May 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Cat of Little Miss Cupcake. Cat challenged everyone to make a piece montée, or croquembouche, based on recipes from Peter Kump’s Baking School in Manhattan and Nick Malgieri.

This recipe has 3 main components: the pate a choux, the crème patisserie, and the glaze used to mount/decorate it.


For the Vanilla Crème Patisserie (Half Batch)
1 cup (225 ml.) whole milk
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
6 Tbsp. (100 g.) sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
2 Tbsp. (30 g.) unsalted butter
1 Tsp. Vanilla

Dissolve cornstarch in ¼ cup of milk. Combine the remaining milk with the sugar in a saucepan; bring to boil; remove from heat.

Beat the whole egg, then the yolks into the cornstarch mixture. Pour 1/3 of boiling milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so that the eggs do not begin to cook.

Return the remaining milk to boil. Pour in the hot egg mixture in a stream, continuing whisking.

Continue whisking (this is important – you do not want the eggs to solidify/cook) until the cream thickens and comes to a boil. Remove from heat and beat in the butter and vanilla.
Pour cream into a stainless steel/ceramic bowl. Press plastic wrap firmly against the surface. Chill immediately and until ready to use.

Pate a Choux (Yield: About 28)

¾ cup (175 ml.) water
6 Tbsp. (85 g.) unsalted butter
¼ Tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup (125 g.) all-purpose flour
4 large eggs

For Egg Wash: 1 egg and pinch of salt

Pre-heat oven to 425◦F/220◦C degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Preparing batter:

Combine water, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir occasionally. At boil, remove from heat and sift in the flour, stirring to combine completely.
Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly until the batter dries slightly and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Transfer to a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon 1 minute to cool slightly.
Add 1 egg. The batter will appear loose and shiny.
As you stir, the batter will become dry-looking like lightly buttered mashed potatoes.
It is at this point that you will add in the next egg. Repeat until you have incorporated all the eggs.


Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large open tip (I piped directly from the bag opening without a tip). Pipe choux about 1 inch-part in the baking sheets. Choux should be about 1 inch high about 1 inch wide.

Using a clean finger dipped in hot water, gently press down on any tips that have formed on the top of choux when piping. You want them to retain their ball shape, but be smoothly curved on top

Brush tops with egg wash (1 egg lightly beaten with pinch of salt).


Bake the choux at 425◦F/220◦C degrees until well-puffed and turning lightly golden in colour, about 10 minutes.
Lower the temperature to 350◦F/180◦C degrees and continue baking until well-coloured and dry, about 20 minutes more. Remove to a rack and cool.
Can be stored in an airtight box overnight.


When you are ready to assemble your piece montée, using a plain pastry tip, pierce the bottom of each choux. Fill the choux with pastry cream using either the same tip or a star tip, and place on a paper-lined sheet. Choux can be refrigerated briefly at this point while you make your glaze.

Chocolate Glaze:
8 ounces/200 g. finely chopped chocolate (use the finest quality you can afford as the taste will be quite pronounced; I recommend semi-sweet)

Melt chocolate in microwave or double boiler. Stir at regular intervals to avoid burning. Use the best quality chocolate you can afford. Use immediately.

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Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Eggless Wholemeal cookies.

Wholemeal cookies- These cookies are healthy and delicious and totally guilt free. A lovely nutty texture with the aroma of coconut and vanilla makes these simple cookies a treat to eat.


1.5 cups Wholemeal flour
1/3 cup coarsely chopped nuts (I used walnuts,hazlenuts,almonds)
1/2 cup apple sauce
2/3 cups sugar
pinch salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
1/4 cup dessicated coconut
Milk 1-2 tablespoons to make dough.
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
Almond halves / dessicated coconut for garnishing (optional)


1. Put the wholemeal flour in a bowl , add the baking powder and salt and stir in.
2. Stir into the flour the nuts and dessicated coconut
3. In jug add the apple sauce, oil ,vanilla and suger. Beat together .
4. Stir the liquid into the flour and make a dough. Only add milk if dough appears a little dry otherwise omit it.
5. Cover and chill the dough for 30 minutes.
6. After 30 minutes make small balls and place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
7. Flatten the balls into round cookie with the help of a fork.
8. Garnish cookies with almond halves or sprinkle with dessicated coconut before baking in the oven, this is optional.

