Pizza – Homemade best Pizza ever!

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I am proud of giving out this particular recipe for what I call, the best home-made Pizza ever!! The good news about this Pizza is that you are fully aware of the ingredients that go into it and you can enjoy making toppings to satisfy everybody’s taste buds at home.

The second good news is that all the ingredients are widely available in supermarkets; In addition, no unhealthy MSG/Chinese salt is a part  of it; instead, it is an interesting blend of vegetables, meats or fish.

The special Italian style sauce in this recipe is the secret to give this pizza it’s own unique and  delicious taste.  You can make it in the previous day and store it in the fridge to make the process quicker and easier.

Finally, do not hesitate to throw as much as cheese you would like on top to make it more cheesy!! Grate some Parmesan cheese and mix it with Mozzarella cheese to make it more yummier and bubblier!!

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What you need : (For two large size pizzas)

My bread machine makes the dough so there is no hassle  in sweating over kneading the flour.  If  you do not have a bread machine to handle this task you can simply buy the frozen pizza base from supermarkets.  However, I always feel making this from scratch gives you the best of flavours and full credit to the glory of the outcome !!

So, let’s make the dough as follows:

What you need for the dough:

 Plain flour 500 g
Sugar 1 tsp
Eggs 1
Butter 50g
Milk 1/2 cup
Water 1/2 cup warm
Dry yeast 2tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp

 Let’s make the dough :

  • Pour 1/2 cup of warm water gradually onto dry yeast and mix thoroughly.  Keep aside.
  • Break the egg into the 1/2 cup of milk and whisk.
  • Add sugar, butter and salt to the milk and egg and combine all together.
  • Now pour over the flour.   Kneed until all come together as a ball and no longer sticking onto your fingers.  If  you need a bit more water to get the right texture of the flour , add a little more warm water.
  • Cover with a cling film and keep at a warm place for 2 – 3 hrs until it’s ready to roll out for pizza.

In the meantime, make the sauce as follows:

Pasata 1 packet (300 g)
Onion granulates 1 tsp
Runny honey 1tsp
Oregano (dried) 2tbsp
Majoram (dried) 1/2 tsp
Paprika powder 1tsp
Black pepper 1/2 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
 Grated Padano cheese  4 tbsp (grated)
 Mozzarella cheese  500 g (grated)

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  • Mix them all together properly , cover and store in the fridge for 1/2 hr.

Now prepare the toppings:
veg  chichen tandoori

  • Slice mushrooms, red onions, red, green and orange  bell peppers. I personally do not like to add tomatoes as it gives a bit of a watery taste to the flavours.  But, if you are a fan of sweet and sour taste of tomatoes, thinly slice them, remove the seeds and add to the topping.
  • Halve green and black olives.
  • Open a can of tuna and squeeze the brine out.
  • Prepare the chicken.

Chicken tandoori topping : 

Mix chicken breast bite size pieces with olive oil, a little chili powder, cumin powder, lemon juice, orange food powder colour and  salt , keep aside a few minutes and bake under 200 C oven.

Now dress your pizza up:  Have fun doing this with  kids.  

  • Take the Pizza sauce out of the fridge, give a gentle stir and pour evenly on your two pizzas.
  • Toss veggies.  You can add a thinly sliced green chili for a fiery taste!!
  • Sprinkle tuna for a fishy taste.
  • Spread tandoori chicken pieces on the other pizza.
  • Spread all bell peppers.
  • Toss olives green and black both and sliced onions.
  • On top sprinkle lots and lots of  grated Mozzarella and Parmesan  cheese.
  • Finally sprinkle Padano grated cheese for an enhanced flavour.
  • Done!!

Bake in pre-heated oven under 200 C in the middle of the oven for 15 min or until the top of the  pizza gets golden brown.  A mouth-watering aroma will give you the signal that it is ready!!

  • Once, taken out of the oven, let the pizza rest for a while before running the pizza cutting roller through.
  • Enjoy !!

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Hoppers – Inspired by Sri Lankan cuisine

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Beautiful hoppers, soft in the middle and golden crispy at the edges are everyone’s favourite in Sri Lanka.  Also, it is a memorable culinary delight to those who come from abroad.   Delicious with a spicy chicken curry or any type of fish curry, these hoppers could be enjoyed as a breakfast choice or as dinner.

Although our mums and grandmothers are quite efficient in making these, new generation finds it a great big challenge to get the right proportions of ingredients to ferment the dough into perfection.  They easily give up after a couple of attempts but the craving for them remain deep in the heart.  So,  I share this perfect recipe with you all , concentrating more about our friends living in abroad, with a promise that you will be making such beautiful hoppers to impress everyone in future!

In cold climates, in order to ferment the batter to perfection, you need to place it  closer to the stove.  All the cooking on the stove generates enough heat for it to rise beautifully and the hopper mixture will be ready to make hoppers for a delightful supper!!   The good news is, that if you make a larger quantity, you can store the left over amount in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and it will, indeed,  make even better quality hoppers due to further fermenting while in the fridge.

So, let’s make hoppers for tonight’s supper;

Important : You need to keep the batter ready in the morning before 10 am at least.

