Tuesday 30 November 2010

Pomegranate Fool

Layers of crunchy biscuit  crumb and toasted oats, topped with pomegranate syrup, pomegranate seeds and creamy vanilla mascarpone . Finished with  jewel like juicy pomegranate fruit and toasted flaked almonds makes this delightful dessert so desirable  and delectable it will leave you  in a delirious state of heaven.


2 oz oats
6 digestive wholemeal biscuits
250 grams mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 tablespoons single cream
2 tablespoons icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 large pomegranate
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon sugar
Few toasted almond flakes.


1. In a heavy bottom pan add the pomegranate juice and  bring to boil, reduce the heat and simmer till juice reduces to half the quantity.
2. Add the sugar and simmer till sugar is totally dissolved and a rich syrup forms. Turn off heat and keep aside.
3. Cream together the icing sugar, vanilla essence, mascarporne and cream till it is smooth and creamy.Put into a piping bag and keep aside.
4. In a dry frying pan toast the oats for 2-3 minutes and remove from hot pan. Allow to cool.
5. Crush the biscuits  to form a coarse crumbley texture. Add the toasted oats and mix together.
6. Peel and  de seed the pomegranate making sure no white bits are stuck to the seeds as this will make them bitter.

To assemble the fool:

7. In sundae glasses place a layer of biscuit  and oat mixture.
8. Add  a layer of the pomegranate seeds and drizzle some pomegranate syrup on top.
9. Pipe some mascarpone cream on top of this layer .
10. Repeat with a layer of biscuit and oats, followed by pomegranate seeds, topped with pomegranate syrup.
11. Finally pipe mascarpone rosettes all round this  layer leaving the centre.
12. Add more pomegranate seeds in the centre and drizzle with more pomegranate syrup on top.
13. Finally garnish with toasted almonds.
Chill before serving.

You may like mango mousse

Saturday 27 November 2010

Daring Bakers Challenge November 2010 ~ Crostata

Crostata is an Italian tart the base of a crostata is pasta frolla (or pastafrolla), sweet short crust pastry (or sweet tart dough) made of flour, sugar, butter and eggs. Pasta frolla is versatile: it provides the base to make crostata with fruit preserves, pastry cream, fresh fruit, ricotta, and other ingredients.

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona  of  briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.


For the Pasta frolla (pastry)

1/2 c. minus 1 tablespoon [105 ml, 100 g, 3 ½ oz] superfine sugar (see Note 1) or a scant 3/4 cup [180ml, 90g, 3 oz] of powdered sugar
1 and 3/4 cup [420 ml, 235 g, 8 1/4 oz.] unbleached all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
1 stick [8 tablespoons / 4 oz. / 115 g] cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
grated zest of half a lemon
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bow l(I added 1 tablespoon egg substitute mixed with 2 tablespoons water instead)

For Filling:

Black Cherry Tarts:

8oz can of Hartleys black cherry pie filling.

For Banana Tart:

2  Bananas sliced
8 oz / 240 grams  custard
1 tablespoon brown sugar.


1.Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl.
2.Rub or cut the butter into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. You can do this in the bowl or on your work surface, using your fingertips or an implement of choice.
3.Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs into it (reserve about a teaspoon of the egg mixture for glazing purposes later on – place in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use).
4.Add the lemon zest to your flour/butter/egg substitute and 2 tablespoons water.
5.Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips.
6.Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
7.Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can refrigerate the dough overnight.
8.Heat the oven to 375ºF [190ºC/gas mark 5].
9.Take the pasta frolla out of the fridge, unwrap it and cut away ¼ of the dough. Reserve this dough to make the lattice top of the crostata. Refrigerate this dough while you work on the tart base.(I chose not to do this and didn't add lattice top on my tarts)
10.To help roll the crostata dough, keep the dough on top of the plastic wrap that you had it wrapped in. This can help rolling the dough and can also help when transferring the dough to your pan. You can also use parchment paper for this. However, you can also roll the dough directly on a work surface if you prefer.
11.Lightly dust the top of the dough and your work surface (if you’re rolling directly on a work surface) with flour. Keep some flour handy to dust the dough as you go along.
12.If the dough is very firm, start by pressing the dough with the rolling pin from the middle to each end, moving the rolling pin by a pin's width each time; turn the dough 180 degrees and repeat; when it softens, start rolling.
13.Roll the dough into a circle about 1/8th inch (3 mm) thick.
14.If you used the plastic wrap or parchment paper as rolling surface, flip dough over the pan, centering it, and delicately press it all around so the corners are well covered. Peel away the plastic wrap.
15.Trim the excess dough hanging over the edges of the pan. Press the remaining dough around the border into the sides of the pan making sure the border is an even thickness all the way around.
16.Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork in several places
17. Blind bake the pasty for 10 minutes in the oven.(I added this step to the recipe as previous attempts of not blind baking made my base really soggy when it came out of the oven.)

