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 the 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 Oven 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 helps 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

This one-pot Pilchard fried rice is a feast to the palate!

A great choice for someone looking for a healthy version of meat-free special rice dish 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 give the best results.

Get  ready with these items:  

Pacific Pilchard in  rich tomato sauce1 small tin 155 g
Rice (White basmati)1 & 1/2 cups
Ginger and garlic grated1 tbsp
Coriander leaves and stems1 cup
Tomato1 juicy
Onions1 large
Fish sauce1 tbsp
Soy sauce2 tbsp
Ketchup2 tbsp
New / Baby Potatoes6 cut into chunkes
Cumin seeds and mustard seeds1 tsp each
 Salt 1/2 tsp or to taste
pilchard

Let’s Make it:

  • First, wash the rice until water runs clear.   Drain water and keep aside
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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 !!!
Dumplings

Chinese Dumplings – with Juicy Pork filling

I must say that 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, while experimenting with dumpling-making for a while, to my delight, I came out with such exciting results. As a matter of fact, the overall taste is completely based upon the filling. Pork mince is best for this recipe and by adding a lot of spring onions along with other ingredients, make it supremely delicious.

Surely, it became an instant hit with my family and 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 deep-fried savoury cabbage! Well, it tasted very satisfyingly crunchy and flavourful just like the original version of fried sea-weed.

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.
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  • 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 meantime, make the filling.

What you need for the filling;

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 Pork mince or Chicken mince300 g
Spring Onion – Class A  – 120 g1 bunch
Soy sauce (dark)4 tbsp or more
Blended sesame oil4 tbsp
Brown Sugar3 pinches
Ginger – shreded1 inch root
Salt3 pinches
Corn flour4 tbsp
Rice vinegar1 tbsp
Cabbage – shredded1 cup (optional)
  •  Pork mince is a better choice for this recipe as it gives very flavourful results.
  •  A cup full of shredded Chinese cabbage along with spring onions could be added to increase the volume if you are making them for a larger family or a gathering.

Let’s make:

Steam in the rice cooker
  • Divide the dough into equal size balls
  • Lightly flour the surface of the kitchen worktop or a wide chopping board.  Place a ball of dough and roll it to a flat round disk, using a rolling pin
  • Place a tablespoon of meat mixture on the middle
Place the filling in the middle of the flatten disk

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

  • Make enough for one round of steaming. While one batch is in the steamer, you can go ahead making the next batch and place them on a dusted 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 soft-edged tongs and place on a plate.

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 chilli oil or chilli paste which are ideal dippers for these dumplings.

Sea-weed fried

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  • 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 its 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 making it, so, needless to say, that it always came out the best!  However, she only made it on special occasions or on Sundays as a special treat for the family or friends who stopped by.

Unlike the usual biryani dishes, the cooking process is very simple and easy; any novice could come out with the mouthwatering 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 :

ChickenWhole small chicken or 350 g of chicken legs cut into medium size pieces
Basmati Rice2 & 1/2 cups
Plain Yoghurt1/2 cup
Knor or Maggi Chicken soup cubes1 and 1/2
Roasted curry powder or garam masala2 tbsp
Onion2 large
Ginger and garlic2 tbsp grated
Cloves, peppercorns and cardamoms, cinnamon5 each crushed
Turmeric powder and pepper powder1 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 chillies and add into the jar
  • Thinly cut the 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 together
  • Taste and add more salt or lemon, if needed.
  • Done!

Chicken gravy

  • Marinate the chicken pieces with ginger and garlic paste, chilli powder, pepper powder, slit green chilli, 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 chilli 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 Beef Burger – Juicy homemade Burger Treat!

beef burger

Make these juicy beef burgers for kids coming all hungry from school or after bouncing hours in the playground! They will simply love to tuck into these and shower you with compliments! Be ready with some extra burgers in case!

Wrapped nicely in a foil, these could go into anyone’s office or school lunch pack too. The best news is that you can tuck into these home-made burger buns, without a  guilt as they are free from all kinds of preservatives or processed ingredients.  You can wrap the extra burgers with a cling film, place them in a plastic box and store them in the freezer which could come quite handy on a later date.     