9. Bake in a preheated oven 200 degrees centigrade for 20-25 minutes till cookies are golden brown.
10.Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
11. Store in a cookie jar.

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Monday, 24 May 2010

Churma na Ladwa (Wheat flour ladoos)

Churma na Ladwa- A gujarati sweet, made from wholewheat chappati flour, ghee (clarified butter) and jaggery (cane suger.) Beautifully flavoured with cardamom and saffron these small ladoos are often made as Prasad offering when conducting prayers .


1.5 Cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup jaggery (gor) (if you have a sweet tooth add an extra tablespoonful)
3/4 cup ghee
1.5 teaspoons cardamom powder
1 teaspoon saffron
2 Tablespoons poppy seeds( kus kus)
30 ml milk
30 ml water


1. Add the saffron to the milk and warm the milk to release the saffron colour, Add water to the milk.
2. In a bowl add the flour and using the milk and water make a very stiff hard dough.(Only use as much liquid as needed you may have some spare left over.)
3. Divide the dough into 12 balls.
4. Roll out the balls into 3 inch rounds called bakris and approximately 5mm thick. Cut small slits in them to stop bakris puffing up when roasting.
5. Cook bakris on a tava on a very low heat till they are hard and crispy like crackers.
6. Cool the bakris and once they are cooled break into small pieces.

7. Grind the pieces into a powder resembling coarse semolina. (This is called churma) Keep aside.
8.Grate the jaggery and add to the churma, also add the cardamom powder and mix in.
9. Melt the ghee and add gradually to the churma and jaggery mixture. Don't add all the ghee at once. Add only enough ghee so that you are able to form ladoos with the the churma mixture with out laddos falling apart.(You can check this by taking a handful of mixture and making a ball in your fist, if mixture is right it will form a ball if its too dry it will crumble)

10. Using either a ladoo mould or just using the palm of your hands form small ladoos. Sprinkle ladoos with poppy seeds (kus kus.) -You can see below I made both; by hand and in ladoo mould.

NB-This recipe will make 24 bite sized ladoos or 12 large.

**The authentic way to make these is that at step 3 the dough balls are formed to make fist shape with indentations and deep fried in ghee till crispy and then cooled and powdered to make churma.The rest of the steps after that will be the same.
I adapted the recipe to make it healthier by making bakris cooking them on tava. I have tried both methods and one cannot tell the difference in taste in the finished ladoos, the baked version is so much healthier.

You may like:

Chocolate crunch barfi.

Semolina Ladoos

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Badam Milk.(Almond milk)

Badam milk-A refreshing Indianised flavoured creamy milk drink scented with aromatic cardamom and saffron and richly garnished with almonds. Usually served at weddings, this drink is refreshing and very rich.


1/2 litre full fat milk
4 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of saffron
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
1 tablespoon almond slivers

For Garnish and serving:
Few almond slivers and a pinch of saffron.


1. Pour the milk into a heavy bottomed pan, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until milk reduces to half the quantity, Stir occasionally to prevent scorching. (About 20-25 minutes)
2. Add the saffron, sugar, cardamom and almonds and stir till all sugar is dissolved.
3. Remove from heat and Chill for a couple of hours or until ready to serve.
4. Pour into tall serving glasses, garnish with saffron strands and few almond slivers. Serve immediately.

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Submitting to:
Cooking for all seasons-Thanda mela


Thankyou Jay of Tasty Appetite for sharing these awards with me.


Thanks to Jagruti from joy of cooking for this lovely participation award.

Majority of awards that have that been lovingly presented by yummy team are posted here so not reposting again. How ever thankyou very much guys for gifting these and making worthy of them.
Part of the tag was that I have to post favorite picture, this is one we captured at Coconut bay in Kovalum, Kerala whilst on vacation there.

