Coconut Crusted Tofu with Spicy Mango and Cucumber topping #SundaySupper

Coconut Crusted Tofu with Spicy Mango Cucumber topping

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Coconut Crusted Tofu with Spicy Mango Cucumber Topping 1

The perfect way to get started then would be to make something fresh and vibrant.Our folks at Sunday Supper gave me the perfect opportunity in the form of a Tropical Foods Sunday Supper!

Warmth of the sun,
palm trees, palmy breeze,
foods to cool you off,
soft fabrics that tease your skin,
sun hats,
sipping your favorite ice-cold drink…

You in the tropics yet?

Coconut Crusted Tofu with Spicy Mango Cucumber topping 2

I recently had lunch at this lovely restaurant and ordered a Tofu dish that was simple yet so fresh and flavorful.Sometimes less is more and it takes just a few little ingredients to create an amazing dish to let the flavors shine through.And that’s what inspired me to try this dish I have for you today.Its a Coconut Crusted Tofu topped with a spicy mango and cucumber mix.It’s an easy appetizer dish that takes just minutes to make.The topping is similar to a salsa and you can get creative with flavors that work for you.Its a dish that’s visibly appealing and sure to impress your guests.

Spicy Mango Cucumber Topping

I’ve dressed the mango and cucumber with just a little brown sugar,lime juice,salt and pepper. Jalapeños are essential for some heat and so is the cayenne pepper.The sweet and tangy flavors work well with the crispy golden coconut on the tofu and its an explosion of pure tropical flavors.Even if you haven’t planned a trip to the tropics, this dish will transport you momentarily!Enjoy.

Coconut Crusted Tofu with Spicy Mango and Cucumber topping #SundaySupper

Ingredients

  • Extra Firm Tofu-14 oz
  • Unsweetened Shredded Coconut-1 1/2 cup
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • Chopped green onions
  • Chopped fresh basil
  • Oil- 2tbsp
  • For the topping
  • Peeled and diced mango-1 cup
  • Peeled and diced cucumber-1 cup
  • 1 jalapeno - de-seeded and diced
  • cayenne pepper-2 pinches
  • Brown sugar-1 tsp
  • Lime juice-2 tbsp
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  1. In a bowl mix all the topping ingredients and toss to combine.If making in advance then let it chill in the fridge.
  2. Slice Tofu into 8 thin long steaks.
  3. Mix the cornstarch and shredded coconut in a tray and press the tofu steaks to coat on both sides.
  4. Heat oil in a large non stick pan and fry them until golden on both sides.(About 2 mins per side)
  5. To serve
  6. Arrange Tofu onto a tray and top it with the toppings.Garnish with green onions and basil.

This Sunday Supper is brought to you by our two lovely hosts Cindy Kerschner of Cindy’s Recipes and Writings and Marlene Baird of Nosh My Way.Scroll down for some food and wine pairing ideas for a tropical getaway!

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Paneer Beet Balls- Indian Inspired

Paneer Beet Balls-Indian Inspired

Spring has decided to show up late this season.I’m so fed up of this cold spell that has a taken a liking for the East Coast unwilling to let go.Temperatures are expected to go up this week and I’m hoping it stays that way and we get to finally welcome Spring.In order to cheer us up I decided to make these balls using some colorful Beets and Paneer.You could also use Tofu if you prefer.I love Mom’s Beet Cutlets and decided to give a spin on those.

Paneer Beet Balls

Beets scream spring to me and I love using them in my salads.But these balls are a great way to enjoy them and make for easy party appetizers too.To make the process even easier I’ve used store bought cooked beets and grated them along with the paneer before adding some nutty earthy spices like cumin, coriander and garam masala.The addition of jalapeños is essential here to balance the sweetness of the beets and you can go with either mild or spicy green chilies too.

Paneer Beet Balls-Indian Inspired 1

Serve these alongside some cilantro chutney or your favorite condiment and watch them disappear in no time.My kids loved this and I believe you will too.Its a keeper.

Paneer Beet Balls- Indian Inspired

Ingredients

  • Cooked beets-3
  • Paneer-200 gms
  • 1/2 inch Ginger-crushed
  • Ground Cumin-1 tsp
  • Ground Coriander-1 tsp
  • Garam masala-1/2 tsp
  • Jalapenos or green chili-1-2 finely chopped
  • Cilantro-2 tbsp chopped
  • Cornstarch-2 tbsp
  • Salt-to taste
  • Bread Crumbs-1/2 cup
  • Oil-to fry

Instructions

  1. Grate the beets and paneer either in a food processor or using a grater.
  2. In a deep mixing bowl combine all the ingredients except bread crumbs.
  3. Mix and form round balls.
  4. Coat in the bread crumbs.(At this point you can keep it in the refrigerator until ready to fry)
  5. Heat some oil in a small wok and fry the balls until golden.
  6. Drain on a paper towel and serve hot.

