February 20, 2016

Spicy Hummus and tasty Salsa

My Sunday addition for "The 52 Cookbook Pact" hosted by Ruchina. These are spicy Hummus and salsa. Easy, spicy and healthy Chickpeas dip for Tortilla chips, Doritos, Pita Bread chips, can also serve with Celery sticks, Carrots sticks etc. Choice is endless. I made these simple and healthy snacks for Super Bowl 50 instead of usual Chicken Wings, Taquitos etc. Of course, you can have those as well, more the merrier! Enjoy...

Spicy Hummus, Salsa with Flax Seed Tortilla Chips, Celery and Carrot sticks:

Spicy Hummus:
one 15 oz cans chickpeas, drain and wash,
1 tbsp Tahini or 1 tbsp Sesame seeds,
3 large garlic cloves,
1 or 2 Jalapenos,
Juice of 1 lemon or to taste,
1 tsp cumin seeds,
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Cilantro
2 tbsp extra Virgin olive oil to mix
1 tbsp extra Olive oil and 1/4 tsp chilli pd for drizzling on top
Little water to help make thickish dip as needed.

 To make it:
1. Take Chickpeas in a bowl, heat up in Microwave for 1-2 mins. Cool. Heated Chickpeas helps to make a smooth paste in blender.
2. Now blend together the Chickpeas, Tahini paste or roasted sesame seeds, garlic, cumin, salt, 1 tbsp water, cilantro and olive oil in a blender until smooth. Add water as needed but don't make dip too thin, just thick enough to be able to scoop with chips or veggies.
3. Add salt and lemon juice to taste.Scoop out in a bowl.
4. Heat 1 tbsp Olive oil just until warm, add chilli pd and take os the heat. Cool.
5. Drizzle this red Olive oil around Hummus, garnish with some Chickpeas and cilantro.
6. Serve with Chips and also makes a great dip for Celery, Carrot sticks.
Tahini is a ground paste you can buy in jars it in store but if you don't have it, you can throw in some Sesame seeds when you grind the Chickpeas.

Convert Hummus into Bean Burgers:
If there is any Hummus leftover, add grated carrots, finely chopped Bell Peppers, Chickpea flour/Besan, mix, adjust spices and chill in fridge for a while. Make thick patties, shallow fry in 1/4" oil to make delicious Veg and Bean Burgers with Onion rolls, lettuce and cumin flavored yogurt sauce! Bean Burgers looks like these.

Spicy Salsa:
Choose fleshy, Roma Tomatoes with less seeds if you can find them. Salsa should not too watery. Do not add water, should be chunky, not pasty. Chop by hand or use a chopper, do not blend in a mixer. 
To make Salsa:
Salsa is easy to make. Just chop up about 4-6 medium sized fresh Roma Tomatoes, 2 or 3 garlic cloves, 1 small onion, 1 Jalapeno, few cilantro sprigs finely, and add 1/2 to 1tsp Cumin powder, 1/2 tsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp sugar, salt to taste. Mix well and keep it away covered for few hours for the flavors to mingle. Makes a refreshing, spicy and healthy dip for Tortilla chips. Adjust the ingredients and spices as per your taste.

Cookbook: Hummus recipe (with slight changes) is from "The Complete Mediterranean Diet" by Michael Ozner.

There are you are, two great party starters! :)

February 13, 2016

Strawberry Jam Donut Cake

Happy Valentine's day to all of you.
Have a great day. Love yourself, your family, neighbors and friends. Peace and love :)

Here is a heart shaped Strawberry Jam Donut cake I baked for Valentine's day. Also for my Sunday contribution for "The 52 Cookbook Pact" hosted by Ruchina.
Recipe is from "One Pot Chef", my favorite chef on youtube. I made half the recipe to make a smaller cake, double the ingredients if you want a bigger cake and can use a brownie pan. Thanks for the delicious and easy recipe, chef.
It's a cake which has a similar taste to Jam Donuts layered with Strawberry jam. Since it's baked, doesn't exactly taste like the regular Donuts which are fried but yummy and lot healthier than fried Donuts, so bake away and enjoy.

