Friday, April 20, 2018

Pan Fried Tofu and English Muffin with Chivda Crisp Mix- When East meets West

This recipe, I owe it to my dear daughter. As she is very fond of having her burgers with potato chips- salty and crunchy bites, which she ardently puts in between her chicken patties and burger buns. She herself started eating burgers made this way, when she saw one of her primary school friend spicing up her mundane school lunches with potato crisps, while we were living in UK.
Both kids had their ways to spice up their burgers. Sometimes  even with French fries layered in between. Sometimes with Thousand Island dressing, sometimes with mayonnaise or Ranch dressing and cheddar slices etc but 'Potato chips' also known as potato crisp over there, wins hands down for both of them.

 I know this seems like a circle, and that is how recipes evolve. Although both kids used to love non-vegetarian meals like with chicken burger, this is my attempt to make it little healthy and vegetarian.

I have used sesame oil to pan fry Tofu. I have also used iron skillet to pan-fry tofu instead of normal coated pans.And I must admit, sesame oil imparts a lovely taste to the overall product. I dint go for potato chips, I had my favourite snack – that famous Chivda crisp mix snack you get in packets in India with peanuts, raisins, cashews and corn flakes-‘chivda-crisp mix’ adds the crunch to this burger/muffin recipe.In Bengal while I was staying in Kolkata , I even had with 'Mukhorochak'.

 English muffin is a staple bread in UK and many use it as breakfast bread with jams, marmalade, bacon, ham and cheddarcheese as well. If you don’t get English muffin, then you can also replace it with normal burger buns. I have blogged about a nice home-made bread recipe way back here - Whole-wheat burger .You can make your own burger bun as well. I have omitted mayonnaise to make it  even more lighter. The layering is such a work of joy, olive oil spread, lettuce, pan fried tofu and tomatoes, perfect blend of sweetness, crunchiness and protein.

Here to the recipe
Pan fried tofu with English muffin and Chivda-Crisp mix
Recipe requirements

  • 3-4 whole meal English muffin
  • 200 Gms of tofu cut into flat square pieces
  • 2-3 tsp of sesame oil for pan frying
  • ½ tsp of red pepper powder
  • Salt as per taste
  • 3-4 tbs of Mayonnaise/Olive oil spread
  •  3-4 tsp of sesame oil 
  • 1-2 tomato cut into slices
  • Lettuce leaves
Cut Tofu Pieces and sprinkle red pepper powder and salt over them.Keep aside for 10 mints.
Heat up an iron skillet for pan frying the Tofu pieces. Add in about 1-2 tsp of sesame oil. Now pan-fry the tofu pieces just to get a nice golden-brown layer.
Now assemble English muffin
Cut the bread into half.
Spread olive oil soft spread over English Muffins.
Now place tomato slices, lettuce leaves and pan fried tofu pieces well stacked over one another.
Add in about a handful of Chivda- crisp Mix or spicy corn mix and cover it with another half of English muffin bread. You can add Mayonnaise in place of olive oil spread.
This is a vegetarian version.You can skip Tofu and Olive Oil Spread altogether and replace it with chicken patties or lamb patties and Mayo.Keema Kabab are also nice variations.

Internet reference:
I just love when few fellow bloggers also think like us and writes about it too here-  Finely Chopped..

Happy Cooking Friends and have a great weekend.

Friday, April 13, 2018

French Toast with Strawberry Compote

I have been away from food blogging world for a while now, but that doesn’t mean I was not cooking food or feeding hungry souls in my home. I have tried many local recipes and ingredients during these past days and I have to keep some records for that as well. I may update next couple of blogposts with those ingredients and recipes. But today, I will restrict myself with a delicious breakfast recipe. French toast with strawberry compote. I can’t imagine myself making this on weekdays, as morning is a hurried experience for us. Dear daughter catches her school bus early in the morning and dear husband is also almost rushing through. This scrumptious breakfast needs a relaxing Sunday morning, where one can sit, talk and enjoy the breakfast. Last Sunday made this as our breakfast, thought will share the recipe over here.