I pass this tag to anyone who drops by and visits this post. Please feel free to pick up awards from here and pick up the tag of posting your favorite click if you wish.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Spinach Kadhi (spinach in yoghurt gravy)

Spinach Kadhi-Spinach cooked in a sweet and sour yoghurt gravy, flavoured with garlic and ginger.


For Spinach:

400 grams spinach washed and finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds

For Kadhi:

1/2 tablespoon fresh crushed ginger
1 teaspoon fresh crushed green chilies
1 tablespoon jaggery(gor)
2 cups natural yoghurt (sour yoghurt is better)
2 cups water
2 tablespoons besan flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon jeera(cumin seeds)
1/2 teaspoon dry methi seeds(fenugreek)
4-5 curry leaves
1 dry red chilli


Step 1

1.Whisk water, yoghurt and besan together.
2.In pan heat oil, when hot add jeera, methi seeds,dry red chilli and curry leaves.
3.Next add the yoghurt mixture , add green chillies, ginger, salt and gor.
4.Keep stirring the mixture until it starts to simmer, keep stirring until all the raw taste of besan has gone and kadhi has slightly thickened.(If you leave the kadhi and stop stirring it will split so keep stirring continuously)
5.Once kadhi comes to boil, reduce heat and simmer for another 5 mins.
6.Turn off heat and leave kadhi uncovered otherwise it will split again.

Step 2

7. Heat oil in apan , when hot add the 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds,when they splutter add the garlic paste and saute.Take care not to burn it.
8. Add the spinach , salt, chilli powder and turmeric powder.
9. Add 2-3 tablespoons water just enough to cook the spinach.
10.Cover and cook the spinach for 5 minutes till it is soft and wilted.
11.To the spinach add the precooked kadhi and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes till spinach and kadhi thicken. (Consistency should be that, so that kadhi coats back of spoon.)
12. Adjust seasoning as required.
13. Transfer the spinach kadhi to a serving dish .

Serve with plain boiled rice.

You may like:

Drumsticks in yoghurt gravy.

Submitting to ;
W 'rite FOOD green gourmet event.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Green pidgeon peas and potato curry.

Green pidgeon peas (fresh green tuver) and potato curry- Fresh green pidgeon peas cooked with potatoes in a spicy and rich gravy. Delicious served with gujarati theplas.


1 cup fresh green pidgeon peas (green tuver)
2 medium potatoes peeled and diced.
1 teaspoon garlic paste.
1 teaspoon salt.
1 teaspoon chilli powder.
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder.
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder.
1 teaspoon turmeric .
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds.
2 tablespons olive oil
2 medium tomatoes chopped and blended to smooth puree.
1 teaspoon tomato puree.

1. Heat the oil in a pan when hot add the mustard seeds and allow to splutter.
2. Add the garlic paste and saute till rawness goes.Add the blended tomatoes and tomato puree.
3. Add the salt, chiili powder, turmeric, coriander and cumin powders and cook till tomatoes start to separate from oil.
4. Add the fresh pidgeon peas and potatoes and add 1 cup water.
5. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes and pidgeon peas are tender and cooked. Add more water if required. This curry should have a thick gravy.
6. Check that both the potatoes and pidgeon peas are well cooked ,once they are ready,transfer curry to a serving dish.

Serve with methi theplas or rotis.
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Submitting to:
The well seasoned cook-My legume affair 23

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Yoghurt and mint Dip

Yoghurt and mint Dip- A refreshing cooling dip made with natural yoghurt and mint. It makes a wonderful accompaniment to savory dishes such as bhajiya and samosas or can be used as a dip with papadams.


1 cup creamy natural yoghurt.
1 heaped tablespoon colmans mint sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon green chilli paste.


1. In a bowl add the yoghurt and mix it till it is creamy.
2. Add the salt, chilli paste and mint sauce and mix together.
3. Transfer to a serving bowl and chill.

Serve with papadams , cassava chunky fries , samosas or any savory snack.

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Sunday, 16 May 2010

Cassava (mogo/yucca)Chunky fries.

Cassava chunky fries- Lovely crispy snack thats is deep fried to perfection. Served with chutneys ,this makes a mouth watering tea time snack.