Strawberry Jam Donut cake:

To make you need:
Dry Ingredients:
1 cup self rising flour,
1/4 cup plain flour,
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp super fine sugar
Wet ingredients:
1/4 cup oil,
1 egg, (or 2 tbsp apple sauce)
1/2 cup buttermilk, (or thinned Yogurt)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract,
Jam Spread:
Mix 2 tbsp water to 2-4 tbsp strawberry jam to make thin enough to spread and decorate.
1 tbsp, melt to brush on hot cake for shine.
Sprinkle: (optional)
Sprinkle cinnamon sugar. (mix of 1 tbsp sugar pd, 1/2 tbsp sweet Cinnamon pd)

To bake: 
Preheat oven to 400F.
1. Mix all the dry ingredients well.
2. Beat wet ingredients well and add to dry ingredients and mix gently. Do not over mix. It's okay if you see few small lumps in the batter.
3. Spread batter on a lined brownie pan or any baking pan you like, spread half the batter, spread 3-4 tbsp thinned strawberry jam, spread rest of the batter gently on top to cover.
4. Add some jam on top to any shape you want, I did a heart for Valentine's day.
5. Bake at  400F for 25 to 30mins or until it's baked. Take out on a rack.
6. Brush with melted butter on top while hot, sprinkle cinnamon sugar.

Note: Instead of jam, make a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, and chopped pecans.
You can use any kind of Jam or Jelly or Preserves you like instead of Strawberry Jam.

If you find the cake little dryer because of the self rising flour, prick the cooled cake with a knitting needle or something like that and drizzle cream or full cream mil in the holes. That will keep the cake moist. 

If you don't have Self-rising flour, use this combination:
1 cup Plain flour, 1 1/2 tsp Baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt. Whisk well.

That's it, cool and store in airtight container until it's time to eat!

February 5, 2016

Oi-muchim (Spicy Korean seasoned Cucumber)

My Sunday addition for "The 52 Cookbook Pact" hosted by Ruchina. Here is a salad/side dish called "Oi-muchim", a spicy red hot seasoned Cucumber Korean side dish for you. It looks hot and spicy but not really if you use less Gochugaru, can be spicy depends on what kind of chilli and the quantity you add to it but it's delicious and healthy with garlic, sesame oil and sesame seeds. I added Rice Vinegar to balance the taste to the original recipe. Try.

Maangchi's Oi-muchim:

 To Make it, you need:
    4 mini seedless cucumber (or 2 English cucumbers),sliced 1/8" thick,
    ¼ cup thinly sliced onion, (I used white part of Green onion (Scallion)
    1 long green onion, chopped
    1tsp Rice Vinegar or Lemon juice
    2-3 garlic cloves, minced (I added more, love fresh Garlic)
    1 or 2 tsp soy sauce
    1or 2 tsp Korean hot pepper flakes (Gochugaru)
    1 tsp sesame oil
    1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
    1/2 tsp sugar and salt to taste

1.   Cut the cucumber in any shape you like but I sliced them diagonally to about 1/8" thickness into a wide bowl.
2. Add the sliced white part and green part of the Spring onion, minced garlic, soy sauce, hot pepper flakes (Gochugaru), sesame oil, sesame seeds, Vinegar or lemon juice and sugar. Mix and add salt to taste. Mix well.
3. Spicy and yummy Korean cucumber salad Oi-muchim is ready!
4. Taste better chilled or at room temperature after marinating for 1 hour or so.

Add salt to taste at the end as Soy sauce contains salt already.
Go easy on Sesame oil, can be bitter if added too much.
Use seedless Cucumbers if you can get them. If not, young cucumbers with less or soft seeds are usable too.
Korean Gochugaru is flaky, somewhat milder chilli flakes with bright red color which is wonderful for this dish, Asian stores sell it. If you don't have it, you could add a mixture of Kashmiri chilli pd for color and any spicy chilli flakes or powder for heat, up to you.
You can eat this as a salad for quick lunch or as a side dish for BBQ or even with plain brown or white rice. Enjoy.
This recipe is from "Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking" by Maangchi. She also has a youtube channel in which she shows authentic Korean dishes which are delicious.
Great for spicy, healthy and light snack if you are on diet or NOT, fills you up without filling you up in all the wrong places! Get it , Get it?! Haha......