For Black Cherry filling:

18.Spread the Black cherry pie filling evenly over the bottom of the crostata and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until pasty is golden brown.
19.Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving.

For Banana and Custard Filling:

20.After blind baking the pastry shell  spread the custard over it and arrange banana slices on top of the custard.
21. Sprinkle with brown sugar and bake till pasty is golden brown  about 20 minutes.
22. Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving.

Thursday 25 November 2010

Cucumber Raita

Refreshing  light  and creamy yoghurt with cucumber,carrot  and delicately flavoured with cumin, and  coarsely ground mustard.


8 oz / 240 grams  natural set yoghurt ( needs to be thick and creamy)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon  coarsely ground mustard seeds( rai bhardo)
1/2 teaspoon  ground cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2  inch piece cucumber
2  inch piece carrot
1 green chilli finely chopped (optional)


1. Peel and grate the carrot.
2. Keep the skin on and grate the cucumber. Squeeze surplus liquid from cucumber.
3. In a bowl add the yoghurt, salt, sugar, coarsely ground mustard seeds and ground  cumin . Mix.
4. Stir in the carrots and cucumber.
Transfer to serving bowl and chill before serving with vegetable rice.

You may like:
Yoghurt and mint dip

Monday 22 November 2010

Cabbage Chutney

A fiery and hot but really tasty chutney to spice up any snack dish.


2oz /60 grams white cabbage shredded.
4  long red chillies
2  green  turkish chillies
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 ripe tomato skinned and de seeded
4 tablespoons water


1. De seed and chop both types of chillies and place in blender jug with tomato and cabbage. Add water and blend to a fine puree.
2. Add the salt, chilli powder, lemon juice and oil and blend again to combine the spices into the chutney.
3.Transfer to a sterelised jar and keep refridgerated.( will keep for 4-5 days)
Use as and when required as a dip for savory snacks.

You May like:
Coriander Chutney

Saturday 20 November 2010

Sooji (semolina) halwa

Creamy semolina halwa that is aromatic and tasty with the infusion of saffron and cardamom.


120g / 4oz fine sooji (semolina)
120g / 4oz sugar
3 tablespoons ghee
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
250 ml milk
Few strands saffron
Few almond slivers for garnish.


1. In a heavy bottom pan add the ghee and add the semolina, stir fry in ghee till sooji turns light brown. (Approx 10 minutes)
2. Warm the milk in the microwave and add the saffron, leave for milk to be infused with the saffron flavour.
3. Add the milk to the browned semolina and stir till mixture thickens and all the milk is absorbed.
4. Add the sugar and cardamom powder and mix till sugar is melted and well mixed with the semolina.
5. Transfer to serving dish and garnish with almond slivers, alternatively to make semolina barfi transfer the halwa to a greased tray and pat the halwa into it smoothing it down with a back of a spoon. Garnish with almond slivers.
6. Once cool cut to desired shapes

You may like Rava ladoos

Thursday 18 November 2010

Papaya Salsa

This recipe was published in Issue 12 Take a break My favourite recipe . Page 20

Colourful, sweet and tangy salsa perfect for a  healthy and nutricious snack served with baked tortilla chips.