I remember a scene in Bollywood film ‘Queen’, where the main lead actress makes French toast for her roommates while holidaying in Amsterdam. And one of them being French himself tells her, well, what she has made has nothing French in it. I know where that was coming from as, French never make their French toast savoury compared to us Indian. French toast for an Indian is mostly savoury served with dollops of tomato ketchup!!  This made me all curious to know the origin of French toast and how it got its name. After many google searches, I came to know that in France it’s known as ‘’ Pain perdu’’ or ‘’Lost bread’’ which is eaten as desserts. This can be accompanied with afternoon tea or an English term for that is ‘High Tea’ snack, but is never made as breakfast. We are grateful to Roman Empire for Colosseum, Pantheon, Spanish steps and Latin language. And to countless inspiration for many Chariot races in Hollywood films ‘ Ben Hur’ for entertainment purposes. I may also like to add French toast to that list as well, as Romans had gigantic appetite for food, three course meal is very Roman. They used to make something very similar dessert with a day old bread or left-over high quality white bread. The first mention about French toast was in a 4th century Roman cook book written in Latin by Apicius.
From those days to its present form French toast has travelled far across, crossed Atlantic Ocean as well. French Immigrants brought their French toast recipes to America and American coined its name ‘French toast’ and from there no looking back.

Now to the sweet recipe for French toast
French Toast with Strawberry compote
Recipe requirements
For French toast
4-5 whole meal bread slices
1 cup of milk
1 egg
1 tsp of cinnamon powder
2-3 tbs of sugar
Cooking oil to pan –fry toast
Mix in egg, milk, cinnamon powder and sugar in a mixing bowl. Put the bread slices in the mixture and let it sit for 5-10 mints.
Put an iron skillet on flame, add about 2-3 tsp of cooking oil over hot iron skillet. Put bread slices and fry them each side for 3-4 mints at medium flame.
Take out and drain over kitchen towels.
For Strawberry compote
300 Gms of fresh strawberry
3-4 tbs of sugar
½ tsp of lemon juice
2 tsp of olive oil spread
Peel the outer skin of strawberries to get rid of small seeds. Chop strawberry roughly into small pieces.
Now put strawberry and sugar in a pot and keep on cooking. After about 7-8 mints at medium flame, strawberry will start to cook .Take off from the flame when sugar dissolves properly.
Add in lemon juice and olive oil spread and mix well. Let it cool.
Assemble French toast with strawberry compote and ice cream on sides. This is heavenly delicious.

and since its Poila Baishak this weekend ....let me wish all my readers ' Shobho Poila Baishaak'

শুভ পয়লা বৈশাখ। .অনেক শুভেচ্ছা সবাইকে। ...

Monday, April 9, 2018

Coffee Timeout - Pulp By Papa Palheta KL

One lazy Friday afternoon we decided to go for a cup of coffee near our vicinity. This café went unnoticed for a while. Pulp by Papa Palheta in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur is very near to us. 
This designer café is tucked away in a residential neighbourhood, away from hum-drums of crazy shopping malls here. 

The crowd is mostly locals and some from the adjoining industrial area or the office going public. Most of them like to come and unwind after a day’s work in office during weekdays. 

And on weekend the general Instagram public will make a beeline for their coffee. Actually you can find them on weekdays as well. So, yes it’s a very lively and sought after place for coffee lovers and shutterbug crazy people.

I and dear husband were not expecting something out of the world there, but a nice and cosy atmosphere was a welcome change to our mundane routine. 

We got our share of coffee latte, flat white and hot chocolate with a brownie and banana cake slice.

We were satisfied with their blend of coffee. We are not very picky about our coffee either, so yeah for us it was just perfect.Dear daughter also liked her cup of hot chocolate.

We spent almost an hour there sitting, chatting and enjoying our cup of coffee and dear daughter with her share of hot chocolate, also kept both of us entertained with her enticing banters thrown in between.