 

 

 

Magic Cake

Magic Cake

I finally did it.

I made the Magic Cake. And I ate it.

And I almost ate all of it.

Had to stop myself since I was taking it to a friends’ for a potluck. Not to mention it was a hit with everyone and even the kids gave it a thumbs up. I’ve been drooling at the pics on the web for many many months and being a big custard lover I’ve always wanted to make this.

Magic Cake 3

 

I have to warn you though.Its addictive.

Highly addictive.

Magic Cake 2

The magical layers that hit you as you take a bite.First the semi soft layer at the bottom followed by the custard in the  middle followed by the firm and slightly golden top layer.Its an amazing dessert and so super easy!The best part is that it only requires one simple batter and the magic happens once its in the oven.The three layers form as the cake bakes on a low temperature setting beautifully.Once cooled cut in into desired squares and enjoy this indulgent treat to your heart’s content.I followed this recipe from Jo Cooks and it turned out just perfect!

Magic Cake

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs (separate yolks from whites) at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
  • 1 stick or ½ cup butter, melted
  • ¾ cup of all purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk lukewarm
  • powdered sugar for dusting cake

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F degrees. Grease a 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish.
  2. Separate eggs and add the egg whites to a mixer and mix until egg whites are stiff. Place egg whites in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until light.
  4. Add butter and vanilla extract and continue beating for another minute
  5. Add the flour and mix it in until fully incorporated.
  6. Slowly add the milk and beat until everything is well mixed together. Add the egg whites, a third at a time and gently fold them in using a spatula, repeat until all egg whites are folded in.
  7. Pour batter into baking dish and bake for about 70 minutes or until the top is lightly golden. The baking time could vary depending on the oven, so take a look at around 40 minutes and see how it looks.
  8. Sprinkle some powdered sugar after cake has cooled and cut into squares.
  9. Enjoy.

 

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

The Tikka Masala is an all time favorite dish all across Indian restaurants.Although there are many theories about its origin where-by some claim that it was accidentally invented in India but the most viable theory suggests that it was invented in the UK when a customer complained that the chicken curry was too dry and the chef created this tomato based sauce that was so well received that it gained popularity all over the UK.It is now a British National Dish and devoured by people all over the world.Chicken tikka masala is the perfect fusion of east-meets-west flavors in a global world.

chicken tikka masala

I love the vibrant color of the Tikka Masala and the rich luscious texture that’s just wanting to be savored. It’s a favorite in our family with my kids demanding it for dinner many times. I’ve also cooked this dish using Chicken, Paneer and even Tofu.The small chunks of  Chicken are marinated in yoghurt and some spices and left for a few hours to ensure that the flavors seep in.The chunks are then grilled just until they develop those gorgeous golden edges.A great party tip is to make a big batch of these Chicken Tikkas and save some to serve as an appetizer and use the rest in the Tikka Masala sauce.

Chicken Tikka Masala

The Chicken Tikkas are then transferred into this rich tomato based sauce consisting of ginger, garlic, spices,tomatoes and cream and then simmered until the redolence of the warm spices starts making you hungry.The unique smoky flavor that’s achieved by grilling the tikka and then adding them into the sauce is what makes this dish so irresistible.The sauce has a hint of sweetness in the background but you can still taste the spices.The cream adds the richness and brings it all together.It’s the perfect comfort food especially in these cold winter days and can be enjoyed with some Roti,Naan or steaming hot Rice.Enjoy!

