Kenyan Masala Chai

BM# 96: Week 4, Day 1
Theme : Southern Hemisphere

My search for recipes from some of the African countries brought me so close to home that I was really surprised! I saw the recipe for Githeri at Mireille’s blog. I wanted to read up a little more about it and my search took me to YouTube. Video suggestions that followed the Githeri recipe showed one for Kenyan Masala Chai. I was intrigued by the name and reading more about it, I realize that it’s derived from the Indian masala chai. This particular video is by Jikoni Magic and is very well explained.

Tea plantations were introduced in Kenya in the early 1900s by the British and they are now a one of the leading producers in the world. Apparently the country is a mix of lot of cultures with the presence of British bringing in a lot Indians/Asians as well. I knew that before but still looking at a recipe so far away from home, yet so similar to what you make everyday is a rather pleasant feeling.

There is no one single recipe for the tea. Some add spices, some don’t. It’s all adjusted to suit your personal preference. So make your own call when it comes to what you add to your tea. The base concept is to boil the tea leaves with milk and water. So check out this recipe, prepare it at home and take a sip from anywhere in the world!

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups water
  • 2″ piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1″ piece cinnamon stick,
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons black tea leaves
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups milk

*the spices and the sugar can be adjusted according to your taste preference. You can add more tea leaves for a stronger brew.

Method:

  1. Simmer water with the spices, tea leaves and sugar for about 10-15 minutes.
  1. Add the milk and simmer again for 5 minutes, making sure that it doesn’t spill over. If you mix the froth that comes up on top, the tea will go back to a simmer.
  2. Take off the heat and strain using a tea strainer. Serve hot.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#96

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Pinwheel crepe and fruit skewers

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BMG # 82: Week 3, Day 1
Theme : Crepes
Recipe: Crepe and fruit skewers

Like I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the batch of crepes helped me make three different kinds and this is the second one. The idea is from Kathryn Hawkins’  book Crepes, Waffles and Pancakes. The only modification I made was to spread a little jam to the crepes before threading them onto the skewers. This was a delicious and fun treat, I will try this again for sure. My husband, who doesn’t like to eat anything sweet, loved this one. This can definitely be a fun appetizer for parties or a quick snack that makes a good impression.

I used the fruits I had (which also happened to be what the book recommended), but this would work with any combination of fruits. The bright red strawberry along with the green kiwi and yellowish guava was a good visual treat too. I followed the low fat honey crepes recipe for the crepes.

This recipe goes to Cooking from Cookbook Challenge Group and Blogging Marathon. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#82 

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Ingredients:

For the crepe

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 eggs
  • 1 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • butter to grease the pan

For making two fruit skewers

  • 1 crepe from above recipe
  • a teaspoon of jam, optional
  • 2 strawberries, halved
  • 1 kiwi, sliced
  • 1 small guava, sliced or sweet mango slices

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the crepe using a wire whisk or blend in a mixer to get a lump free batter. This quantity makes about 8 crepes 6″ diameter in size. I used only one of those for the fruit skewer.
  2. To make crepes, heat a 6″ non stick skillet or pan. Spread a little butter to the base of the pan to grease it. Spoon 1/4 cup crepe batter and swirl/rotate the pan so that the batter coats the base. Try to avoid the batter going to the sides/walls of the pan. Cook until the batter is not wet anymore and the sides turn slightly brown. With a silicone spatula, carefully flip it over and cook the other side. Take off the pan and keep it on a plate. Make more crepes until the batter is used up.
  3. Take a crepe and spread a little jam or nutella and roll it up. Cut into 1″ thick pieces.
  4. Thread this pinwheel crepe with the different pieces of fruit onto a long bamboo skewer. Serve immediately.

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Low fat crepes with mushrooms

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BM # 82: Week 3, Day 1
Theme : Crepes
Recipe: Mushroom filled crepes

A good library with lots of excellent books has made life very easy for me. The most used section by me is of course the cookery books. For this week’s theme of crepes, I took out the book Crepes, Waffles and Pancakes by Kathryn Hawkins. I used the book more for ideas than actual recipes. I didn’t follow the recipe for basic crepes from the book. Instead, I found an easy recipe here at Mr.Breakfast.com that uses a lot less fat. I halved the recipe given in that site and made 8 small 6″ crepes. I made three different fillings for these 8 crepes. The first one here is the savory mushroom filling and it was my husband’s choice. So in the recipe section below, you will need to increase the filling quantity a little more if you want to prepare it for all of the crepes.

