Chicken in black bean sauce – Chinese style stir-fried chicken and vegetables in black bean sauce

nfd

This classic Chinese dish could be everyone’s favourite and the most sorted in the net.  No doubt that we all love Chinese food simply because of their unique mouthwatering flavours.   Let me tell you that the whole process of cooking this delicious dish is quite simple and less time consuming than you think it is, once you gather all the necessary ingredients.

The generous amount of vegetables used in this recipe make it much more healthier than a typical take – a – way that you order at a restaurant.  If you prefer more veggies, go for carrots, broccoli or even cauliflower,  which could add more flavours, nutrition value as well as quantity to this dish.

I recommend Amoy brand sauces for your Chinese dishes for its authentic Oriental taste and aroma.

Serve this with steaming basmati rice, jasmine or on a bed of noodles and try picking the pieces with a pair of chopsticks!

Enjoy!

What you need:

Chicken breast / thighs (cut into bite size pieces) 250 g
Bell peppers (yellow, green, red) 1/2 each
Black bean sauce 1 pkt / 3 tbsp
Lemon 1/2
Onion 1
Spring onions 1 bunch
Salt and pepper
Corn flour 1 tbsp
Garlic 2 cloves
 Red Chili – long 1 seeded cut in to stripes


Let’s make :

  • Heat oil in a wok.
  • Saute onions, add garlic and chili .
  • Add chicken and stir fry in high heat until chicken turn into light golden.
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper on chicken.
  • Squeeze the lemon on and keep frying.
  • Add peppers and spring onions.

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  • Add Black bean sauce to the wok.  Keep stir frying.

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  • Add cornflour to 1 tbsp of warm water and mix into a paste and add to the chicken.
  • Combine  everything properly and check the taste.
  • Take the wok out of the flame and let it rest for 5 mins to let all the juices blend nicely.
  • Serve hot!

 

 

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Vanilla cupcakes – Pretty rose cupcakes with butter vanilla icing

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  You will need the following items:

Self Raising flour 250 g
Margarine or butter softened 250 g
Caster sugar 250 g
Eggs 4
Milk 1/4 cup
Lemon juice and Vanilla essence 1  tsp each
Salt 3 pinches
Baking powder 1 tsp

Let’s make them: Set the oven to 180 C .

Oven temperature conversion  http://happyrecipes.co.uk/oven-temperature-conversion/

Beat it

  • Beat butter and sugar together until creamy, using an electric hand mixer.
  • Add eggs, one at a time. Make sure you beat well after each addition.
  • Add vanilla essence,  lemon juice, salt and beat for two rounds.

Flour it

  • Mix baking powder to flour and sieve onto the cake batter, holding the sieve well above it, allowing the air to escape.
  • Do not use the electric mixer at this point.  Fold the flour gently with a wooden spoon until everything turns into a creamy batter.
  • Add milk and mix well.

Fill it

  • Fill the paper cupcake cases 3/4  th with the batter, leaving space for cakes to rise.
  • Place the cases in the cupcake tray.

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Bake it

  • Pop it in to the oven.
  • Bake for 13-20 min. (Never open the oven door in the inital 10 mins)
  • Insert a skewer into the middle of the cake and if it comes clean,  your cake is ready.
  • Take the tray out of  the oven and let it rest for 10 mins.
  • Slowly remove the cupcakes from the tray and place them on a cooling rack.
  • Let the cakes cool off completely  !!!

Let’s make the butter icing now :

 Icing sugar 300 g
Butter or Margarine 125 g
Lemon juice 1/2 tsp
Milk 1 tbsp
Liquid cake colours (red)
Vanilla A few drops

Let’s make the icing:

  • Cream up all together using an electric hand mixer .
  • Drop two drops from red liquid colour into one bowl to make pink colour.
  • Spread a layer of pink icing cream on the top.  Or, make swirls using your cake decorating kit.
  • Immediately after, sprinkle colourful sprinkles or desiccated coconut dipped in any colour.
  • Your pretty cup cakes are ready.

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Chocolate Cupcakes – Pretty chocolate cupcakes for any occassion

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Gorgeous as they look, these chocolate cupcakes are very easy to make.  You simply have to follow the same chocolate cake recipe, fill the paper cupcake-cases and bake them.  The chocolate butter icing is just right for topping the cakes up or you can make the chocolate fudge icing for a more festive looking cupcakes or simple chocolate butter icing for a more buttery taste.

Happy party time !!

