Shrimp Taco Salad

Ingredients

Shrimps ….small to medium sized ….. 8-10

Tortilla chips …………………………………….1 cup; diced

Onion ………………………………………………1 medium; chopped

Tomato …………………………………………….1 medium; diced

Coriander / cilantro leaves ……………….1/2 cup; chopped

Avocado ……………………………………………1 medium; diced

Romaine Lettuce ………………………………2 cups; sliced

Red Kidney Beans ……………………………..1/2 cup; boiled/ steamed

Black Olives………………………………………..1/2 cup; sliced

Green Bell Pepper (Capsicum) ……………1 medium; diced

Cheddar Cheese …………………………………3/4 cup; grated

Garlic Clove ………………………………………..1; minced

Salt ……………………………………………………..seasoning

Fresh Black Pepper ……………………………..seasoning

Jalapeños ……………………………………………as per taste

shrimp taco salad (1) shrimp taco salad (2)

Method

  1. Steam/ Sauté/ Boil the peeled shrimps with seasoning for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Mix all the above ingredients along with the shrimps.
  3. Serve.

Oreo Cream Cheese Chocolate Truffles

It is not everyday that you turn 30. Today is that special day for me.

After having constant “surprises” every year on my birthday and getting a cake from my loved ones, I had to do something non-conventional for the big 3 – O! I decided to make my own cake. It is not fancy, just different. Everybody makes cakes and so did I. A simple vanilla cake with chocolate frosting. But its what I topped it with that makes it slightly different. Oreo Cream Cheese Chocolate Truffles! As divine as they sound, they tasted just as heavenly.

Ingredients

Oreo Cookies ……………………………….24 cookies

Cream Cheese ……………………………..10 square cubes (room temp)

Chocolate ……………………………………11/2 bars

Method

  1. Split the Oreo cookies and scrap off the cream inside.IMG_0918
  2. Give it a couple of spins in the food processor. For those of you who want a crunch in their truffles can leave it crumby.
  3. Add the cream cheese into the processor. Make sure the cream cheese is in room temperature while doing so. You will get a thick doughy paste.IMG_0920
  4. Using your hands make spherical shaped balls and let them rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.IMG_0921
  5. Melt and temper the chocolate bars, and dip the Oreo balls in it.
  6. Let the truffles set in the refrigerator for 5 minutes. Serve it as is or use it as a topping for any preferred dessert.IMG_0931

Note:

  • Do not try to process the cookies with its cream as it gets oily and extra sweet.
  • Make sure the chocolate is tempered or else you will have a melted mess in your hands. 

 

Cake Mugs

Any one craving for a quick sweet treat at home? Then you have got to try this recipe out. Call it what you want … Cake-in-a-mug, microwave cake, or just cake mugs. It tastes good. I got this simple idea from another website. It has a list of a variety of cakes. I am giving you the simplest one to try out for now. It is just another version of our ever favorite vanilla sponge cakes, but microwaved in a mug which is ready in 5 minutes.

I must admit, these are slightly tricky to make. A couple of trials are required to make it look right. However, no batch goes for a waste as they taste delicious. It really is the perfect dessert for a sweet midnight treat.

All you need is a mug, a microwave oven, the ingredients listed below and a fork to whisk it all together.

cake mugs

 

Ingredients

Butter …………………………………..2 tablespoons

Egg………………………………………1 large (makes for two cake mugs)

Milk ……………………………………..2 tablespoons

Sugar …………………………………..1/4 cup

All purpose flour ……………………..1/4 cup

Vanilla essence………………………..1/2 teaspoons

Baking powder ………………………..1/2 teaspoon

Salt ………………………………………a pinch

Method

  1. Melt the butter in the oven for a minute in medium heat.
  2. Add egg, and milk to the melted butter  and whisk it with a fork for a minute.
  3. Then add the sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, and essence of a flavoring of your choice and incorporate it well into the egg mixture.
  4. Divide the batter between two mugs and microwave it for two full minutes in high. The cakes usually rise, but deflate once the oven stops. If you want to avoid that, try using smaller mugs or use this recipe to make one cake mug at a time.

Note: There is no crust that forms on top.

Malai Chicken Kebab

Malai Chicken Kebab is also known as Reshmi Chicken Kebab. It is one of the many types of Indian kebabs that are made through out the country. The word malai  in literally means cream in Hindi which is the national language of India and Reshmi means silk. 

