Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Raw banana Fry ~Recipe Swap May 2019


This is the May challenge for recipe swap and this month I was allocated F for flavour blog written by Shalini. Shalini is a software engineer, who is currently a stay at home mum. She gets her recipe inspiration from her mother, grandmother and aunts. 

Looking through Shalinis blog, I shortlisted three recipes; veg momos as I have never made momos at home and wanted to try them, mango chutne as its mango season at the moment and the raw banana roast. It was a tough decision but finally I decided to make the raw banana fry as I had friends visiting and it makes a lovely appetiser.

I followed the recipe and the only changes I made was that I added a little chopped coriander and red chillies and doubled the quantity. The recipe was delicious and I will definitely be making it again. 







Yield: serves 4
Author:

Raw Banana Fry

Raw bananas marinated in herbs and spices and shallow fried until golden brown and crispy
prep time: 15 Mcook time: 15 Mtotal time: 30 M

Ingredients:

  • 2 Raw green bananas (matoke)
  • 3 sprigs fresh coriander finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Ginger Garlic paste
  • 1 .5 tablespoons Rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Lime wedges to serve

Instructions:

How to cook Raw Banana Fry

1. Cut the top and bottom of the raw bananas and place them in a large pan with cold water.

2. Boil the bananas for 6-8 minutes . Do not over boil as bananas need to be a l dente and not fall apart when peeled and sliced.

3. Once bananas are boiled remove from heat and place them in cold water. 

4. Peel and slice them in to 5 mm thickness slices.

5. In a bowl add the flour, salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, ginger garlic paste, red chilli and chopped coriander .

6. Toss the banana slices in the seasoned flour and leave aside for 20 minutes.

7. After 20 minutes add 1 tablespoon of water and toss the marinated bananas ensuring all, the slices are well cover with the seasoned flour mixture.


8. In a frying pan add the oil and heat it. Shallow fry the banana slices in small batches until golden brown. Remove from the oil and place on kitchen paper.


9. Repeat for all the slices.

10. Serve hot with lime wedges.
Created using The Recipes Generator



NB-There are various types of raw bananas available in the market depending on which country they originate from. There is plantain which are the long green bananas mainly used in Caribbean cuisine or the little green Indian variety from India or the East African variety called matoke.



In this recipe I used matoke. I am sure the recipe would work well with any kind of raw banana. I have previous cooked with matoke when I made my Matoke Bhel and Kenyan Matoke stew

To see what the other bloggers created in the recipe swap check the links below:



Thursday, 9 May 2019

Turmeric Milk


Turmeric is one spice that is commonly found in most Asian kitchens. It has numerous health benefits since it is contains curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Research has shown that including turmeric in our daily diets helps to cure us of  ailments. It is beneficial to people suffering from cancer, heart disease, skin problems, liver disease, arthritis, stomach problems, gallbladder problems, depression and Alzheimer’s too.  



You can get turmeric in the fresh form or dried both are equally good for the health. You can make a lovely  fresh turmeric pickle  that is tasty and oil free or even add fresh turmeric to make a turmeric smoothie.



I also like adding fresh turmeric to my curries and salads but there are many more ways to  incorporate it in your recipes such as in these delicious  turmeric aniseed rusks made by my friend Mayuri.


In most Asian household, one home remedy that is regularly used is Turmeric Milk known as Haldi Dhoodh. Butter, pinch of pepper and turmeric are stirred in to warm sweetened milk and drunk. It is thought that this concoction aids in a speedy recovery.

The Turmeric milk recipe varies from household to household and is made by adding various spices such as pepper, cinnamon and turmeric and butter. I grew up with this very simple and mild flavour but still with lots of medicinal benefits.


Yield: serves 2
Author:

Turmeric Milk

Warm sweetened milk flavoured with spices and turmeric.
prep time: 1 Mcook time: 5 Mtotal time: 6 M

Ingredients:

  • 200 ml Full Cream Milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (to taste)

Instructions:

  1. Place the milk in a saucepan and bring to boil.
  2. Leave it to reach room temperature then add sugar, turmeric and black pepper.
  3. Stir in the butter.
  4. Pour into two glasses and serve immediately.
Created using The Recipes Generator



Friday, 3 May 2019

Swap Your Oil for Bacofoil® The Non-Stick Kitchen Foil




With the summer fast approaching I love cooking outdoors on the barbecue. Being vegetarian I have tried barbecuing every vegetable imaginable but my all time favourite is cauliflower. Cauliflower is a very delicate vegetable when it’s cooked as it falls apart if overcooked.
These Tandoori Cauliflower bites are done on the barbecue. The trick is to marinade them and then put them on Bacofoil® The Non-Stick Kitchen Foil on the non-shiny side, which has a unique BacoLift® surface, making it non-stick. There is no need to use oil or grease the pan as the Bacofoil® is totally non-stick and the cauliflower bits will just lift off without breaking.


