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

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 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!

Mushroom Corn Masala

This cold weather is getting to me now.And its only January..The good thing about the winters according to my daughter is the fire place and I agree with her.The beauty of the fire light up your room is just breathtaking.The pleasure of wrapping yourself in warm blankets with your favorite book is pure bliss.The only other thing that I enjoy apart from that is of course to cook warm dishes with a thick sauce that’s simmered until everything’s coated in the mix and all ready to be devoured.Sounds pretty good don’t you think?

Mushroom Corn Masala

My recipe today is a mix of Mushrooms, some frozen corn and peppers.Its an Indian mix vegetable dish that has a thick sauce base consisting of onions,tomatoes,ginger,garlic and some spices.Its an easy side dish that you can make any night of the week and comes together pretty quickly.I like my dishes a tad spicy hence the red chili but you can opt for a milder chili or paprika if you wish.The earthy spices give this dish tons of flavor and the corn and peppers bring in a slightly sweet element.The result is a spicy yet slightly sweet dish with a hint of the garam masala in the background.Just the perfect side dish with any protein of your choice!Enjoy.

Mushroom Corn Masala

Mushroom Corn Masala

Ingredients

  • Baby Bella Mushrooms-2 packs washed and sliced
  • Frozen corn-1 cup
  • Yellow pepper-1 chopped
  • Large Onion-1 finely chopped
  • Crushed Ginger-1 tsp
  • Crushed Garlic-1 tsp
  • Tomatoes-3 pureed
  • Red chili-1 tsp
  • Green chilies-2 chopped (optional)
  • Turmeric-1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala- 1 tsp
  • juice of one lemon
  • Cilantro
  • Oil-4 tbsp
  • Salt-to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the corn in a microwave safe bowl and cook for 4 minutes until soft.Keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet and add the onions until slightly golden.
  3. Add ginger-garlic paste, green chilies and red chili powder.
  4. Add salt,turmeric,garam masala and continue to mix.
  5. Add tomatoes and cook until the mix comes together about 5-6 minutes.
  6. Add the mushroom,corn and peppers.
  7. Cook for about 6-8 minutes until all tender and cooked.
  8. Add lemon juice and some chopped cilantro.
  9. Enjoy.

 

 

Fried Polenta

Welcome to the new year!As promised I’m on my task for the new year and have some exciting recipes lined up for you.During the winter break we visited our family in the UK.We met some old friends in London and had a lovely time with my in-laws near Birmingham.The kids got to meet their cousins and I also got to meet my sister in Wales and spent some quality time with her sans hubby and kids.We chatted our hearts out, watched movies, went shopping, you know..all the good stuff that sisters do!

Fried Polenta

We went out for a drive around the country side one morning and was hungry after a while.We spotted this lovely restaurant and decided to have lunch there.The menu consisted of some pretty good options and after much deliberation we settled on Fried Polenta with Asparagus that sounded amazing.Believe it or not I’d never had fried polenta before!I was always intrigued looking at the pics on the web or when somebody mentioned it but never tried it until this point.When the dish arrived it just looked stunning!The polenta was topped with pan fried asparagus,a poached egg and shavings of parmesan cheese.It looked divine and I couldn’t wait to dig in.It tasted amazing.Slightly crispy on the outside along with the contrasting textures of the asparagus and the egg.We enjoyed our lunch and ever since I came back I’ve been wanting to try them at home.

Fried Polenta 3

Hence today, Fried Polenta is on the menu for you.I had some cornmeal sitting in the pantry waiting to be used and this seemed like the perfect opportunity!I loved how easy the process is and it also makes for a great party appetizer served along with some marinara sauce.I searched the web for a good recipe and found this one from Giada De Laurentiis.I was delighted that they turned out so good in the first try !My kids ate them for their after school snack with a thumbs-up!Will be making them again and again!Enjoy!

Fried Polenta

Ingredients

    For Polenta
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 3/4 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • For Fried Polenta
  • 3 cups Basic Polenta
  • 6tbsp olive oil, for frying
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • Salt
  • 1 cup purchased marinara sauce

Instructions

    Polenta recipe
  1. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons of salt. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  4. Add the butter, and stir until melted.
  5. Fried Polenta
  6. Cut the polenta into thin long pieces.
  7. Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.
  8. Working in batches, fry the polenta pieces until golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Using tongs, transfer the polenta pieces to paper towels and drain.Serve warm along with some store bought marinara.