Friday, 28 June 2013

Garlic Butter Stir fried Prawns with Black pepper and Crushed Fennel seeds.

I have been upto my ears the past couple of weeks, its been so hectic, my life has been swamped with household chores, a couple of house get togethers, cooking cooking more cooking and a teeny bopper whose been testing boundaries. Well I am so pleased to now say that the busy period is over for now, the dust has settled, the lil one is asleep and I finally have found the time to put my feet up and do one of the things I enjoy the most....BLOG!!
So with a Smile on my face I give you todays recipe, a simple and delicious prawns stir fry thats bursting with flavours of butter, garlic, curry leaves, freshly ground black pepper and crushed fennel seeds. This dish needs hardly any preparation. Only cleaning the prawns and pounding a few fennel seeds. The rest is just putting things together. The crushed fennel seeds adds a wonderful dimension to the prawns. Do try it out. Its Yumm!!

Tender juicy prawns thats first marinaded, then quickly stir fried in butter thats flavoured with pureed garlic and fresh curry leaves, then delicately spiced up with freshly ground black pepper and crushed fennel seeds.

To Make Garlic Butter Prawns with Black pepper and Crushed Fennel Seeds.
Serves: 2 | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 10 minutes
Prawns: 10 large
Garlic paste: 2 tsps
Turmeric powder: 1/2 level tsp
Salt : to taste
Lemon juice: 2 tbsps
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Coarse Black pepper powder: 1/2 tsp or to taste
Fennel seeds/ Saunf crushed: 1/2 tsp ( crush in a mortar till almost fine)
Butter/ Olive oil : 2-3 tbps.

1. In a bowl take turmeric powder add 2 tbps of lemon juice and salt to taste.
2. To the marinade add the cleaned and deveined prawns. Let it marinade for at least 20 minutes. 
3. In a large non stick pan melt butter. Once the butter starts bubbling add the curry leaves fry till the leaves changes colour (1 minute), add the garlic paste and stir fry on a low flame for 3-4 minutes. Turn up the heat to a high flame add the marinaded prawns one by one to the pan without the marinading juices, lay the prawns flat without crowding the pan. As soon as the prawns starts changing colour to pink on one side flip the prawns over to the other side to fry. Frying the prawns shouldnt take more than 3-4 minutes in total. Once both sides of the prawns have turned pink sprinkle over the black pepper and crushed fennel or saunf powder. Add a dash of lemon juice if desired, toss well. Stir fry another 30 seconds then take the pan off the heat. 

Serve the prawns hot as a starter or as an accompaniment to a main meal.

Have a great weekend friends,

Yours in Taste,

Carol Pereira.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Savoury Hot Egg Puffs using Mangalorean Spices!

Light flaky layers of puff pastry enveloping a delightful spicy stuffing of Boiled Eggs with Mangalore spices, my definition of  'Tea time Ecstasy'. My fondest memories of these delish and enticing savoury Egg puffs goes back to the early 2000, when I was working in a dental college in Domlur, Bangalore, India. Our number one choice for unwinding from a busy morning would be at the local Kerala Bakery. 

Located at a busy junction, this small bakery was effectively filled up with coastal delicacies like the spicy chicken, mutton or egg puffs, local treats like aloo buns (spicy potato buns) dilkush, dilpasand (pastry filled with sweet tutti fruti or sweetened coconut), pastry horns  (horn shaped pastry filled with sweet whipped cream), Japanese cakes, apple cakes, burfi's, pastries, badushah, tea rusks, freshly baked loaves of milk bread, fruit loaves all served with a piping hot cup of masala tea or coffee, chilled buttermilk (spice infused buttermilk) or a bottle of juice (frooti being my favourite or mango juice)....divine! The place was constantly buzzing with people with a rapacious appetite for these colourful and delectable treats.

Back in the UK, with no Kerala Bakery in sight, I ventured out to replicate this wonderful treat using what was at hand. I made the basic onion tomato mixture then spiced it up using the Bunt Chilli powder ( the 'Mangalorean in me' wouldn't be at peace if I didnt :) you could use your favourite Spice Blend or Curry powder here).  