The book had a spinach and mushroom crepe recipe where you add cooked and chopped spinach to the crepe batter. It is then filled with mushrooms in cream. I just filled the crepes with sauteed mushrooms and left it at that. It was tasty regardless.

Read on for the first crepe recipe!

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Ingredients:

For the crepe

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 eggs
  • 1 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • butter to grease the pan

Filling for one person

  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped finely
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons cream, optional
  • a teaspoon of butter
  • salt and pepper as needed

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the crepe using a wire whisk or blend in a mixer to get a lump free batter. This quantity makes about 8 crepes 6″ diameter in size. I used only two of those for mushroom filling.
  2. To make crepes, heat a 6″ non stick skillet or pan. Spread a little butter to the base of the pan to grease it. Spoon 1/4 cup crepe batter and swirl/rotate the pan so that the batter coats the base. Try to avoid the batter going to the sides/walls of the pan. Cook until the batter is not wet anymore and the sides turn slightly brown. With a silicone spatula, carefully flip it over and cook the other side. Take off the pan and keep it on a plate. Make more crepes until the batter is used up.
  3. For the filling, heat a teaspoon of butter in a pan. Saute the garlic, onions and mushrooms until everything is cooked. Season with salt and pepper. If you feel like, add a little cream to the mushroom mix and bring it to a boil. Divide this mixture into two crepes. You can either keep in the middle of the crepe and fold the edges to the middle or spoon the mixture on one half and cover it with the other half and serve.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#82

Microwave Scrambled Eggs

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Scrambled eggs? That too on a microwave? I know what you are thinking! It shouldn’t be in a blog, right?! Its that simple a recipe!! And yet, yours truly had no idea that this can be done until I saw it in a cookbook.

Growing up, microwave wasn’t a part of our kitchen. Amma would cook only what is needed for the day. She would cook in the morning  and leave it on top of the stove. It would all be consumed by dinner time. Rice is prepared fresh for dinner and that would impart the effect of a hot meal. You take a plate, serve yourself and eat. That’s it! There was no question about reheating the meals.

It was only after my son was born that we bothered to get a microwave. The sole purpose was reheating food as I was refrigerating food more than my mother did. So what I trying to say is that, though this recipe is very simple, I have never thought about preparing eggs this way until recently. Please don’t laugh at me :D. I am compensating for my ignorance and delayed enlightment by making this recipe regularly though.

The recipe is adapted from Pam Anderson’s  The Perfect recipe for losing weight and eating right. The original recipe had buttermilk and a small chopped scallion too in it. My husband wasn’t a fan of the tangy flavor of buttermilk at first, but he was happy man when I served it as a filling for a sandwich. So I would recommend milk instead of buttermilk if you prefer. Now I completely skip it and cook the eggs alone with salt and pepper.

Another thing to keep in mind is the timings. That would vary from one machine to another. I followed the book as such and it turned out to be okay for me. You need to experiment a bit in case the timings don’t work out for you. The idea is to cook until it is almost done and to cover and cook using the residual heat for the last part.

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Recipe adapted from:  The Perfect recipe for losing weight and eating right.

Serves : 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk or buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons grated cheese
  • salt, pepper and red chilli flakes as needed for seasoning

Method:

Grease a microwave proof dish very lightly with cooking spray or teeny tiny bit of butter. Crack the eggs, add the buttermilk or milk and salt, red pepper flakes and pepper onto the bowl.Whisk until its mixed well.

Microwave for about a minute until its partially set. Take out, scramble with a fork and microwave again for another 45 seconds or 1 minute until its almost set.

Add cheese and scramble again with a fork. Cover and keep aside for a minute at least for the eggs to set completely. Serve as such or as a filling for a sandwich.
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This recipe goes to this week’s Cooking from Cook Book Challenge. Please follow the link to know more about the event.
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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 80