500 grams frozen cassava (yuca/ mogo) cut into chunky fries
Sunflower oil for frying
1 teaspoon salt for cooking
1/2 teaspoon for sprinkling.
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder


1.In a pan of salted water par boil the mogo(cassava/yuca) .
2. Drain and keep aside.

3. Heat oil in a pan and deep fry the cassava fries on medium heat till golden brown .
4. Drain on kitchen paper .
5. Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with salt and chilli powder if desired.

Serve hot with Yoghurt mint dip or just tomato ketchup.

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Some information on this vegetable. Click here

Friday, 14 May 2010

Ras Malai~Indian cooking challenge April 2010

Ras Malai-A rich, luscious and creamy Bengali dessert made from reduced milk and paneer. It is delicately flavoured with cardamom and saffron and finished with nuts. Served chilled this dessert is simply heaven to indulge.

Ras Malai-Indian cooking challenge April 2010- The original recipe was provided by Lavi.
I followed recipe as stated ,the only adjustment I made were that I halved the quantity specified as this was my 1st attempt at making this wonderful dessert.


For paneer:

1 litre Milk
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon maida (all purpose flour)

For sugar syrup:

2.5 cups water
4 tablespoons sugar

For milk syrup:

3 cups milk
4 tablespoons Sugar
1 large pinch Saffron
1 teaspoon cardamom powder.

For Garnish:

1 tablespoon chopped pistachio nuts
1 tablespoon almond slivers
Few strands saffron


Step 1-Making the Rasa

1.In a heavy bottom pan add 1 litre of milk and bring to boil, add the saffron and turn heat to simmer.
2.Let the milk reduce on low heat stirring intermittently taking care not to burn it.
3.Some milk solids will form, that is ok just stir them in this will enhance creaminess to finished Rasa.
4.Once milk has halved in quantity add the sugar and let it dissolve. (It took about 40 minutes cooking time to half the milk)
5. Add the cardamom powder and stir in. Remove from heat and keep aside.

Step 2- Making the paneer

6. In a heavy bottomed pan add 1 litre of milk, bring to boil.
7. Once milk has boiled add the lemon juice and stir.
8. Continue to stir and milk will curdle and separate.
9. Leave for 5 minutes and you will see whey and milk solids separated.
10. Place muslin cloth in a colander and pour the separated milk in it.
11. Take the colander to the sink and run cold water over the separated milk to remove traces of lemon juice.
12. Squeeze out the access water from the paneer , rewrap paneer in muslin and place a heavy object over it to help drain all water out and to ensure paneer is dry.
13. Leave for 30 minutes.
14. After 30 minutes paneer will have formed a lump as most of the water has been removed from it.
15. Transfer paneer to a bowl add the maida and knead to form soft dough like consistency.
16. Roll out 12 walnut sized small balls from the paneer making sure there are no cracks and flatten them slightly like patties. (These will make 120 bite sized Ras malai)

Step 3- Making the sugar syrup.

17. In a wide-bottomed saucepan with lid, add 2.5cups of water and 4 table spoons of sugar.
18. Allow the syrup to boil, then add the paneer ball's one by one into it. (Don’t be afraid of the ball's getting broken, if you have kneaded the paneer well, it won’t get broken.)
19. Cover the pan and let the paneer balls cook for 10 -12 minutes on slow flame in the sugar syrup.
20. After 12 minutes check that the paneer balls are spongy and doubled in size.
21. Allow paneer balls t to cool slightly and when you can handle them, remove each ball with spoon. Slightly press each ball between your palms to remove the excess sugar syrup.
22. Place the squeezed balls in the Rasa made in step one. They will soak up some of the rasa.
23. Transfer the Ras Malai to a serving dish and garnish with chopped pistachio nuts, almond slivers few strands of saffron.

Chill before serving.

NB- The author of the recipe had suggested to save and refrigerate the whey water for making roti dough and for using it instead of lemon juice to make next batch of paneer.

You may like:

Ariselu -February 2010 challenge

Sago Muruku-March 2010 challenge

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Carrot chutney.

