GOLDEN PINEAPPLE TARTS/NASTAR NANAS.

Nastar or Pineapple tart is a small, bite-size pastry filled with pineapple jam, commonly made during festivals such as christmas or Ramzan Idd. These delicate, literally melt in the mouth tarts and are so delicious that you cannot stop at one. Here margarine works better than butter, imparting a lovely fragrance. During festivals its very common for Indonesian ladies in villages and small towns to come together, making 1000’s of these tarts , boxing them and marketing them, like a cottage industry. As they are popular gifts

The first time I had these, I was blown off by the taste of these.
Do try these delicious easy to make tarts.

https://youtu.be/uRqe3VazQzU

Ingredients for Pinapple filling

300 gms fresh pineapple coarsely blended.
60 gms Sugar.
1 star anise
Small pc of cinnamon
2 or 3 cloves
Method.
Put the pinapple pulp in a sauce pan along with spices and sugar, cook untill you see a jam like consistency, ( discard spices) Pls do not overcook, remember it becomes harder on cooling down. Remove on a plate, and make 4 gms(1/2 tsp) size balls and chill in the refrigerator while you make the tart covering.

Ingredients for tart
All Purpose Flour 100 gms
Cornstarch 40 gms
Unsalted butter or margarine 100gms
Milk powder 44gms
Fine sugar 44gms
Egg yolk 1
1/2 tsp salt

Cream butter and sugar in a bowl using a whisk or spatula.
Add the egg yolk and mix again
Add APF, cornstarch, salt and milk powder.
Mix well and bring the dough together still using spatula.
Now pinch off 9 to 10 gms of the dough
( roughly about 30 balls)
Flatten each ball on your palm , place the pineapple ball on it, and bring the edges together, roll to form balls.
Place all the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake in a preheated oven @140 degrees celcius for 30 mins.

Remove, wait for 10 mins till the tarts are slightly cool, and brush eggwash over the tarts twice over.
Bake again for 15 to 20 mins.

Cool and enjoy

Egg wash
Mix together 2 eggyolks, 1 tbsp of oil and 2 drops of yellow colour( colour is optional).

You can watch how to make these on this link

Indonesian steamed cake aka Kue Pepe

Kue Pepe or Indonesian steamed cake

This 9 layered cake is very popular in south eastern countries, every country has its own take on this. Mostly its pandan flavour based. The proof of a good made KUE is the ability to peel off the layers, . This traditional  cake is easy, but a little time consuming. 7 mins between each layer, and a final 25 mins to finish off. The texture will be glutininous and a bit sticky. This kue uses no oil. Its available at most markets and bakeries. Cut into slices and wrapped neatly in plastic.
The satifaction in making  it at home is awesome.  Pls do try it.
Because I made it with mocha flavours, it resembles the goan cake Bebenica.
But I understand that Bebenica is baked. This is steamed.

Recipe credits go to my son Karan who made it for his youtube channel

.https://youtu.be/0Y1lxTavKRg

I will share the step by step photos in comments.
Ingredients.
The recipe is –

– 200 ml thick coconut milk
– 400 ml water
– 150 gms tapioca flour

– 75 gms all purpose flour
– 200 gms sugar
– 1 tsp vanilla powder (can substitute vanilla essence if you prefer)
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 heaped teaspoon instant coffee ( dilute with 1 tbsp hot water)
– 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder( dilute with 2 tbsps hot water)

Method
Mix together tapioca flour, all purpose flour and sugar and salt, and vanila powder.
Now mix coconut milk and water, and add to the dry ingredients slowly, mix well till it forms a smooth batter.  ( can strain to make sure there are no lumps).
Divide the batter into 3 bowls. Following the ratio 2:1:1.

Now keep the bigger bowl aside.
Into remaining 2 bowls add diluted coffee and diluted cocoa powder.
Grease a rectangular container properly.

