Date Muesli Apple Pie   3 comments

I was craving for a delicious dessert for a long time, and now, with some muesli left at home and a bunch of nuts begging to be utilised in some way, I went on to adapt the popular Apple Pie with some Dates bought from a nearby Dry Fruits store. Roasted, Buttered & Baked Muesli with Semolina was the perfect crunchy combination for this pie. The flavours matched beautifully with another crunchy combination of apples, dates & nuts as filling and on the wholesome not only it tasted but looked divine as well 😉

-:Ingredients:-
2 Small Red Apples – Peeled & Grated Coarsely
8-10 Dried Dates – Chopped Coarsely
1 Tbsp Pine Nuts – Chopped into halves
1 Tbsp Mixed Nutes (Walnuts, Almonds, Prunes) – Chopped Coarsely
——————————————————————————————–
2 Tbsp Mixed Muesli
20 gms Suji (Fine Semolina)
25 gms Castor Sugar (Powdered Sugar)
2 Tbsp Honey
1 tsp Butter
1 tsp Ghee (Clarified Butter) – Substitue with 1 tsp Butter if not available
1 Tbsp fresh Lemon Juice
¼ tsp Cinnamon – Freshly Powdered
½ tsp Baking Soda

-: Recipe :-

  1. Mix grated apples, chopped dates and nuts with 1 Tbsp Honey and Lemon Juice. Add Cinnamon and adjust sweetness as per taste (with more honey if required).
  2. Add 2 Tbsp Hot Water and mix well while mashing from back of spoon. After the filling is well mixed and roughly mashed, keep it aside.
  3. In a non-stick pan, roast the muesli for a few minutes till it gets very lightly browned. Add semolina and roast for another minute.
  4. Take the mix off heat and grind it roughly in a grinder for some 5-7 seconds.
  5. In a mixing bowl, mix this grainy powder with 1 Tbsp Honey, Sugar, Butter, Ghee and Baking Soda. Divide the dough into two parts.
  6. Grease a baking bowl with little butter and spread first half of the dough in the base.
  7. Drain the apple filling of any excess water and put it on top of the spread dough in the bowl.
  8. Make 4 thin rolls of the remaining half of the dough and set it on top of the pie in a criss-cross pattern.
  9. Pre-Heat Microwave Oven at 180°C and bake the pie for 30 minutes. Grill it in the end for 3-5 minutes to brown and crisp the top of the pie.
  10. Serve Hot and Enjoy the Ultimate Experience 🙂
-: Pictures :-
Date Muesli Apple Pie 1
Date Muesli Apple Pie 2

Posted May 21, 2013 by Rahul in Desserts, Recipes

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Creamy Paalak Tomatina   1 comment

Creamy Spinach Sauces from the town of Florence are always a delicious and delightful combo. Having typically used florentine with fusilli and other short shapes to enjoy mixed gravy pastas, I wanted to create something different for Spaghetti. Inspired from the lovely texture of Methi Chaman (an Indian Kashmiri recipe) I came up with this new Tomatina sauce with crunches of tomatoes, olives & capsicum. Topped on Spaghetti, it was really an amazing heavenly experience accentuated by the aromatic and flavourful Pecorino & Parmesan cheeses I sourced on my recent trip to Scotland from Valvona-Crolla in Edinburgh.

-:Ingredients:-
200-250 gm Al Dentè Spaghetti (Linguine or Fettuccine may also substitute)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Tomato Ketchup
¼ tsp Tabasco Sauce
1 tsp fresh Lemon Juice
2 tsp Pecorino Romano cheese (crumbled)
2 tsp Parmesan cheese (crumbled)
2 Tbsp fresh Cream
2 tsp freshly chopped Basil (or 1 tsp Dried Basil)
1 tsp freshly chopped Marjoram (Marua leaves; or ½ tsp Dried Oregano)
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
½ tsp Pepper
½ tsp Paprika (Chilli Flakes)
¼ tsp Chilli Powder
Salt to taste
—————————–
1 Tbsp Sweet American Corn
1 small Onion (coarsely chopped)
1-2 cloves Garlic (minced)
¼ medium Green Capsicum (finely chopped)
1 medium Tomato (finely chopped)
3-4 Green Olives (thinly sliced or chopped) (Optional)
1 tsp Capers (Optional)
100 gm Spring Onions (greens & whites chopped separately)
250 gm Spinach Leaves

-: Recipe :-

  1. Wash Spinach Leaves, squeeze water from spinach, remove stalks and chop the leaves coarsely. Boil the leaves in hot salted water till they wilt sufficiently.
  2. In a blender, puree 200 gm of the wilted spinach leaves along with the lemon juice, fresh cream, Pecorino Romano and half of Parmesan cheese.
  3. Meanwhile boil the Spaghetti to just before Al Dentè (with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp oil), add frozen Sweet Corn and keep in the hot stock water, till sauce is ready.
  4. In a nonstick pan, add olive oil and saute Garlic & Onion till translucent. Add spring onion whites, basil and remaining chopped spinach leaves (squeezed out of water) and stir fry for a minute.
  5. Add chopped tomato and capsicum and continue stir frying for a couple of minutes.
  6. Pour in the spinach puree in the pan, mix well and bring to boil. Turn to simmer and stir regularly.
  7. Add Tomato Ketchup, Tabasco Sauce, Oregano, Salt, Pepper, Chilli Powder, Paprika, Spring Onion greens, Olives and Capers in the sauce and stir well. Keep the sauce on simmer until it thickens and then take it out.
  8. Take the spaghetti & corn out of the water, drain and arrange in a serving dish. Sprinkle the spaghetti with Italian Seasoning and pour the sauce over it.
  9. Garnish with remaining Parmesan and Enjoy the Ultimate Experience 🙂

-: Tips :-

  • The tomato should be cold to get a solid bite after stir frying, otherwise it might mash out and lose the texture of the sauce.
  • Do not substitute the cheeses (for puree) with any soft or processed variety as it will melt and make the sauce gooey. You can use any other hard cheese if you prefer some different flavours.
  • As the spaghetti is to be kept in the hot salted water until sauce is ready to serve, make sure to take it out of heat sometime before it gets Al Dentè to prevent overcooking the pasta.
-: Pictures :-
Creamy Paalak Tomatina

Posted November 3, 2012 by Rahul in Italian, Recipes

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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!

-:Ingredients:-
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))
 
Mash
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!

:Ingredients:-

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!!

-:Ingredients:-

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 🙂

-:Ingredients:-
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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