Kottu Roti – All times favourite street food in Sri Lanka

With a typical metal clashing and banging to the rhythem of deafning fast beat music, making kottu is a roadside spectale at night in the island nation of Sri Lanka!

Kottu, literally means cut rotis, originated from the Southern part of India and found its way to Sri Lanka with a  delicious interlude.  Rather than using a knife to chop rotis into bite-sized pieces, the expert, street-food vendors use two thin metal plates to rhythmically chop them, while giving a little jig.

When the last of daylight dims down, bright white lights dazzle from the foodstalls, while a circle of onlookers watching in amasement how their portions of Kottu are made in minutes, followed by a  a rock and roll dance, cling clang of metals, many ingredients being dropped and then dissappered in shreds!  Finally, a heap of steaming kottu on a plate is offered in no time and while you are digging a fork between a combination of soft flakes of roti, glistering pieces of meat and shreds of veggies,  involuntarily; your legs will dance to the irresistable music aired to the wee hours of night.

We can produce something similar at home even though we don’t have the metal plates or the need of a jig.  The packeted frozen Kottu Porottas, available in the freezer section of  Asian food stalls, are the best and easiest choice or if you have time and patience, these rotis could be made at home and cut them according to the required size.  Interstingly, these rotis are called Hankerchief rotis, considering their thin and flat appearance.  However, they are locally known as Godamba roti.

Let’s make the rotis first and then the chicken curry that goes with Kottu.   If you have managed to get the Frozen Kottu Porottas, you can skip making the rotis:

Hankerchief roti / Godamba roti

Other delicious recipes that you could try out using the same rotis :

http://happyrecipes.co.uk/fish-rotis-triangles-filled-with-fish-and-potatoes/

You will need :

 All purpose flour  3 cups
 Salt  1 tsp
 Olive oil (Any cooking oil would do)  1 tbsp
 Sugar  1 tsp
Baking powder  1/2 tsp

Knead it :

  • Rub flour, sugar, salt and oil together
  • Add water little by little knead for about 5 – 8 mins until the dough doesnt stick on to your fingers
  • Divide into equal sized balls giving an extra kneed to each ball
  • Rub oil on each ball.  Place on a tray a little apart from each other
  • Cover with a wet tea towel or a cling film and let them rest at least an hour

Groti

Bake it :

  • Heat up a wide flat pan and spray oil all over
  • Grease the work top as well as your fingers with little oil
  • Place a dough ball on top and press it down from the middle and slowly spread it out from sides to look like a flat hankerchief or a bed sheet
  • Lift up slowly and place on the heated pan
  • Immediately after a few seconds, flip on to the other side
  • Bake both sides quickly, being careful no to make them crispy or burn
  • Cover with a lid or a tea towel until all the rotis are made
  • Cut into bite size pieces and keep aside

If you are buying Frozen Kottu Porotta rotis from Asian food stores:

  • Frozen kottu porotta pieces must be placed in a tray and stick it in the oven to thaw for a few minutes.  It is tastier this way than defrosting in the microwave.
  • But if you are buying whole frozen rotis like what you see in this picture, thaw both sides on a non-stick pan and then cut into small pieces.

 

 

 

 

Let’s make the chicken curry that goes with Kottu 

Marinate it :

Marinate 300g of chicken legs or thighs cut into medium size pieces with the following and keep aside for 1hr in the fridge:

  • Salt 1/4 tsp
  • Chili powder 1/4 tsp
  • Roasted curry powder  1/4 tsp (Could use garam masala in place of this)
  • Black pepper powder 1/8 tsp
  • Turmeric 1/8 tsp
  • Ginger and garlic grated or paste
  • Olive oil 1 tsp

Stir fry it:

  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan
  • Add 3 cloves, an inch long cinnamon stick, a few crushed cardamoms.  fry a minute.
  • Sweat a thinly sliced onion
  • Add a chopped garlic or two and a few crushed curry leaves.
  • Add a slit green chili
  • Drop the marinated chicken into the pan and fry for about 5 minutes under medium flame.
  • Now close the lid, lower the flame to the minimum and  the chicken cook for 10 mins.  (The juices from the meat will run out at this point)
  • Open the lid, mix all the juices and the chicken together and fry for another 2 mins.

