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:
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:
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 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 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|
|Fish sauce||1 tbsp|
|Soy sauce||2 tbsp|
|New / Baby Potatoes||6 cut into chunkes|
|Cumin seeds and mustard seeds||1 tsp each|
|Salt||1/2 tsp or to taste|
Let’s Make it:
- First wash the rice until water runs clear. Drain water and keep aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 !!!
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.
- 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;
|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|
|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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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 .
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)
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.
- 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 !!
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|
|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:
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
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 !
- 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
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|
|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|
To serve : Cheese singles, thinly sliced tomatoes, cucumber, lattuce and burger sauce
Let’s make :
- 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
- 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.
- 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
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 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 under sizzling butter.
For a change, mix a few drops of red or green liquid cake colour to the batter to make a batch of velvety red pancakes and see the delightful wonderment among your kiddies!!
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|
|Butter for frying|
- Into a mixing bowl, sieve the flour, salt and baking powder
- In a different 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
- 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
- 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 side.
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|
|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|
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;
- 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!!