September 19, 2012

Oatmeal Roti / South Indian flat bread

This is a 100% handmade fresh Indian flat bread. The most popular South Indian roti is the Rice/Akki roti (recipe here) and Millet/Ragi roti (recipe here). Here is yet another soft and tasty roti, only healthier.

What you will need: Makes about 12 to 14 medium sized rotis
2 cups quick oatmeal or regular old fashion oatmeal
1 cup Rice flour/Akki hittu ( Finely ground rice flour )
1 cup finely chopped scallions and greens ( dill, cilantro, fenugreek are some options )
1 medium sized onion chopped thin and lengthwise,
1/2 cup grated fresh/dry coconut--Optional
2tsp Coarse red pepper flakes with seeds
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
Salt as needed

Get about 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot. Add in the oatmeal and let it cook completely. Turn off the heat and pour the rice flour over it.

Let the mixture cool down to warm. Put into a large enough mixing bowl, and add all the chopped vegetables and salt.  Show some love, mix the baby with your bare hands. Now add hot water if its too hard, and some more rice flour is its too soggy. Bring the consistency to a soft dough.

Knead a handful of dough gently to form a ball with greasy hands, preferentially hands dipped in oil or melted butter. The softer the dough, the softer will the roti turn out.

Place the dough on a greased wax paper, pan proof paper or a fresh banana leaf. Pat it down to flatten it trying to seal any cracked edges by dipping your hands in a bowl of water and sealing the cracks.

Use a flat nonstick pan or regular flat bread fry pan. Prep the pan by coating with a non stick spray. The easiest and cheapest way would be to heat the pan on medium to a smoking consistency, wipe it with half a shallot dipped in oil, this gives a nonstick coating, the old fashioned way :-)

Turn the flattened roti/bread, face down on the pan and pat down gently. Carefully peel out the paper holding one edge. Let it cook on medium heat. You may add a little oil or butter to the edges.

Lift the edges a bit to see the color, if its golden brown, flip it to the other side, carefully and gently.

Let it cook the same way on the other side too. That's it, flip it on to a plate now. If you flip it too many times on the fry pan, it might tear.

This goes great, when served with spicy garlic paprika chutney or mint chutney and a tiny dollop of butter! Yum! Enjoy.

Fresh fruit cocktail

And here is the recipe of that fantastic cocktail I told you about in my previous blog. This is truly just an alcohol syrup that bathes chunks of fresh mixed fruit. A highly recommended recipe for  alcohol and fruit lovers :-)  Indresh, here is your recipe :-)

What you need: Makes enough to serve a party of 8

About 4 cups of fresh fruits  (peach, plum, orange, water melon) - any citrus fruit goes well
1/2 cup Triple sec
1/2 cup Gold Rum
1/2 cup White Rum
1/2 cup Lime Juice
A few fresh lemon slices

Crush the fruits in a a jar. 

Pour in the alcohol and lime juice. 

Add some lemon slices and mix well. 

Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour the cocktail on it and serve. Enjoy!

Have you visited my NEW section - Kids Lunch Ideas?

There are lunch box Ideas I have come up with for my son who started first grade this fall. I intend to keep it as a balanced diet, for the most part, and colorful. 

I will take a picture of his lunch box this entire school year. I hope it helps other busy moms too. Please feel free to send in your constructive comments and suggestions. Enjoy!

September 18, 2012

Dajaj Mashwi - Arabian Grilled Chicken

Here is an amazingly simple yet exquisite tasting grilled chicken that bears its roots from the Arabian land. It requires simple ingredients, fresh boneless chicken, and a hot grill. 

I had been to a barbeque party at my friends place. Her husband is a great chef, and keeps trying new dishes. He had marinated a bowl of boneless chicken breasts, and I had my mouth watering from just taking pictures of it. You can imagine how it tasted, it was spicy and grilled to perfection. The core was moist and juicy. He paired it with a fruit cocktail (which I will post as another recipe) and, people were constantly hovering over the grill for more. So, Indresh, here is your recipe in all its splendor. 

What you need: Serves 4 to 6
4 boneless chicken breasts
1 tsp Paprika/ red chili powder
1 tsp Salt or as much as you need
1 tsp black pepper powder
1 Tbsp lime juice (optional)
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp Olive oil

Using a wooden mallet, flatten the chicken breasts.  
Mix all the powders together and rub them on to the chicken. 

Let the marinated chicken soak for about an hour. 

Cook it on a hot grill and serve it hot, with a garlic dipping sauce or any other sauce of your choice. Enjoy!

September 10, 2012

Ninja party Ideas and Ninja Cake

Here is a Green Ninja cake inspired by my son's favorite character Lloyd in the Ninjago cartoon. I could have made it out of fondant, but wanted to try it out of Butter cream.

Decorations I came up with for the Ninja party. Regular baloons with ninja eyes. Cups and plates with Ninja eyes. A take home gift wrapped in green with ninja eyes. 

For the games:
1. Slay the dragon - We had a Ninja sword to slay the Ninja dragon pinata that I bought online.

2. Dart the Ninja! - The ninja darts game i bought online.

3.  Ninja kicks - I bought styrofoam/thermacoal and cut them into long strips so they kids could punch and kick them like karate pros :-)

4. Join the Ninja puzzle - I made a ninja and cut them into 12 puzzles that all the kids could put together.

For party favors I drew a little ninja and got it custom photographed on to mugs as the kids take home gifts.

Soccer birthday cake!

Ninja Cookies

Here are some fun Ninja cookies to pull off a cute birthday for Ninja crazy kids like my son. He wanted a Ninja cake. I had an interesting inspiration, green and black ninja cookies, cakes, and decoration.. it was a fun project to do. 

The recipe for the cake and decorations is the same as the Teddy cookies recipe here. 

Basil 'n gourmet sausage noodles in plum sauce

Here is a quick and easy dinner recipe, a fusion of sausages and aromatic basil with warming red peppers on noodles. I used regular quick cooking Chinese noodles, you may improvise as you like. 

What you need: Serves5-6
4 gourmet chicken sausages, but into 1/2 inch rings
A handful of fresh basil leaves
1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1-14oz pack of noodles
2 cups red peppers, chopped into large bits
1 cup white onions, chopped into large bits
2 Tbsp plum sauce
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp or more chili garlic sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp olive oil

Make the noodles according to the instructions on the pack, or bring a large pot of water to boil. Break the raw noodle cakes into quarters and add them into the boiling water. 

Add salt to taste and a few drops of oil to prevent sticking. In 5 to 6 minutes, the noodles will be soft yet firm, drain them into a colander and run cold water over it. Drain and set aside.

Place a saucepan on medium-high heat. When the pan is nice and hot, add olive oil, immediately followed by the sausages, cook for a few minutes until they brown. 

Add in the peppers and onions; saute for a minute. Pour in the sauces, salt and pepper. 

Give it a quick whisk; add in the basil leaves and saute for just another minute on medium heat. Toss in the noodles, and some olive oil. 

Mix well with tongs. Serve warm along with a good red wine. Enjoy!