Archive for June 2012

Lebanese Stir Fried Mushrooms with Szechuan Fried Rice   1 comment

A heavenly fusion of Middle East & Far East with its earthy & spicy flavors brings an unmatched satisfaction on a lazy Sunday Afternoon. An hour of time spent preparing this dish was totally worth it as mysterious flavors of kababs, chillies & a bevy of spices kept on lingering on taste buds for hours. Lebanese Spice Mix was a revelation to me as being close to Indian Spices it suits the palate wonderfully and gives an amazing aroma to the dish. Totally this was not an experimentation but an imaginative fusion of two fantastic dishes from two parts of the world with slight tweaks and spice enhancements to make a wonderful lunch!

Lebanese Spice Mix
½ tsp Black Peppercorns (Kali Mirch)
4 Cloves (Laung)
¼ tsp Nutmeg Powder (Jaiphal)
¼ tsp Fenugreek Seeds (Methi)
½ tsp Green Cardmom (Elaichi)
½ tsp Fennel Seeds (Saunf)
1 inch Cinnamon (Dalchini)
1 Star Anise (Substitute: ½ tsp each Fennel Seeds (Saunf) & Anise Seeds (Jeera))
1 Tbsp Butter
3 cloves Garlic (minced)
¼ tsp Pepper
¼ tsp Red Chilli Powder
Salt to Taste
1 large Potato (boiled & mashed)
Stir Fried Mushrooms
¼ cup Yoghurt
1 tsp Vinegar
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
½ tsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
1 Egg (beaten)
¼ tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Lebanese Spice Mix
¼ tsp Pepper
¼ tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
Salt to Taste
1 Tbsp Parmesean Cheese (shredded)
1 tiny Carrot (grated)
1 small Green Chilli (grated)
200-250 gms Button Mushrooms (coarsely sliced vertically)
Szechuan Fried Rice
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
10-12 gms Szechuan Spice Mix (Ching’s Secret Spice)
1 tsp Dried Basil
1 tsp Fresh Mint (finely chopped)
1 small Onion (finely chopped)
¼ medium Capsicum (finely chopped)
1 medium Carrot (finely chopped)
5-10 French Beans (finely chopped)
1 Tbsp Green peas (boiled)
1 Tbsp Sweet Corn (boiled)
3 cups boiled Basmati Rice

-: Recipe :-

  1. Grind the ingrediants of the Lebanese Spice Mix into powder and store in air tight container.
  2. Mix yoghurt, vinegar, ginger-garlic paste, beaten egg, garam masala, lebanese spice mix, red chilli powder, salt & pepper to create a marinade.
  3. Clean the mushrooms thouroughly, slice, mix well with marinade and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat butter in a pan and saute garlic for few seconds.
  5. Add the potatoes, salt, red chilli powder & pepper and cook for 5 minutes while stirring continuously. Mash the mixture to a fine paste and set in form of thin circular disc (tikki).
  6. In a nonstick pan add olive oil. Stir fry the vegetables of Fried Rice along with Basil and Mint for 3-4 minutes.
  7. Add rice and mix well for 1-2 minutes. Add Szechuan Spice Mix and cook for another 2-3 minutes till rice gets done. Remove from heat and arrange around the mash tikki.
  8. In another nonstick pan heat olive oil and stir fry the marinaded mushrooms for 8-10 minutes.
  9. When mushrooms gets roasted well, set up the mixture on top of the mash tikki.
  10. Garnish with grated carrot, cheese, green chillies & Italian Seasoning and Enjoy the Ultimate Experience 🙂

-: Tips :-

  • Substitute Salt with Rock Salt for a more zangy taste as well as a healthier alternative.
  • Substitute Parmesean with Cheddar or Processed Cheese if the earlier is not available.
  • Store the remaining Lebanese Spice Mix for use in grilled vegetables and other delicious lebanese & mediterranean dishes.