Must say the puffs turned out awesome. Truly delectable. I have  since substituted the boiled eggs with simple fried prawns and served it as a party appetiser too. Gained many FANS ;)  Try it out!

To Make Egg Puffs using  Mangalorean Spices.
Makes 8 puffs.
Boiled Eggs: 4 nos
Onions 2 medium chopped finely
Tomatoes: 2 chopped finely
Ginger garlic paste : 1 tsp
Mangalore Bunt chilli powder : 1 tsp, add more for spicier puffs. Substitute with any other spice blend or Curry powder
Salt to taste
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves: 4-5
Oil: 2-3 tsps or as required

1. Boil eggs. Peel and keep aside.
2. In oil splutter mustard seeds, add curry leaves, fry. Add onions fry for 3-4 mins, add ginger garlic paste fry for another 2-3 mins till the raw smell goes. Next add  chopped tomato and salt, fry till tomato softens.
3. To the remaining mixture add Mangalore Bunt chilli powder or any other curry powder. Adjust quantity of spice powder to suit your taste and fry for a few more seconds. Adjust salt and add lemon juice to taste.

4. Divide a ready rolled sheet of puff pastry to eight equal portions. Divide the cooled onion tomato spice mixture equally between them. Cut each boiled egg into 2 equal halves along its length. Invert one half of a boiled egg over the mixture, brush the sides of the pastry with water, close the pastry till edges meet and seal well. Place slits or a cross on top of the puff. 

5. Place the puffs on a non stick baking tray well spaced from each other. Bake in a preheated oven at 200C or 400F  for 12-14 mins or until puffed and golden. Enjoy with a hot cup of Coffee or Tea.

If you enjoyed this post or do make these puffs I would love to hear from you. Leave me a line at the end of this post or on my Facebook page. 

Have a great week friends,

Yours in Taste,

Carol Pereira

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings/ Baked Spicy Chicken Wings!

If you are a Wings lover, I am about to change your life. I am about to make you the happiest person on the planet. I am about to tell you how to make a very tasty hot and spicy chicken wings dish, better known as Buffalo Chicken wings!!. The original Buffalo Chicken Wings is deep-fried wings coated in a sauce of vinegar-based cayenne pepper hot sauce and butter. This is a baked version of the original deep fried version hence a healthier choice.

These wings are a perfect accompaniment to drinks and is a hit at my parties. I first tasted these wings on our trip to the US in 2012, and the love was instant. A wonderful explosion of taste and flavours, the hot chilli from the sauce with the crispy skin of wings and juicy meat, absolutely delightful. Had to make it at home. Picked up a bottle of Buffalo wings sauce on our way back and created it in our kitchen using a very popular recipe from here. The result was delightful. SPICY, CRUNCHY and GONE in minutes!!

For a kids version reduce the spice in the coating flour and serve along with a sweet BBQ sauce or Ketchup.

It is important to remember 2 things while making these wings 1. to dry the wings thoroughly before coating with the flour 2. place the wings in the fridge for atleast 50 mins to an hour. Both these steps will give you a crispy chicken skin, then bake in an oven for an hour or so till golden brown and done. Pour over the wings  sauce or serve in a bowl along side.

If you do try this recipe, I would love to hear from you. Do drop me a line at the end of this post or on my Facebook page. Pictures of your creation are most welcome too :)

To Make  Baked Spicy Chicken Wings  or  Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings 
Serves: 4-5 | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Resting time: 1 hr | Baking time: 1 hr
Recipe Source: All
Chicken wings: 20 

All-purpose flour: 3/4 cup
Cayenne pepper( chilli powder) : 2 tsps
Garlic powder: 1tsp
Black pepper powder: 1 tsp
Salt: 1/2 tsp

For the Buffalo Wings Pouring Sauce
Hot pepper sauce (such as Frank's RedHot®): 1/2 cup
Olive oil or melted butter: 3 tbsps