I am so excited to have discovered The Non-Stick Kitchen Foil, that I have been using it all week in my kitchen. I made cookies, normally I would use grease proof paper, but I used the Bacofoil® and they just lifted off even better than using greaseproof paper.



My next day I made veggie burgers, my mixture was a little too soft, so I just patted it down on the Bacofoil® without greasing it. There is no need to use any oil to prevent the burgers from sticking, making it the healthier option. I was expecting to have to peel the foil off but to my surprise the burgers just lifted off.



I also made sweet potato fries , I just tossed them in a tiny bit of oil, added rock salt and black pepper and spread them out on a baking sheet lined with the Bacofoil®, the results were perfect and the sweet potato fries did not stick at all.




For my fussy eater, my daughter I made french fries, rather than fry them, I baked them again great results and so much healthier.



Baked apples who doesn't love them ? We always make them every time we have a barbecue. I  wrapped apples in the Bacofoil® and placed directly on the barbecue. The cinnamon sugar in the apples caramelised beautifully and the foil protected the apples from the charcoal and retained all the lovely caramel.





At the weekend I also made Baingain Bhartha, a roasted aubergine curry cooked with tomatoes, onions and garlic. The recipe calls to oven roast the aubergines.



I placed my aubergines on the Bacofoil® non stick and the aubergines cooked well and just lifted off. Another success.



I am so happy that I have not had to scrub any baking trays. The Bacofoil® protected the trays and because it’s really strong it did not break and allow any juices to seep through. This is the ideal hassle-free solution to notoriously sticky food - no sticking, no mess and definitely no scrubbing. If you have not tried Bacofoil® I would highly recommend that you put it to the test, you will not be disappointed. You can purchase it from all major supermarkets.


** In collaboration with Bacofoil®



Thursday, 2 May 2019

Orexi - Feasting at the modern Greek table By Theo A.Michaels ~Book Review



I love all types of cuisine and especially those that include my favorite ingredients  such as courgettes, aubergines, fresh herbs, tomatoes, peppers and lemons. The cuisine that predominantly uses these is Greek Cuisine. On my trips to Crete, Skiathos and Athens I enjoyed the flavours and textures in many dshes and I have been creating a lot of Greek inspired dishes in my kitchen.
Recently when I was sent the cook book Orexi - Feasting at the modern Greek table By Theo A.Michaels, I was really excited to cook from it. 


The book is hardback and divided into section :

Eat like a Greek-  Author introduction
Yoghurt & Pita- Recipes for Greek staples
Meze- A selection of lovely Meze recipes




Sea -A selection of seafood recipes  
Land- Maincourse recipes and a tale of family dining


Sun- Lots of vegetarian and salad recipes  
Fire-Lots of barbecue recipes
Sundowners- Cocktails and drinks and desserts.


Index

The book is well writen with very beautiful family recipes and memoirs. It's well illustrated with lovely photos of beautiful Greek places.


It certainly makes you want to visit all the places to try out the food which all looks really traditional and authentic.


My favorite sections of the book are the sun and fire section, both these sections have some vegetarian recipes. I loved creating a few of them such as the Greek salad, grilled aubergines and feta, charred courgettes and the filled crispy filo rolls and my family favorite Greek Potato Salad.


I enjoyed the book however,  I think the book is really more suited for a non vegetarian as a large percentage of the recipes are using either meat or seafood. I also found that the ingredient list would have been easier to read if it had bullet points and also the recipe instructions would have been simplier to follow if they were numbered instead of written as a paragraph. This little addition would be more useful for an amateur cook following the recipe.

Overall a lovely book that would make a great gift for a foodie with the scope to be able to recreate some lovely Greek and Cypriot cuisine.

You can purchase the book from Amazon and most large book shops.

Book Details : Orexi - Feasting at the modern Greek table By Theo A.Michaels
ISBN  978-1-78879-079-6
Retails  £16.99

My score for the book: 10/15


Content -3/5
Illustrations-4/5
Recipe Instructions-3/5

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


Monday, 15 April 2019

Carrot and Zucchini Noodle Salad -Recipe Swap April 2018


This is my recipe swap challenge for the month of April. This Month my partner was Veena who blogs at veenasvegnation.com. Looking through Venna's blog was really interesting. She has a lot of really exciting recipes, some with ingredients that were new to me. I book marked a fair few of them and hope to cook my way through them.

