CARROT, MILK POWDER AND ALMOND POWDER BURFI

carrot_milk_almond_burfi

DESSERTS | December 2, 2016 | By

‘’Oh it’s really delicious mom!!!!’’ Those are the words my little boy said when he tasted this burfi for the first time. Burfi is an addictive sweet. It is not ideal for people like me; who don’t want to put on weight, but don’t work out either. It is therefore something which I don’t prepare often. I only make it occasionally, mainly for festivals.

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Carrot, Milk Powder And Almond Powder Burfi
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Cook Time
35 min
Cook Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 ½ cup of carrot, finely shredded
  2. 1 cup of granulated sugar powder
  3. ½ teaspoon of green cardamom powder
  4. 1 cup of milk powder
  5. 1 cup of almond powder
  6. 1 ½ cups of water
  7. 1 serving spoon of olive oil, or 2 tablespoons of butter
  8. ½ cup of pumpkin seeds, roughly crushed
Instructions
  1. Heat a frying pan on medium heat. Add oil, carrots and ½ cup of water. Cook until the carrots become soft and tender.
  2. Add ½ of the sugar and half of the cardamom powder (keep the remaining cardamom powder for the almond and milk layer). Mix everything well and keep stirring, until the mixture absorbs all the water. Once that is done, turn off the flame .
  3. Transfer the mixture into a rectangular or square shape baking tray. Press down gently on the mixture with a spatula to make a smooth surface, then leave the tray aside.
  4. Pour one cup of water into a pan and bring it to a boil. Add milk powder to the boiling water and stir well on a low flame. Add almond powder, cardamom powder and the remaining ½ cup of sugar. Mix well until the mixture becomes a smooth paste.
  5. Pour the paste on top of the carrot mixture and make a smooth layer.
  6. Sprinkle the crushed pumpkin seeds on top and place the whole thing in the feezer for 1 hour.
  7. Once it is properly set, cut the burfi into any shape you want.
  8. Enjoy.
Blue Bell Recipes http://www.bluebellrecipes.com/

INDIAN FRIED RICE

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MEALS | November 28, 2016 | By

Fried rice is a popular dish that people like to eat for lunch, dinner and sometimes even breakfast. It can be prepared with a variety of ingredients, depending on which vegetables a person might like. Rice is a staple food for my family, so I often end up with left over rice. One of the best things you can do with left over rice is to prepare fried rice.

I always keep some frozen green beans and peas in my freezer for emergencies. These come in handy when I want to make a quick fried rice dish, because these two vegetables go well with fried rice.

fried_rice

Indian Fried Rice
Serves 3
A simple and quick left over fried rice!!!
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Total Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups of cooked rice
  2. 3 tablespoons of olive oil, vegetable oil
  3. 1 onion thinly sliced
  4. 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  5. 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder
  7. 1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder
  8. 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala (optional)
  9. Optional: 2 green chillies, chopped (deseeded)
  10. 1 large tomato, chopped
  11. 1 serving spoon of carrot, finely chopped
  12. ½ cup of frozen green peas
  13. 1 cup of frozen green beans
  14. 2 medium sized button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  15. 1/2 teaspoon of salt
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil on a large pan, then add cumin and fry for 5 seconds. Add sliced onion and fry untill the onion become slightly brown.
  2. Add all the spice powders and chopped tomato and mix well.
  3. Add all the vegetables into the mixture and fry for 5 minutes.
  4. Add rice and salt. Fry all the ingredients together for about 4 more minutes. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves if you have some.
  5. Serve hot.
Blue Bell Recipes http://www.bluebellrecipes.com/

HOME MADE ENERGY BARS

home_made_energy_bar

DESSERTS | November 23, 2016 | By

There is no doubt that home-made energy bars are much better than store bought ones. This is because the home made bars are less sweet, cheaper, fresher and tastier. They can be eaten with morning or afternoon tea, after a workout, or while travelling. They also go well as an after school snack for kids. I sometimes include one as a surprise snack in my son’s lunch box. This is a vegan friendly bar which anybody can prepare in a short time.

home_made_energy_bar

home_made_energy_bars

Home Made Energy Bars
A delicious protein loaded energy bars!!!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 ½ cups of dates, deseeded
  2. ½ cup of dark raisins
  3. 3 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds
  4. ½ cup of dry shredded coconut
  5. ½ cup of walnuts
Instructions
  1. Put the pumpkin seeds, shredded coconuts and walnuts in a food processor and grind them until they turn into a rough powder. Add raisins and dates, then blend all the ingredients together in the food processor until everything combines and sticks together.
  2. Remove the mixture with your hand or a spatula, placing it all on a rectangular or square baking pan. Press down on the mixture with your hand or the spatula to create a smooth surface.
  3. Place it in the freeze for 1 hr.
  4. Then cut the bar into your desired shape.
Blue Bell Recipes http://www.bluebellrecipes.com/

KIDNEYBEAN AND POTATO CURRY

kidneybean_potato_curry

MEALS | November 12, 2016 | By

This dish is made up of kidney beans and potatoes, cooked in spicy tomato sauce. It can be cooked any time of the year and can be eaten with cumin rice or plain rice, or any kind of bread. This is an aromatic dish that is cooked with beautiful Indian spices. It is a very common vegetarian dish in India, a favourite among many and a real crowd pleaser at functions.