1 semi ripe papaya
2 inch piece cucumber diced
1 tomato de seeded and diced
1 tablespoon boiled sweet corn kernels
1 tablespoon red capsicum diced
1 red chilli finely chopped
Pinch salt
Pinch white pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice


1. Cut the papaya in half.
2. Scoop the inside of one half of the papaya and keep skin aside for using as serving dish
3. Skin and dice the remaining papaya and place in to a bowl.
4. Add the diced cucumber, sweet corn, diced red capsicum and chopped red chilli. Mix.
5. Add pinch of salt ,white pepper powder and lemon juice and toss.
6. Spoon papaya salsa into the prepared empty papaya skin and serve immediately with tortilla chips.

You make like:
 Mexican salad

Monday 15 November 2010

Varo (Indian Nut Praline) ~ ICC cooking challenge October 2010

Varo a traditional Sindhi recipe. Similar to peanut brittle this lovely praline has mixed chopped nuts and is delicately flavoured with poppy seeds(khus khus ) and cardamom.

The source of this recipe is from Simply Sindhi recipes and is for the ICC cooking challenge by srivalli of spicing your life


Mixed Nuts (Almonds, Pistachios, Cashew nuts) - 1 Cup
Poppy Seeds / Khus Khus - 2 tbsp
Cardamoms - 4 -5
Sugar - 1 Cup
Ghee Clarified Butter - 1 tbsp


1.Slice all mixed nuts. Powder the Cardamom seeds.
2.In a heavy bottomed pan, add ghee and sugar. On low heat melt the sugar.
3.When the sugar is melted and caramelized to a light brown color add the sliced mixed nuts, Khus Khus, and powdered cardamoms. Mix till nuts are coated well with the caramelized sugar.
4.Pour this mixture onto the back of a thali/ greased plate or on a rolling board.
5.Using the back side (flat side) of a cup, flatten the mixture like a thick chapatti or disc. You can use a rolling pin to roll the mixture. This has to be done very quickly as the mixture begins to harden as soon as it is removed from heat.
6. Before mixture begins to set score lines where you want to break the varo as this will make it easier to get uniform size pieces when set as Varo will break on the scored lines .
7.Leave the rolled Varo to set for some time.
Break into pieces and store in air tight containers

You may like :

Thursday 11 November 2010

Bread Rolls

Fresh crusty bread rolls, crispy outside, soft inside simply delicious fresh straight out of the oven.


480 grams / 16 oz bread Flour + 1 tablespoon for dusting and kneading.
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon quick acting yeast
1 tablespoon oil
Warm water (as required)


1. In a large bowl add the flour, sugar, salt and yeast.
2. Add the oil and make dough using warm water.
3. Cover and keep dough aside in warm place to rise.
4. Once dough has risen punch it, knead on a floured surface.
5. Divide into 12 balls and roll into bread rolls of desired shape.
6. Place on oiled baking try with plenty of space in between them to allow rising
7. Cover and leave for 30 minutes.
8. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 º C / 400 º F for 15-20 minutes till golden brown.
Remove from oven and serve hot with butter and hot soup.

Friday 5 November 2010

Saboodana Kheer (Sago/tapioca kheer)

Fragrant and sweet tasting creamy milk pudding made with pearls of saboodana, flavoured with delicate hints of cardamom and saffron.


½ cup saboodana (sago/tapioca)
3 cups milk
1 tablespoon almond slivers
½ table pistachio slivers
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 pinch saffron.
3 tablespoons sugar
¾ cup water for soaking saboodana


1. Wash and soak the sabudana in the water and leave to soak for 2 hours.
2. In a heavy bottomed pan heat the milk till it comes to boil, once it is boiling reduce heat and simmer on medium heat till it thickens ( about 10 minutes) stir constantly so that milk does not scorch.
3. Add the soaked saboodana to the milk and cook, stirring constantly till the saboodana turns translucent and when pressed between thumb and finger there is no hardness.
4. Add the sugar and the saffron and cardamom and cook for 3-4 minutes more.Keep stirring.
5. Add half the almonds and pistachio and stir into the kheer.
6. Transfer kheer to serving bowls and garnish with remaining almonds and pistachio slivers.
Serve chilled.

NB- saboodana kheer will thicken once it cools.