Cook it :

  • Add water a little above the chicken pieces, cover the lid and cook for 10 – 15 mins.
  • Give a good stir and more water as you need a lot of gravy for Kottu.
  • Cover and cook further a few mins.
  • Finally, add a tablespoon of Maggi coconut milk powder to enhance the flavours.
  • Drop a few crushed curry leaves on top, cover and let it rest.
  • Your juicy chicken curry is  now ready!

 

 Make Kottu

You will need :

Rotis  3 cups
Salt  1/2 tsp
Ground black pepper  1 tsp
Garlic chopped
Green chili slit  1
Onion chopped 1
Large onion cubed 1
Carrots – cut into thin strips  1/2 cup
Spring onions chopped or leek cut thinly 1/4 cup
White Cabbage – shreded thinly  1 cup
Eggs  2 large

Veggie Mix

Stir fry it :

  • In a large wok, add 2 tbsp of oil and heat up
  • Add garlic and sweat the chopped onion
  • Add carrots stripes, shreded cabbage, slit green chilli and start stir frying until they wilt.
  • Add salt and ground black pepper

Egg it :

  • Now push the veggies to a side of the wok and break all 2 eggs into the pan.

  • Immediately scramble the eggs

Mix it :

  • Now mix veggies and eggs together and give a good stir frying under high flame.
  • Adjust the taste at this point.
  • Toss a bit more black pepper powder for enhancing the taste.
  • Add the cut pieces of Kottu Porotta and give a good toss and a shake to mix everything together.
  • Throw the cubed onion on top.  Onions should be crunchy to bite.  So do not cover the lid or over cook at this point

  • Your basic Kottu dish is done and taste delicious in every bite !

Eat it :

kottu

  • Now pour chcken and gravy on top of kottu and tuck in !!
  • Delicious !!

Tips :

  • Do not cover Kottu at any point as the onions could wilt.
  • You could make the chicken curry and rotis on the previous day to save time.
  • Mix the gravy and pieces of meat to Kottu only when you are ready to eat

 

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KFC Style Chicken Nuggets – Easy homemade KFC style chicken nuggets

chicken nuggests

Isn’t it tempting to have a bite at what you see above? From my own experience, I know that kids love these delicious snacks to bits; the healthy, home-made chicken nuggets undoubtedly will beg you of making more.  The best news is that it is so easy to make and you, probably, already have all the necessary ingredients at home!

I am taking it easy with the ingredients and not mentioning the  exact quantities because nothing could go wrong with this super-easy recipe.

So let’s make it;

You will need only four main ingredients:

  • Chicken breast
  • Eggs
  • Corn flakes
  • Plain flour

for seasoning :

  • salt
  • pepper powder
  • garlic powder (Optional)
  • Onion powder (Optional)
  • Red chilli powder or paprika

Let’s make :

  • Cut the chicken breast into bite size pieces.
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper and keep aside.
  • Place corn flakes in a plastic bag and crush into crumbs using a rolling pin.  Keep aside.
  • Beat the egg in a bowl, mix a pinch of salt and keep aside.
  • Mix  plain flour, garlic powder, a few pinches of salt, onion powder, red chilli powder and pepper powder and place in a flat plate.
  • Now take a piece of chicken, dust in plain flour, dip in the beaten egg and finally roll in the cornflakes crumbs.

  • Deep fry until golden.
  • Taste the first fried piece and adjust salt and pepper accordingly.
  • Continue the same process with other pieces and serve immediately with ketchup or sweet and sour chilli sauce.
  • Yummy !!