1. Cut wings at joints.
2. Wash wings and thoroughly dry them using paper towels. The drier the wings the crispier they will turn out.
3. Line a baking sheet or roasting pan with parchment paper/foil, and place a cooling rack or equivalent on top of the lined roasting pan. The coated wings will be placed on top of this rack while baking in the oven. This will stop the wings from soaking up all the fat that drips down from the wings as it is cooking.  Lining the roasting tin will allow all that grease to be easily cleaned up.
4. Combine flour, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, black pepper and salt in a bowl. Add any other dried spices of your choice to the flour.
5. Dredge the prepared wings into the flour mixture . Place the dredged wings on the prepared rack and place the entire set up in the lowest shelf of your fridge for 45 min-1 hr uncovered. This will allow the coating to set and create a wonderfully crispy coating.
6. Preheat oven to 200 C or 400F for 7 minutes.
7. Take out the wings from the fridge and in the center of a hot oven. Bake at 200C for 30 minutes. Then turn over and cook for another 25-30 minutes until the flour coating appears nice and crispy and the wings are cooked. Take out of the oven and rest for 5 minutes. Place the wings in a serving bowl.
8. In another bowl whisk together your favourite wing sauce along with the melted butter or oil. Either pour the sauce over the rested wings and toss to coat well or simply serve in a bowl alongside the wings .

If you enjoyed this recipe, you must get your teeth into my much loved Chilli Wings Recipe or Wings on Fire. You will love its simplicity and flavours.

Have a great weekend friends,

Yours in Taste,

Carol Pereira

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Mangalore Style Crab Pepper Fry.

Mangalore is a relatively small city on the south-west coast of India and we Mangalorean Catholics (Mangi's) are a 'fish loving breed' known for their undying love of seafood. Mangi's can eat fish, breathe fish and die for fish too ;) (though as a matter of fact anything that moves could easily satisfy our meaty appetites ;)

This fish loving madness is not limited to the seasons, come rain or sun, it goes on and on through the year. Even if there were no fresh fish to buy, you would still find fish lovingly dished up at a Mangi's table. It could be a 'Dried fish chutney' or a 'pickled prawn or fish made by grandma or 'Mai' or  'Dried shrimps in a vegetable side dish' or a 'Simple fish curry' made from a stash thats been strategically hidden away in a Mangi's freezer chest. Whether its a Mangi's 'true love for fish' or an 'unsatiable obsession'  I dont know

 Coming to a Mangi's 'Freezer Chest'. Now this is one electrical appliance that every Mangi household with electricity will possess. If you dare to open one, heaven knows what you will find inside!  You could find frozen 'Bimblees'  gifted  by a neighbour with a tree; for those delicious Mangalorean Daaliso Saar with Bimblees (lentil soups), or 'Ambades' (hog plums for those spicy prawn curries),  or wild game could be wild bird , boar or deer that was found on a friend of a friends estate for those delicious Sukka's (meat in a dry spice paste with Coconut),  or Goan sausages, varieties of fish and meat, ground spice pastes ready to make a delicious fish curry or  left over Dukramaas from Easter (taste improves with time you see).....a true treasure chest :) 

Coming to today's catch, CRABS!!  
These soft shelled meaty crustaceans rank high on a Mangi's favorite list. Once they come in season my mom buys them by the kilos and stacks them in her cold treasure chest for us to enjoy when we go back home for holidays ( Love you mom xx) 

Crabs are either cooked in a rich deliciously Spicy Coconut Crab curry
, as a hot Spicy Roast or simmered in a Pepper based dry dish like todays recipe. This dish is one of hubby's favourite and I learned to make it by watching my Mother in law. It is peppery, delicious and truly crabworthy!

