Oven Temperature Conversion

gas mark temperature conversion chart Since the temperature dial of an oven has  not become completely universal yet, it is often a challenge to get an idea of it, when people talk about in terms of gas mark, Celsius or Fahrenheit. In order to deal with this seemingly-trivial issue, I am going to give provide you with a programme to do the conversion easily. In addition, you can even download the image in .pdf form for further reference, especially when you are not online. You can download the above image free of charge by clicking on the button below:

 

Download

Convert Temperatures

Temperature Converting Programme

Housewives, occasionally, have to deal with trivial tasks like converting the
temperatures from one scale to another – Celsius to Fahrenheit or vice versa. The following programme help you do it in a split second, without compelling you to go through cumbersome mathematical calculations.

You just have to type in the temperature to be converted in the relevant box; the answer automatically appears in the other. Isn’t that cool?

Type in the temperature inside a box:

degrees Celsius

  equals

degrees Fahrenheit

Pacific Pilchard fried rice

Delicious with every mouthful, this one-pot rice dish is a feast to the palate!!

Great choice for someone looking for a healthy version of  rice for lunch.  Also, the aroma and the flavours of pilchard fish, tomatoes, potatoes and sauces will deliver a very satisfying meal indeed!

Make sure you buy Pacific pilchard in tomato sauce for this recipe as it is the ideal choice to produce the best results.

Get  ready with these items:  

Pacific Pilchard in  rich tomato sauce 1 small tin 155 g
Rice (White basmati) 1 & 1/2 cups
Ginger and garlic grated 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves and stems 1 cup
Tomato 1 juicy
Onions 1 large
Fish sauce 1 tbsp
Soy sauce 2 tbsp
Ketchup 2 tbsp
New / Baby Potatoes 6 cut into chunkes
Cumin seeds and mustard seeds 1 tsp each
 Salt  1/2 tsp or to taste

 14004011_H

thCBYCX65Upilchard

Let’s Make it:

  • First wash the rice until water runs clear.   Drain water in a colander and keep aside.

nfd

  • Chop onions, tomatoes, grate ginger and garlic and cut potatoes.  Open the tin of pilchards and drain the sauce into a cup.  Leave aside the tomato sauce and fish pieces seperately.  Chop coriander leaves and stems.  Keep everything aside.

nfd

  • Heat up olive oil in a wide pan.  Sprinkle cumin seeds and mustard seeds, let them splutter.
  • Add the sliced onion and lightly brown it.
  • Add the following ingredients and fry after each one

Salt, ginger-garlic paste, coriander leaves and stems, chopped tomato, tomato ketchup, tomato sauce from the tin, soy sauce and fish sauce

  • Fry everything until  a thick and juicy sauce is formed.
  • Add potatoes.  Keep frying.

nfd

  • Drain water from the rice and add to pot.  Fry the rice for a min or two.
  • Next, pour warm water just above rice.
  • Give a good stir to bring everything together , cover and cook on very light flame.  Cooking time usually takes  10 – 15 mins.
  • After 10 mins, open the lid, drop the fish pieces
  • Adjust the taste
  • If the rice is not cooked enough and there is no more water left, sprinkle hot water to the sides, cover tightly and lower the flame for allowing it to cook a bit further
  • Finally, garnish with chopped coriander . Cover and keep the flavours to settle for about 10 mins
  • You can serve this dish on its own or with Chinese chili paste or any pickle on the side
  • Yummy !!!

Chinese Dumplings – Flavourful dumplings better than what you get from restaurents

nfd

dav

Our numerous visits  to various Chinese restaurants in the China Town, in central London, just to taste their authentic dumplings, have always been tantamount to a massive disappointment. They  never lived up to our expectations, especially, when it came to flavours. I found the outermost layer,  very soft and moist but the inner filling was almost flavourless.  So, I started experimenting with dumpling-making for a while in order to produce the best  and, much to my delight,  came out with exciting results.