Get ready with the following ingredients :

Self raising flour 300 g
Stork spread/Butter/ Magerine 300 g
Caster sugar 300 g
Eggs 5 medium
Lemon juice 1 tsp
Salt 3 pinches ( a must)
Baking powder 1 tsp
Cocoa powder 4 tbsp heaps
Plain full fat yogurt (optional) this is to make the cake more moist 1 tbsp
 Milk  1/4 cup

Let’s make it:

Set the oven to 180 C . (Temperature conversion chart  is given under Tips)

Beat it

  •  Beat butter and sugar together until creamy,  using an electric hand mixer.
  • Add eggs, one at a time. Beat well after each addition.
  • Add vanilla essence,  lemon juice, salt and beat for two rounds.

Flour it

  • Mix baking powder,  flour and cocoa powder and sieve onto the cake batter, holding the sieve well above it, allowing the air to escape.
  • Fold the flour gently with a wooden spoon until everything turns into a creamy batter.
  • Mix milk and yogurt and add.  Give a good mix with a wooden spoon going clockwise.

Fill it

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  • Fill paper cupcake cases with the batter leaving a little room from top allowing the cake to rise.
  • Place the cupcake cases in a cupcake baking tray for them to stay steady and neat.

Oven it

  • Pop it in the oven and bake for 20 – 25 mins. In the first 10 min do not open the oven door.
  • Insert a skewer into the middle of one of the cakes and if it comes clean,  it’s ready.

Cool it

  • Take it out from the oven and let it rest for 10 mins.
  • Slowly remove the cupcakes from the tray and place them on a cooling rack to cool off completely. This will take 1 hr at least.
  • Your cakes are ready to ice now.

To make the chocolate butter icing you need :

Icing sugar 300 g
Stork spread or butter 125 g
Cocoa powder 5 tbsp
Milk 2 tbsps
Lemon a few drops
Vanilla a few drops
 Sprinklers to decorate
  • Sieve icing sugar and cocoa powder together from a sieve on to a bowl.
  • Add butter and beat together until creamy.
  • Add milk, vanilla and lemon.
  • Your chocolate icing is ready.
  • Cover the cupcakes with chocolate icing one by one with a flat knife, often dipping it in warm water. Or, you can use a piping bag e in cake icing kits to have a more elegant look.
  • Throw some sprinklers on .
  • Done !!

To make the  Chocolate fudge icing you will need:

 Icing sugar 1/2 cup
Double cream 1/4 cup
Butter/Stork spread 50 g
Milk chocolate buttons 110 g
Cocoa powder 3 tbsp

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  • In a small glass bowl place chocolate drops, butter and double cream.
  • Place a wider pan on stove and  fill it with  hot  water.
  • Dip the small glass bowl into the wide pan.
  • Stir slowly until chocolates melt along with butter and cream.
  • If the chocolates are hard, heat up the pan with water under very light flame.
  • Add sieved icing sugar and cocoa powder.
  • Take out from the pan and stir until you are left with a creamy chocolaty melt.
  • Leave to cool.
  • Pour chocolate fudge cream on to the cupcakes.
  • Sprinkle some decorative sprinkles.
  • Enjoy !

Christmas cupcakes !!

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Chicken in Creamy Gravy – Delicious chicken with yogurt and coconut milk

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This is a delicious chicken curry for any occasion.  I added plain yoghurt as well as coconut milk to enhance the creaminess of this dish.   Kids will certainly love the  mild creaminess and the soft texture of  flavourful chicken pieces.  Also, this is very easy to make and less time consuming too.  I can assure that that scooping the gravy with a piece of rotti or mixing it with hot rice will give you an unforgettable joy!!

What you need:

Chicken thighs or legs cut into medium size pieces 300 g
Tomato puree 3 tbsp
Onion (medium) 2
Ginger garlic paste 2 tbsp
Green chilli 2 slit
Garam masala 1/4 tsp
Turmeric ,Cumin powder, Chilli powder 1/4 tsp each
 Plain yoghurt 2 tbsp
 Maggie coconut milk powder 2 tbsp
Lemon juice of 1/2 a lemon

How to make :

Stir fry it

  • Grate onions.
  • Heat 2 – 3 tbsp of oil in a wide pan and fry the grated onions until golden brown.
  • Add ginger garlic paste. (grate both for more flavour and aroma)
  • Add slit green chilies and 1/2 tsp of salt.
  • Add chicken pieces and stir fry gathering everything together.
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  • Now, squeeze half the lemon on chicken and stir fry until they are tender.
  • Toss chilli powder, turmeric, coriander powder and cumin powder.
  • Taste for salt.
  • Whiz tomato puree and yogurt with a fork until all combined properly.
  • Add the  mixture to the chicken and fry together.
  • Add Maggie coconut milk powder into 1/4 cup of water and mix well and add to the pot.
  • Cover and cook for 5 mins and check if the chicken pieces are tender enough.  If not, cook a bit more longer.
  • Toss chopped coriander leaves on top and serve hot.

