Saturday, December 15, 2007

Serbian Koljivo (Zito)

I had this dessert in a party in Hawaii perpared by a Serbian student.. Looked and tasted great... So I decided to google it and found only one recipe on Kollyva website


1/2 c. honey (or more to taste)


1 tsp. vanilla

3 c. clean, uncooked wheat

2 c. ground walnuts or pecans


1. Soak clean wheat in saucepan covered with cold water overnight.

2. Next day: Drain water, fill pan again to cover wheat, then bring to boil.

3. Lower heat and cook 45 minutes to 1 hour, adding water when needed.

4. Drain in colander.

5. Fill saucepan with cold water again, adding wheat, and bring to another boil.

6. Lower heat; simmer for about 1 hour or until done.

7. Drain in colander again.

8. Place wheat in large bowl; add honey, vanilla and walnuts; mix thoroughly.

9. Decorate the top in the shape of a cross using Jerusalem almonds or regular almonds or pecan or walnut halves.

(Wheat is used in the Serbian Orthodox Church for the memorial service (Parastos) honoring the dead.)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Cream Cheese Apple Tart from Joy of Baking



1 cup (140 grams) all-purpose flour

1/3 cup (35 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


One 8-ounce (227 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon

4 cups (500 ml) Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch (.6 cm) slices (about 3-4 large apples)

1/3 cup (35 grams) sliced almonds


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Grease (or spray with Pam) a 9 inch (22 cm) springform pan.

CRUST: In the bowl of your food processor place the flour and sugar. Pulse to blend together. Add butter and pulse until dough just begins to come together. Pat the dough onto the bottom and one inch (2.5 cm) up the sides of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator while you make the filling.

FILLING: In a food processor process the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and mix well. Blend in the egg and vanilla extract and process until smooth. Remove the crust from the fridge and pour in the filling. Return to refrigerator while you prepare the topping.

TOPPING: Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl. Toss the sliced apples in the sugar mixture. Spoon the apples evenly over the cream cheese layer and sprinkle with almonds. Place the springform pan on a larger baking sheet to catch the drips.

Bake at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown (apples are soft when pierced with a fork), and filling is almost set. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar and serve at room temperature. Leftovers can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated.

Source: Joy of Baking

Easy Strawberry Jam from All Recipes

This recipe's claim to fame was the fact that it does not require Pectin..


2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled
4 cups white sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice

In a wide bowl, crush strawberries in batches until you have 4 cups of mashed berry. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice.

Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F (105 degrees C). (Takes about 35 minutes).

Transfer to hot sterile jars, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch headspace, and seal. Process any unsealed jars in a water bath. If the jam is going to be eaten right away, don't bother with processing, and just refrigerate.

Source: All recipes

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Yin and Yang Salad with Peanut-Sesame Dressing Recipe

This seems like a pretty interesting recipe from cookbook101.. The recipe is too long, hence I am just pasting the link:

Yin and Yang Salad

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Rich Yogurt Bread

Makes: 2 loaves

8 to 8 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (or use half whole-wheat flour)
2 package active dry yeast
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1 2/ cups plain yogurt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
4 eggs

In a large bowl, whisk together 3 cups of the flour with the yeast, sugar, salt, and soda. heat the yogurt, water, and butter in a saucepan over low heat until the butter melts; the mixture should not be allowed to simmer. Add the yogurt mixture to the flour mixture and blend well. Add the eggs, mix well, and then beat vigorously by had or using the stiff hook of an electric mixer at medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough, approximately 5 cups.

Knead the dough on a floured board (or work it in an electric mixer with a dough hook) until it is smooth and elastic - about 5 to 10 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl and turn the dough over to oil the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk.

Punch down the dough and divide it in half. At this point you may wish to add cut-up dried fruits, cinnamon, or nuts. Form 2 loaves and place each in a well-oiled 8x4-inch loaf pan, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and bake the loaves for 25 to 30 minutes, until bread is a rich golden brown. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

Recipe from: Stonyfield Farm Yogurt Cookbook

Reader comment: This is an easy, rich-tasting bread that is especially delicious right out of the oven with honey or preserves. My kids clamor for it. The recipe is very versatile, and since it makes two loaves, it's easy to experiment with it, though we love it as is. Add dried fruits, cinnamon, or nuts to the dough, or roll it up with a cinnamon-sugar filling. Or make it into rolls with a cream-cheese filling - delicious! - Carol Forcum - Marion, Illinois

Curried Wheat Bread


1 tbsp active dry yeast
2 1/2 tsp curry powder
pinch turmeric
1/2 cup water, warm (100-110F)
3/4 cup milk, warm (skim/low fat/whole)
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 - 2 1/4 cups bread flour (not all purpose)


In a large mixing bowl, combine active dry yeast, curry powder, turmeric, water, milk and honey. Stir and let stand for about 5 minutes, until yeast is slightly foamy. Stir in vegetable oil, salt, whole wheat flour and 1 1/2 cups bread flour. Gradually mix in remaining bread flour until dough comes together and pulls smoothly away from the sides of the mixing bowl. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes (This can all be done in a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, too). Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and deflate slightly. Shape into an oblong/rectangular loaf, about twice as long as it is wide. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, dust with some flour and cover with a clean dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F.
When loaf has risen, bake for 30-35 minutes, until bread is golden and an instant read thermometer inserted into the bottom of the loaf reads about 200F (loaf will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom).
Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Makes 1 loaf.