Surely, it became an instant hit with my family members and then with my friends.  I even went as far as making sea-weed, the most favoured Chinese side dish.  In fact, in place of real sea-weed, which is hard to find,  I used Savoury cabbage (Curly cabbage).   Aha !!! Now that’s interesting isn’t it?  Well, the taste is same and I even happened to wonder whether in Chinatown, they too serve us cabbage !!

How to make my sea-weed, in actual sense, cabbage, is given below.

First, make the dough with the following ingredients : Enough for 30 – 35 dumplings.

  • Place 300g of plain flour in a bowl and make a well in the middle.  Now, pour 1/2 cup of boiling water into the well, cover the bowl and let it rest for 5 min.

nfd

  • Open the lid and run through a wooden spoon.   Again cover and leave for 10 mins.
  • Now pour 1/2 cup of warm water gradually while kneading the flour with your hand .  Add more warm water if needed and knead until the dough becomes soft to touch and not sticking onto your fingers.  Cover and let it rest for 30 mins.  In the mean time, make the filling.

What you need for the filling;

nfd

 Pork mince or Chicken mince 300 g
Spring Onion – Class A  – 120 g 1 bunch
Soy sauce (dark) 4 tbsp or more
Blended sesame oil 4 tbsp
Brown Sugar 3 pinches
Ginger – shreded 1 inch root
Salt 3 pinches
Corn flour 4 tbsp
Rice vinegar 1 tbsp
Cabbage – shredded 1 cup (optional)
    • Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and keep aside for 10 mins for the flavours to bind before making.
  •  Pork mince is a better choice for this recipe as it gives a very flavourful results.
  •  A cup full of shredded Chinese cabbage could be added to increase the quantity of the filling in case you are making them for a larger family or a gathering.

Let’s make:

  • Divide the dough into equal size balls as the size of a red cherry and arrange on a side of the kitchen work- top.
  • Lightly flour the surface of the kitchen work- top or a wide chopping board.  Place a ball of dough and roll it to a flat round shape with a rolling pin.
  • Place a table spoon of minced meat mixture onto the middle of the round shape.

dav

  • Bring both sides together and pinch on the pleat making them tightly clasped.

nfd

  • Make enough for one round of steaming.  While one batch is in the steamer, you can go ahead making the next batch to avoid any extra uncooked dumplings to get damaged by sticking onto the surface.
  • The final step is to steam the  dumplings. Brush oil on the bottom of the steamer and arrange   dumplings without sticking to each other.  Now, steam on high flame for about 5 mins.  You will see the colour of outer cover  changes and start glistering when cooked enough.

Chinese dumplings

  • Switch off the flame and take out dumplings one by one, very gently, with the help of a soft edged tongs and  place on a plate .

dup2

Let’s make the dipping sauce

  • 2 tbsp  – Dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp  – warm water
  • chopped coriander leaves
  • a few pieces of chopped red chili for a fiery blend. (avoid chili when serving kids)

chil Whisk all together and serve in a separate bowl next to dumplings with chopsticks, a fork or a spoon. In place of this sauce dipper, you can opt for Chinese chili oil or chili paste which are ideal dippers for these dumplings.

 

Sea-weed 

dav

  • You simply have to shred the curly cabbage as thinly as possible.
  • Then deep-fry in hot oil.  Just a min or two is enough for them to get crispy. Do not over frying will lose it’s lovely green colour.
  • Now add sugar and salt as per your taste.
  • Yummy sea-weed is ready to devour with delight !!
Chicken Biryani

Mum’s Special Chicken Biryani – Easy Biryani Recipe By Mum

This is my mum’s signature dish in which she poured a generous amount of love while it was being made.  Naturally, our mouths would start watering at the thought of this exotic dish and wished that mum would make it everyday!  Yet, we were privileged to devour it only on special occasions or on Sundays as a special treat for the family or friends who stopped by.

Unlike the usual biryani dishes, this is very light on the tummy due to the minimum oil amount  used.  Also, the cooking process is very simple and easy; any novice could come out with the mounthwatering results in his/her first attempt.