Heat a steamer, when its hot, place the container in it, and put 2 ladles of chocolate batter. Cover and steam for 7 mins. Next add 2 ladles of white batter. Steam for 7 mins. Now add 2 ladles of coffee batter. Steam for 7 mins. Keep alternating flavours till the last layer. Steam for 25 mins.
Remove the container and let it cool completely for few hrs, gently loosen it with a spatula and overturn on a chopping board which is covered with a plastic sheet.( important).
Next wrap the knife in a plastic and then cut the slices.( we find this easier)  Can try greasing the knife too.
Enjoy 

Javanese Soto Ayam ( Indonesian chicken Noodle soup)

Javanese Soto Ayam
(Indonesian chicken noodle  soup)
Soto is a traditional Indonesian soup mainly composed of broth, meat, and vegetables. Many traditional soups are called soto, and the ingredients vary from region to region.
Its a light flavoursome soup on the lines of a Burnese khowsuey, but minus the coconut milk. A DIY style of having soup. A flavoursome soup is made out of herbs, and chicken is normally boiled in it and shredded afterwards. Accompanied by some steamed vegetables. It does require some preparation but the end result is amazing.
Do try this soup as cooked in my home.
Its a one bowl meal.😊

Soups bring comfort during winters and make for a light meal during summers. Sadly, soups were not something made very often at home when we were kids.

Mummy made soup only if we were sick.😊.

But living in Indonesia, its been very easy to make friends with a number of soup varieties. And Soto is a favourite of mine.😊
On to the recipe…


Ingredients to be ground to a fine paste for the soup..
15 small shallots
1 inch pc of ginger
1 inch pc of galangal( can omit)
5 to 6 garlic pods
1 inch piece of fresh turmeric
1 tbsp corriander seeds
5 candle nuts( pan roasted) or 5 cashew nuts

To be added to the soup
300 gms chicken with bone( I prefer the thigh).

Ingredients for flavouring the soup
1 lemongrass root( bashed)
Few fresh bay leaves
Few kaffir lime leaves

Heat 2 tbsps of oil in a sauce pan
Add lemongrass root, bay and kaffir lime leaves. Saute till the herbs release thier fragrance.
Add ground paste and chicken,
saute till oil seperates.
Add 1 litre of hot water.
Add salt and sugar.
Let it simmer for 10 to 15 mins.
Remove chicken, shred and keep aside
Strain  the remaining soup and keep hot.
Prepare the remaining ingredients
1 cup finely sliced cabbage( blanched)
1 cup of bean sprouts( blanched)
1/2 cup of finely chopped spring onions and celery
1/2 cup of fried onions
2 potatoes( cut into thin slices and fried, or use ready potato chips)
Rice noodles, boiled and strained( about 1 big bowl)
1 bowl of shredded chicken
2 boiled eggs( quartered)
Slices of lime
Sambal( boil 6 red chillies, and blend with a little water, 2 pods garlic, salt.

Assembling
Take a bowl and add rice noodles, cabbage, beansprouts ,  boiled eggs, shredded chicken, potato chips, spring onions, fried onions.
Top with very hot soup. And enjoy with a squirt of lime juice and sambal.

Kumaoni Raita/ Pahari Raita

Raita, the unique ways in which yogurt is used in India. Most often than not, fresh raw  vegetables such as tomato, onion, cucumber, cilantro are chopped and added to whisked yogurt, which is then gently spiced up with salt , pepper etc. Raitas are served as an accompaniment with main meals to cool and refresh the palatte. The varieties of Raitas in Indian cuisine are endless, some like it sweet with fruits like pineapples added to yougurt , or some like it with Boondi( fried gramflour droplets ) in it.
Todays recipe THE KUMAONI RAITA comes from the hilly region of north India, UTTARKHAND. And uses cucumber and mustard seeds as the main ingredient.