Lebanese Stir Fried Mushrooms with Szechuan Fried RiceLebanese Stir Fried Mushrooms with Szechuan Fried Rice


Posted June 18, 2012 by Rahul in Chinese, Lebanese, Recipes

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Four Course Italian Treat   1 comment

After a late night Friday party last month, I was feeling quite pepped up to treat some of my friends to a sumptuous 4 course wholly Italian meal (more so as it had been a long time since I had prepared some original Italian creations). So next day, Saturday morning, I sat down thinking about what to make which would appear beautiful and come out as delectable combinations.

I was sure to include the ‘Crispy Tomato Bruschetta’ which I had developed over the traditional recipes some time ago as a soul satisfying comfort food! I was not in a mood to completely experiment the main course and decided to prepare my best ‘Penne with Tomato Basil Sauce’ which I tweaked in midcourse with some fancy additions 🙂

An Italian drink to pair with Pasta can be no better than chilled Sangria and that was my first choice which I developed into ‘Mango & Grape Juice Sangria’ made with the full bodied fruity Cabernet Shiraz Wine. Dessert was a conundrum as I had no means to bake and thus I settled on an experimented piece ‘Almond Biscotti & Hot Coffee Ice Cream’ (I had read somewhere that Almond Biscotti taste great with Vanilla) which came out quite nice!

Thus we spent a lazy afternoon in an air conditioned room enjoying Italian Cuisine, reminiscing IIM-A days and jibing over times to come which made the day memorable 🙂

Posted June 18, 2012 by Rahul in Meals & Experiences

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Almond Biscotti & Hot Coffee Ice Cream   2 comments

Biscotti are delicious twice baked crunchy Italian biscuits which I sourced from Karachi Bakery in Hyderbad, famous for it delectable biscuits and confectioneries. Looking to make a dessert for a party without any means of baking, brought me to this idea of using Almond Biscotti with Vanilla Ice Cream (which I had read somewhere that it will be a good combination). A new touch to this cold summer dessert was pairing up with aromatic Colarado Hot Coffee. Sounds weird but the eventual soft creamy taste of Ice Cream with crunchy biscuits and warm coffee was a surprising delight!


4 sticks Almond Biscotti
½ Cup Water
1 tsp Strong Instant Coffee
1 tsp Sugar
2 big scoops frozen Vanilla Ice Cream

-: Recipe :-

  1. Boil water and add coffee and sugar. Let it cool at room temperature for 2 minutes.
  2. In two thick short glasses add large scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream.
  3. Break Almond Biscotti in pieces and arrange on top of the Ice Cream.
  4. Top it with Hot Coffee and serve immidiately to Enjoy the Ultimate Experience 🙂

Almond Biscotti & Hot Coffee Ice Cream

Posted June 18, 2012 by Rahul in Italian, Recipes

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Crispy Tomato Bruschetta   3 comments

One of the most famous antipasti from Italian Cuisine comes in the form of Bruschetta. Traditionally thickly sliced bread loaves are roasted, rubbed with Garlic, smeared with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and topped with any interesting combination of ingredients typically Tomato & Basil. Incidently, apart from being a scrumptious appetizer, it also serves as an amazing comfort food, which I found for myself when I had nothing else to make for breakfast when I was sick and it gave me a soul satisfying delight!

This is my very own recipe for Bruschetta which I have developed after much tweaks to the traditional one and it typically manages to overshadow most of the other main course dishes you can accompany it with. This is undoubtedly a party favorite and a must try for a hearty experience!!


1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ tsp Tomato Ketchup
1 tsp Dried Basil
½ tsp Red Wine Vinegar
½ tsp Italian Seasoning
¼ tsp Pepper
¼ tsp Red Chilli Powder
Pinch of Sugar
Salt to taste
1 loaf Garlic Bread
Pizza Sauce Spread
3-4 cloves Garlic (finely chopped)
2 medium Tomatoes (finely chopped)

