Swetha's Fusion
Where there is Fusion there is Creation!

Cocadas -From Bolivia /or/ Macaroons from Italy (Coconut Candies)

Saturday, July 23, 2011
This is my daughter's cooking. She made it for a Spanish class potluck.
Cocadas are lot similar to Macaroons.
Very popular that we have a candy bar in honor -'Almond Joy'

. Grated coconut - 2 2/3 cups
. Sweetened Condensed milk - ¾ cup
. Egg - 1
. Almond extract ( or essence) - ¼ teaspoon

1. In a bowl, mix shredded coconut, egg, condensed milk, and almond essence until everything is well mixed.

2. Let rest for two or three minutes.

3. Spread butter on a baking sheet.

4. Using two teaspoons, put small amounts of the mixture in the baking sheet.

5. Bake at medium temperature (European oven: 163 Celsius degrees; American oven: 325 Fahrenheit degrees) for twenty-five minutes or until they are golden, dry and smooth at the same time.

Yields 24 regular-size coconut candies


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~ Cocadas -From Bolivia /or/ Macaroons from Italy (Coconut Candies) ~
Posted by Swetha @ 7/23/2011 07:22:00 PM :: 1 comments

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Chicken Kebab / Chicken Kabob

Friday, July 15, 2011
Summer Time is Barbeque Time!
I got this recipe from one of my aunts. Thanks Ambu aunty for sharing the recipe. I should say she is a wonderful cook; everything she cooks tastes so good. Her fish fry is- to die for. You can check out my version of Fish fry, but its nothing compared to hers. Since my aunt does not have a BBQ grill, she deep fries the Kebab. It’s like Chicken pokoda (see picture below).
. Boneless tender Chicken breast – 3 chicken breast fillets
. Fresh Ginger paste – 1 tbsp.
. Fresh Garlic paste – 1 tbsp.
. Chilli powder – 1 tbsp. (or to taste, depending on how spicy you want)
. Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp.
. Salt – to taste.
. Garam Masala Powder – ½ tsp.
. Kasuri Methi – 1tbsp. (I use MDH Peacock Kasoori Methi)
. Lemon Juice – from 1 lemon
. Egg white – from 1 egg.
. Corn flour – 3 tbsp. ( corn starch works well too)
. Cooking color (Red) – ¼ tsp
. Butter – ½ cup
. Fresh coriander – chopped for garnish

1. Clean and cut the chicken into cubes.
2. Mix in turmeric powder, salt, and chilli powder with chicken pieces.
3. Next mix in ginger/garlic paste, lemon juice and garam masala powder. Keep it aside for 10 - 15 minutes
4. While chicken pieces are soaking in the spices, in another bowl beat in corn flour with egg white and red color. Use a metal bowl, you don’t want to end up with red color stained tupperware.
5. Add the chicken to the egg mixture. Mix it all, cover it and let it marinate for at least an hour or two. . If you are planning a party you could prepare the day before the party and let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
6. Skewer the chicken piece and grill in an oven or on charcoal/electric grill for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
(Hint: Add onion wedges in between the chicken pieces so that it won’t stick together. Onion adds extra flavor too.)
7. Apply melted butter (and remaining marinade) with basting brush over chicken pieces, turn it over and cook on the other side. Repeat the step until chicken is well done.
8. Remove them from skewers & garnish with coriander leaves or cilantro.

Serve hot with lemon wedges on the side.
For Deep fried chicken Kabob.
Follow the procedure until step 5. Add a bit more corn flour/starch to make the coating thick. Deep fry the chicken pieces on medium-high flame until golden brown. Fry in small batches of 5 to 6 pieces at a time. Remove from the oil and drain the excess oil on a paper towel.

Serve hot with lemon wedges on the side.

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~ Chicken Kebab / Chicken Kabob ~
Posted by Swetha @ 7/15/2011 10:16:00 AM :: 0 comments

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Thursday, July 14, 2011
Hummus is a popular food throughout the Middle Eastern countries. Its basic ingredients are Garbanzo (chickpeas), Tahini (sesame paste), lemon, and garlic. Hummus is high in iron and vitamin C and also has significant amounts of folate and vitamin B6. Like other combinations of grains and pulses, it serves as a complete protein when eaten with bread. Hummus is served as an appetizer and dip or accompaniment with other Middle Eastern food like Falafel, grilled chicken, fish, or eggplant.

In my house, besides hummus being scooped up by Middle Eastern flatbread, pita bread or pita chips, I serve Hummus with crackers, tortilla chips or potato chips. I also use hummus has a spread on my sandwich or tortilla wrap – a healthier substitution for Mayonnaise ;)

Garbanzo = chickpeas/Kabul Channa(hindi)/Kadale(Kannada);
- if you don’t want to use canned Garbanzo, Soak 1 cup dry Garbanzo in 5 cups of water over night (about 10 to 12 hours) and use.

Here is my version of easy & delicious middle-eastern hummus recipe.

