Author Archives for My Cooking Diaries

About My Cooking Diaries

This is Cecilia Pinto, currently based in Kuwait. Started this blog to share my cooking experiences with the world.

The COVID-19 Break!


Fijivillage.com

As the world begins to slowdown with the Coronavirus causing wide-ranging consequences and several countries locked-down or going into one sooner rather than later to control their population against the Pandemic, we pray that those infected recover quickly and the spread of the coronavirus is contained and mitigated swiftly and completely.

Those of us who have until now managed to escape the threat of the virus have to thank nature and The Almighty for keeping us safe and giving us the much needed “wind-down” time we are having.  We need to use this time to pray, meditate, exercise, read, write, relax and catch-up on things we always wanted to but were running short on time.

Given that we now have more family time, we should use this opportunity also to nurture and nourish our family members with fresh wholesome home cooked meals and prepare hot homemade breakfasts, lunches and dinners and snacks. Why not use this time to also prepare all those traditional recipes you thought were ‘time-consuming’ and always wanted to try and use the opportunity to introduce traditional cooking and culture to your children and family.

It is also an opportune time to stock up your pantry with your favorite home-made masalas, pickles, preserves, etc. all recipes available in “Mais Recipes” which has been in circulation for over twenty years!

So make the most of this break. Enjoy fresh home-cooked meals to boost your immunity which is important to fight any illness.  Additionally, include citrus fruits for its Vitamin C, lemons and lemon juice, nuts, ginger, garlic, raw onion, hot herbal teas, turmeric, green and leafy vegetables, coloured vegetables like carrots, red and yellow capsicums, squashes, sweet potatoes, yogurt, etc.

Meanwhile, stay calm, wash your hands with soap frequently and follow the official directives of your governments and local authorities.  Social-distancing at this time is of paramount importance, so stay sequestered if necessary and be safe.

With best wishes to one an all from Team Mai’s Recipes and cooklikececilia.com!!

Dibba Rotti


Dibba Rotti… I am so glad I came across this recipe. Didn’t know of this Andhra speciality until I chanced upon it recenly on the net and have already made it a couple of times.

Makes a great breakfast, snack or a meal besides being easy to prepare. All you need is a frying pan! Although the taste seems like a combination of idli and medu vada, you don’t require an idli steamer, idli molds or a medu vada maker. It’s like a huge fried idli! Nice and crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Eat as soon as it is made 😉

Would also go perfectly with any curry for lunch or dinner. Try it with chicken or mutton roce curry or sorpatel.

So here’s the recipe…..

Dibba Rotti

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Urad Dal
  • 1 Cup Idli Rawa
  • ½ tsp. Cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. Ghee

Wash Urad dal and soak in water for atleast 4 hours.  Wash the idli rawa, drain all the water and set aside.  Grind the urad dal to a smooth paste adding water as required.  Keep the paste thick. Mix the urad dal paste and idli rawa together,  add salt and cumin seeds.  Mix well.  Leave aside for 30 to 45 minutes.  If you wish, you may leave to ferment overnight but not necessary. 

Heat a frying pan, add ghee and when melted, pour 4 to 5 ladles of batter (to a small pan).  If the pan is larger more batter may be required to get the desired thickness.  The above quantity will give you two small dibba rottis or one medium.

Lower heat, cover the Pan and cook 10 to 15 minutes till the underside turns golden brown and crisp.  When the rotti starts leaving the sides and turns brown, flip and cook the other side for 10 to 15 minutes till golden.  Remove to a plate, cut into wedges or squares and serve with coconut chutney and or anyother chutney of your choice. Would taste great with some sambar too.

Kabuli Pulao


We recently had a birthday lunch for my husband Rudy celebrated with Afghani cuisine.

The menu consisted of Kabuli Pulao, Chicken Korma, Mixed Vegetable Korma, Chicken Kababs, Sweet and Sour onion salad.

Appetisers: Beef Mantu and Potato Bolani.

Dessert: Sheer Korma and Cake.

The Kabuli Pulao was a huge hit, especially with the birthday boy 🙂 Sharing with you all this ‘tried and tested’ recipe. Its absolutely sumptuous and delicious!!

Kabuli Pulao

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Average
  • Print

Ingredients
1 kg. mutton, cut in large cubes
3 cups Sela rice
4 medium onions, sliced
6 carrots, shredded
4 large tomatoes, sliced
6 cloves
6 cardamoms
3” cinnamon
1 tsp black cumin
1 tsp black pepper powder
3 tsp. garam masala powder
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup raisins (or less if required)
A handful almonds and pistas for garnish (optional)
Salt to taste
Ghee or oil, as required