When you talk about Uttarkhand, immediately you think of beautiful scenic mountains , high up in the clouds, where the  ice caped mountain  kiss the fluffy clouds which seem like Gossamer., and beautiful valleys and Rivers.
Also Known for  the famous pilgramage places such as Rishikesh, Mukteshwar, Haridwar and pretty hill stations like Nainital and Mussorie.
Uttarkhand has an awesome variety of food, which is simple and easy to put together.
One day I would love to visit this beautiful province, whose panaromic views have attracted me so much. Sigh!

Growung up in Pune, Yogurt in our home was served plain ,or sometimes it was made into a  potato or Boondi raita with a tadka of Rai and jeera,or if mummy was in a good mood,soft sweet dahiwaras were made , mostly on leisurely sunday afternoons . Those were the days when sunday was an important part of the week . That day was a movie date day for mummy and daddy, after which they took us to the local parks in Pune. Either Sambhaji park, or Peshwa park and sometimes to Bund garden . Childhood pleasures were simple but the memories left behind were priceless.
Koi lauta de mere  beete hue din..nostalgia.

On to the recipe, try to use cucumbers with less seeds.. My suggestion is to make the Raita in the night, to let the awesome flavours  of fresh mustard seeds merge into the yogurt. Or at least make it 6 hours before serving. This is a very simple no fuss recipe which comes together in no time. The tartness of mustard seeds, reminds one of wasabi flavours. Do try it.

Ingredients
300 gms fresh yogurt
300 gms cucumbers/ kheera
1.5 tsps mustard seeds
2 tsps cumin seeds
1 green chillies
1/2  tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp asofoedita /hing
1 tbsp mustard oil
2 dry red chillies..broken into smaller pieces
Red chillie powder and chopped cilantro for garnish

Method.
1. Whisk the yogurt in a bowl
2. Grate the cucumbers,DO NOT squeeze the water from cucumbers.
3. Grind together green chillies, cumin seeds, mustard seeds , turmeric powder.( I have used the mortar and pestle, to grind manually) you could use a mixer grinder.
4. Add the mustard paste to the whisked yogurt and mix well. Season with salt.
5. Add grated cucumbers. Mix well, cover bowl and refrigerate for minimum 6 hours.
6. Heat mustard oil in a small pan and add hing , dry red chillies.
7. Pour this tadka over the yogurt, garnish with red chillie powder and chopped corriander. Serve chilled.
Kheere ka raita is ready to be served.

I love having this kumaoni raita with Aloo pitika and luchis and sooji ka seera.

.

Ras kalaan

A vegetarian dish which is simple to cook and delicious to eat, describes Ras kalaan, which originates from the southern state of Kerala, inspite of not containing any onions, garlic or ginger, is yet so pleasing to the palette.
In today’s recipe I have added drumsticks, sweet potato, broccoli and green peas. Normally it is made using tubers like yam or potatoes. I like adding different vegetables to this, and at times, have even used mushroons, babycorn etc . Do try this recipe which comes together very quickly.
KALAAN, A name which was so unfamiliar to me years ago, until I stumbled upon it by chance when south Indian food was a big mood with me, it was that particular year when I was cooking a lot of south Indian food. Having been born and brought up In India, I love the regional food which our great country has to offer.
Back to the KAALAN, which is basically a keralite preparation, made with fresh coconut and yogurt. Its fresh and tangy taste is so refreshing , making you want to make it it often. The ideal pairing for this vegetable is rice, though I prefer having it with a roti adai(rice flour roti)or paratha.
Many of us have a image about south Indian food which probably consists of Dosa, Idli, Uttapams etc. Reality is that its a vast platter of numerous dishes which delight the palette. So, on to the recipe. Feel free to replace any vegetables with your favourites.😊

