Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hari Raya Cookies

Grab Me Cookies
Hari Raya Aidilfitri is a celebration that marks the end of the fasting month of Ramzan (Ramadhan).  During Ramzan, Muslims often gather to break the fast at sundown and a range of irreristible food is seen everywhere.  After coming to Malaysia I have had the opportunity to attend many Buka Puasa's (Breaking Of The Fast) and the sheer number of dishes  was a revelation to me.   At the one we attended last month we counted more than 100 mouth watering concoctions.  Being human we could only stare and sample a few.
The malls & stores are full of snacks and  tit bits of every hue and colour and so I decided to make some Grab Me Cookies as gifts for friends celebrating Hari Raya.  These are so delicious that you forget your manners and grab another and another and yet another until the whole plate is empty.  Whenever I make them they get over in one sitting, so plan to make a very large batch.  Everyone  will love them and you'll be the most popular person around.
The Recipe

1/2 cup butter; 150 gms brown choc chips; 1 cup flour; ½ cup brown sugar; ½ cup white sugar; ½ tsp. baking soda; ½ tsp baking powder;50 gms white choc chips; 1 ¼ cup instant oatmeal; 1 tbsp. cornflour mixed in  2 tbsp milk ; ½ tsp vanilla; ¾ cup ( 150 gms ) chopped nuts.
Spread oatmeal on baking tray and toast in oven for 10 minutes or until crisp when rubbed with your fingers.
Cream butter and sugars.  Add cornflour mixture  and vanilla.  Sieve flour with baking powder and soda. Add the flour to mixture and mix well.  Add oatmeal and mix again.  Add chips and thoroughly mix. Lastly stir nuts into the mixture properly.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.  Roll into balls (small balls for small cookies and so on) and place 2 inches apart on baking tray.  Bake in pre heated oven 375 F for 10 minutes (golden brown) or 15 minutes (brown and delicious).  Makes about 5 dozen cookies.   

Selamat Hari Raya !  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Patriotic Menu

Patriotic Starter
National Rice
Tri Coloured Dessert
Hues Of Liberty Pachdi

31 states, 1618 languages,6400 castes, 6 religions ,6 ethnic groups, 29 

major festivals & 1 country! Nothing quite like India.

Had a party to celebrate August 15th and came up with the following Colours Of India-pendence.   

Patriotic Starter

Took a shortcut for this and used vadais from the restaurant downstairs.

8 vadais; 1 carrot grated; few corriander leaves; 1/2 litre home made curds beaten with 1/4 litre water with salt to taste; date honey or tamarind chutney.  I used the date honey a a friend had given me two large bottles.

To assemble:

Place the vadais in a glass serving bowl.  Pour the beaten curds mixture over.  Garnish with grated carrot & corriander leaves.  Refrigerate overnight so the vadais are nice and soft.  Pour some date honey over the top just before serving.  Absolutely delicious.

National Rice:

2 measures rice, washed and drained; 4 measures hot water; 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste; 1 onion sliced; 1 bunch mint leaves, chopped; 2 tbsp olive oil.

For Meat Balls; Mix together 1/4 kg washed and drained mutton mince; 1 onion, minced;  1 tsp ginger garlic minced; 2 green chillies minced; 2 tsp cornflour; salt to taste; a few corriander leaves chopped.  Make into balls and grill on very high heat for 10 minutes turning the meatballs around after five minutes, to cook evenly.

50 gms white cheese

4 large carrots boiled till soft.  Add salt  and mash while warm to a smooth consistency..  Season with olive oil & 1/4 tsp jeera seeds.

To Make The Rice:  Heat olive oil and fry the sliced onions, ginger garlic and mint until your nose twitches in anticipation.  Add the rice and stir fry on medium heat until all the grains are coated and transparent in colour.  Transfer to rice cooker, add the hot water and salt to taste and set timer.  When done arrange the rice in a pyrex dish and stir in half of the diced cheese.  Top with meatballs  and bake at 150 C  for 10 minutes till cheese melts and meatballs become nice and brown.  Garnish with dots of carrot mash and remaining cheese and a sprig of mint.  Serve hot with Hues Of Liberty Pachdi.

Hues Of Liberty Pachdi

1 cup home made curds beaten with salt to taste; 1 green chilli minced; 1 grated carrot; 1 large onion, minced; few sprigs of mint for garnishing.

Mix the curds, onions and chillies together.  Test for taste.  Place in a shallow glass bowl.  Garnish with grated carrots and sprigs of mint.  The bright colours are a feast for the eyes and may well add to your apetite.

Tri Colour Dessert

Choice Of Three Fruits I used papaya, kiwi fruit and guava (skinned).

Cut and arrange in three sections on a tray.  Decorate with any knick knacks like I did.  Enjoy.

Needless to say we had a blast.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

National Tricolour Salad

Colours Of India

 Living abroad has made me appreciate my country in every way.

"Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls,
Where words come out from the depths of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arm towards perfection;
Where the clear streams of reason has not lost its way in the dreary desert sands of dead habits
Where the mind is led by Thee into ever widening thought and action
Into that heaven of Freedom, my Father, let my country awake. "  Rabindranath Tagore

And so, to celebrate Independence Day 15 August 2012, here is a simple, healthy colourful salad that anyone could make.  Looks good, tastes good and makes your day extra special.

The Recipe:

2 large carrots; 2 medium white radish, 1 large capsicum.

Dipping Sauce:  2 tbsp tomato sauce; 2 tbsp mayonnaise; 4 tbsp curds; 1/2 tsp mustard.  Blend together and keep aside.

Cut one carrot, 1 radish and 1/2 the capsicum  into 2 inch sized pieces and arrange in a goblet.  Grate the second carrot and the radish, dice the remaining capsicum and arrange on plate as in photograph.   Place the goblet in the centre and serve with the sauce.  The bright colours certainly add character to your table.  Happy Independence Day.