 

 

 

 

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Easy Lasagne – Delicious in every mouthful, easy to make beef lasagne

I was in a dilemma about making a distinction between Lasagna and Lasagne, because both words seem to be competing with each other in every recipe book that I referred to.  My quest finally came to an end,  when I came across a clear description as well as a grammatical correction, given in Wikipedia.  Lasagna is an Italian name for a flat, wide pasta sheet so that Lasange means a lot of sheets piled up together that go right with the dish, as multiple sheets of lasagna are used in this dish.  So, it is Lasagne, after all!

This cheesy, meaty and juicy lasagne is a real winner when it comes to feed a crowd.  Just one-pot dish with meat, an assortment of veggies, layers of pasta  topped with lots of  cheese, could be the most satisfying meal for your own family or guests.

Rather than making the sauce from scratch, I opted for my favourite Loyds Grossman pasta sauce as it fulfils all the needs of a juicy sauce that enhances the flavours to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.

So, precisely this is not  the traditional way of making lasagne, but, it is rather a quick fix, but insanely delicious.

I usually make the pasta-filling, the day before so that it tastes even better, in addition to the  whole process becoming much more easier.   Also, make a list of ingredients and buy everything from a supermarket and keep ready, in order not to run to the shops in the midst of making it.

So, let’s start.

Gather all these necessary ingredients:

lasagna sheets

 Napolina Lasagna sheets  1 packet
Dolmio lasagna creamy white sauce  1 bottle
 Loyd Grossman tomato and chili pasta sauce  1 bottle
 Good quality minced lean beef  500 g
 Onion  1 large
 Carrots  2 large
 Green beans  a handful
 Baby spinach  3 handfuls
 Garlic  5 cloves
 Fish sauce  1 tbsp
 Soy sauce – dark  1 tbsp
 Bell peppers (red, green, yellow)  1 from each colour
 Tomato ketch-up and Mayonnaise  2 tbsp each
 Parmesan Cheese and Mozzarella cheese grated  1 cup
 Salt

First get the lasanga sheets ready:

  • Fill a large pan with water and add a drop of oil and a few pinches of salt into it.
  • Boil the water rapidly under high flame.
  • Arrange lasagna sheets upright around the pan as shown in the picture.

  • They will slide down slowly while boiling away.
  • Boil them for 10-15 mins until tender and remove gently and arrange on a tray.
  • Leave to cool.

Let’s make the meat filling now:

  • Into a large wok, pour 2 tbsp of olive oil.
  • Fry the chopped onion and garlic.
  • Add minced meat.  Brown the meat.
  • Now, push the meat onto a side and drop carrots and beans. (Cut carrots into thin rounds and then into quarters.  And beans into small pieces) Stir fry until tender.
  • Add three bell peppers cut into squares and stir fry.

  • Add soy sauce and fish sauce.
  • Add mayonnaise and salt.
  • Stir fry under medium flame.  Do not close the lid.
  • Now add the Loyd pasta sauce.

  • Add a handful of Parmesan cheese or Cheddar cheese.
  • Finally add the spinach and stir fry until the sauce is properly cooked and taste juicy.
  • Keep to cool.

Now pre – heat the oven to 180 C.

Let’s start the fun part of layering the lasagna sheets.

  • Get a wide Pyrex dish or oven proof baking dish and rub butter all over.
  • Spread a layer of meat first.
  • Then lay lasagna sheets neatly on top to cover the meat.

  • Next, pour a layer of  Dolmio white sauce on top of lasagna sheets.
  • Another layer of meat goes next.
  • A layer of Lasagna sheets on top.
  • Again pour a layer of white sauce.
  • Keep repeating the same until the layers come to the brim of the dish. The last layer should be meat.
  • Now, toss a lot of Parmesan cheese on top the last meat layer.
  • Finally, sprinkle Mozzarella cheese liberally on top.
  • Now, take a sheet of foil and rub olive oil on one side.
  • Cover the dish with the sheet.
  • Stick it in the oven and bake for 30-45 mins.
  • Take the dish out and check if the lasagne is baked enough.
  • Then, remove the foil and stick the dish again into the oven for 10 mins.