Source: Baking Bites

Jamaican and Lemon Ginger Beer

Jamaican Ginger Beer

* 1 pound whole fresh ginger
* 8 tablespoons of brown sugar
* 2 1/2 quarts water
* Crushed ice

Peel and chop ginger. Combine with water and puree in a blender. Let mixture sit (covered) at room temperature for 24 hours. Strain out solids and pulp, and stir in sugar until dissolved. Serve over crushed ice.

Lemon Ginger Beer

* 3/4 cup whole fresh ginger
* 3/4 cup honey
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 1/3 cup lemon juice
* 2 cups hot water
* 2 tbs lemon zest
* 4 cups sparkling water

Peel and chop ginger. In a blender or food processor, puree the ginger along with the hot water, honey, sugar and lemon juice. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate (covered) for at least 24 hours (or up to 5 days if you want it stronger). Strain, and serve mixed with sparkling water over ice.

Source: Suite 101

Green Onion Yogurt Bread

1 1/4 cups water, warm and divided (110F)
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup plain yogurt (any variety)
2 1/2 tsp salt
3-3 1/2 cups ap flour
1/2 cup chopped green onions (scallions)


In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup water with yeast and sugar. Stir and let stand for 5-10 minutes, until foamy. Add remaining water, yogurt, salt and 2 cups of flour. Stir until smooth. Add onions, followed by remaing flour 1-2 tbsp at a time, mixing until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 3 minutes. Place in a lightly oiled bowl to rise for about 1 ½ hours, covered with plastic wrap, until doubled.
Gently turn dough out onto a floured surface. Flatten slightly, then shape into an oblong loaf, 11-12 inches long. Place on a floured baking sheet, cover with a clean dish towel and let rise for about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400F.
Slash loaf with 3 or 4 diagonal cuts.
Bake at 400F for 35 minutes, until golden brown.
Let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Makes 1 loaf.

Source: Baking Sheet Blog

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sea Food Paella


1 to 1 1/2 pounds raw extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined*
Coarse salt
2 1/4 cups bottled clam juice or fish broth
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon crumbled thread saffron
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup uncooked Spanish or Arborio short-grain rice**
2 large tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons Spanish paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained (optional)
1 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)
Lemon wedges

* To add additional flavor, place the shells of the shrimp in a saucepan and cover with water. Simmer over low heat approximately 7 to 10 minutes. remove from heat and strain the broth; discarding shells. Add shrimp broth to clam broth to equal 2 1/4 cups.
** Don't wash the rice, as it needs its outer coating of starch.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle the shelled shrimp all over with coarse salt; let sit 15 minutes. NOTE: The salt helps bring back the briny taste of the sea that most seafood, especially frozen seafood, tends to lose.

HINT: Have all ingredients chopped and measured before beginning the final cooking of the paella. It is a quick cooking dish that must have all ingredients ready to go.

In a large pan over medium-heat heat, heat the clam juice or fish broth, wine, and saffron; reduce heat to low and keep broth hot (not boiling).

In a large paella pan or heavy cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil.

Add onion and red bell pepper; stir to blend and cook 3 minutes or until slightly softened.

Remove pan from heat. Stir in garlic and rice and continue stirring until garlic is fragrant and the rice is evenly coated with oil, about 1 minute. NOTE: Coating the rice with the oil before adding liquid helps keep the rice grains to stay separated.

Stir in tomatoes, paprika, and salt.
Stir in hot clam/saffron broth mixture.

Return to heat, reduce heat to low, and simmer (stirring and rotating the pan occasionally) mixture 10 to 15 minutes or until rice is no longer soupy but sufficient liquid remains to continue cooking the rice in the oven.

Stir in shrimp, artichokes hearts, and peas

Transfer paella pan to the oven and cook, uncovered, about 15 to 20 minutes until the rice is almost al dente and until almost all liquid is absorbed. NOTE: Never cook paella until the rice is completely done. If you do, it will be mushy by the time it reaches the table. Remove from the oven when the rice grains are no longer hard but still have more bite than you want and a crust forms around the edge of the pan.