To Make Mangalorean Crab Pepper Fry
Recipe Source: Recipe Adapted from my Mother in Law 
Serves: 2-3 | Preparation time: 40 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes.
Fresh Atlantic crabs or Blue Crabs: 2-3 crabs cut into halves 
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Onion (medium):  2 nos cut into 1/2 inch cubes ( keep each cubed onion seperate)
Tomato: 3 nos
Green chillies: 3 nos slit
Coriander powder: 2 tbsp
Chilly powder: 1 tsp
Tumeric powder: 1/4 tsp
Garam masala: 1 tsp
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Oil/ ghee: 2 tbsps

For Roasting and Grinding:
Pepper corns: 1 heaped tsp or more for hotter palates
Fennel seeds: 1 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
Methi seed: 3-4 seeds
Grated coconut: 2 tbsps
Cinnamon: 1 inch piece
Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tsp
Tamarind extract: 2 tsps

1. Gently dry roast on a pan ( seperately) the peppercorns, fennel seeds, grated coconut, cinnamon, cumin seeds, methi seeds till aromatic and then grind to a fine paste using a very little water.
2. Clean crabs, and cut each crab into quarters and crack the legs gently, so the flavours can enter.
3. Heat oil in a large round bottomed vessel/ kadai. Add curry leaves followed by 1 cubed onion and slit green chillies and fry for 3-5 minutes on a medium flame. When the onions have softened add ginger-garlic paste and fry for 3-4 minutes till it turns golden brown. Then add the chopped tomatoes and salt. Fry for 3-4 minutes then add the coriander, chilli, turmeric and garam masala powders and continue to fry till the tomato gets mashed and the oil starts to separate. Add the remaining cubed onion and fry for a minute. Add the roasted ground paste, tamarind paste and mix well.
4. Add the cleaned crab toss well with the spicy onion tomato mixture. Add 2-3 tbps water only if required. Cover and cook on a medium flame for 5-7 minutes or till done.

Taste for salt and sourness. 

Serve hot alongside some white rice and Daaliso saar or Mangalore lentil soup or enjoy on its own alongside a large Kingfisher !

If you liked this or any of my posts, I would love to hear from you. Leave me a line at the end of this post or message me on Facebook or Look forward to hearing from you.

Have a great week friends,

Yours in Taste,

Carol Pereira

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Fusili pasta with Red peppers and Boiled Eggs.

Its been ages since we had Toddler/ Kid friendly recipes posted here. Apologies! 
I have been too busy making and posting all my favourite grown up recipes, that there is a backlog of kid friendly recipes sitting in my Draft folders waiting to to see the light of day :)

Well this pasta recipe is one I created on a busy afternoon, when all that I had left in the fridge was a red pepper and eggs (fortunately both are well palated by Baby A).  I simply sauteed the pepper with some chopped onions, tomatoes and herbs, added the pasta, enough water and cooked till done. Then added the finishing touches of cheese, a dash of cream and chopped boiled eggs. 

Must say the pasta turned out really soft, creamy and wonderfully flavoured by the red peppers and herbs. It was very well received by Baby A's friends who came to visit too.

Cooking the pasta in the cooker is not only quicker, allows the pasta to be cooked softer and most importantly saves up on washing up ;). 

Would love to know what your lil ones have to say about it :)

To make Fusili pasta with Red peppers and Boiled eggs.
Serves 3-4 children | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes.
Fusilli pasta: 2 cups
Pepper (red or orange, not green): 1 whole, remove core and seeds and dice into small pieces
Garlic: 3- 4 flakes finely chopped
Oil: 1 tbsp
Tomatoes: 1 whole chopped finely
Onion: 1/2 chopped finely
Fresh or Dried thyme: 1/4 tsp chopped
Fresh or dry Basil: 5 leaves finely chopped
Salt to taste
Water to cover by 1 inch over pasta
Single cream: 2 tbsps (optional)
Grated Cheddar Cheese: 2 tbsp
Boiled eggs: 2 hardboiled and finely diced. 