(This will melt the cheese into a golden colour)

  • Take out and let the dish cool off completely.
  • Cut into squares and dip a spatula to the bottom and gently lift the pieces out.
  • Serve warm.
  • Delicious !
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Chicken Masala Drumsticks – Spicy, pan fried chicken drumsticks

drums

Try this mouth-watering spicy drumsticks, suitable for any occasion, if you are tired of the monotony of making the same chicken dishes over and over again.

I must thank my friend, Yamini, for her valuable tips for making this dish finger-licking good.  Truly, the flavourful Indian spices and the tangy lemon juice work magically to enhance the taste.  Also,  I made this on the stove, instead of baking or grilling in the oven, to make the process a bit easier.

I have mainly focused on producing this dish sans anything artificial.  Hence, there are no artificial flavouring or spice mixes used in this recipe.  The combination of natural ingredients and shallow frying in olive oil, undoubtedly make this dish extra-healthy.

Let the kids pick these with their fingers and look away if they eventually lick the fingers!!!

You need the following ingredients for the marinade:

 Chicken drumsticks  6
 Mild red chili powder  1/2 tbsp
 Coriander powder and cumin powder  1 tsp each
 Garam masala  1 tbsp
 Ginger and garlic paste  1 tbsp
 Lemon juice  3/4 lemon
 Olive oil  2 tbsp
 Red food colour – powder (optional)  2 pinches
 Salt  1 tsp

 Let’s make :

Marinate it

  • Using a sharp knife, make a couple of slashes on each drumstick.
  • Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl using your fingers.  Add a bit more depending on your taste.
  • Leave aside for 20 mins.

Pan fry it

  • Pour about 3 tbsp of olive oil into a wide pan and heat up.
  • Drop the drumsticks and shallow fry, constantly turning.
  • Once they are cooked properly, push them to a side and drop some onion rounds and fry them.  These could be serve on the side.

drumsticks

Serve it

  • Take out the drumsticks and arrange them on a foil placed on a flat plate along with onion rounds and a wedge of a lemon.
  • Take a few bread slices and toast both sides on the same pan.  The bread slices will be nicely coated with the juices from the  chicken and could be served on the side.
  • Some steamed vegetables tossed on butter or a crunchy salad will go just right with the drumsticks.
  • Bon appetite !!

chicken drum

 

 

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Chinese dumplings – Easy, flavourful best dumplings ever !

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dav

Honestly, our numerous visits to 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 and to my delight, it came out with exciting results.  The most interesting fact is that there is no cooking involved in the process of making these.

To prepare the filling, you just need to incorporate all necessary ingredients thoroughly.   Finally, pop all the beautiful dumplings into the steamer and they will come out ready to devour in just five minutes !!

Surely, it became an instant hit with my family and then with my friends.  I even went as far as producing something very much similar to their most popular side dish sea-weed.  Guess what I used in place of  sea-weed?  Well, It’s the humble savoury cabbage or curly cabbage that are available in supermarkets all year round. Have fun shredding it into tiniest of pieces and you will have a lovely heap of greens.  They taste so much alike sea-weed, I even happened to suspect whether Chinese restaurants serve us cabbage too !!

cabbage

How to make restaurant quality sea-weed in actual sense savoury cabbage,  is given at the bottom of my dumplings recipe.

Let’s make dumplings for dinner tonight.  

Dough it.

300 g Plain flour for 300 g minced pork – enough for 30 – 35 moderate size dumplings.

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  • Place 300 g of plain flour in a bowl and make a well in the middle.
  • Pour 1/2 cup boiling water into the well.