Remove from oven, cover with aluminum foil, and let sit 5 to 10 minutes or until the rice is cooked to taste. NOTE: Paella must rest after being removed from the oven, during which time the final cooking takes place.

To serve, sprinkle with chopped parsley and arrange lemon wedges around the top of the paella. Serve immediately. To eat, sprinkle lemon juice over paella.

NOTE: Always bring the paella to the table in its pan for your guests to admire before serving. Traditionally, paella is eaten communally with everyone sitting around the pan and taking the rice directly from the pan with a spoon. Although you are not likely to serve it this way, do leave the paella pan at the center of the table so your family or guests can help themselves to more.

Makes 4 servings.

Hints and Tips:

If the paella is almost al dente and ready to be removed from the oven, but still seems to have liquid, return it to the top of the stove over high heat. Without stirring, heat until the liquid has evaporated. Then remove from heat and cover the rice and let it rest before serving.

If the paella seems dry before the rice is almost al dente, sprinkle with a few tablespoons of water and allow to cook in the oven 2 to 3 minutes longer. Then remove from oven and cover the rice and let it rest before serving.

From What's cooking

Comment of blogger: I added about a pound of clams. To cook the clams I just stir fried them with a clove of garlic in 1 tbs olive oil and added 2 cups of water.. in 10 minutes they were ready (Open).. Save the clam water for the paella!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancake)

Tastes great.. Easy to make and looks nice.. It is not necessary to have all the ingredients listed to make it....The word means "bake to your taste"..

1/2 lb cabbage
1 carrot
1 leek
1/2 green pepper
1/4 lb tofu, drained
vegetable oil
3 eggs
1/3 cup flour (white or whole wheat)
1/2 cup dashi (soup made with dried fish) [skip it if you don't know how to make it]
2 tsp light soy sauce

sweetened soy sauce
dried nori seaweed, toasted and crumbled
toasted white or black sesame seeds
red pickled ginger


Wash trim and shred the vegetables and pat dry with paper towels. Cut the tofu into 1/2 inch cubes. Prepare the garnishes. Over low heat brush a heavy pan with oil. Combine the vegetables and tofu with eggs, flour, dashi and soy sauce in a bowl and pour half the mixture into the frying pan. Smooth and sread it with a pancake turner. Cook for 5 minutes or until browned, carefully flip and cook this side too. Repeat for the rest of the mixture.

Serve with garnish.

Any firm vegetables like corn, peas, green beans are delicious in this pancake.

Source: Downer, Lesley. 1986. Japanese Vegetarian Cooking. Pantheon Books New York

Friday, November 2, 2007

Tofu Sate

Indonesian Tofu Sate (serves 5)

3 cloves chopped garlic
2 teaspoons honey
3 teaspoons vinegar
3 tablespoons Asian Family tamari
5 tablespoons peanut butter
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons oil
1 cautious pinch of cayenne
1-1/2 teaspoons shredded ginger root
1-1/2 lb. tofu (we often use tetra pack tofu)

Step 1: Slice tofu 1/2 inch thick

Step 2: Mix together remaining ingredients into a marinade. Spread a thin layer ofmarinade into a frying pan. Lay in tofu and cover with the remaining sauce.Cover with a lid or tin foil and let it stand for as long as possible (e.g.. One hour).

Step 3: Slowly cook the sate to mimic an oven. It will take about 20 minutes or more depending on heat. Be careful to add more liquid if needed. Garnish and enjoy!

Source: Wave Length Magazine, Dec/Jan 2000

Friday, May 11, 2007

Strawberries and creamcheese

well, i have some cream cheese which needs to be used soon and a pound of strawberries, which should be used soon as well.. so i looked for a recipe which could use both.. and found several recipes for strawberry cheese cake.. the choices are endless, especially on

Let's see what I do on Saturday.....

Monday, May 7, 2007

Pana Cotta

When I had this delicious Italian dessert at the Town Restaurant, in Honolulu, I thought this is so amazing, it must be really hard to make it at home.. It turns out that I was totally wrong.. it is one of the simplest desserts to make at home, unlike Tiramisu which I recommend only if you have lots of time and patience!!

Here is the recipe, which I adapted from recpiezaar...


1 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon (one sachet) unflavored gelatin

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/3 cup honey (less if you don't like it too sweet)

few drops of vanilla essence

Berries to serve


Place the milk in a pan and sprinkle the gelatin over. Let stand for 3 to 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.

Stir the mixture over medium heat just until the gelatin dissolves but the milk does not boil, about 5 minutes.

Add the cream, honey, and vanilla. Stir until the sugar dissolves, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Pour into 6 wine glasses(or any other glasses that you like) so that they are 1/2 full. Cool slightly. Refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours.