1. Place eggs in a large pot of room temp water, enough to cover the eggs. Add a dash of salt and a tsp of vinegar to the water. Turn heat to high. When water comes to a boil, cook for further 10 minutes. Once the eggs are done. Turn flame off. Carefully drain out hot water and replace with cold water.After 5 minutes peel shells and dice the eggs. Keep aside.
2. While eggs are boiling, take the base of a pressure cooker. Add oil, when hot add the garlic and fry for a couple seconds till lighly softened. Add the diced peppers, chopped tomatoes and onions, add salt, fry well till onions and tomatoes are somewhat soft (around 4-5 minutes) on a medium flame. 
3. Add the chopped thyme, chopped basil, stir, add the uncooked pasta and mix well. Add hot water to cover pasta well above 1 inch, mix. Taste for salt, add as required. Close cooker, cook for 1 whistle on high heat. Turn heat to simmer and cook for further 6-7 minutes. Turn off the pressure cooker heat and allow pressure to drop. Once the pressure has dropped, open the cooker add a dash of cream, grated cheddar, the chopped boiled eggs and mix well. You could serve the pasta straightaway. I prefer to allow the pasta to rest a few more minutes to plump up a bit and absorb all the flavours. Close the pressure cooker lid place the weight on and allow the pasta to rest (with no flame) for a further 10 mins, while you go about doing other things. Once 10 mins is up, open the cooker, stir well. Serve warm.

Thats all for now friends. I hope your kids do enjoy. Shall leave you with a few more loved Kids recipes !
Oven baked tomato chicken (12months +)
Orange Chicken (12months +)
Tomato and Herb Scrambled Eggs (12months+)
Simple Baked Chicken pie (12months+)
Creamy Chicken Pie with Peppers (12 months+)

Yours in Taste,

Carol Pereira

Monday, 3 June 2013

Mango Cake with Fresh Mango chunks and Pecan nuts

Well we all love Mangoes and most often enjoy their golden sweet succulent flesh in the peak of their ripeness, in its virgin form. Peel off their skin from one side  then let your teeth sink into their sweet cheeks, peel and eat till you reach their center white core then repeat the other side, while streams of golden nectar flow from the fruit down your palms right upto your elbows and create juicy puddles on the floor below....a truly messy affair....worth every bite :)

Considered the King of all fruits, a delicious gift of the summer sun. Mangoes lend their fruity flavour to any dish it is included in. Be it the thick Indian Mango Lassi's, Kulfi or Amarkhand, the addictive Chinese Mango Pudding or the much savoured Mango Milkshakes.

A fruity richness that's loved world over. Because mangoes are picked before they are fully ripe, choose ones that have a fruity smell at the stem end and ripen them at room temperature until the fruit becomes yielding. My favourite being the Indian Alphonso or Kesari Mangoes followed by the Honey dew from Pakistan.

Todays recipe uses fresh chunks of Mango, folded into a light buttery sponge, speckled with crunchy pecan nuts. A delicious light and airy cake thats bursting with bites of mango :)

To make  Mango Cake  with Fresh Mango chunks and Pecan nuts
Recipe Source: taste of
Prep: 20 min |  Baking time: 30 min
Sugar: 1/2 cup
Melted butter: 1/3 cup ( original recipe uses Canola oil)
Egg: 1
All-purpose flour: 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons
Baking powder: 3/4 teaspoon
Salt: 1/4 teaspoon
Ground cinnamon: 1/4 teaspoon
Ground nutmeg: 1/8 teaspoon
Mango: 3/4 cup chopped peeled
Chopped pecans: 1/4 cup
Confectioners' sugar and whipped topping, optional

1. In a small bowl, beat the sugar, oil and egg until well blended. 
2. In another bowl, sieve together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg
3. Gradually beat the sieved flour mixture into sugar mixture and mix well. Fold in mango and pecans.
Transfer the mixture to a greased 6-in. round baking pan. Bake at 375°F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. 
4. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.Garnish with confectioners' sugar and whipped topping if desired.

Enjoy with a hot cup of tea or at the end of a meal with a scoop of Vanilla Icecream.

Have a lovely week friends.

Yours in Taste,

Carol Pereira