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Adding potatoes to this dish is entirely optional. My family like potato chunks with kidney beans, so I usually include potatoes. I use olive oil in this recipe, but you can also use vegetable oil, butter or ghee (Indian clarified butter) instead of olive oil.

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If you are using fresh kidney beans, it is best to soak them overnight and then cook them in the pressure cooker, in preparation for this dish. Alternatively, you can use canned red kidney beans.

kidneybean_potato_curry

Kidneybean And Potato Curry
Serves 3
A soft and smooth curry, kidneybean and potato cooked with spiced tomato gravy!!!
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Cook Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 ½ cups of boiled red kidney beans
  2. 2 large boiled potatoes cut into big cubes
  3. 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  4. 1 bay leaf
  5. 1 teaspoon of cumin seed
  6. 1 large onion, finely chopped
  7. 1 teaspoon of garlic paste
  8. 1 teaspoon of ginger paste
  9. 1 cup of tomato puree
  10. 1 teaspoon of red chilli powder (vary the amount according to your taste)
  11. 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  12. 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
  13. ½ teaspoon of cumin powder
  14. 1 teaspoon of garam masala
  15. 1 teaspoon of rajma masala (optional)
  16. 1 serving spoon of kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves)- (optional)
  17. 1 ½ cups of water
  18. 1 teaspoon of salt
  19. 2 serving spoons of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the bay leaf, cumin seeds, and chopped onion. Fry the mixture until the onions become slightly red.
  2. Add ginger and garlic paste, tomato puree and all the ground spices. Cook until the tomato puree is no longer raw. Stir often.
  3. Add boiled kidney beans, chopped potatoes, salt and water. Mix well and bring the mixture to a boil. Mash some of the kidney beans to bring about a nice texture. Cook for another 5 minutes, then turn the flame off. About one minute before turning off the flame, add half of the chopped coriander leaves and mix well. Keep the remainder of the coriander leaves for garnishing the curry at the very end.
  4. Serve with rice or any kind of bread.
Blue Bell Recipes http://www.bluebellrecipes.com/

SHALLOTS

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ONION SHOOTS

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onion shoots

STRAWBERRY JAM STUFFED SOFT BUNS

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BREAKFAST | November 6, 2016 | By

Having a fresh strawberry jam stuffed bun in the morning or evening, along with a warm glass of milk or a hot cup of tea or coffee, always brings back my energy to run around and work. I made these buns without butter. But you can use butter instead of vegetable oil if you like. You can also use jams of any other flavour. I also make these same buns without adding strawberry jam. So you can also make them as plain buns. This recipe is very simple with easily available ingredients.