Serve with berries on top, or with raspberry/strawberry sauce and some fresh berries...

To make the raspberry sauce: Puree 12 ounces fresh/thawed raspberries, 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons lemon juice in a blender until smooth and strain. Adjust taste by adding more sugar or lemon juice.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Costa Rican Gallo Pinto

First had this with Cedar and Brian who learnt this recipe during their travel in South America. It is simple, delicious, looks nice and is healthy (and vegetarian!)..

The basic trick is to combine the right amont of rice and beans and mix with tomatoes, shallots, cilantro etc. The combinition of these ingredients go perfectly well to produce a wonderful dish. Gallo pinto means spotted rooster and it is obvoius why this recipe is named this as the combinition of the red and green of the vegetables here and there with the background of dark purple of the grains... makes it visually very appealing.

I would not go in details of how Cedar prepared this, becauese I did not take notes while she made it.. I kind of know how to make it, if I have to make it.. But here is a nice recipe by a fellow blogger Tico Pinto.

Here is an edited version of a recipe from recipezaar:

Gallo Pinto (Costa Rican Rice and Beans)

Time to make 15 min 5 min prep(serves 6)


2 tablespoons canola oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups cooked white rice

2 cups cooked black beans, (I soaked mine overnight and pressure cooked for few minutes)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 tomato (finely chopped)

salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

fresh cilantro (optional)

sliced green onions (optional)


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until it just begins to soften and turns color. Add garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until onion is golden.

Add spices and stir into onion and garlic. Next, add the beans and then the rice.

Combine the rice and beans evenly and cook until mixture is heated through.

Add tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with some chopped cilantro or green onions.

Serve hot with avocado and feta cheese.... For breakfast you can add a fried egg on the side as well.

Couscous the wonderful pasta

I never realized couscous is not only versatile, easy and fast to prepare but also cheap(er) and delicious.. After reading tons of recipes on couscous, I realized that I can just play with ideas, tastes and see what I have to prepare this... There are basically very few rules and very few ways that you can really mess up couscous.. In short, I would recommend keeping some couscous handy for a quick meal.

My couscous recipe


1 shallot (finely chopped)
1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
1 tbs olive oil
1/4th of a bell pepper (cut into small pieces, 3/4 cm cubes)
2 tbs cashew nuts
2 tbs raisins
1/2 cup couscous
3/4 cup water (the rule is to keep a ratio of 1 to 1.5) [I added a bit more]
2 black olives
dash of lime
1/4 tomato (roma), chopped


Fry the shallot and garlic till slightly golden, add bell pepper and continue to stir. Add the nuts and raisin. After 2 mins add the water and let it boil. Add the couscous, stir, and immediately remove from heat. Let it sit for 7-10 mins. Don't peek. After 7 minutes, fluff with a fork and add tomatoes, lime and olive and serve.

Jamu, the Indonesian magical drink

Well this drink was made by my East Timorese friend, who has a aunt who had lived in Indonesia sometime and learnt all kinds of esoteric stuff for health and beauty from there. Jamu according to my internet research is a herbal health drink which has been used for thousands of years to maintain youth and vitality. Originally these recipes were strictly guarded to be used for ladies of royal families only and were passed on from generation to generation by word of mouth. But, now they are popular drinks and are commercially produced for mass consumption.

There are several kinds of JAMUs for different purposes. This Jamu is supposed to be good for women's health, especially before periods... it cleanses the system and they say that it stops fat accumulation in your body....

unfortunately there are fewer resources in English on the net on Jamu, but I found some. One is this blog by an Indonesian which discusses the aphrodisiac properties of these herbal drinks..

Jamu with Tamarind, Ginger and Turmeric

1 ounce fresh turmeric root
1 ounce fresh ginger root
1/2 ounce tamarind
brown sugar to taste
2 litres of water

Wash, peel, and chop the turmeric and ginger. Put the first three ingredients with water in a pan and cook for 10 -15 minutes after the water boils. Add sugar and salt to taste.
You can serve it hot or cold with ice cubes.

Carrot, Banana, Chocolate, Cashew Cake

Well, banana cake is one the easiest cakes to make... I learnt this when I saw my health crazy and/or vegan friends making this cake with soft tofu, just milk/yogurt and usually no butter and eggs.. And, one of them just did not use any specific measures and came up with really tasty cakes.. But, anyway, I do use some 'recipe' rules so that I don't mess my egg/oil/flour ratio.
Here is one recipe that I saw on that looked simple enough to be the subject of my improvisation..

This is MY version of the original - Recipe - Banana Carrot Cake.