For the challenge though, I chose her Carrot and Zucchini noodles recipe. It's a simple recipe but I love both the ingredients and it is a perfect salad idea for our lunch boxes. As a family we are also on a healthy eating programme so it made sense to make this recipe.

I did make a few minor changes to the recipes. I could not get black carrots so I used some asparagus together with the orange carrots and zucchini. The flavours in Veenas salad were simple so I pepped up my version by adding added a few more ingredients to the dressing to give the salad a little spicy kick.





Yield: 2
Author:

Carrot and Zucchini Salad with Peanut dressing

Spiralised Carrots and Zuccini with a tangy spicy peanut dressing.
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 3 Mtotal time: 13 M

Ingredients:


  •  Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 large carrot peeled and spiralised
  • 1 large zucchini spiralised
  • 10 stalks tendar asparagus
  • 40 g dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon  white sesame seeds

Instructions:

  1. In a pan add some water and when it comes to boil add the asparagus and boil for three minutes after which remove the asparagus with a slotted spoon and place in iced water to stop cooking. Drain and add to a large bowl.
  2. To the Asparagus add the spiralised carrot and zucchini.
  3.  Coarsely grind 30 g of peanuts and add to the salad.
  4. Add all the ingredients for the dressing in a jar with a lid and shake to emulsify.
  5. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss.
  6. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl and garnish with remaining whole peanuts and sesame seeds.
Created using The Recipes Generator




Recipes created by other bloggers in the recie swap group:



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You can check out the recipes from the other members of the recipe swap club below:


Please check out the other Recipe Swap Recipes!


Monday, 25 March 2019

Warm Chick Pea Salad with Pickled Walnuts


I love salads but sometimes when its cold I make this warm chickpea salad as its perfect eaten hot or cold. With middle Eastern flavours it goes really well with a meze of pitta bread, hummus, Baba Ganoush to make the perfect lunch.



Yield: Serves 2 

Warm Chickpea and Pickled Walnut Salad

A warm spiced chickpea salad with lovely Moroccan flavours.
prep time: 10 minscook time: 5 minstotal time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 240 g Precooked chick Peas
  • 1/2 green capsicum finely diced
  • 1/2 red capsicum finely diced
  • 1 small red onion finely diced
  • 1 pickled walnut finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon brine from the pickled walnuts
  • 4 sprigs fresh coriander finely chopped.
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Seeds from 1 pomegranate
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac
  • 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1 red chilli finely diced

Instructions

  1. In a pan add the olive oil and saute the onions until translucent. To the onions add the the chick peas, peppers and warm through.
  2. Transfer the chickpea mixture to a bowl and add two thirds of the pomegranate and pickled walnuts and the chopped coriander.
  3. In a jar add the lemon juice, walnut brine,sumac, diced chilli, salt, honey, back pepper and mix thoroughly
  4. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well.
  5. Transfer the salad to serving  bowl and garnish with remaining pomegranate and chopped coriander.
Created using The Recipes Generator



Saturday, 23 March 2019

Lunch at Ritorno Covent Garden London


Covent garden is my favourite part of London, I love spending lazy Sunday afternoons strolling through the square and savouring the atmosphere. It is also the hub of London theatre land showing some wonderful shows.

There is so much to do in Covent Garden that you could easily spend a day there. There are many bars, coffee shops and restaurants dotted around and you will find all types of cuisine to suit your taste and pocket. On my recent trip shopping trip we decided to stop to have a light lunch. My friend Heidi and I love Italian food so we lunched at Ritorno a chic Italian brasserie in the centre of Covent Garden



The restaurant is tastefully decorated with stripes and a flamingo theme. It's very quirky and fun yet stylish too. The restaurant has an amazing fully stocked up bar and the menu had lots of choice. There was a choice of the brunch menu or a la carte.


 

We didn't drink any alcohol instead we settled for soft drinks whilst we waited to order our meal.
We decided to have order a main course only as we wanted a light meal. I choice the Gnocchi alla Sorrentina  a homemade baked ‘Sorrento style’ potatoes gnocchi in tomato sauce with Mozzarella di Bufala Campana. It was light and absolutely delicious in texture and flavour. Being a vegetarian I found adequate choice on the menu to choose from which is always a plus for me.



Heidi on the other hand chose the Ravioli Di Burrata -a housemade ravioli pasta stuffed with creamy Burrata from Andria fresh cherry tomato and basil sauce. She too enjoyed it tremendously.



After the delicious  pasta dishes, we enjoyed a mini dessert each. We both chose the chocolate cake, This was surprising different to what we had imagined, it was more like a brownie. Never the less it was still tasty.The warm chocolate cake was served with Sicilian ricotta cheese topping and an orange and chocolate crispy tuille. It was just enough to satisfy those sweet taste buds without making you feel over indulgent.