Mint chutney and  chicken gravy are the best accompaniments for this dish and mint, being a medicinal food digester can  work wonders. Recipe of these are given below;

So let’s make this is real winner of hearts for today’s lunch!

Ingredients required for 4 very hungry people :

Chicken Whole small chicken or 350 g of chicken legs cut into medium size pieces
Basmati Rice 2 & 1/2 cups
Plain Yoghurt 1/2 cup
Knor or Maggi Chicken soup cubes 1 and 1/2
Roasted curry powder or garam masala 2 tbsp
Onion 2 large
Ginger and garlic 2 tbsp grated
Cloves, peppercorns and cardamoms, cinnamon 5 each crushed
Turmeric powder and pepper powder 1 tsp each
 Green chili  3 slit

How to make:

Marinate

  • Massage  the chicken pieces thoroughly with yogurt,  roasted curry powder , turmeric,  grated ginger and  garlic,  salt, turmeric powder, pepper powder, slit green chili and the crushed soup cube.
  • Cover with cling film and  refrigerate for at least 2 hrs.

Prepare the rice

  • Wash the rice until water runs clear, drain, then keep aside for 20 mins. This will allow the rice to stretch during cooking.

Fry

  • Heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil in a wide brim pan.  Add the whole spices; cloves, peppercorns, cardamoms, cinnamons and let them crackle
  • Add grated ginger and garlic or  the paste of it
  • Add the onion slices and slightly brown them.  Drop a handful of curry leaves

Add rice

  • Now add the rice and quickly stir through , not letting it to stick to the bottom of the pan.  Fry the rice for about 2 mins or until well coated.

Add chicken

  • Now add the chicken with all it’s marinade
  • Mix rice and chicken thoroughly while turning them constantly for 2 – 3 mins.

Add warm water

  • Add warm water, just above the level of rice.
  • Give a good stir
  • Adjust the taste at this point

  • Cover the pan with a tea towl and then tightly close the lid

  • Cook under very low fire
  • Open after 10 mins and bring the bottom layer to the top and mix gently
  • Cook until the meat is tender and rice is cooked properly
  • Switch the flame off and let the pot rest for 15 mins for flavours to adjust
  • Serve with mint chutney and chicken gravy

Mint chutney

m1

How to make:

  • Take a handful of mint leaves and drop them into the jar of the hand blender
  • Chop a few shallots and drop into the jar
  • Thinly chop one or two small green chilies and add into the jar
  • Thinly cut a root of a ginger piece and add with a few pinches of salt
  • Now, crush everything into a pulp using the hand blender
  • Squeeze half a lemon into the pulp and mix it with the fingers until everything comes togethe
  • Taste and add more salt or lemon, if needed.
  • Done !

Chicken gravy

  • Marinate the chicken pieces with ginger and garlic paste, chili powder, pepper powder, slit green chili, salt, turmeric, roasted curry powder and 2 tbsp of plain yoghurt
  • Heat oil in a wide pan
  • Add a few crushed garlic cloves, curry leaves and chopped onions and fry
  • Drop 1/2 tsp of red chili powder and a few drops of turmeric into the oil and fry
  • Now drop all the chicken and fry a few minutes until well coated
  • Cover, lower the flame and let the chicken cook for 5 mins
  • Add warm water and inch above the chicken, cover and cook
  • Add 1tbsp of coconut milk powder or thick coconut milk for flavour
  • Done!
beef burger

Best Burger Bun – Juicy homemade beef burgers

beef burger

This is a very healthy and filling choice of a snack for a bunch of bouncy young kids, coming back home all hungry and tired after playtime!!  They will most certainly ask for more, so, remember to keep some extra burgers ready.

Wrapped nicely in a foil, these could go into anyone’s office or school lunch pack too. This juicy, home-made burger bun, could be tucked in without  a  guilt as they are free from all kinds of preservatives or processed ingredients.  You can  wrapped the extra pattis with a cling film. place them in a plastic box and store them in the freezer, that could come quite handy on a later date.     