1/2 stick of butter

1/3 c. honey

2 whole eggs

1/2 cup grated carrots

1/2 cup mixture of cashews, chocolate chips, raisins, dessicated coconut

2/3 cup mashed bananas

1 1/2 cups sifted flour (I cup all purpose and half a cup of wholewheat)

1 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. of cinnamon powder

1/4 cup of yogurt

1/2 cup of milk


Mix ingredients in order given and pour into a loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees until center springs back when touched (about an 45 mins). Cool down the cake before serving.

This freezes well.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Tofu Poke

This is a very simple and delicious recipe.. In addition to these qualities, it is healthy (vegan), looks great and is affordable..

This is from Tasty and Meatless Recipes.


1 block tofu, firm
1 red onion, diced
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Hawaiian sea salt
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 cup ogo seaweed

Remove the tofu from its container and drain the water. Cut into bite sized cubes and place in a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss lightly so as not to smash the tofu cubes. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour until all the flavors blend.

Serves 4

Note: I am not sure how this will turn out but I am going to try this to finish up the leftover tofu..

OK.. Here is my version..

Take one block (about a pound) of Extra Firm Tofu.. Remove all the water and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.... Keep the cubes in a medium (glass) bowl.. Now grate a med. size carrot, finely chop 1/8th of a small purple cabbage, 1 sprig of cilantro, 1 green onion, 1 small shallot, if desired 1/5th of a red/green bell pepper.... Toss all these ingredients on top of tofu cubes..
Prepare the dressing.. Mix ~3 teaspoons of sesame oil, ~1 teaspoon vinegar, ~2 teaspoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sugar, pinch of salt, 1 clove garlic (finely chopped).. Beat these ingredients with a fork to blend well... Taste the sauce and adjust it accordingly.... drizzle the sauce over the tofu/veggies mixture.. Then roast 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds and 3 dried red chillies on stove (without oil).. Crush the chillies.. Sprinkle these two ingredients on top of everything.. Now toss gently to mix every thing well... Add some (oven) roasted peanuts (slightly crushed) for extra crunchy flavor.

The combination of things should look pretty and tasty... If they don't use your judgement to add some more ingredients, to balance the taste/looks...

Thai Pan Fried Fish


200g/ 6 oz fish (ie Tilapia) per person (fillets or steaks)

juice of 1 lime

1 tbsp Thai fish sauce

1 tsp sugar or honey

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 small red chillies, seeded and chopped

1 stalk of lemon grass, shredded

3 lime leaves, shredded

1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and shredded

2 tbsp groundnut oil

soy sauce

rice wine


Mix the lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, garlic, chopped chillies, lemon grass, lime leaves and ginger. Warm the oil in a shallow pan. When it sizzles add the spice mixture and the fish. Cook for 1 - 2 mins until the fish is golden then turn and cook on the other side. Remove the fish from the pan, Add three shakes of soy sauce and four shakes of rice wine. Bubble for a minute then pour over the fish. Serve hot with rice and greens.

Variations: Mix spice paste in a mortar or blender, spread it on the fish and grill. Or marinate fish in spice paste + soy for 5-10 minutes, then fry in 1-2 tbsp oil till golden. Cook the marinade separately in 1 tbsp oil, adding a handful of mushrooms. Pour over the fish and serve.

Note: Instead of frying I baked the fish with all the spices for half an hour (with foil).

Sunday, April 8, 2007


I tasted this dessert called tiramisu back in 2003, in Baltimore, prepared by a Johns Hopkins student. Since then I wanted to make this myself.. and yesterday, this dream came to fruition.... Though extremely delicious, but still the biggest problem with this dish is that it requires many uncommon ingredients, like mascarpone cheese and lady fingers etc., secondly it is expensive (and may cost the same as store bought one) and it takes long to prepare (if you follow all the instructions in the recipes!!).

It took me a while to collect all the ingredients, because I could not find everything in one place.. But nevertheless, after going through the whole process and reading at least 20-30 tiramisu recipes (out of hundreds), I realized that it is best to keep it simple and make it for a bunch of friends, because I am sure it usually turns out tasting good and secondly you don't feel bad spending all that money on these expensive ingredients...

Here is the recipe I used from the Food Network (with some modifications)

Chocolate Tiramisu

6 ounces container mascarpone cheese (I used 8 oz because that is the standard size)

2/3 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup sugar

Chocolate Zabaglione, recipe follows

2 1/2 cups espresso coffee, warmed (I used 1/2 cup and cold)

24 crisp ladyfinger cookies (recommended: Savoiardi) (I could not get crispy ones, so I decided to use the regular)

Unsweetened cocoa powder, for garnish (I did not use)

Dark chocolate shavings, for garnish (I did not use)


Place the mascarpone cheese in a large bowl and set aside. With an electric mixer (I don't have one, so I used a hand whisk), beat the cream and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone. Then fold in the chilled Chocolate Zabaglione. Cover and refrigerate (I did not refrigerate as I did not want to waste more time).