Finally I have to mention this the trip to the ladies washroom was a total surprise. It was a transportation to a pink imaginary world. You can see what I mean from the picture below.



Thank you to Ritorno who invited us as guests to dine with them. It was a really enjoyable lunch, the service was great.We would definitely return there again for another meal. All views and opinions are of our experience of the meal.
You can read about Heidis experience below.



Thursday, 7 March 2019

Judge Radiant Saucepans Review




Being a foodie I spend a lot of time in my kitchen cooking. Having good quality pots and pans with a good non stick coating is a must. Non stick pans means you can use minimal oil and cook food to perfection making it healthy too.
I recently needed to replace my pans as over time they had got scratched and were not in good condition. My search lead me to the Judge kitchen ware. 


The Judge Radiant range is stylish in black, it has Teflon’s very latest Radiance non-stick surface which is PFOA free. This is very important as cheaper coating tend to peel off after prolonged use and can contaminate the food. The Teflon coating is a 3 layer coating with integrated ferrous particles that help to quicken heat transfer through and pan and maintain even heat throughout the pan surface. The pans have a high efficient aluminium body that is sealed with a heat proof metallic paint to make them strong.


The pans are all suitable for all hob types and they are oven safe up to 150 degrees C. They come with a Judge 25-year guarantee and also 10-year non-stick guarantee. The radiant range comes in 13 different pans including saucepans, fry pans, woks and crepe pans, and 3 and 5 piece sets. All the pans have matching soft grip stay cool handles and knobs on the lids. The lids have vents to prevent over boil. They are easy to clean and totally dishwasher safe too which is a requirement in this day and age. 


The full range is available to buy from Horwoods. Prices start from £20.00, the pans are extremely good value for money. I have the three pan set but I am planning on adding a few more pieces to my collection. I love the stylish black but for those who like to add a pop of colour to their kitchen you can get them in red too.


In collaboration with Judge Cookware, I was sent a set of judge pan to put to test in my kitchen, all views and opinions and photos are my own.

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Matoke Bhel- East African street food


I lived in East Africa for eight years of my life and I have very fond memories of the food there. Street food was something we loved and I have a very vivid memory of one such street vendor who used to daily serve the Matoke (green raw banana) right outside my school gates. It was a simple dish but as they say its simplicity at its best and sometimes uncomplicated dishes are the ones that have the greatest taste.

Coming to the Matoke Bhel, it was simply matoke boiled in their skins, the vendor would then fish them out of the simmering pan and peel and mash them into a tin dish. He would add lemon juice, salt, chilli powder and a dash of oil and mash it all together. The matoke mash was then transferred to a serving dish, it was topped with thin slivers of red onion, finely chopped chillies and a generous helping of a crunchy snack called chivda (a spicy fried beaten rice, potato crisps and peanut mixture). Finally it was finished with a garnish of finely chopped coriander leaves and served with an extra squeeze of lemon juice and more sprinkling of chilli powder for those who liked it spicy!!

The spicy tangy flavours and the crunch from the toppings made this streetfood snack the best thing I have ever tasted. I fact my mouth waters every time I think of it. I have tried to recreate this dish again in my kitchen and it was definitely the best thing I have eaten. I can't believe I waited so long to prepare this amazing streetfood snack.


Yield: serves 2

Matoke (Raw Green Banana) Bhel

African Street food boiled matoke flavoured with simple spices and garnished with onions, chillies and a crunchy savory snack topping.
prep time: 5 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 25 mins

Ingredients:

  • 6 Matoke (Raw green banana)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons sun flower oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 springs of fresh coriander finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli finely chopped
  • 100 gram chivda (spicy snack)
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges
  • 1 small red onion finely sliced

Instructions


  1. Place the matoke without peeling in to a large pan of water and boil for 20 minutes, you can see the matoke are ready when the skins start to split open.
  2. Once the matoke is boiled remove from the pan and peel the skin off. Place it in a bowl and mash it with a potato masher.
  3. Add salt, chili powder, lemon juice and the oil and mix well.
  4. Transfer the seasoned matoke to two serving bowls and garnish with the onion slices, the chivda and the chopped coriander. Serve hot with extra lemon wedges.

NOTES:

If you dont have any chivda you can just add some potato chips scrunched and some roasted peanuts instead.
Created using The Recipes Generator







I am sending this recipe to an event hosted by Mirelle of The Schizo Chef to celebrate African Food week.









Other Diaspora Cuisine recipes:

I love food from all over the world and my next task is to sample some delicious food from Singapore shared here


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