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  • Cover and let the steam spread for 3 mins.
  • Open and run a wooden spoon across, mixing flour with water.
  • Now, add more light warm water gradually  and kneed the dough until it won’t stick on your fingers.
  • Bring it to a ball, cover with a cling film and keep aside.

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Let’s get on with the filling now.  

Ingredients needed :

Although, I recommend minced pork as best for this recipe, you can opt for minced chicken or shredded cooked prawns in place of pork.

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 Minced pork / chicken  300 g
 Spring Onion – Class A  1  1/2  bunch
 Dark Soy sauce  4 tbsp
 Blended sesame oil  3 tbsp
 Brown sugar  1/4 tsp
 Ginger – cut into tiny pieces  1 tbsp
 Salt  3 pinches
 Corn flour  4 tbsp
 Rice vinegar  1 tbsp
 Cabbage shredded into tiny pieces (Adding cabbage will stretch the quantity more.  Omit this if you are making for a fewer people.  Only with spring onions, dumplings will have more flavour)  1/2 cup

Lets make : 

Mix it

  • Combine pork mince, soy sauce, spring onions, sessame oil, corn flour, rice vinegar, salt, ginger and sugar.

Fold it

  • Take out your dough and divide into equal size small balls as the size of a red cherry.   Dust a tray or plate with plain flour and arrange them side by side.  Cover lightly with a cling film.
  • Dust the work surface with plain flour.
  • Take out one ball and flatten it to a round using a rolling pin.
  • Place a spoon full from the meat mixture in the middle.

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

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Steam it

  • Make enough for one round of steaming.  While they are steaming away, make the next batch.
  • Brush oil on the bottom and sides of the steamer and arrange dumplings, leaving a tiny gap from each other.
  • Steam on high flame for 5 – 7 mins.

Chinese dumplings

 

  • You will notice the outer cover is cooked properly and glistering.  Now, take the steamer part out and remove dumplings carefully with a spoon or a tong and place gently on a plate.
  • Serve immediately with dipping sauce and sea-weed.

Recipe for the Soy dipping sauce 

  • 2 tbsp of Dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp of warm water
  • Chopped coriander leaves
  • Chopped long red chili pieces for a fiery taste. (avoid this when serving kids)

chil

  • Whisk all together and serve in a separate bowl next to dumplings.

(Chinese chili oil. chili paste or fiery chili and garlic sauce are another options.)

Sea-weed side dish

dav

  • Simply shred the curly cabbage thinly.
  • Deep fry in batches until crispy. (make sure to take out while they are still green.  frying too long could make the colour brownish)
  • Add brown sugar and salt as per your taste.
  • Your yummy sea-weed is ready in a jiffy !!
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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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Chicken in Creamy Gravy – Delicious chicken with yogurt and coconut milk

nfd

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.
    nfd
  • 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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Chicken noodle soup – A bowl of comfort to soothe away winter colds

davNothing makes you more miserable than a steady string of sneezes that followed by a runny nose and a throbbing headache.  You instantly know that this misery will last at least a couple of days.  So, try this  smooth and silky  soup with vibrant colours that could instantly make you feel better,   true to the age old belief that chicken soup has a magical power to soothe away the cold symptoms hastening the recovery.

I have added a variety of colourful vegetables into this soup and the noodles and potatoes in it make the soup a more nourishing and a filling one.  You could also make this as a hearty dinner choice,  ideal for winter months for the whole family.

What you need:

 Chicken 250 g
Maggi noodles (plain) 1 pkt
Riped tomato 1
Carrots (medium) 3
Green beans 5
Leeks or spring onions 1 bunch
Garlic cloves 3
Onion 1
Knor soup cube (Chicken flavour) 1
Potatoes  4 – 5 new potatoes

Let’s make :

Chop it

  • Cut the chicken into bite size pieces.  A few bony pieces could make the soup more flavourful.
  • Cut carrots into thin rounds, green beans into 1 inch pieces, leek or spring onions into small pieces.
  • Chop the onion , cut the potato into chunk and slice the garlic cloves.