Carrot Chutney- A quick and easy chutney to make, using simple ingredients such as carrots, cucumber and chillies. Piquant and spicy with a tang from the lemon juice this chutney is versatile and simply delicious with snacks such as potato bhajiyas and samosas. It can be served as a dip/salsa with tortilla chips.


2 medium carrots.
2 inch piece of cucumber
Juice of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon zest of lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
4 green chillies.
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder


1 .Peel and dice the carrots.
2. Dice cucumber keeping the skin on.
3. Remove the stalk and seeds from the chillies and chop roughly.
4. In a blender jug add the carrots, cucumber and green chillies.
5. Add the salt, chilli powder,sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest.
6. Pulse the ingredients so that it forms a coarse chutney.
7. Taste and adjust seasoning as required to suit your palate. Chutney should be tangy and spicy and fairy coarse in texture..
Transfer to a serving dish. Keep refrigerated

Serve with Crispy potato bhajiyas.
or Pumpkin crisps.

You may like:

Tamarind chutney
Apple chutney.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Baingan Bartha (Roasted aubergine curry)

Baingan Bartha-Roasted aubergine cooked with onions, garlic and a medley of spices. A delicious smoky taste makes this aubergine curry delicious to savour.


1 large aubergine
1 medium onion finely diced
2 medium tomatoes finely diced and blended.
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon fresh chopped coriander for garnish.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds


1. Wash and prick the aubergine with a fork. Lightly oil the aubergine.
2. Place the aubergine on a tray and place in a hot oven for 20 mins or till its soft and charred.Alternately grill aubergine in open flame or under grill turning frequently to get even cooking.
3. Remove aubergine from oven and peel the skin off and discard, finely chop up the flesh .
4. In a pan heat the oil ,add mustard seeds. Allow to splutter.
5. Add the onions and garlic and cook till onions are translucent.
6. Add the tomatoes and salt, chilli powder, turmeric cumin powder and coriander powder.
5.Cook till tomatoes softened and oil starts to separate ,add tomato puree. Stir.
6. Add the roasted aubergine and mix.
7. Add 3-4 table spoons water and simmer for 5 -10 minutes till spices are blended in aubergine.
8.Transfer to serving dish and garnish with fresh coriander.

Serve with Rotlas or hot rotis and khichdi and kadhi.

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Monday, 10 May 2010

Gujarati Ondhwo.(Savory lentil cake)

Ondhwo- A typical gujarati savory cake made with chana dhal and rice flours. Healthy and nutritious as its baked with a selection of vegetables and spices .This savory cake is perfect for tiffin, picnics and teatime snacks.


400 grams handwo flour (alternatively you can use 200 grams chana dhal and 200 grams rice, mix and grind together to make flour)
1 medium lokhi (dudhi bottle gourd )grated or 3 courgettes grated
1 large onion finely diced
4 -6 green chillies minced finely
1 tablespoon ginger paste
200 grams sour curd
1.5 cups water
2 tablespoon sesame seeds
3 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons salt
1-2 red dried chilli
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 teaspoons eno salts.
1 teaspoon chilli powder


1.Mix ondhwo flour with curds and 1 and 1/2 cups water to make a thickish batter .Cover and keep in warm place over night.
2. Next day add ginger paste, chillies, salt, chilli powder,turmeric and mix .
3.Oil a cake tin or deep sided baking try and keep aside.
4. Heat oil in a pan when hot add the mustard seeds and red dried chilli.
5. Add the onions and fry the onion till they are translucent and soft .
6. Add the cooked onion to the ondhwo mixture and mix. Next add the grated lokhi/courgettes and mix. Batter consistency should be dropping if needed adjust by adding little more water .
7. Add the eno salts, mix throughly . Pour the batter into the oiled baking trays approximately one inch thick.
8. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
9. Bake in a preheated oven 180 degrees for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
10.To test if ondhwo is ready inset a skewer in center of ondhwo, if it comes out clean ondhwo is ready .
11.The top of the ondhwo should be well done and dark brown and crispy. Remove from oven and cool.
12 Cut to desired size squares and serve hot.(Can be eaten cold also)

NB: Any vegetable can be added such as grated potato, grated potatoes, grated marrow, grated courgettes, grated locki or a combination of all.

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