Ras Kalaan
Ingredients
4 drumsticks..scraped,cut into 4 to 5 pieces , and boiled.
1 small sweet potatoe, boiled and cubed
1/2 cup green peas( I used frozen)
1 cup broccoli flowerlets, par boiled.
(Roughly about 200 gms mixed vegetables)
1 cup fresh grated coconut
4 dry red chillies
2 cups fresh yogurt
1 tsp methi seeds (fenugreek)
1 tsp raw rice(washed)
2 tbsps palm sugar( gur) jaggery
1 or 2 green chillies
FOR TEMPERING
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 dry red chillies, broken into pcs
1 tbsp chana dal
1 tbsp urad dal
Few curry leaves
Salt
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

Method
1. Heat 1 tsp coconut oil in a pan and add 1 tsp methi seeds and 2 dry red chillies(broken). Saute for 2 mins.
2. Grind 1 cup grated coconut, 2 cups yogurt, 2 green chillies, 1 tsp raw rice, the sauted methi seeds and dry red chillies. Grind to a smooth paste. Keep aside.
3. Heat 2 tbsps coconut oil in a pan, add 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tbsp chana dal and 1 tbsp udad dal, curry leaves. Saute for a while till fragrant.
4. Add the vegetables and coconut paste along with turmeric powder, salt, 2 tbsps palm sugar and half cup of water.
5. Cook for 5 to 10 mins. Untill oil seperates.
Serve hot with steamed rice, or parathas.

Achari Brinjal Moju

Achari Brinjal Moju
Brinjal lovers will love this dish which has its roots in Sri Lanka, and is a staple in most Sri lankan homes and restaurants. This is basically a fried brinjal pickle, which is served at meals normally with rice, but I prefer having it with a chappati.(flatbread). This dish comes together in no time . The crunch of deepfried brinjal and shallots, subtle tangyness of vinegar and mustard and sweetness of sugar give this simple dish a balance which is amazing. There are many twists to this recipe, each one having its own charm. In my recipe today, I have added dijon mustard to enhance the tartness and sweet mango pickle instead of sugar. You can add honey or sugar instead. Tweak the recipe at your will.
This purple coloured vegetable called eggplant or aubergine is popular in many cuisines world wide. Be it the bhaigan ka bharta in north India, where the brinjals are flame roasted, mashed and cooked in an onion tomato gravy. Or the Greek Mousakka, where aubergine, minced meat sauce and potatoes come together to form a hearty casserole. As for me, my childhood memories of eating Brinjal are not very great😊the only way I really liked it was fried and sprinkled with dry spices. Mom would cut the brinjals into round pieces, give small cuts on the surface, and soak them in salted water for a while. Then squeeze the water out and deep fry till crisp. This was normally served with khichdi or pulav. It was much later that I developed a taste for brinjal cooked as a sabzi. And today its one of my favourite vegetable.😊 The aroma of brinjal being fried in the kitchen always draws me in to grab a few pcs of fried brinjal ..top on my list😊

Do try this simple and tasty recipe.

Ingredients
250 gms purple brinjal
2 tbsps flour
2 tbsps cornflour
10 shallots
2 green chillies and 2 red chillies ( cut slantingly)
1 sprig curry leaves
1 tbsps chopped garlic
1 tbsps finely chopped ginger
1/2 tbsp freshly powdered mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tsps black pepper powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp vinegar
2 tbsp homemade sweet mango chutney or achaar (pickle) or honey or powdered sugar. I have used my homemade sweet mango achaar.
2 tbsps fried onions
2 tbsps coconut oil
Some chopped corriander leaves.
Salt to taste

Method..
1..Cut brinjals into finger stick size.
Soak in salted water for an hour, squeeze dry, roll in a mixture of flour and cornflour. Deep fry till crisp. Keep aside.
Also deep fry the shallots and sliced chillies.

2… Mix mustard seed powder, dijon mustard, vinegar and sweet mango chutney together in a small bowl.

3…Heat 2 tbsps of coconut oil and saute curry leaves, ginger, garlic till fragrant. Shut the fire and add cinnamon, pepper and salt..mix well

4..Add the dijon mustard mix, fried brinjals, fried shallots and chillies.
Stir well and serve garnished with chopped corriander and fried onions.