Method

  1. Wash the rice. Add hot water to cover the rice and soak overnight .
  2. Clean and wash mutton and season with one teaspoon salt.
  3. Take a large pot to cook the pulao. Add 2 tbsp. ghee to the pot, heat and then add the shredded carrots, fry stirring often until cooked, then add the raisins and toss till the raisins are fried and swell up. Remove and set aside.
  4. Then add the meat and fry till brown. Remove.
  5. Add more ghee if required, add the onions and fry to a deep golden brown, then add the sliced tomatoes, cover and cook till the tomatoes dissolve and become a paste.
  6. Add the crushed garlic, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, black cumin, pepper powder and 1 tsp garam masala, toss lightly. Add salt and the browned meat and sufficient water to cook. May use a cooker if desired.
  7. Cook the meat till tender and done. Remove the meat and set aside. Keep aside one cup of the stock.
  8. To the remaining meat stock add the soaked rice, remaining garam masala powder and bring to a boil. Taste and add salt if required.
  9. Lower flame, cover with a tight fitting lid and cook till the rice is done and the stock is absorbed. Switch off the flame.
  10. Open the lid and sprinkle the reserved one cup stock over the rice, then place the cooked meat over the rice in a single layer, top with the fried carrots and raisins and make holes around the rice with the handle of a wooden spoon to allow steam to escape.
  11. Cover the pot with silver foil or a kitchen towel, place the lid and cook on high for 5 minutes, lower flame and cook 5 minutes more. Switch off the flame and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve hot.
  12. To serve gently move aside the meat and carrot raisins. Place the rice on a platter and top with the meat, then carrots and raisins. Garnish with toasted almonds and pistachios if desired.

Menu IV


A menu for a small gathering of guests by invitation to celebrate their special occasion.

The event was dinner and the food was prepared on the same day, starting in the morning for about fifteen people.

STARTERS

  1. Corn Canapes
  2. Tuna Fish balls
  3. Chicken Malai Kabab

MAIN COURSE

  1. Fried Rice
  2. Mutton Masala
  3. Methi Murg
  4. Goa Pork Sausages chilli fry
  5. Mushroom Capsicum masala
  6. Aloo Salaad Anarkali
  7. Beetroot Salad with orange dressing
  8. Bread rolls

DESSERT

  1. Shahi Tukda
  2. Jelly with fruit

Menu I & II (Easter Menu)

Menu III

How to make Marzipan Easter Eggs


DIY Making your own Marzipan Easter Eggs

To make marzipan eggs:

  • Ingredients for Marzipan
  • 250 gm. Blanced almonds
  • 500 gms. Icing sugar
  • Rose water for kneading

Powder the almonds and mix with icing sugar.  Knead to a soft dough using rose water a little at a time.  Divide into equal number of portions for colors you desire. Add a drop or two of the required colors for each portion and knead lightly till the color evens out. Shape into eggs with a mould or with your hands and decorate with flowers etc. using Royal Icing or fondant.

To make Royal Icing

Take egg white in a small bowl and keep adding icing sugar till the mixture becomes thick.  If runny add some more icing sugar, if too stiff add a little bit of water or milk till you get the right consistency for piping so that the piped designs hold and stand up in peaks.  I must admit, I am not very good in free hand icing designs, but I am sure you all can do better at the designing 😉

To make chocolate with marzipan eggs check out this link

To order all these and more in Mumbai, please check out my sister’s website Julianz.in

Easter Eggs

DIY Homemade Chocolate Easter eggs

 

How to make Chocolate Easter Eggs


DIY Making your own Chocolate Easter Eggs

In this blog I would like to share my knowledge and the art of ‘How to make Chocolate Easter Eggs’ to demonstrate step-by-step how easy it is to make your own!

Ingredients and accessories

  • Chocolate Dark, Milk and White, as required
  • Chocolate molds
  • Rubber spatulas
  • Glass or ceramic bowls

Step 1 Melting plain Chocolate

Microwave method (I use this method)

Break or chop the chocolate and place in a clean dry microwave-safe bowl.  A glass bowl is best because it conducts the heat from the chocolate as it melts, and reduces the risk of over-heating.  For small quantities it is safest to use a LOW or MEDIUM setting.  For larger quantities and once you become experienced, use HIGH .  The table below should only be used as a guide because melting times vary according to the brand and type of chocolate, the initial temperature of the chocolate and the size and material of the bowl used.  Check the chocolate frequently and prod it with a spoon – it may look solid when in fact it has melted.  White chocolate will burn more easily so watch it carefully.  A few lumps that appear after microwaving will dissolve upon stirring and help bring the temperature down of the chocolate which is a key to tempering chocolate.  The super-market bars of cooking chocolate, also referred to as Baker’s chocolate, do not really require tempering but heating and cooling the chocolate (tempering) is important to avoid the patchy and mottled look, which doesn’t alter taste but wouldn’t give you the glossy professional finish.