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 What you need :

coconut

 Rice flour 3 cups
White bread flour (available in supermarkets) 1/4 cup
Maggi coconut milk powder 5 tbsp
Dried yeast 1 tsp
Sugar (preferably brown sugar) 2 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
warm water  2 cups

 Method :

  • Place  rice flour and bread flour into a wide bowl.
  • Into a jug, add yeast and sugar.
  • Pour  warm water and stir rapidly until yeast and sugar dissolves.
  • Mix it thoroughly with the flour.
  • Now in a jug pour 2 cups of  hot water and mix 2 tbsp of Maggi coconut milk powder.
  • Add this milky liquid to the flour and stir with a wooden spoon.
  • Add more hot water very slowly while string until the flour becomes a soft dough but not runny. (The picture below will show you the right consistency at this stage)  If any coconut milk is left, leave it for the next step.

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  • Now cover the bowl first with a tea towel and place a heavy lid on top.  You need to place this bowl closer to the stove in the morning.  Meanwhile, get on with your normal cooking. (If you do not plan to cook on the stove, light one burner very low for at least 2 hrs and let it supply enough heat for the dough to rise.)
  • Around 6 in the evening,  mix  another 3 tbsp of Maggi coconut milk powder and salt into a cup of hot water and pour onto the batter and stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon until the batter turns into a thick yet runny liquid.  You can add more hot water if the batter is too thick.
  • Bubbles on the surface at this point,  indicates that the batter is getting ready.  Cover and let the bowl rest for further 1-2 hours closer to the stove.  If you are not using the stove for cooking during this time, light up one burner and reduce the flame to the lowest  to provide enough heat for the batter to rise up more.

batter

  • Now that your batter is ready, Let’s make hoppers.
  • Heat up your typical non-stick  hopper making pan on medium flame.

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  • Pour a ladle full of batter to the pan and rotate it twice quickly, place back on flame and cover.  If you see the bubbles / holes similar to the picture below, your batter has risen up to perfection.

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  • One hopper will take 5 min to be baked until crispy.
  • Once ready, slowly loosen from edges with a flat wooden spatula and take out the hopper.  Return the pan quickly on to the flame as it should be ready to bake the next one.
  • Repeat until you make the desired amount of hoppers.
  • For egg hoppers, you must break the egg right on to the hopper as soon as you circle the pan with batter. Cover and cook.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on to the top.  Your egg hopper is ready!!
  • For a sweeter version at the tea time, grate some juggery on to the hopper, once it is baked and fold in half.
  • You can store any extra batter in the fridge and before making hoppers from it, you must warm it up in the microwave for 30 seconds.

You cannot go wrong anywhere with this recipe as it has been tested many times and has never let me down.

Enjoy !! appa

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Best Bread – beautiful home-made bread

bread-300x293If you love bread, nothing can match this beautiful, crusty, spongy and delicious bread which will melt in your mouth!! Such a beauty is not available  even in an exclusive bakery or a supermarket in-store bakery.

The secret of this unique bread is that it’s  purely home-made – and with an ounce of love! It is all thanks to my humble bread machine that has been baking such lovely bread over the past ten years – and still baking. Thankfully, a complete recipe guide comes with the bread machine which is very useful for trying out various bakery products other than bread.

These are the ingredients needed for a large size white bread: 

Dry yeast 1 tsp
Strong white bread flour 500 g
Sugar 1 tsp
Butter 25 g
Dry milk powder 1 & 1/2 tsp
Water 300 g

Everything goes into the bucket and the bucket in turn goes into the bread machine. Set the time to your own requirements and leave it alone.  It will carry on the whole process automatically without any assistance or supervision on our part. After 4 hrs, the mouth-watering, baking-bread aroma will waft through  the whole house, then the street and beyond.

This is the PANASONIC SD-2500WXC Breadmaker .

 

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Chocolate chip cookies with Nutella spread –

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 kids will love these crunchy, chocolate cookies.  So easy to make, you can get the kids to help, for, they will be delighted to eat these yummy, crunchy cookies made by their own little hands.

You need the following ingredients :

 Nutella chocolate spread 125 g
Plain flour 200 g
Caster sugar 90 g
Soft brown sugar 90 g
Butter 125 g
Egg 1 medium
Milk chocolate drops-break into small pieces 120 g
Baking powder 1/2 tsp
Cocoa powder 10 g
 Vanilla and salt  3 drops each

  Now let’s get started;

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 C / 350 F/ Gas mark 4).
  • Mix both types of sugar , add to butter and whisk together with an electric hand mixer until creamy.
  • Add the egg and continue beating.
  • Add Nutella spread, vanilla and mix all together.
  • Mix baking powder, plain flour, cocoa powder and salt together and sieve in to the mixture.
  • Stir in the chocolate pieces.
  • Now gently fold everything together using a wooden spoon.
  • Spread a baking parchment paper on a baking tray and place tablespoonfuls of chocolate mixture on to the tray leaving enough space for them to spread as they bake.
  • Place the tray in the middle/bottom of the oven and bake 10 – 14  mins.
  • Take the  cookies out and let them rest on the tray  for 3 -4  mins.  Do not worry if  you  notice they are still soggy, but right in front of your eyes, they will get harden and crispy .  Once they are set, gently take one by one out of the tray using a flat spatula and transfer onto a cooling rack.
  • Have a yummy, crunchy time.  Crunch ..crunch….
  • Store in an air-tight jar if there are any left.  They  will stay crispy up to 3 days.

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