This kebab got its name because of how juicy and succulent these meat pieces are once they are cooked. It is all courtesy the rich marinade they have been saturated in. The ground almonds, yoghurt and the thick cream all contribute to the softness of the meat.

It is usually served as an appetizer and sometimes as a side dish as well.

I had been wanting to make this dish for a long time and finally I did. Boy! Were they good or what?

Note: For those of you who are not keen on spice can avoid the chillies.

Malai-Reshmi Kebab

Ingredients

Boneless Chicken…………………….500 grams; cut into 1.5 inch cubes

Yoghurt ………………………………..1/2 cup

Lemon/Lime Juice ……………………3 tablespoons

Almonds ………………………………..1/2 cup; soaked overnight and peeled

Cream …………………………………..1/2 cup

Ginger Paste ……………………………11/2 tablespoons

Garlic Paste ……………………………..11/2 tablespoons

Green Chilli………………………………3; whole

Garam Masala powder………………..1/2 teaspoon (cinnamon, cloves, cardamom)

Salt ……………………………………….seasoning

Method

  1. Besides the chicken, combine all the other ingredients in a processor to make a thick paste.
  2. Cover the chicken with the marinade and leave overnight in the refrigerator. If it is left for a little over 24 hours, the chicken pieces soak up all the juices and flavour. The pieces are with a thick coating of the paste.
  3. Skewer the pieces into bamboo sticks that have been soaking in water for 4-5 minutes or you can skewer them on metal skewers by brushing it with a little oil.
  4. Grill on charcoal grill for 10-15 minutes rotating them to get cooked evenly or you can bake in the over at 150 C for 30-40 minutes.
  5. Serve hot with coriander chutneys and naan (Indian tandoori bread) or pita bread.

Chicken Fajitas

It was a slow week in Cookathon’s kitchen.

It was time to take a small break after the Eid holidays. After all the festivities and the impromptu get-togethers of family and friends, I must say, it was a much needed break from all the cooking. All week long I have been surviving on light sandwiches. They really were pretty simple and not much to share with you guys, except for this one chicken wrap that I am giving out my recipe for.

This Mexican wrap is easy to make and packed with flavours. Its got the tangy sharp cheddar cheese, the crunchy veggies, the soft of the olives, the creamy avocados. But the highlight of this wrap is the chicken that is sautéed in the sour Worcestershire sauce.

Worcestershire sauce! What can I say? Having this sauce is a must in your pantry. Use it as a quick marinade, a dressing or a cooking sauce; a few dashes of this sour fermented sauce spikes up any dish that is lacking in flavour. 

Here is the recipe for my chicken fajitas.

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Ingredients

Flour Tortilla Wraps …………………….6; small

Boneless Chicken ………………………..400 grams

Onion ………………………………………2 large; thick slices

Bell Pepper ……………………………….1 medium; thick slices

Worcestershire Sauce ………………….5-6 tablespoons

Red Chilli powder …………………………1/2 teaspoon

Garlic Paste ………………………………..1 tablespoon

Salt …………………………………………. seasoning

Olive Oil …………………………………….5-6 tablespoons

Avocado …………………………………….1; diced

Tomato ……………………………………..1 medium; diced

Black Olives …………………………………chopped; 3/4 cup

Sour Cream ………………………………..3 tablespoons

Cheddar Cheese …………………………..1 cup; shredded

Method

  1. Boil the boneless chicken with salt, chilli powder and garlic paste.
  2. Meanwhile slice and dice all the veggies.
  3. Sauté sliced onions with olive oil in a shallow pan until they become transparent.
  4. Add the capsicum and Worcestershire sauce to the onions and cook for a minute.IMG_2315
  5. Add the boiled chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes till the chicken is coated with the sauce and oil.IMG_2318
  6. Take a tortilla wrap and toast it in a pan for about 30 seconds on each side.
  7. Fill it with the chicken filling, avocado (use guacamole if you like), olives, sour cream and cheddar cheese. Wrap and serve.IMG_2330

Double Desert

Eid Mubarak to you all! It is Eid in Dubai!! The festive season of the middle east is on. And festivals only mean one thing. Sweets and deserts. I personally do not have a sweet tooth, but I sure can appreciate the cravings my loved ones have for sugar. 

Many of you might be aware of the popular Sheer Khurma desert that is made and served on Eid in India and Pakistan. It is a Pashto name meaning milk and dates. For those of you who don’t, it is a sweet made of vermicelli, milk, dates, dry nuts and sugar. People have their own family recipes for this simple dish that is made in every house for this special occasion. Basically Eid is incomplete without Sheer Khurma.