 Tips : Instead of tomato puree, add one tomato, chopped and whizzed in the blender.

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Bread Pizza – Taste and look alike easy pizzas made of bread slices

nfd

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Now, this is something insanely simple for busy mums, who are eager to make a hassle free, yummy dinner for hungry kids.  Undoubtedly, kids love pizza and they will be delighted to at the sight of these homemade yummy treat.

The choice is endless:  you can, for instance, toss any of your favourite toppings to make it look and taste nicer.  My little son’s favourite is canned tuna flakes, tossed around with sliced onions and lots of black olives.  Perfect!  A real balanced, healthy meal indeed!!

If you have pre-baked or roasted chicken, simply spread  it on.  Otherwise,  simple veggie pizza would taste yummy too.

So, let’s get ready with the easy-to-find ingredients:

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  • Keep ready Sliced onions, tomatoes,  black olives, tuna flakes, bell-peppers, Jalapeno etc.
  • Oregano gives the distinct aroma of pizzas, so it’s a must have.
  • Also, get ready with ketchup and several slices of bread.
  • And, lots and lots of Mozzarella cheese and Cheddar cheese.

Let’s make :

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 C.
  • Place some bread slices on a wire-rack.
  • Slowly, place the wire-rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Leave just 1 min and take out. (This will make the top side of the slices slightly crusty)nfd
  • Now, flip the the bread slices over : crusty side down and the soft side up.
  • Spread a generous amount of ketchup on each slice.

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  • Toss sliced onions, olives and thinly sliced tomatoes.
  • Spread pre-cooked chicken or tuna flakes.
  • Sprinkle oregano, a little salt and pepper.
  • Tiny pieces of green chili if you want it hot!!
  • Sprinkle some cheddar cheese.
  • Finally, toss a lot of mozzarella cheese on top.

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  • All ready !! into the oven now!!
  • Baking time will take only 5 mins.

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  • Your beautiful bread pizzas are ready to serve with a dollop of ketchup or chili sauce.
  • Tell me about all the compliments you receive from kids!!
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Dum Aloo in coconut gravy – Whole potato curry in coconut cream

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You will love this potato dish, which comes with its unique subtle taste of spices and the creaminess of coconut gravy.  This is traditionally an Indian dish, which is made with tomato gravy and fresh cream something that I modified by adding a  little bit of coconut milk to it to give it more flavour and taste.  It looks very tempting as well as ideal with rice or just rotis.

What you need to make this dish:

 Small whole potatoes (Charlotte potatoes are perfect) 10
Onion ( chopped) 1
Maggie Coconut milk powder or fresh coconut milk 1/4 cup
Plain yoghurt (Optional) 3 tbsp
Red chili powder 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder 1/2 tsp each
Tomato puree 1/4 cup
Kasthuri methi 1 tsp
Plain flour and corn flour 3 tbsp each
Ginger garlic paste or grated

Let’s make :

Boil it & Fry it

  • First boil potatoes almost done.  Peel and let cool.
  • Mix plain flour and corn flour together and season with little salt and pepper.
  • Roll the whole potatoes in flour mixture.
  • Pan fry with little oil until golden.  Keep aside.

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Gravy it

  • Fry onion in little oil until golden.
  • Add ginger garlic paste.  fry.
  • Add chili powder, turmeric , salt and masala. fry a little while.
  • Add tomato puree and fry continuously string.
  • Now its time to add yoghurt .  Stir until bubbly.
  • Add potatoes and mix well with the gravy.
  • Add 1/2 cup warm water, cover  and let it boil.
  • Add coconut milk powder or coconut milk and cook until the gravy turns thick.

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Garnish it

  • Open the lid and crush Kasthuri methi with your palms and drop into the pot.
  • Sprinkle garam masala.
  • Cook for 5 mins on slow flame.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and  sliced red onions on top.
  • Serve with hot rice or rotis.

Tips :

  • For a riot of flavours, you can sprinkle a little brown sugar after adding coconut milk.
  • Potatoes should be firm, not breaking while cooking ; so add a little salt into the pot while boiling.
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