So, let’s make them;

Get ready with the following ingredients;

Minced lean beef 300g
Burger buns 8 -10
Large onion 1 very thinly chopped
Tomato Ketchup 3 tbsp
Egg 1
Soy sauce 2 tbsp
Coriandar leaves A handful choppped (Optional)
White bread slice  2  grate into crumbs
 Salt  1/4 tsp adjust according to your taste
Pepper  1/4 tsp

To serve :  Cheese singles, thinly sliced tomatoes, cucumber, lattuce and burger sauce

Let’s make :

Mix it

  • Chop the onion very thinly (any larger bits can cause the burger fall apart while frying)
  • Grate the bread slice into thin crumbs.
  • In a large bowl add all the above ingredients ; mince meat, chopped onion, bread crumbs, chopped coriandar, egg, salt, pepper and both soy and ketchup and mix thoroughly using your hands.

Test the taste

  • Now, take a small potion from the mixture,  make a ball, flatten it and fry both sides on a heated and oiled non-stick pan or a griddle
  • Taste it and check if you need to add anything more.  You can add more soy sauce, ketchup, salt or pepper and adjust the taste at this stage.

Make the burger pattis

  • Now the taste is just right, take equal sized balls from the mixure and flatten them thickly.  Wet your hands to make this process easier
  • Place them on a tray and cover with a cling film
  • Refrigirate for 1 hr

Fry it

  • Next, spray olive oil onto a non-stick frying pan or a griddle and place the pattis around it
  • Fry one side and then slowly turn over to the other side
  • Never press them down with your spatula.  If pressed down, all the juices will run out, making it dry and crumbly.
  • When both sides are properly cooked, place them on a kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil. Proceed with the rest of the pattis.

Fill it

  • Place the bottom sides of the buns on the same frying/griddle pan
  • Quickly place the burger pattis on top of each and top them with  slices of cheese singles/slices and leave for a min for cheese to melt slightly
  • Take out from the pan and squeeze a dollop of burger sauce, ketchup or mayo on top
  • Arrage slices of tomatoes, cucumer and lattiuce
  • Cover with the top part of the bun and press down gently.
  • Wrap in foil paper and stack them on a tray
  • Serve warm

bur2-300x223

Raw Radish salad

 f11

Radish, relieves toxins from kidneys and provides numerous health benefits. In addition, it is a natural remedy to facilitate bowel movements, which in turn keep the constipation at bay. This salad is made from tender raw Radish leaves, which enhances the taste of a simple combination of plain rice and curries – as a side dish or something delicious on it’s own. You can find radish leaves in bunches in Asian fruit and vegetable shops or straight it out of your veggie patch in the garden.

radish 2

Let’s make it:

  • Separate the radish leaves from their stems, wash and  shake off the water.
  • Cut very finely and drop into a bowl.
  • Chop an onion and a green chili very thinly and keep aside of the bowl.
  • Take a handful of scraped coconut and drop it on to the same side.
  • Now sprinkle two pinches of salt and squeeze half a lemon onto  coconut.
  • Mix all thoroughly with your fingers.
  • Now bring radish leaves together.
  • Check the taste and add a few more drops of lemon juice, if necessary.
  • If you are offering this delicious salad to kids or to anyone who is not accustomed to chilies,  omit green chilies, without affecting the taste.

Mint Chutney

m1
This mint chutney is a delicious accompaniment for biryani , fried rice, dosa or any other similar type of dish. The combination of mint chutney with the above food dishes facilitates the digestion process, which otherwise could potentially rob us of the post-meal enjoyment. There are other benefits too. On health front, you can easily reap the numerous benefits of mint leaves, including the antioxidant quality, by making it raw this way.