Approximate melting times in a 650-watt microwave oven

QUANTITY                      LOW                   HIGH

  •  50 g (2 oz)                     5 mins                2 mins
  •  75 g (3 oz)                     5 mins                2 mins
  • 125 g (4 oz)                    5 mins                2 mins
  • 172 g (6 oz)                    6 mins               2 mins
  • 225 g (8 oz)                    6 mins               2 1/2 mins

Bain Marie (double boiler) method

Cut the chocolate into small pieces and put it in  the top of a double saucepan.  The bottom pan should  be three-quarters full of gently simmering water.  If you haven’t got a double saucepan, put the chocolate in a clean, dry heatproof, preferably glass bowl and set it over a saucepan that’s about one third full of gently simmering water.  The bowl should fit snugly over the saucepan so that no steam can escape  round the sides.  The base of the bowl or top pan should not touch the water below.  Heat the water gently but do not allow it to boil. Leave the bowl on the pan until the chocolate looks melted. Remove the bowl or pan  from he heat and gently stir the chocolate until it is completely melted.  The temperature of the chocolate should not go above 50 deg C (122 deg F).  If water or steam come into contact with the chocolate, the texture will be spoilt and the chocolate will ‘sieze’, that is it will turn into a solid mass and will not melt.

Step 2 Filling the chocolate molds

Using cotton wool or soft muslin cloth polish the insides of the Easter candy molds. Place on a tray or counter lined with  baking parchment.

Spoon the chocolate into the molds (do not over fill) and tap the mold lightly to smoothen the surface and remove air-bubbles, if any.

Step 3 Setting the chocolate

Place the molds in the freezer for a few minutes until set and the underside of the mold appears opaque.  If it has wet patches on the underside, then it is not fully set.  Keep a while longer.Easter Chocolates Eggs (19)

Step 4 Unmolding the chocolate

Remove molds from the freezer and unmold by turning the mold upside-down onto a flat surface. Tap the mold lightly to release the chocolate.  Leave to dry.

Step 5 Presentation

Finish by wrapping in colored chocolate paper and decorative boxes and ribbons.

Be creative and make chocolate eggs with fruit and nuts, rice krispies, praline, marzipan, truffles….

To simply order all these and more from Mumbai, check out my sister’s website at Julianz.in

To make Hollow Egg:

Fill the mold with melted chocolate and place in the freezer for a few minutes till the sides are set but the centre is still soft.  Remove and pour out the soft chocolate from the centre.  Smoothen the interior of the egg with your fingers and place it back in the freezer until completely set.  Unmould and when dry join two halves together by applying some melted chocolate around the edges to form a full hollow egg. Prior to sealing the two halves, place some candy or small toy inside for a beautiful surprise for the kids.  Wrap and tie bows with colorful ribbons.

To make Chocolate with marzipan eggs:

  • Ingredients of Marzipan
  • 250 gm. Blanced almonds
  • 500 gms. Icing sugar
  • Rose water for kneading

To make marzipan Check this link

Powder the almonds and mix with icing sugar.  Knead to a soft dough using rose water a little at a time.  Make small egg shaped portions depending on the size of the chocolate mold. The marzipan egg must be smaller than the chocolate mold.

Pour a little melted chocolate in the mold.  Place the marzipan egg in the centre and press lightly.  Pour more chocolate over the marzipan to cover and fill the mold.  Put in the freezer to set.  Unmold when the underside of the mold turns opaque.  Leave to dry, then wrap each half in choclate wrapping paper.  Place two halves together and wrap again in decorative paper for a full 3D egg!

Ref: Good Housekeeping

Read my Blog on Easter Eggs for further information on making different types of chocolate and marzipan easter eggs and packaging.

How to make marzipan easter eggs

 

 

Menu Planning


Rudy Birthday 2018 (12)

MENU III 

A Birthday Menu

As stated is my post for Easter menu, where I have posted Menu I & II options, it is essential that any celebratory meal preparation would require some amount of planning ahead so that the day of the event becomes less stressful.  In my Easter Menu post I have given two menu options, one is North Indian fare and the second option is traditional food from Mais Recipes.

On my husband Rudy Pinto’s brithday on 6th November 2018, I had prepared the following menu which consisted of all traditional mangalorean food which he thoroughly relished and which without a doubt are his favorite dishes.

Any recipe that requires some form of marination can be made a day ahead.  Potato chops can be made ahead except for the final frying. Make sure you place butter paper/baking parchment in between the layers to prevent them sticking to each other. Alternatively, spread them out on a tray and place in the freezer to freeze individually, then place in polythelene bags or boxes.

MENU OPTION III

Mais Recipes and Mangalorean traditional dishes

Main Meal :

Rudy Birthday 2018 (11)

Page numbers refer to Mais Recipes

  1. Pork (Bafad)  Page 107
  2. Mutton Curry with coconut milk (Roce Curry)  Page 86
  3. Chicken Dry  (Chicken Sukka) Page 84
  4. Fried Chicken Page  81
  5. Plain Pulao Page 122
  6. Potato Chops Page 102
  7. Sannas Page 133

For starters/appetisers  homemade 🙂

  1. Canapes with Tuna & Cucumber filling
  2. Chicken samosas

Salads:-

  1. Beetroot salad with orange dressing
  2. Lettuce & Boiled egg salad

Desserts:-

  1. China Grass
  2. Gulab Jamun
  3. Assorted Mousse & cakes
  4. Ice Cream
Rudy Birthday 2018 (10)

Desserts

Menu I & II (Easter Menu)

Menu IV

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