Makes about 3 cups

. Canned Garbanzo – 1 Can (drained, rinsed)
. Garlic – 3 cloves, crushed
. Olive oil - 100ml
. Chilli powder- ½ tsp (or to your taste … I like it spiced up)
. Ground cumin - 1/2 tsp
. Juice lemon – from 1 lemon
. Tahini paste - 2 tbs (optional)
– I don’t use tahini, for some reason I stay away from Sesame

1. Place all the ingredients -Garbanzo, garlic, olive oil, chilli powder, tahini paste, cumin and ½ of the lemon juice in a food processor and process until combined. Add 1/4 cup (60ml) of water and process again until quite smooth.

2. Now for extra flavor( my fusion version), add salt, cilantro or coriander, dried basil and parsley. Pulse couple of time to mix them all. Do a quick taste and add more lemon juice if needed. Since nature has made lemons in different sizes, I don’t want you to blame me if your hummus turn out overwhelmingly lemon-ish.

3. Spoon hummus in a bowl and top it with a table spoon of olive oil and cut olives.
Serve with toasted Turkish bread, pita bread wedges, pita crisps, bagel chips, tortilla chips or potato chips.

It's amazingly quick and super easy to make, delicious, and healthy. No cooking involved. Good summer cooking, I hate standing near the stove on a warm day. Just grab the blender and you are good to go.

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~ Hummus ~
Posted by Swetha @ 7/14/2011 11:48:00 AM :: 0 comments

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Weekend Beading - III

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~ Weekend Beading - III ~
Posted by Swetha @ 7/14/2011 10:53:00 AM :: 0 comments

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Karjikai - Karanji - Sihi Kadabu

Saturday, July 09, 2011
Karjikai is a South Indian traditional sweet. It is like a samosa but it’s sweet! Karjikai is made during Ganesh Charthuthi, Ugadhi, or Deepavali. Depending on region of South India it is referred to by different names. This is my mom’s recipe; she always used dry ingredients for the filling so the dish would keep for a long time ….as long as some mischievous hands didn’t eat it away by then! I mention other versions of the filling at the end.

. All purpose flour 2 cups
. Sooji Rawa 1 cup (Semolina)
. A pinch of salt
. Ghee (purified butter) 3 tbsp
. 1/2 cup warm Water to make dough
. Oil for deep frying

For Filling:
. Chickpeas ½ cup
. Grated Dry coconut ½ cup
. Sugar ½ cup
. Cardamom pdr ½ tsp (from 3 – 4 pods)
. Any dry fruit [Optional] Cashew or Almond (roasted and powered coarsely); or Raisins.

1. Mix the flour, Semolina and salt together. Heat 3 tbsp ghee in low flame, pour the boiling ghee into flour mix. Carefully blend the mixture.
2. Add enough water to make a stiff dough. Keep aside covered in a wet cloth or paper towel for half an hour.
3. Knead well again to make the dough soft and pliable.
4. In a blender, powder Chickpeas. Remove the content into a separate bowl.
5. Add grated dry coconut, sugar, cardamom powder and dry fruit. Mix all together and keep aside. – for filling
6. Make small balls from the dough. Roll and flatten each ball into thin circles (about 4 to 5 inches in diameter).
7. Spoon in the filling on one half of the circle and fold along the center. Seal the ends with some water or milk. As you see in the picture I have taken the edges and overlapped to form a design. Start from one corner, take both edges together from the tip of your finger, fold it over and press a bit; repeat the step until you reach the other end. This sounds like a lot of work, but believe me it is not. After practicing on couple of karjikai, your fingers will move very fast. In this way you are sure you have sealed the pouch well. You don’t want the filling to come out while deep frying. Hint: Give this job to the kids (or your husband :P) it will keep them busy and help develop their fine motor skills :D
8. Deep fry the Karjikai in oil on medium flame till crisp and golden. Since Karjikai puffs up while frying, fry 1 or 2 at a time.
9. Remove from oil onto paper towels and allow them to cool completely before storing.

Filling Variation 1 - with jaggary
Dry grated coconut - 2cups; Jaggary ¾ cup(grated); Sesame 4tbsp(roasted & crushed); Cardamom powdered ½ tsp.
Heat a thick bottom pan and add coconut and grated jaggary, fry them together for 6-7 mins, then add crushed sesame and cardamom powder and mix well, again fry for 2-3 mins then turn of the heat.
Filling Variation 2 – with milk
Grated Coconut-1 cup; Sugar-3¼ cups; Milk-1½ cups; Few Almonds; Few Raisins; Cardamom powder ½ tsp; 1 tbsp poppy seeds
Cook grated coconut (use fresh or dried), sugar, milk, chopped almonds and raisins, cardamom powder, and poppy seeds (optional) till the milk evaporates.
Filling Variation 3 – with cashew and melon seeds
Cashewnut – ½ cup; Musk Melon seeds – ½ cup; Powdered sugar – 1 cup; Cardamom powder – ½ tsp.
Dry cashewnuts, melon seeds under hot sun for one hour -- or microwave for 20 seconds :D --and let it cool. Powder separately, and mix together with powdered sugar and cardamom powder.
Filling Variation 4 – With Koa
Crumble sugarless thick milk Koa (if necessary put in a hot pan and keep on low flame and stir for a minute) and mix it with equal measure of powdered sugar, finely chopped cashews, raisins, cardamom powder and grated dry coconut.

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~ Karjikai - Karanji - Sihi Kadabu ~
Posted by Swetha @ 7/09/2011 09:22:00 AM :: 0 comments

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