Classic Chicken Curry

This chicken recipe does not have any curry powder; however several other spices are used that make a beautiful and aromatic chicken curry dish. This recipe is adapted from Two Stews’ recipe.

 

Ingredients for 8 chicken legs:

- 4 tablespoons Canola oil
– 7 whole cloves
– 1 cinnamon stick
– 7 green cardamom pods
– 1 onion, finely chopped
– 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
– 9 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
– Salt
– 1 tsp turmeric
– 1 tsp chili powder
– 2 Tbsp coriander powder
– 2 bay leaves
– 1/4 cup tomatoes from can
– 8 chicken legs
– 2 cups water
– 1 tsp garam masala

Method:

Heat oil in a deep pan. Add the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon and fry for less than a minute.

Add the onions and fry for 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and ginger. Fry for 3 minutes.

Add the spices, the bay leaves(except the garam masala) and salt. Stir well.

Add the tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes, until sauce thickens.

Add the chicken and cook in the sauce for 5 minutes.

Add the water, bring to boil, simmer for 25 minutes or until the chicken is well cooked and the water has evaporated and the sauce thickened.

Add the garam masala in the end.

Serve with white basmati rice.

Homemade Cheese Ravioli with Tomato Basil Sauce

I can hear you going yummy! Yes, yummy it was! It was my first time making fresh pasta from scratch. I had this fresh ravioli pasta recipe (again) noted down somewhere among my recipes, but the cheese stuffing I just made it up. Here’s how you can put together this delicious plate in just over an hour.

To make raviolis enough for two people, you need:

Pasta

- 2.5 cups flour

- 1 cup hot boiling water

Filling

- 1/2 cup feta cheese

- 2 Tbsp grated Parmigiano cheese

- 1 egg

- A sprinkle of: black pepper, basil and chives

Sauce

- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

- 1 Tbsp olive oil

- 1 cup chopped tomatoes

- 1 tsp basil (I used dried)

- A sprinkle of black pepper

- Salt

- A sprinkle of sugar

Method:

Sift the flour into a bowl and add the hot water over it. Carefully, with your hands, knead the ingredients into a dough. Add flour if you feel the dough is sticky. Let is rest for 10 minutes (while you prepare the filling).

For the filling, mix the ingredients listed above into a thick cream.

Dust the surface you’ll be working on with flour. Roll out the dough into a large circle, thickness 1 cm.

Using a pizza cutter, cut out the edges of the rolled out dough leaving it rectangular in shape.

Place one-teaspoon measures of the filling all over the dough placing them an 3 cm apart.

Again using the pizza cutter, cut between the empty spaces leaving each spoonful of the filling in a square on its own.

Fold the dough over the filling and seal with your fingers. Repeat for all the filling. You should end up with over 15 pillow-like raviolis.

Throw the raviolis in a pot of salty boiling water. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the raviolis float.

Drain the raviolis and set aside.

(By the way, in order to get the raviolis in a proper square or rectangular shape, after they cool down, cut out the uneven edges with a knife.)

To prepare the sauce, fry the garlic in the olive oil for a minute. Add the tomatoes. Sprinkle a little sugar (to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes). Season generously. Bring the sauce to boil and then let it simmer for 15 minutes (to thicken). Finally, put the raviolis in the sauce. Turn off the heat after a minute or two, after the raviolis are well coated with the sauce.

Sprinkle grated Parmigiano cheese on top and, if you can, share half with a loved one!

Again, here’s the cheese ravioli with tomato sauce :)

Moist Banana Cake With Walnuts

Whenever I have a few bananas that are overripe and are starting to turn black (too ripe to be eaten), I make a banana cake. Each time I add a surprise ingredient or bake the cake in different ways (muffins, loaf, heart-shaped … ). One time, for example, I added chocolate chips. This time, I used Muscovado sugar, millet flour and crushed walnuts, and I can tell you that I am very satisfied with the result! If you don’t have millet flour, use 2 cups of regular flour.

Ingredients (1 loaf):

- 1 cup flour, sifted

- 1 cup millet flour, sifted

- 1 tsp baking soda

- 1 cup Muscovado sugar

- 1/4 cup canola oil

- 1 egg

- 4 ripe bananas, mashed

- 1/2 cup of crushed walnuts

Method:

Preheat the oven to 160C.

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

In another bowl, cream together the oil and sugar.

Beat in the egg.

Add the mashed bananas. Mix well. (As usual I use a spatula)

Add the dry ingredients, cup by cup.

Finally, toss in the walnuts. Give the batter a final mix with your spatula.

Pour the batter in a loaf pan – this time I lined my loaf pan with parchment paper *.

Bake for 1 hour.

* Baking your cake in parchment paper will make it very easy to take out of the pan after it’s baked, you just grab the parchment paper from the top ends and lift it up. There is no need to grease the baking pan with butter when you’re using parchment paper.

Did you know? Muscovado sugar is also called ‘moist sugar’. It is coarser and more sticky than regular brown sugar. It is made from sugarcane juice.

Chocolate Cake with Prunes and Chocolate Chips

If only you could smell the house right now! It smells of chocolate and fresh baking! Yum yum yum!