** can be eaten at room temperature.
***best made at time of serving and consumed immediately.

Vegan omelette with Premix Recipe.

In a world where instant is becoming a norm, whether its instant noodles or instant meals which only need to be reheated. Everyone wants to cook something that is not time consuming or tedious and at the same time, nutritious. Today’s recipe is all that, instant and quick. A premix is always handy to have around in our pantry, and if it is a homemade premix, rest assured you are stress free knowing no preseravatives and chemicals are in it. HOMEMADE is the new normal now, especially since the world wide lockdown. A vegetarian omelette premix, which is also vegan is a boon to have, breakfast and snacking or even a light meal are suitably covered.
Growing up in Pune, my mom made a vegetarian omelette from besan(chick pea flour) frequently. This was our meal on days when she did not feel like cooking😊. 2 slices of white bread and a crisp besan omelette and tomato ketchup. Soul satisfying. I have added oats and flaxseed powder to the premix, making it more nutritious. This premix quantity will yield about 275 gms, which is good enough for about 15 medium omelettes. This premix stores well in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Ingredients

1 cup besan( chick pea flour)
1 cup oats
1/4 cup semolina
1/4 cup flaxseed
3 tbsp white sesame seeds
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp red chillie powder
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp saunf ( fennel seeds)
1 tsp jeera( cumin seeds)
1 tsp ajwain( carom seeds)

Method
Roast the sesame seeds for few mins and keep aside.
Grind seperately the oats and and flax seeds to a fine powder.
Mix together all the ingredients in a mixing bowl .
Store in an air tight container

To make the omelette.
In a bowl, take 2 tbsps of the premix and add about 2 or 3 tbsps of water( you might need more) mix gently and add some chopped onions and corriander leaves, and if you like it spicy add chopped chillies. Now mix and add little water to get a batter which is medium thin. Not to thin nor thick.
Heat a non stick pan, brush with oil and using about 2 or 3 tbsps of batter spread out making a thin omellete. Pour little oil around the omelette. Once crisp on the underside, flip over and let it become crisp. Serve with a chutney or chillie sauce.

Sindhi fusion Dal pakwan

This delicious dish of sindhi origin, barely needs an introduction,as it is so well known , almost like a trade mark for us sindhis. Crispy Pakwan( fried flat bread) topped with a creamy dal chana, garnished with citrusy onion relish, and a sweet and sour tamarind sauce, with a sprinkling of red chillie powder, its a match made in heaven, in terms of gastronomy.

Dal chana( lentils)is cooked to a creamy consistency, normally bland with just salt and turmeric. But I have been making the dal with a green twist since years, and its remained an earmarked recipe im my cook book.My version is slightly different , as I have added ginger, garlic and green chillies, and the addition of cardamom powder as it brings a subtle rich flavour to the dal, this is my fusion version😊
Mostly served for breakfast on lazy sundays.Growing up in pune, mummy usually made the dal at home, and prefered getting the pakwans from the sindhi uncle at babajan chowk, who sold dal pakwan from his cart only on sundays., It was something we looked forward to. In India it is sold in carts, in sindhi dominated areas, or even sweetmeat shops. That is not to say that only sindhi people relish this soul satisfying dish😊. People from all walks of life love and appreciate the deliciousness of dal pakwan.
Try making this at home and listen to the satisfying sighs around your table…😊
Yes, making pakwan is time consuming, but well worth the effort.