They also serve big bites aka main entree and breakfast options, in case you have a very hungry and growling tummy. I haven’t tried any of those, so can’t elaborate on their taste and freshness. 

But I was impressed with their range of desserts to go with our coffee. They also house various varieties of coffee that you can buy from them. 
They also serve cold brews in case you like cold things. I was intrigued with their cold brew coffee latte, spiked with hazelnut milk, maybe next time it’s due for me.

The brownie was moist and soft, kind of melt in mouth and the banana cake slice was also fresh and soft. Their desserts scored well for me. In fact, I liked the brownie way better than the banana slice.
The inside of the coffee house reminded us about the old art printing press there.There were some apertures for brewing fresh coffee.

They have remoulded it into a café in the same art printing press premise about four years ago. The décor is nice. Although, it hasn’t got much of seating space as compared to the Instagram and hash-tagged public it receives day in and out. 

Pic Credit- dear daughter

I would suggest to go on weekdays, where you still can enjoy their freshly brewed coffee and sit with your favourite book without interruptions. Another issue is parking which on weekends seems a hassle. 

They also run coffee workshops on many days just in case you need to know all the details of coffee making procedures and coffee beans.

Picture Credit- Dear Daughter
Overall a nice place to spend some time with a cup of coffee with your friends and family in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.All pictures are captured with our smartphones.

Picture Credit- Dear Daughter
Please stay tuned for my best place to eat list in Kuala Lumpur for a family in coming weeks.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Moong Dal Dahi Vada and Happy Diwali

Wish you all Shubh Deepawali. Happy Diwali. 
May festival of light bring loads of happiness and peace to you and to yours..........

Each Diwali morning when I get up, it always makes me nostalgic, reminding me of our childhood, and festivals without its share of memories are incomplete. We all have shares of those unlimited dose of banters which we keep recalling from time to time, reminding us of good old times. 
I would often see my mother busy preparing different varieties of sweets and savoury for festivals and Deepawali was one such festival. The day before’’ Choti Deepawali’’, Ma would soak up all diyas in water for couple of hours. 
And then would dry up later in air outside over old news paper, a habit which now has been passed on to me unconsciously .This and many other similar activities would add up to the momentum towards the Deepawali evening. Every Deepawali evening, when we light up diyas, we also pray that it eradicates all the darkness in ones heart as well. 

Diyas glowing in dark gives me hope and sense of calmness.

We were fond of eating dahi vadas and Ma would make big batches of these during that time.
 Although she would make it with Urid dal mostly.

This mong dal vadas , I started making recently , they are light as compared to urid dal vadas.
I have used washed yellow lentil or dhuli mong dal for these vadas.And who doesn’t like chat. I have used store-bought mint chutney and tamarind chutney though , now to recipe…

Moong Dal Dahi Vada

Recipe requirements
For mong dal vadas
  • Moong dal – 2 cups  
  • 1 inch fresh ginger roots
  •  2-3 green chillies
  • Salt as per taste

For assembling and seasoning
  • 3-4  large cups of yogurt

And following as per taste
  • Cumin powder
  • Red pepper powder
  • Chat masala
  • Salt as per taste
  • Tamarind chutney
  • Tomato ketchup
  • Mint chutney
  • Cooking oil for frying vadas
  • Coriander leaves
  • Papadi namkins (3-4)