How to make:

  • Take a handful of Mint leaves and drop them into the jar of the hand blender.
  • Chop one medium onion thinly and drop  into the jar.
  • Thinly chop one or two small green chilies and add  into the jar.
  • Thinly cut a root a ginger piece, 1 cm in length.
  • Next, drop two pinches of salt and a pinch of sugar.
  • Now, crush everything into a pulp using the hand blender.
  • Squeeze half a lemon into the pulp and mix it with the fingers until everything comes together.
  • Taste and add more salt or lemon, if needed.
  • Done !!!!

hand blender

Breakfast Pancakes – Golden pancakes with golden syrup

nfd

These spongy, sweet pancakes is a delightful start for the day. My little son wakes up on Saturday mornings and races into the kitchen to make these on his own; I am sure you can understands his enthusiasm and his irresistible temptation. He gobbles them up happily with Golden syrup, runny honey, strawberry sauce or simply dipping them into Nutella chocolate spread.

Encourage your kids to make these on their own under your supervision.  They will be delighted to watch how the white batter forms into a lovely , golden pancake on sizzling butter.

For a change, mix a few drops of red liquid cake colour to the batter to make a batch of  velvety red pancakes and see the delightful wonderment among your kiddies!!

nfd
What you need to make these: ( Easy to use measurements in cups are given for making these  on daily basis)

 Plain flour 150 g (1cup)
Milk 150 g (4/3 cup)
Caster sugar 30 g ( 2 tbsp)
Baking powder 1 tsp
Salt 3 pinches
Egg 1
Butter for frying

 Let’s start:

  • Into a mixing bowl, sieve the flour, salt and baking powder.  Mix in the sugar and keep aside.
  • In a different jug, add the egg and milk and whisk them together.
  • Pour the milk and egg mixture into the flour and beat gently with a wooden spoon.

nfd

  • Place a flat non-stick pan on medium flame and melt butter until bubbly.
  • Now ladle two or three spoonfuls of batter  into the frying pan in three different places, a bit far from each other.

nfd

  • Fry the pancakes for 2 mins and flip to the other side and fry that side too. Once both sides are golden, take out from the pan and repeat with the rest of the batter, not forgetting to drop a dollop of butter to the pan first for the next batch.

nfd

  • Serve with maple syrup, runny honey, bananas or chocolate spread on side.

nfd

Roasted curry powder – Sri Lankan

cuyyr powder There is no better way to spice up your dishes than adding your home-made curry powder to your cooking; on one hand, you know for sure what goes in it; on the other hand, it will measurably  enhance the taste, appearance and aroma of the dishes that you love to make. Once, experienced the obvious difference, you will never go for the ready-made packets in stores. The good news is that it will only take about half-an-hour for the whole process and you only have to be careful not to let the spices burn up while roasting them in the pan.

You need the following whole spices : 

 Coriander whole 2 cups
Cumin whole 1 & 1/2 cups
Cloves 1 tbsp
Cardamoms 1 tbsp
Dried red chili whole 6
Black pepper whole 1 tsp
Cinnamon quills 4 broken into small pieces
Raw rice 1 tbsp
Curry leaves and Pandan leaves A handful each

g1 Once roasted, the colour of the spices looks like this.   Let’s make it:

  • Heat up a wide pan on medium flame and add coriander ; slowly, dry roast while constantly running  a wooden spoon through.  When the colour changes into darkest brown / blackish , immediately empty it to a foil sheet.
  • Now add the cumin seeds and roast until its colour also changed into darkest brown.  Empty it to the same sheet on top of coriander and let them cool down.
  • Now add the rest of the spices and roast them, while tossing and turning them continuously.  Add them to coriander and cumin.  Now that the spices are roasted, it is time to grind them up.

Set your spice grinder  to full speed.

  • Add a handful of roasted spices and grind until it smooth, empty on to a sheet of paper and then slowly fill in to an air tight spice container.
  • Continue this process, taking short intervals, as over-heating could damage your grinder.
  • Now fill in a smaller spice container for regular use and the rest must be stored in an  air-tight spice container and pushed to the farthest corner of your kitchen cabinet, away from light.

This will stay with its best quality and aroma intact for about 3-4 months; spice grinder