strawberry_jam_stuffed_buns

strawberry_jam_stuffed_buns

strawberry_jam_stuffed_buns

Strawberry Jam Stuffed Buns
Simple and delicious strawberry jam stuffed buns!!!
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Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 ½ cup of whole wheat flour
  2. 1 ½ cup of plain flour
  3. 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil (or 3 tablespoons of butter if you prefer)
  4. 2 teaspoons of yeast
  5. 1 teaspoon of sugar
  6. ½ teaspoon of salt
  7. 1 cup of warm water
  8. 6 teaspoons of strawberry jam
Instructions
  1. Pour the luke warm water in a mixing bowl. Add yeast and sugar. Mix well, then let the mixture sit for 10 minutes until the yeast activates. The term “yeast activates” means that a froth forms on top of the yeast and bubbles begin to form.
  2. Add flour, salt and vegetable oil (you can use butter instead of vegetable oil if you prefer). Mix well. At this point, you have made your dough. Now knead the dough. If you have used the correct mixture that I have advised in the ingredients section, kneading the dough will make it soft and sticky. You can knead the dough with hand or in a stand mixture.
  3. Grease a bowl with cooking oil or butter. Place the dough in the greased bowl and leave it in a warm spot to rise till doubled in size. If you live in a hot climate, just leave it on the bench. If you live in a cold climate, leave it inside the oven with a glass of boiled water next to it. But do not turn the oven on. After 45 minutes, the mixture should double in size.
  4. Then place the dough on a surface that has had flour lightly sprinkled on it. Divide the dough into 6 equal parts. You can divide it into more parts if you want your buns smaller, but I’ve only ever divided it into six equal parts with this particular mixture. So if you divide it into more parts, it may or may not turn out as good. Try if you want, but I can’t make any guarantees.
  5. Although you’ve divided the dough into equal parts, it is not yet in shape. In order to obtain the proper shape, grab each piece and flatten it with your hand. Put a teaspoon of jam in the centre and fold the dough around the jam several times until the jam is sealed inside the dough. Then roll the dough into the shape of a sphere. Repeat this step with every piece of the dough. If you don’t want to add jam, just roll each piece into the shape of a sphere. The sphere shaped dough must have a smooth surface. Do not try to put more than one tablespoon of jam into each piece of dough. If you do that, the jam will not be trapped inside the dough and will squeeze out when you try to seal it inside the dough.
  6. Place the pieces of dough in a baking tray that has been lightly greased with cooking oil or butter. Brush every piece with a little cooking oil or melted butter. Leave the tray in a warm place for another 30 minutes. This will make the dough expand to the proper size.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place the tray in the oven on the middle rack. Let the buns bake for about 25 minutes, or until they become golden light brown.
  8. Let the buns cool down, then serve with tea or any other drink you like.
Blue Bell Recipes http://www.bluebellrecipes.com/

Mixed Spring Salad

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Salad | October 22, 2016 | By

 

For many people, a meal without salad is not a complete meal. When I cook a rice dish along with curry, a simple salad makes the meal just perfect. I often make a variety of salads at home. This particular salad is simple and tasty. I sometimes even serve it as an afternoon snack for my family.

mixed_spring_salad

Mixed Spring Salad
Serves 4
A refreshing, little tangy mixed spring salad!!!
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Cook Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. ½ cup of roughly torn curly parsley
  2. 5-6 leaves of mint leaves, roughly torn
  3. 1 large boiled potato, cut into cubes
  4. ½ cup of boiled chickpeas
  5. 1 onion, sliced
  6. 1 large tomato, de-seeded, chopped or thinly sliced
  7. ½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  8. ½ teaspoon red chilli flakes (optional)
  9. 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  10. 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  11. ½ teaspoon of salt
Instructions
  1. Place chickpeas, potato cubes, onion, tomato, parsley and mint in a large salad bowl and mix well.
  2. Place the ground black pepper, chilli flakes, olive oil, lemon juice and salt inside a smaller bowl. Mix well by whisking with a fork or spoon. This mixture is the dressing. Pour the dressing onto the salad mixture inside the larger bowl and gently mix it all together with a spoon. Alternatively, you can also mix everything together by tossing the mixture inside the bowl. Once that is done, serve immediately.
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Spring at Georgetown, Tasmania

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Spaghetti With Fresh Tomato Sauce

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MEALS | October 16, 2016 | By

Adding two or three pasta dishes to your weekly menu is a good way to bring delicious, satisfying meals onto the table that don’t take a lot of time and work. I always have a few varieties of dried pasta in my pantry, because pasta is convenient, versatile and economical. Whenever I make pasta, I mostly use spaghetti, because it is my family’s preference.

There are many ways of cooking pasta. You can use many different ingredients to create a wide range of dishes to suite all tastes. I have found that fresh tomato sauces that have a smooth texture are the best choice for preparing spaghetti. This a favourite dish for most kids!

spaghetti_fresh_tomato_sauce

 

Spaghetti With Fresh Tomato Sauce
Serves 3
A sipmle and delicious spaghetti dish!!!
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Cook Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 250gm spaghetti
  2. 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  3. 1 large onion, chopped
  4. 4 medium size firm tomatoes, chopped
  5. 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  6. 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  7. 2-3 pinches of freshly ground black pepper
  8. ½ red chilli flakes (optional)
  9. ½ teaspoon of salt
  10. 1 serving spoon of shredded cheese for garnish (optional)
  11. 5-6 fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Fry the chopped onions in the oil until they become soft and tender.
  2. Add chopped garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, black pepper, chilli flakes and salt. Cook and stir regularly on a low flame until the tomatoes becomes soft, smooth and mushy.
  3. Meanwhile, boil some water in a pot and add salt. Then add the spaghetti and cook until it becomes soft and al dente. Drain the spaghetti in a strainer to get rid of the water.
  4. Add the spaghetti, along with fresh basil leaves, into the mixture in the saucepan and mix well. Let the mixture cook for a few minutes. Then pour the mixture into a bowl or a serving dish, garnish with shredded cheese and serve hot.
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