So, let’s make them;

Get ready with the following ingredients;

Minced lean beef300g
Burger buns8 -10
Large onion1 very thinly chopped
Tomato Ketchup3 tbsp
Egg1
Soy sauce2 tbsp
Coriandar leavesA handful choppped (Optional)
White bread slice 2  grate into crumbs
 Salt 1/4 tsp adjust according to your taste
Pepper 1/4 tsp

Let’s make;

Mix

  • 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; mincemeat, chopped onion, bread crumbs, chopped coriander, 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 patties on top of each and top them with  slices of cheese singles/slices and leave for a min for the cheese to melt slightly
  • Take out from the pan and squeeze a dollop of burger sauce, ketchup or mayo on top
  • Arrange slices of tomatoes, cucumber and lettuce
  • Cover with the top part of the bun and press down gently.
  • Wrap in foil paper and stack them on a tray
  • Serve warm
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Fluffy breakfast pancakes

Breakfast Pancakes – Fluffy and spongy

These spongy, sweet pancakes is a delightful start for the day. My son wakes up on Saturday mornings and races into the kitchen to make these on his own; I am sure you can understand his enthusiasm! 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 under sizzling butter. They will love to munch a few strawberries dipped in Nutella along with their pancakes. There are numerous ways to make them look extra special and taste even better! Simply follow your tastebuds!

Strawberries dipped in Nutella choc spread served with pancakes!

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

 Self-raising flour(this make very soft pancakes. You can use plain flour with a bit more baking powder150g (1cup)
Milk150g (4/3 cup)
Caster sugar30g ( 2 tbsp)
Baking powder1/2 tsp
Salt3 pinches
Egg1
Butter for frying 

 Let’s start:

  • Into a mixing bowl, sieve the flour, salt and baking powder together
  • In a jug, add the egg and milk and whisk them together and add sugar.  Rapidly whisk until the sugar dissolves
  • Pour the milk, sugar and egg mixture into the flour and beat gently with a wooden spoon until a smooth batter is formed without any lumps
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  • 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
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  • Fry the pancakes for 2 mins and flip to the other side
  • Once both sides are golden, take out from the pan and repeat with the rest of the batter
  • Serve with maple syrup, runny honey, bananas or chocolate spread on the side.

Roasted curry powder recipe

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 of making it 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 whole2 cups
Cumin whole1 & 1/2 cups
Cloves1 tbsp
Cardamoms1 tbsp
Dried red chili whole6
Black pepper whole1 tsp
Cinnamon quills4 broken into small pieces
Raw rice1 tbsp
Curry leaves and Pandan leavesA handful each

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, 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.
  • Finally, 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, let’s grind them up.

Set your grinder to full speed (A coffee grinder is perfect for the job)

  • Add a handful of roasted spices and grind until smooth, empty on to a sheet of paper and then slowly fill into an airtight spice container
  • Continue this process, taking short intervals, as over-heating could damage your grinder
  • Tightly close and store away your spice container until needed