Saute’ it

  • Now add 1 tbsp of olive oil into a heavy bottom pan heat it up.
  • Add chopped onions and garlic.  Saute.
  • Add carrots , potato and green beans.
  • Add the white parts of leeks or spring onions.  Saute all a few mins.
  • Now add the chicken pieces and fry all together until the chicken becomes white.

Water it

  • Add 2 or a bit more glasses of water, cover and boil under medium flame.
  • In 15 mins all the veggies and chicken will be cooked. If not, cover and boil for further few mins.

Noodle it

  • Crush the noodle packet and add to the pot and in 2 mins they will be cooked.
  • Now, crush the soup cube and add to the pot.  Stir.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

Simmer it

  • Simmer on low flame for 5 mins.
  • Serve piping hot with a few buttered toasts.

 

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Cannelloni – Tubes stuffed with a creamy, meaty filling

nfd nfd

Cannelloni means “large tubes” in Italian and are actually the familiar pasta made to look like tubes, which is more or less similar to lasagna in the preparation process.  Yet, the appearance of this dish and the joy of digging the juicy meaty filling oozing out of the tubes is a unique experience indeed!!

You can fill these tubes in any of your favourite vegetarian or non-veg stuffing and bake with lots of cheese tossed on the top. In this dish, I stuffed cannelloni tubes with a mixture of  ground beef and a large assortment of vegetables and served with stir-fried spinach on side to make it a completely healthy and delicious meal.

Make this absolutely mouthwatering dish to make your gloomy winter months much cosier and a bit warmer.

What you need:

  • Napolina Cannelloni tubes – 1 & 1/2 packets
  • Loyd Grossman brand Tomato and Chili sauce – 1 bottle or 1/2 more

cannellonigrossman

 Ground beef – lean only 5% fat 500 g
Ketchup 2 tbsp
Carrots 3
Spinach a handful
Bell peppers (large) – yellow, red, green 1 each or more
Salt and pepper to taste
Garlic (chopped)
Onion 2 large
Cheddar cheese and Mozzarella cheese ( grated)
 Milk  1/4 cup

Let’s make it:

Boill it

  • Boil the cannelloni tubes according to the instructions of the pack.  Drain the water and separate the tubes carefully and set aside.

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Cut it

  • Cut the veggies and place around a plate.

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Saute it

  • In a large wok heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil and sweat the chopped onions.  Add chopped garlic.
  • Add the carrots circles and all the bell peppers.
  • Saute the veggies.

Beef it

  •  Push the veggies to a side and add the ground beef.nfd

Fry it

  • Dry fry the beef, breaking up the lumps with a wooden spoon until browned.  This will take about 10 mins.

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Mix it

  • Bring beef and veggies together .
  • Add milk and tomato ketchup.  Simmer.

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Sauce it

  • Add Loyd Grossman tomato and chili sauce and give a thorough stir.

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  • Add salt and pepper to taste and assemble all together.
  • Toss spinach on top and let them wilt.

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Cheese it

  • Toss a hand full of  grated Cheddar cheese with 1 tsp of oregano (optional)
  • Let the pot bubble for a few mins and turn off the flame.

Fill it

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 C.
  • Opt for a wide Pyrex dish or a baking dish and pour a little milk onto the bottom.
  • Hold the cannelloni tubes gently in one hand and fill the beef mixture and arrange on the baking dish side by side.
  • Once the dish is full top it with lots of grated Cheddar and Mozzarella cheese.