  • Soak mong dal in water for about 6-7 hrs or better soak them overnight. Next day make paste of the yellow lentils/moong dal  with ginger, green chillies and salt as per your taste with very little water , just to rotate the blades of grinder. 
  • Take out the dal paste in a clean bowl and mix the batter very well for about 3-4 mints. 
  • You can add chopped ginger and green chillies pieces, if you don’t like to grind them with dal paste.
  • Now put add cooking oil in a fry pan. Drop the batter with the help of spoon into the hot oil. Deep fry the lentil balls very well.
  • Take out these fried lentil balls and dip them in warm water for about 5-6 mints.
  • Take about 2 cups of yogurt and add bit of water and make it thin in consistency (more like buttermilk ),  depending about the yogurt required for soaking all the lentil vadas.I made roughly 15-16 moong dal vadas out of  2 teacups.
  • Take out the lentil vadas and now put them in yogurt. The yogurt should be little thin in consistency. Keep the lentil vadas in yogurt for about 3-4 hrs at least.
  • Meanwhile dry roast cumin seeds and make powder in grinder.Or use ready-made cumin powder.
  • At the time of serving, rest of the yogurt should be evenly mixed with a spoon.Add bit of water , but not much.
  • Put vadas in a serving bowl/platter. Add in stirred yogurt. 
  • Now add in tamarind chutney, mint chutney and tomato ketchup (Each to owns taste)
  • Sprinkle cumin powder, red pepper powder, chat masala and salt.
  • Add in chopped coriander leaves.  ( I also made papadi)
  • Add crushed papadi as well, it adds up to the crunchiness of these sweet-sour-spicy starters.
  • These are absolutely lip-smacking, and I don’t need to add anything more.

Wish you all a very Happy Diwali 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Biscoff

Past couple of days were busy with Durga Puja celebrations at our end. And I find each year it’s the same old story. We prepare ourselves for Puja celebrations and even before we realize it’s almost gone, leaving behind some new memories to look back. Now that the euphoria has subsided and melancholy has set in firmly, we have to keep reminding ourselves ‘’ Ashche bochor abaar hobe’’. This kept echoing in our mind.
Wish you all a very happy Dussehra and Shobo Bijoya.

Anyhow, this cheesecake recipe, I had made earlier, not during those 4-5 days of Nabaratri.We have started liking biscoff biscuits a lot , with a nice caramel flavour these biscuits are very addictive. So its black tea with biscoff , chocolate shakes with biscoff and so on for us now. I thought to make the crust with these biscuits for our next cheesecake recipe and it really came out so nice and delicious loaded with lots of calories, of course. I needed to at least make peanut butter cheesecake once, so the taste of peanut butter can linger on and gets registered in our mind. And this turned out such a nice combination- peanut butter cheesecake with biscoff- absolutely delicious. My folks liked it, hope yours too. From my kitchen to yours. Peanut butter cheesecake with biscoff.

Now to the recipe

Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Biscoff
Recipe requirements
For the crust
  • 2 and half cups of Biscoff biscuit crumbs
  • 4-5 tbs of butter

For the filling
  • 400 Gms of cream cheese
  • 100 gms of peanut butter
  • ½ cup of whipped cream
  • 6-7 tbs of caster sugar

About 2-3 tbs of Chocolate powder for sprinkling on top

For the crust/base
  • Make crumbs of Biscoff biscuit either running through in grinder or pressing with rolling pin. In a big mixing bowl, add these crumbs and butter and mix well.
  • Now take 9 inch round baking pan or any other vessel you will be using to make/set cheesecake.
  • Rub about a tsp of butter evenly on baking pan and add all the biscuit crumbs, pressing gently to even out the surface.
  • Put in to bake for 5 mints at 175 Deg C. Take out and let it cool a bit.

For the peanut butter cheesecake frosting/ filling 
  • Now in a separate and clean mixing bowl, add in cream cheese, sugar and peanut butter.
  • Mix in whipping cream well or till a soft peak is formed separately.
  • Keep on folding cream cheese and peanut butter. You can use mixer as well.
  • Now add the whipped cream to the above and gently fold it.
  • After the base is cooled, add the cream cheese + peanut butter + whipped cream mixture over the baked crust. Even out the surface with a clean knife.
  • Leave the peanut butter cheese cake to cool and set in fridge for about 7-8 hrs or overnight.
  • Take out and cut slices and enjoy delicious peanut butter cheesecake.

Wish you all a very happy Dussehra and Shobho Bijoya ...

শুভ বিজয়ার প্রীতি  ও শুভেচ্ছা। .