Chicken Tikka Masala

Ingredients

    For the Chicken Tikka
  • Chicken Tenders-1 lb cubed
  • Crushed Ginger-1 tbsp
  • Crushed Garlic-1 tbsp
  • Greek Yoghurt-a cup
  • Garam masala-2 tsp
  • Turmeric-1/2 tsp
  • Red chili or paprika-1 tsp
  • Salt- to taste
  • For the Sauce
  • Medium onion-1 chopped finely
  • Crushed Ginger-1 tbsp
  • Crushed Garlic-1 tbsp
  • Ground Cumin-1 tsp
  • Ground Coriander-1 tsp
  • Garam Masala-1 tsp
  • Turmeric- 1/2 tsp
  • Canned Tomato Puree-2 cups
  • Sugar-1 tbsp
  • Water-1 1/2 cups
  • Cream-1/3 cup
  • Kasoori Methi (dried fenugreek)-1 tbsp
  • Butter-2 tbsp
  • Oil-1 tbsp
  • Salt-to taste

Instructions

    For the Chicken Tikka
  1. In a ziplock bag marinade the chicken tenders along with the rest of the ingredients and let it sit in the fridge for 4-5 hrs.
  2. Place the marinated chicken pieces onto a foil lined baking sheet.Drizzle some oil all over and grill for about 8-10 minutes checking constantly until you see the golden edges developing on the sides.
  3. Once done take the tray out of the oven and keep aside.
  4. For the Sauce
  5. In a deep skillet heat the butter and oil.
  6. Add the onions and saute until slightly golden.
  7. Lower the heat and add the ginger and garlic and continue to cook for about a minute.
  8. Add the spices and mix well.Add the tomato puree and continue to cook.
  9. Add the sugar, salt and cook for about 5 minutes until well combined.
  10. Add the water and bring to a boil.Reduce the heat and add the chicken pieces.
  11. Continue to cook for about 8-10 minutes on low heat until all incorporated.
  12. Add the cream and kasoori methi. Check the seasonings.
  13. Serve hot with roti,naan or rice.

 

Harissa Mint Chicken Kebabs

Harissa Mint Chicken Kebabs

Harissa has long captivated me.I’d never heard of it until a few months ago when all of a sudden everywhere I looked people were making Harissa and cooking tons of recipes using Harissa.Just looking at those pics,I fell in love with the vibrant red color of the paste and the flavors seemed right up my alley since I love chilies in any form. As I walked past the aisles in our local Sur La Table the other day, I was overjoyed when I spotted a jar of Harissa sitting right there!I immediately picked it up and couldn’t wait to get home and try it!I was amazed at the flavor explosion in my mouth,right from the smoky,tangy to the heat from the chilies and the garlic not to mention the beautiful vibrant red color!Its my new favorite condiment these days and I couldn’t wait to create something amazing with it.

Harissa Mint Chicken Kebabs

For those of you who haven’t heard of Harissa before, its a Tunisian condiment made from serrano peppers,hot chili peppers,roasted red peppers,garlic,coriander or caraway seeds along with olive or vegetable oil for preservation and it is available in some speciality stores.It can be used to flavor a ton of recipes including couscous, a stew, as a rub over your favorite meat or fish, in a dip and so on..

Harissa Mint Chicken Kebabs 1

With eyes on the Superbowl, I thought that a great way to use this would be in some moist juicy Chicken kebabs that would also make an easy appetizer to feed a crowd.I started off by mixing the harissa with some yoghurt as I would in a Tandoori and added some fresh mint, some ginger-garlic paste and some cumin.The chicken tenders were then left to marinade for a good few hours and then placed onto skewers to be grilled on the stove top.The flavors from the Harissa just comes through and the mint complements it beautifully.They came out absolutely delicious and a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice just completed the dish.Enjoy it for your game day or any other day!

Harissa Mint Chicken Kebabs

Harissa Mint Chicken Kebabs

Ingredients

  • Chicken Tenders-1 pck (about 1 1/4 lb)cubed
  • Marinade
  • Greek yoghurt-2 tbsp
  • Harissa paste-2-3 tbsp
  • Crushed Ginger-1 tsp
  • Crushed Garlic- 1 tsp
  • Ground Cumin-1 tsp
  • Salt- to taste
  • Oil-1 tbsp
  • Fresh mint-1 few sprigs chopped
  • Garnish
  • Freshly squeezed juice of a lemon all over

Instructions

  1. In a deep bowl assemble all the ingredients to marinade and mix the chicken tenders.
  2. Let it sit in the fridge for about 5-6 hours.Place the chicken pieces onto skewers.
  3. In a gridldle pan heat some oil.
  4. Once the griddle is really hot, place the skewers and let it cook and develop a lovely golden color on one side (apprx 5-6 mnutes) and then gently flip over using a spatula to loosen the pieces if stuck.
  5. Cook on the other side for apprx same time until fully cooked.
  6. Arrange on a tray and squeeze some lemon juice all over.
  7. Enjoy!