Whisk the warmed espresso and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar in another medium bowl until blended. Line a 9 1/4 by 5 by 2 3/4-inch metal loaf pan with plastic wrap, allowing the plastic to extend over the sides. Working with 1 cookie at a time, dip 8 cookies into the espresso, and arrange in a single layer side by side over the bottom of the prepared pan.

Spoon 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture over the cookies to cover. Repeat dipping 8 of the cookies in the espresso and layering the cookies and remaining mascarpone mixture 2 more times. Dip the remaining 8 cookies in the espresso and arrange side by side atop the tiramisu. Press lightly to compact slightly (the last layer will extend above the pan sides). Cover the tiramisu with plastic and refrigerate at least 6 hours.

Unwrap the plastic from atop the tiramisu. Invert the tiramisu onto a platter. Remove the plastic. Sift the cocoa over the tiramisu, and with a vegetable peeler or sharp knife, make dark chocolate shavings and sprinkle over top.


(I ignored this part from ***. Instead, I lined a glass loaf pan (9.5" x 5 ") with 12 lady fingers and sprinked coffee and 2 caps of whiskey on top and spread half of the above cheese mixture and repeated the process once again).... Place the loaf pan in the fridge and chill at least 6 hours or overnight!!

Chocolate Zabaglione:

2 tablespoons whipping cream, or heavy cream

1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

4 large egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup dry Marsala (I did not have marsala, so I used 1/4th cup milk)

Pinch salt (I did not used salt)


Add cream and chocolate to a heavy small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the chocolate chips are melted and smooth. Set aside and keep warm.

Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, Marsala (milk), and salt in a large glass bowl until blended. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, but do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water. Whisk the egg mixture over the simmering water until it is thick and creamy, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Using a large rubber spatula, fold the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate to chill completely (I did not chill and still it worked out well).

Few more lessons:

It is not necessary to use mascorpone cheese, instead you can use just cream cheese or a mixture of cream cheese and ricotta..

Secondly, most Tiramisu requires rum or Marsala... It is not necessary to have these alcohol as they do not do anything to the taste... So, instead you can use apple/grape juice.. I had whiskey, so I used it on top of the lady fingers rather than in the zaboglone..

Thirdly, I wasted a long time in finding the lady fingers.. Don't even try to make them (I don't think they are worth it, if you are short of time)!! If you want you can make a sponge cake instead and it can easily serve the same purpose!!

For a wealth of recipes and information on this dessert visit:

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Granola aka muesli

did not know that yohei would love this so much.... hence, i ended up making it twice.. and depending on how things work out, i may end up making this with improvisations... here is roughly what i used:

3 cups of rolled oats (regular)
1/2 to 1 cup oat bran (or wheat bran or wheatgerm)
1/2 cup shredded dessicated coconut
1 cup nuts (ie almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds etc.)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbs butter/oil
1//4 cup honey/maple syrup (can use brown sugar, but need to add some more oil or some juice for balance of liquid)
1 cup raisins/apricots (or dry papaya/pineapple)

preheat oven to 300 degree F. Mix the first four ingredients together. Mix butter/oil and honey separately and then mix with the dry ingredients. I use hands to mix them together, so that all the ingredients are covered in some oil and sweetness. Don't put the raisin or the other dry fruits noted at the end. Now, place the mixture in a well greased tray and bake for 25-30 mins in the middle rack...During the baking process, check every 10 minutes and stir, so that all the ingredients get equally cooked. I added the raisins 5 mins before the baking was over... And some more shredded coconut... Cool down the mixture and store in a airtight container... Would keep for several weeks...

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Sprouting in Hale Manoa

Hawaii is great for sprouting as the weather is always nice.. niether too cold/warm! So far sprouted mung beans, alfalfa, sandwhich mixture from Down to earth store, lentils etc. the easiest and the most versatitel is the mung beans...

Links on sprouting methods and sprout recipes:

Basics of Sprouting

  1. Obtain seed for sprouting. Store in bug-proof containers, away from extreme heat/cold. Seed should be viable, and, to extent possible, free of chemicals.
  2. Basic steps in sprouting are:
    • measure out appropriate amount of seed, visually inspect and remove stones, sticks, weed seed, broken seeds, etc.
    • rinse seed (if seed is small and clean, can usually skip this rinse)
    • soak seed in water for appropriate time
    • rinse soaked seed, put in sprouting environment for appropriate time
    • service seeds (rinse) in sprouting environment as needed
    • when ready, rinse seeds. Store in refrigerator, in sprouting environment or in other suitable container until ready to use. If not used within 12 hours, seeds should be serviced (rinsed) every 24 hours in refrigerator. Best to eat as soon as possible, as freshness is what makes sprouts special!