-: Recipe :-

  1. In a bowl, add tomatoes, garlic & extra virgin olive oil and mix well.
  2. Add ketchup, basil, vinegar, italian seasoning, red chilli powder, sugar, salt & pepper and mix all the ingrediants thouroughly.
  3. Keep the mixture at Room Temperature for 15 minutes for flavours to seep in.
  4. Meanwhile cut the garlic bread loaf in 1 inch thick slices and spread Pizza Sauce on them.
  5. Top the bread slices with the savoury tomato mixture and keep on high metal rack for grilling.
  6. Use combination mode on microwave oven with low microwave power and grill for 3-4 minutes, checking when done and crisp.
  7. Drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Enjoy the Ultimate Experience 🙂

-: Tips :-

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil should not be substituted with any other oil as that is the primary ingrediant of Bruschetta

Crispy Tomato Bruschetta

Crispy Tomato Bruschetta

Posted June 17, 2012 by Rahul in Italian, Recipes

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Mango & Grape Juice Sangria   2 comments

Sangria is one of the best punches you can make with Wine. Traditionally consisting of chopped fruits, sweeteners, red wine and based with Brandy or Sprite, these cocktail punches are a delight in Summer months. Wine quantity can be moderated based on how strong you want the drink to be as even a teaspoon of wine will leave its trademark aroma and flavor. I like my Sangria with Watermelon or Grape juice as the flavors combine beautifully. As for the matter of fruits, what better than the king of fruits itself, Mango, on a hot & lazy Indian Summer 🙂

¼ medium Ripe Mango (chopped)
¼ cup Grape Juice Crush
¼ cup Red Wine (Cabernet Shiraz)
1 glass Chilled Club Soda

-: Recipe :-

  1. Put chopped mangoes in a large Wine Glass (or a large glass with handle).
  2. Add the Grape Juice crush and stir in to mix with mangoes.
  3. Pour cool Red Wine slowly in the glass and stir well.
  4. Top the Glass with Chilled Club Soda and Enjoy the Ultimate Experience 🙂

-: Tips :-

  • Use hard mangoes which are sweet and give a good bite when eaten as soft mangoes would ruin the texture of the cocktail.
  • Use a glass with stem/handle else hands’ warmth will alter the temperature of the glass.

Mango & Grape Juice Sangria

Posted June 17, 2012 by Rahul in Continental, Recipes

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Three Course Continental Treat for Microsoft Colleagues   3 comments

A treat to my office colleagues was pending for a long time, so last month I finally got myself to prepare some elaborate 3 course meal on a lovely Sunday afternoon for Lunch and invited them over. One of the much asked item was the appetizer preparation ‘Cheesy Funghi-e-Pomodoro’ which I had invented and was published in BBC Good Food India Magazine (May’2012).

Spending time in the morning on choosing the main course to accompany the Italian appetizer was a fun exercise. I did not want to make it a wholly Italian fare and decided to pair up with another continental item ‘Hungarian Veg Goulash’, which I had experimented with some time before, and served with crusty garlic breads.

I finished the menu with ‘Sprited Mango & Strawberry Iced Tea’, an interesting drink to begin the conversation, which I had been making for me as a fruity ice tea at times when I feel particularly peppy. Overall it was a fun afternoon with jokes and jibes and some delicious food after which I was introduced to an awesome TV Series (Coupling) which I got addicted to 🙂

Posted June 17, 2012 by Rahul in Meals & Experiences

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Sprited Mango & Strawberry Ice Tea   2 comments

I had long been enjoying the amazing Twining Infusions Mango & Strawberry tea, Hot and Black. Eventually I figured out that it might be a great idea to make Iced Tea out of it especially with its unique citric & sweet flavors which make a delectable combination! To make it bubbly and many times more enjoyable I based it with Sprite which along with Mint gives a great flavor boost to the drink!

2 Tbsp Water
1 Mango & Strawberry Tea Bag (Twinings Infusions)
2-3 leaves Fresh Mint
2 cubes Ice (crushed coarsely)
1 glass Chilled Sprite (or 7Up)

-: Recipe :-

  1. Boil water and brew the tea for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Take out the tea bag and leave the syrup for cooling.
  3. When cooled pour in a serving glass with ice and top it with chilled Sprite.
  4. Garnish it with Fresh Mint and Enjoy the Ultimate Experience 🙂

Posted June 17, 2012 by Rahul in Recipes

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