Cake tips, Equipment and Techniques

cupcake cases  419IsK3Gc1L__SX355_

cupcake cases- silicon

salter-60-minute-clockwork-timer233692337   flour   stork

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cup cake traycake tin

  • Use the right equipment : To cream up the cake batter, use an electric hand mixer for best results.  Traditionally, a wooden spoon was used, but now, this machine does a quicker and easier job.
  • Measure ingredients accurately :  For a beautiful cake, all ingredients should be measured with 100% accuracy as specified in the recipe.  The best equipment to facilitate this particular need is a digital scale rather than a normal kitchen scale.  For a volume of 1Kg cake, for instance,  you need, 250 g butter, 250 g sugar, 250 g Self-raising flour and 4 eggs.
  • Use the best ingredients :  Using good brands for your cake is very important for the best results.  The brands that I have been using for the past 15 years are shown above.  All ingredients should be kept at room temperature, before making the cake batter.
  • Mixing the cake : Make sure you beat the batter, clockwise with your electric hand mixer in order to get the right consistency – never side to side or counter clockwise.  Mixing will take for about 3 – 5 mins at high speed.
  • Eggs :   Make sure you use Class A medium eggs that are kept at room temperature.  Take out from the fridge 1/2 hour early or if you are in a hurry, drop them in a bowl filled with lukewarm water for 10 mins. 
  • Butter : I personally do not prefer using butter, as the cake goes stiff after  a few hours in cold climates.  Before using, however, you need to soften up the butter, which gives you an extra task to attend to.  There are very good spreads available in supermarkets, especially made for baking purposes, which are naturally creamy and stay creamy in the fridge too. I use Stork, especially for cakes tub, which has never let me down; it rather helped me bake such glorious cakes.
  • Sieve the flour :  Use self-raising flour for cakes, unless suggested otherwise in the recipe. For some cakes, a blend of both self-raising and plain flour are used.   Swift the flour and baking powder together,  holding the sieve, well above the cake batter.  This will allow the air to escape from the flour, giving a very light, soft texture to your cake.  Make sure you use a wooden spoon to co-ordinate flour and batter together, never the electric hand mixer.  Lightly, fold flour bringing from the sides and dropping to the middle and going around gently until all comes together as soft batter.
  • Sugars :  Use Caster sugar, which is  ideal for cakes.  The mixing time will take up to 1-2 mins for caster sugar as it dissolves very  quickly.  However,  you can use granulated sugar, which gives the same results.   The only difference is that you have to extend the mixing time up to 3-4 mins, up until the sugar granules breaks down and dissolves.
  • Baking powder :  Baking powder is a key ingredient,  as it helps the cakes to rise.  Use a good brand and never use too much.  Excessive baking powder will make the cake taste bitter, leave a sunken cake and a wrinkled  surface.
  • Baking tray :   Choose the right size for your cake.  If you have a large tray, you can divide it by using a thick strip of a cardboard to fit for a smaller quantity of batter.  Remember, never to fill the trays to the brim as the cake doubles it’s volume while rising.  So, fill the tray – 2/3  or half.  ( 8″ x 10″ Oblong tray for 1 Kg cake). For cupcakes, use cupcake trays to place the cupcake cases filled with batter so that they do not spill out and stay intact.  Silicon cupcake cases are great for handling and they could be re-used after a quick wash with warm water.
  • Lining the tray : Use parchment paper to line up the tray.  Do not worry if you have run out of parchment paper; you can use  white blank sheet papers, cut into the shape of the tray and brush butter all over,  dust the surfaces with flour and shake off the excess.  
  • Vanilla essence : Use a good brand of natural vanilla essence.
  • Lemon juice      : Dropping just 1tbsp of lemon juice to your cake batter will make a big difference.  It will give a very pleasant aroma  as well as taking the taste to the highest limits.
  • Salt :  Most of the modern recipes do not include salt in theirs.  Yet, salt used as a vital ingredient for baking since Victorian times.  Just a pinch or two salt will help blending the flavours and heightening the taste.
  • Oven : Set the oven to 180 C , 20 mins before you pop the cake in.  Depending on your oven, the self that you place the cake on differs.  It should be either in the middle self or the bottom.  It’s very important to be in tune with your oven. Bake a few small cakes and check the exact place which bakes your cake to perfection.  Do not open the door of the oven in the first 10 mins of baking as it will drop the cake in the middle.  Baking time varies according to the set ups in ovens.  Normal baking time is 15 – 25 mins.
  • Wooden skewers :  Use a thin wooden skewer to insert in the middle of the cake after 15 mins of baking time.  If the skewer comes clean, your cake is ready!!!! If the skewer is damped with a few bits of batter, shut the door and bake for another 5 mins.
  • Cooling :  Leave the cake in the tray for 5 mins to cool off.  If you try to take it out, the cake can break in several places.  Slowly pull from the sides of the parchment paper and take the cake gently out to leave it to rest on a cooling rack for about 10 mins.
  • Cutting the cake :  Dip the knife in hot water, wipe clean before cutting the cake to prevent it from crumbling.
  • Serve the cake  :  Now, serve your cake with a big SMILE !!!     Store the left overs in an air tight container.  When serving next day, microwave the cake pieces on a plate just for 5 seconds and everyone will think  that they came straight from the oven – so soft, nice and warm!!

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