You may like:
Rice Kheer

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Kofta Biryani

Fragrant grains of rice cooked in an aromatic spice mixture in  heavenly layers of vegetable masala and koftas.

The  rice used in this recipe were courtesy of tilda, the lovely long grains of fragrant  tilda basmati  rice cooked really well and gave the Biryani a wonderful flavour. Basmati means the "Prince of Fragrance" or the "Perfumed one"  and this rice truely lived up to this description. The long fragrant grains of rice cooked to optimum perfection and released a wonderful aroma.Perfect separate pearls of rice, made my biryani absolutely delicious and tasty to savour.I am not surprised at this considering the rice is grown and nurtured at the foot hills of the Himalayas, watered by the water from the pure melting snows of the mountains. Grow to perfection using traditional methods Tilda basmati gets the best care before it is harvested and reaches your tables.
Rice at its best, it is healthy and gluten free and a perfect accompaniment to curries and dhals and of course desserts such as rice pudding, phirni and other mouthwatering sweets .With the wonderful celebration of diwali upon us,I believe Tilda Basmati is the perfect choice  for any meal.
Tilda not only grows this wonderful rice but it  also provides support for the local community in more ways than one.You can read more about their story here. On this auspicious occasion of Diwali, for those that are less fortunate than us lets get together and support Tilda with their Free Rice Campaign Click here to play for free Rice.For each answer you get right Tilda will donate rice to United Nations Worlds food programmme.



240 grams / 8oz tilda basmati Rice
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon turmeric
Few drops red food colouring
Few strands saffron
1 tablespoon milk warm milk

Vegetable masala:

120 grams / 4 oz baby corn sliced
1 carrot peeled and diced
1 potato peeled and diced
60 grams / 2oz peas
1 small onion finely diced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2-3 cardamom pods
1 stick cinnamon
2-3 cloves
4 bay leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red dried chilli
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoon natural yoghurt.

For Kofta:

90 grams / 3oz besan (chickpea flour)
1 small zucchini finely grated with skin on
2 tablespoons fresh fenugreek chopped
½ teaspoon fresh ginger paste
½ teaspoon green chilli paste
¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sunflower oil

Sun flour oil for deep frying


1. Wash and soak the rice for 1 hour.
2. Place the rice in a large pan and add 1 teaspoon salt and bring to boil. Turn heat to medium and cook till rice is ala dente. Drain the rice in a colander, when drained spread rice on a tray and sprinkle with few random drops of red food colouring and leave aside to cool. Do not mix the colour in.
3. Soak the saffron in the warm milk and keep aside.
4. In a bowl add the besan, zucchini, fenugreek, and chilli and ginger paste. Add the teaspoon of oil, salt and mix.
5. Add 1-2 tablespoon water to make a stiff batter.
6. Heat the oil in a pan when it is hot drop small teaspoonful drops of batter into the hot oil, deep fry on medium heat till Kofta’s are golden brown.
7. Drain on kitchen paper and repeat for remaining batter. Keep aside.
8. Place the corn, peas, carrots and potatoes in a microwaveable dish and add two tablespoons of water, cook on high for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
9. Heat oil in a pan when it is hot add the onion and sauté till translucent. Add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, red dried chilli and sauté till the flavours release. Add the tomato paste and salt and the turmeric and black pepper and sauté for few more minutes.
10. Add 4 tablespoons of water and the precooked vegetables.
11. Cook the vegetables and spice mixture till all flavours infuse together. Turn off heat and stir in the yoghurt.
12. In a deep oven proof dish, add a layer of rice, next add a layer of vegetable masala and next a few Kofta’s.
13. Repeat with a layer of rice followed by the vegetable masala and more Kofta’s.
14. Finish with a final layer of Rice and few Kofta’s on top for decoration.
15. Sprinkle the top of rice with the saffron soaked milk. Cover and place the rice in a hot oven 200 º C for 15 minutes.

Serve Kofta Biryani with Cucumber raita.

You may like:
Fennel Pilaf Rice
Submitting to Flavours of Punjab event by simply.food hosted by Pari of Foodelicious.

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