As much as I like the dish it does not excite my Cookathon senses. I wanted to make something different and serve our family and friends something that is out of the norm for Eid. So I left the Sheer Khurma making to my mother and tried to make a simple cake with nutella in the middle layer topped with ganache and strawberries.

You would think how simple. That is what I thought too. But that is not what happened. I mixed my cake batter, greased the baking tray and baked my cake. When I tried to get it out of my tray it came out in pieces. My simple vanilla cake was ruined. I guess it was too spongy or too hot. I do not know. As this was happening my brother was standing right next to me and watching. He was looking forward to the nutella filled cake so you can only imagine his disappointed face. He started giving ideas of how I can make small sized cakes by trying to salvage what little was left of it. I turned a deaf ear and started to crumble the entire cake with my hands. My brother left the kitchen not knowing what I had in mind.

I pressed the cake crumbs into the chocolate moulds that I had and left it in the refrigerator for a while. Then, I made the chocolate ganache as planned and dipped each cake dumpling into it. Let it rest in the refrigerator again. Meanwhile I tempered white chocolate and drizzled it over the ganache covered cake dumplings. They looked fabulous. Just as I was giving it my finishing touches my brother walked into the kitchen. I must say, he xould not contain his smile waiting to dig into these tiny cake dumplings smothered with chocolate.
I had a lot of that cake crumb left, and lots of time to kill.

IMG_0899

I decided to make another desert with whatever ingredients I had at home. Because .. as you can see the time stamp on the pictures .. it was in the middle of the night ( I am kinda nocturnal). I started making Um Ali. This is a very popular Egyptian desert which is very easy to make once you get the hang of it. It is a baked sweet dish that is made of fluffy puff pastries soaked in sweetened milk and nuts with dry coconut on top to get a crisp layer. 

I had fresh croissants. Tore them into big chunks and layered them in my baking tray. Then, I heated two and half cups of cardamom flavoured evaporated milk and dissolved one cup of granulated sugar in it, and drizzled it over the croissant pieces. I added raisins, dried pineapple cubes, cut almonds, cut pistachios, chopped hazelnuts and macadamia nuts on top and baked it for 15 minutes.

IMG_0893

The croissants had soaked up all the milk. Now the next part might surprise some of you but I did it anyway. I used the leftover cake crumbs as a final topping and baked it for another twenty minutes till it became golden brown.

This really is not the actual recipe for Um Ali. So let me just call it Cookathon’s Um Ali. The soft milky croissants enveloped with the richness of all those nuts and the crunch of the cake crumbs on the top does wonders to your taste buds. Try it!

 

 

IMG_0902

Tiramisu

Tiramisu literally means pick me up in Italian, metaphorically suggesting make me happy.

Its simple to make but requires some time to get the dessert to set. Marsala wine is mixed with espresso coffee in the authentic recipe. But I have left the wine out since I refrain from drinking alcohol.

As the name suggests, this light, fluffy creamy dessert layered with coffee flavoured lady fingers will raze off the blue moods that we tend to dwell in from time to time. Try it!

Ingredients

Lady Fingers ………………………1 pack

Egg Yolks …………………………..4

Sugar ……………………………….1 cup granulated

Milk ………………………………….1/3 cup

Heavy Whipping Cream …………11/2 cup

Mascarpone Cheese ……………..2 cups

Vanilla Essence ……………………1 teaspoon

Espresso Coffee powder ………..2 tablespoons heaped

Water ……………………………….1 cup

Cocoa Powder ……………………..2 tablespoons

Chocolate Curls

IMG_2366

Method

  1. Whisk the egg yolks.
  2. Add the sugar and mix it well.
  3. Over low flame add the milk into the mix and let it simmer for a couple of minutes or till it starts to boil and thicken.
  4. Let the mix cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  5. Meanwhile whip the heavy cream and vanilla essence till it forms peaks.
  6. In a separate bowl whip the mascarpone cheese and if the egg yolk mix is cool enough, add it to the cheese and blend well.
  7. Next, in a wide bowl, mix the espresso coffee powder, cocoa powder and water.
  8. Dip each lady finger on either side for just a second and line them adjacently inside a deep casserole.
  9. Top this layer with the mascarpone mix. Spread it evenly.
  10. Then add the whipped cream as a third layer.
  11. Repeat these three layers and refrigerate for minimum 4 hours or until the dessert sets.
  12. Before serving, dust cocoa powder on top. IMG_2360Add chocolate curls if you like.
  13. Serve cold.
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