Bake it 

  • Cover the dish with a kitchen foil and leave one edge slightly open for steam to escape.
  • Bake for 30 – 40 mins or  the top  turns golden.
  • Take out from the oven and let the dish rest for 5 mins.
  • Meanwhile,  stir fry some spinach and garlic cloves in a little butter and toss a  pinch of brown sugar to enhance the flavour.
  • Serve your beautiful golden cannelloni with spinach stir fry on the side.
  • Bon appetit !!

nfd

Tips :

  • You can add any lasagna white sauce brand in place of milk to make the filling extra creamier but it will feel quite heavy in the tummy .
  • Always use a wide  Pyrex or a ceramic baking dish, not a baking tray used for cakes as the bottom of the tubes can come out hard.
  • Be liberal on spinach and vegetables to make it more healthier.
  • A few drops of oil and salt while boiling the cannelloni tubes can prevent them from sticking.  And do not crowd the pan too much with tubes as they could stick to each other and tear off easily.
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Lamb Stew Curry – Juicy, succulent spring lamb in a stew style gravy

lamb stew1

I make it a point to make this dish on special occasions as it always stands out in taste as well as in appearance.  Nothing couldn’t be easier to make something so pleasing to your family  or guests than this dish, as it has everything they always are fond of –  the delicious taste, mouthwatering aroma and the juicy appearance .

Kids love the silky and succulent lamb pieces that melts into their mouths and the gravy, which is not so spicy, but full of flavours.  The secret of bursting flavours in this dish is that it is boiled with all the spices first and then added to the fry-up with pieces and juices altogether.

You can substitute mutton with lamb and pressure cook until the meat is soft and tender.  If you boil mutton in a pot, it takes a longer, but eventually become tender.  However, remember to add two tbsp of papaya paste , as part of our beloved grandmothers’ wisdom to make the meat tender, while marinating.  Scientifically, papaya contains enzymes that acts on proteins.  Please note that Papaya paste  is available in local Asian grocery shops.  papaya What you need to make this:

 Spring lamb/mutton 300 g
Onion 1 large
Coriander powder 2 tsp
Cumin powder 2 tsp
Salt to taste 1/2 tsp
Turmeric 2 tsp
Tomato 1 large
Green chilies 2
Chili powder 2 tsp
 Ginger garlic paste  2 tbsp
  • 1 tsp Garam masala and chopped coriander leaves for sprinkling on top and  garnishing.
  • Papaya paste for marinating.

Let’s get started:

  • Cut the lamb  into medium size pieces and place in a pan/pressure cooker.
  • Half of all above listed ingredients must be added to the pan and massage thoroughly with meat.  Leave for 20 min to marinade.
  • Follow the list below for 1/2 of all the ingredients listed above:
 Onion 1/2 chopped finely
Salt 1 tsp
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Ginger garlic paste and papaya paste 2 tbsp each
Chili powder 1 tsp
Green chili 1 slit
Oil 1 tbsp
 Pepper powder  1 tsp
  • After 20 mins pour water a little above the lamb pieces, cover and cook until water drops down half way of lamb pieces.  If you prefer more gravy, pour a bit more water at the beginning.   But adding water afterwards will not give this dish the required taste.
  • Keep the cooked pot of lamb aside which will look like this:

lamb stew3

  • Now, in a wide wok, add 2 tbsp of oil.
  • Drop a clove, a stick of cinnamon, 2 cardamoms and a few curry leaves and fry.
  •  Now add the remaining half of the chopped onion.  Saute until golden.
  • Add a slit green chili.
  • Add ginger garlic paste. (you can add freshly grated ginger and garlic for more aroma and taste)
  • Add all the spices, chili powder, pepper powder and salt.  Fry.
  • Add the chopped tomato.

lamb stew1

  • Fry until all comes together and oil separates.
  • Now, add the lamb pieces with all it’s gravy into the wok.
  • Mix thoroughly, cover and simmer under  low flame.
  • After 5 mins, open the lid, give a good stir and raise the flame high for 2 mins to thicken the gravy and oil to float up.
  • Sprinkle garam masala and gently mix.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  • Cover and let the stew to rest.  This allows all the flavours to blend nicely.
  • Time to serve for all hungry mouths!!!
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