We have a game of Monopoly coming up tonight with our neighbors/friends and I wanted to bake something to enjoy with coffee and tea. I had a recipe for a chocolate cake saved somewhere, so I went through my folder of recipes and found it! I changed a little with the ingredients and added chocolate chips, but really the smell is enough indicator that it is going to be entirely devoured tonight!

Chocolate Cake with Prunes and Chocolate Chips

Ingredients:

- 3 eggs

- 1 cup sugar

- 150g yogurt

- Juice of two oranges

- 1 cup dark cocoa powder

- 1 cup flour

- 1 cup rolled oats, ground (I used a food processor)

- 1 tsp baking powder

- 1 tsp baking soda

- 1 tsp vanilla

- 100g pitted prunes, chopped into little pieces

- 1 cup chocolate chips

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Beat the eggs with the sugar. Add the yogurt. Mix well. Add the orange juice. Mix well.

Add the dry ingredients. Make sure to sift the flour and cocoa powder. Mix well. I use a spatula. It works OK.

Add the prunes and chocolate chip and give the batter one last mix with your spatula.

Pour the batter in a loaf pan or any cake tin.

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Leave to cool down on the counter top.

Sprinkle powdered sugar all over.

OK, off to Monopoly now! Wish me luck!

Basmati Rice With Chickpeas and All Spice

When you’re stuck at home and hungry and it is ‘cold and rainy’ outside, what kind of food comes to your mind?
Me: spicy food or spicy dessert! Hence, Basmati Rice With Chickpeas and Spices.

Usually this kind of rice, whether cooked with meat or not, is served with salty yogurt on the side.

Ingredients, serves 4 hungry people:

- 1 onion, cut into chunks

- 1 Tbsp butter

- 1 Tbsp olive oil

- 1/2 tsp turmeric

- 1 tsp cinnamon

- 1 tsp cumin

- 1 tsp all spice

- 1.5 tsp salt

- 1.5 cups Basmati rice

- 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas

- 3.5 cups water

Method:

Soak the rice in warm water while you prepare the other ingredients.

In a deep pot, heat the butter and olive oil, add the turmeric and onions and fry until the onions turn golden in color.

Add the cooked chickpeas and spices and salt and stir well so the spices coat the chickpeas well.

Drain the rice and add it to your pot. Mix everything well.

Add the water. Bring to boil and then lower to the heat to the minimum possible.

Cover and leave until all the water evaporates and the rice cooks well. It should take 20 to 25 minutes.

The rice was fluffy, perfectly well-cooked and the spices are just enough to make it beautifully aromatic on a ‘cold’ night!

Did you know?  Turmeric is considered of one nature’s most powerful healers.

Read about the health benefits of turmeric here.

Shish Taouk and Homemade Hummus

The best thing about shish taouk (grilled chicken breast cut into cubes) is that you can marinate it whichever way you desire, there is no one recipe. This time I decided to go herby. I used thyme, and instead of squeezing the lemons, I used them whole. Frankly, they were yummilicious! And to complement shish taouk, you can’t but have hummus! I worked from scratch, i.e. didn’t use canned chickpea cream but worked with fresh ingredients.

To marinate chicken for 6 skewers, you need:

- 500g boneless chicken breasts cut into cubes

- 1 lemon cut into 8 cubes

- 3 garlic cloves, pound into a cream

- 1 tsp salt

- 2 tsp thyme

- 2 Tbsp olive oil

- 1/2 tsp paprika

- 1 zucchini cut into thick circles (optional – I just wanted some vegetables with our dinner)

Marinate the chicken for half an hour. In the meantime prepare the hummus, for which you need:

- 400g ready-to-eat chickpeas

- Juice of  1 and 1/2 lemon

- 1 tsp salt

- 1 tsp olive oil

- 10 Tbsp tahini

- 3 Tbsp water

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend well.

Back to the chicken. Fill the skewers will the chicken mix. Grill over medium/high heat until both sides are golden and the chicken is cooked but not dry. Serve with the hummus on the side.

Did you know? Tahini is sesame paste and sesame seeds are a good source of proteins.

Apple Olive Oil Pound Cake

I have had this recipe for this sweet apple cake written down in my recipe notebook for months and months now, and the sad thing is that I do not have a reference for it! I do not remember where I got it from. But I enjoyed it as if it were mine! A beautifully sweet cake, can be even eaten warm. I love how the apples give it a fruity taste yet they’re almost totally dissolved.

To make one loaf pan of this sweet Apple Olive Oil Cake, you need:

- 1/4 cup sugar

- 4 eggs

- A pinch of salt

- 1/3 cup of olive oil

- 2 cups flour

- 2 tsp baking powder

- 3 apples, peeled and diced finely

- 1 Tbsp butter

- 2 Tbsp sugar

- 1 tsp vanilla

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Fry the diced apples with the butter. Sprinkle the 2 Tbsp sugar and vanilla on top and cook until the apples become soft.

For the cake batter, beat the eggs and sugar together in a bowl. Add the olive oil and mix well.

Sift the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then cup by cup, add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture.

Whisk well. Finally fold in the apple mush.

Bake for 40 minutes.

Let the cake cool before slicing it and serving it with a scoop of vanilla  ice cream or a cup of spiced black tea.