Here is useful chart that I copied from the internet:


Soaking Time (hrs):

Sprouting Time (days):



adzuki beans



1 cup

2-3 cups




3 tbsp.

3 cups




_ cu

1 cup

most beans



1 cup

3-4 cups




1 cup

2-4 cups




1 cup

3 cups




1 cup

2 cups

green peas



1 cup

2 cups




1 cup

3-4 cups




1 cup

1 _ cups

mung beans



1 cup

3-4 cups

most nuts *



1 cup

1 _ cups




1 tbsp.

1 cup




1 cup

1 _ cups




1 cup

2 _ cups




1 cup

1 _ cups




1 cup

2 _ cups

sesame seeds



1 cup

1 _ cups

sunflower seeds



1 cup

1 _ cups




1 cup

2 _ cups

* To sprout nuts you should soak them over night in water before you sprout them as any other seed. Nuts only sprout if they have definitely not been heated, they have to be raw to be successful.

Eating in February

Yes i did cook and ate in February.. In fact, there were many new things that I tried.. The recipes will take some time to be posted.. But let me put the names..
Tiramisu (half way)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Shorshe Ilish or Hilsa Fish with Mustard

Today I prepared this popular bengali dish 'shorshe ilish'... with Saba (mackeral) as hilsa is not available in hawaii!!

It is very simple and fast. Just take ~1 pound/ 500 grams of mackeral or hilsa fish and cut into medium size pieces (1 inch wide)... rub a bit of salt and turmeric on them after washing and set aside... now take 2 tsp of light brown (off white) mustard seeds and a little bit of salt and 1-2 green chillies and grind them to a fine paste, adding water during the process... Chop a large white onion and saute lightly in 1 tbs olive oil.. now place the fish pieces on onions (no need to stir).... Mix the mustard paste with 1/2 cup of water and drizzle on top of the fish... Sprinkle chopped green onions (at least 2-3).. Now cover the pan and cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes, covered.... Turn over the fish pieces, so that both sides get cooked.. Cook on medium/slow heat (make sure that it does not stick to the bottom)... There will be a faint aroma or mustard and the fish will look cooked, the onions slightly turned yellow because of the turmeric in the fish!! Check for salt, and if needed add more!! If you like 'hot' food you can add red chilli powder as well, or increase the number of chillies in the mustard paste.

Remove from heat and garnish with lots of chopped coriendar, lemon wedeges etc. Serve with basmati rice or thai red rice... goes very well with Daal (lentil soup)!!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Japanese Green Tea Icecream

Before coming to Hawaii I had never imagined that I would love the taste of tea leaves in something. Even though I am an avid tea drinker I make sure to strain the tea well to remove all traces of leaves, regardless of the type of tea. But, it seems it is a delicacy in Hawaii, borrowed from Japan to put powdered green tea in cream to make ice cream. It seems to be the most favourite flovor here in this island state of america, at least among the hale maonan residents. But, to tell you the truth when I had this for the first time in my life, in Bubbies, the famous ice cream parlour of our city, I just could not enjoy it.... But, then one day, many days later I had it again, with strawberries and thoroughly enjoyed it.. i thought it is perhaps the berries that has changed my taste buds.. Then i found this recipe in an asian cook book.. Looked simple enough and my friend got excited about it.. So, we bought the ingredients and made it in a rush just before the kitchen powers went out at 11 pm.... Next morning, something more happend to my taste.. I found this extremely delicious and it was superb with hot azuki bean paste....

This is really easy and i urge even novices to try this....

you just need heavy 2.5 cups whipping cream, 3 egg yolks, 1 to 2 tsp powdered sincha green tea (it gives the signature green color)!!, 2 tbs mirin, 2-3 tbs (or to taste) suger/brown sugar. Separate the eggs and keep the yolks is a small bowl. Put green tea powder in a medium size mixing bowl and mix with a table spoon of the heavy whipping cream. Heat the rest of the cream till it starts boiling.. slowly add that boiling cream to the tea mix. Whip the yolks with sugar and mirin and gradually add to the cream mix. Put this back to the pan and on medium heat cook this mixture, without allowing it to boil, to thicken slightly, enough to coat the back of a spoon.

cool this for a while and freeze. Serve with Azuki bean paste and fruits like strawberries, raspberries etc. I like it just with home made Azuki bean paste.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

pita disaster

made pita bread after consultation with wife of an Egyptian resident of our dorm. In fact, most of the cooks from 12th floor diamond head kitchen had asked for her pita bread recipe as it looks yummy whenever she takes out trays of hot pieces from the oven. Others followed and were equally successful. Somehow it did not work for me.. Don't know why, perhaps the yeast was not enough..