Ingredients for dal
1 cup dal chana ( Rinsed and soaked in water for 4 hours)
2 green chillies
5 pods garlic
1 inch pc of ginger
12 curry leaves..chopped finely.
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ajwain( carom seeds)
1/2 tsp saunf( fennel seeds)
1 tsp finely ground cardamon powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt, or as needed.
Method.
Boil the dal till soft, but not mashed.
Grind ginger, garlic and green chillies with little water.
Heat 2 tbsps oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, ajwain, saunf, curry leaves, add cardamon powder and turmeric powder.
Add the ginger garlic green chillie paste and saute for a while.
Now add the boiled dal and salt.
Add 1 cup water and let it cook on medium flame till the dal reaches to a thick consistency, but not mashed. Pour in a bowl and garnish with khatti meethi chutney, kechumbo kotmir and a sprinkle of red chillie powder.
Serve with pakwan,

Ingredients for Pakwan
1 cup flour( maida)
1 level tsp salt
1/2 tsp jeeri( caraway seeds)
1/2 tsp ajwain( carom seeds)
1 tbsp oil
Cold water to knead the flour.

Mix flour, jeeri, ajwain, salt and oil.
Add some cold water and knead a stiff dough. Dough should not be soft nor very hard. Medium hard dough. Knead well till pliable . Cover with a wet napkin and keep aside for half an hour. Now make small balls of the dough, roll out into thin puris. Prick with a fork.
Fill a wok with oil to upto half level
Heat till oil is medium hot.
Slide in the puris, press with a sloted spoon,for few seconds. Then let the puri continue to cook untill its crisp and golden brown.
Each pakwan takes upto 5 mins on a low to medium flame. Remove and keep aside.

Serve with a onion relish( kachumbo)
Cut one onion finely, add sliced green chillies, add little salt. Then wash under running water. Strain properly, add little sugar, vinegar and salt.

Khatti meeti chutney( sweet and sour sauce)
Boil together 4 tbsps thick tanarind paste with 4 tbsps grated jaggery. Abd about 10 tbsps water. Cook till medium thick.. strain into a bowl, add little salt, red chillie powder and jeera powder.

Asian fusion noodle omelette

Eggs, world wide favorite ingredient for countless recipes. You name it and an egg is most often present in most cakes, custards, souffles, in savoury dishes and the list goes on.
At our home eggs in some form are always present at breakfast time.
My favourite anytime dish is bedo dabroti( an omelette and a slice of bread).
Today’s recipe incorporates instant noodles mixed with beaten eggs and some vegetables to give you a noodle omelette. The slight difference here is that I have not cooked the noodles. So the omelette has a bit of crunch. A hearty snack or an accompaniment to a bowl of soup or a crunchy salad .
Do try this simple to put together recipe. Feel free to add or change the vegetables. A bit of crunchy bacon or ham will surely high light this simple wholesome dish. Came across this idea on a tik tok video and played around with the additional vegetables and realised that we used to make a similar omelette using cooked noodles. Flash back mode.😊. Do try this recipe.



Ingredients

2 packets of any brand instant noodles… maggie, indomie etc
Spice mix sachets( included with noodles)
2 tbsps finely chopped carrots
2 tbsps finely chopped cabbage
2 tbsps finely chopped paprika
2 tbsps finely chopped spring onions and celery.
3 big eggs or 4 small eggs.



Method..
Put the noodles from the 2 packets in a food processor and blitz for few seconds. You will get crushed noodles. Alternately you can crush the noodles manually while still in the packet, with your hands or a rolling pin.
Transfer broken noodles to a big bowl, add the spice mixture from both the packets. At this point you can add some chillie flakes or chopped chillies if you wish.
Add the carrots, cabbage, parika and spring onions celery to the noodles.
Beat the eggs seperately and add to the noodles. Mix well and add to a preheated nonstick frying pan to which about 3 tbsps oil have been added.
Spread the egg mixture evenly.
Cook on a low flame for few mins, untill golden brown.
(Do not cover)
Gently flip the omelette. Cook for a few more minutes.
Remove onto a platter and cut into wedges.
Serve hot…
** as we are using the spice packets which are included in instant noodle packets, there is no need to add salt or any other spice. Unless you wish to make it more spicy.