The recipe is to take 1 cup of flour, add 2 tsp of yeast, a bit salt and sugar and 2 tst of oil. Add water and make a dough. knead and set aside covered for 1 hour. It should rise!!! then make small pita breads using a rolling pin. Arrange them on a tray. Pre-heat oven on 400 (?) farenheit and bake the breads for 7 minutes on the bottom tray. Then place them on the top rack and change the heat to 450 (?) farenheit and turn the grill/broil on. Cook for 4 minutes. The pita bread will rise and slighly turn brown on the top. Stop the oven and take the tray(s) out. Your pita bread is ready. You can serve now. Or keep it in the fridge for later use.. it is versetile, do whatever you want to do with it.. Eat with curry, or cheese or falafel.. It works as long as it looks like a pita bread..

Monday, January 22, 2007

Aztec Elixir

i downloaded this recipe from somewhere from the net!! Have always been fascinated with Mexican recipes.. haven't tried this yet, but seems good!


Cocoa Powder Blend:

2 cups chocolate shavings, Scharffen Berger or Callebaut

1 cup cocoa powder, Scharffen Berger or Cacao Barry

2/3 cup sugar with 1 vanilla bean chopped and mixed into the sugar

1 tablespoon ancho chile pepper powder

1 tablespoon cornmeal

1 cup 2 percent or whole milk

1/3 cup heavy cream

2 cinnamon sticks

Whipped cream, as an accompaniment

Corn husks and ancho chile powder, as a garnish

In a medium bowl, combine the Cocoa Powder Blend ingredients well. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place.

In a saucepan, combine the milk and cream and heat until warm over medium high heat.

Once warm, turn heat down to low and add 3/4 cup cocoa powder blend. Blend with a whisk and steep with the cinnamon for 10 minutes.

After steeping, bring the mixture to a boil, and strain, to remove cinnamon stick and vanilla bean chunks. Pour into a blender and pulse, to add air and create a foamy head. Serve immediately in a bowl with whipped cream. Sprinkle with ancho chile powder and garnish corn husks.

Dahi Murgee by Feriyal

Feriyal submitted this recipe for the EWCPA cookbook.... have made this award winning recipe several times...


One chicken (with bones cut up into pieces) or pieces of boneless chicken-wash the chicken and drain- you can wipe it dry with a paper towel—

Half a box of plain yoghurt About 250 ml

Salt & pepper to taste (half a teaspoon each) (Pepper can be both black and red or either)

One teaspoon garlic powder/paste

One teaspoon ginger powder/paste

Two tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice

Cooking directions:

  1. Put the yoghurt, salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, and vinegar in a bowl and mix well together.
  2. Put the chicken into the mixture and mix well so that all the pieces are well covered with the paste.
  3. Leave for an hour or so—you can even cover the chicken mixture and leave it in the fridge overnight and then cook it the next day—in that case take it out of the fridge a couple of hours earlier so that it comes to room temperature.
  4. Heat the oven to 250 degrees centigrades—put the chicken mixture in a baking dish—or use aluminum disposal dishes or corning ware dish—cover with aluminum foil and cook for an hour and then remove the foil and let it cook till all the water has dried—check after 15 mins—if there is still some water let it cook longer—

Note: this can also be cooked in a pan on the stove—you can out the chicken mixture in a pan and cover it and cook on a low heat for 20 mins—remove the lid and check if there is a lot of water (from the yoghurt) then raise the heat and cook for a few minutes till the mixture is dry.

Dal Makhani prepared by Cedar for a fundraiser

Dal Makhani


Black Urad dal whole 100 gms.

Rajmah 25 gms.

Cumin seeds 1 tsp.

Chopped garlic 1 tbsp.

Chopped ginger 1 tbsp.

Garam masala powder 1 tsp.

Fresh cream ½ cup

Red chili powder 1 tbsp.

Butter 50 gms.

Chopped tomato ½ cup

Chopped onion 1 cup

Oil 1 tbsp.

Salt As per taste


1. Pick, wash and soak black urad whole and rajmah overnight in 5 cups of water.

2. Cook the soaked dal and rajmah in 5 cups of water with salt, red chili powder and chopped ginger till dal and rajmah are cooked/soft.

3. Heat oil and butter in a thick bottomed pan. Add cumin seeds, let it crackle. Add chopped onions and cook till golden brown in color.

4. Add chopped ginger, garlic and chopped tomatoes. Sauté till tomatoes are well mashed and fat starts to leave the masala. Add boiled dal and rajma to this. Correct seasoning.

5. Add Garam Masala Powder and simmer at very slow flame for 15 minutes

6. Add fresh cream and let it simmer for 5 minutes.

7. Serve hot with Naan or Paratha.

Tip: This recipe also tastes very good the following day after reheating properly. Chef Kapoor likes it cold too! With hot parathas.