Please check the New Pictorial Recipe Index under the heading 'Mouthwatering Recipes'. The Old 'Recipe Index' will be removed eventually.

Mugasgas

O for Oman. Oman is an Arab nation which holds a strategic position at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. 

Here is a delightful dessert/snack from Oman which will win your heart. It is not overly sweet but addictive for sure.

Recipe Source here
Ingredients - 

All Purpose Flour / Maida 2 cups
Baking Powder 1 tsp
Cardamom Powder
Condensed Milk 1 can (396g)
Warm Water 1/4 cup
Oil for deep frying


Mugasgas

Method Of Preparation -


In a mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder and cardamom powder and mix well.

Add the condensed milk and warm water and mix well to make a sticky dough.

Cling wrap it and set aside for 2 hours.

Flour your hands and pinch apple sized dough and roll into a 2-3 cm inch rectangle.

Using a pizza cutter or a knife, make small triangles or any other shape of your preference.

Heat oil and on medium heat , gently slide these dough pieces and let them evenly brown.

Remove onto paper towels to drain excess oil.

Sprinkle Pistachio powder or powdered sugar as a garnish and serve them warm. 




Preparation Time 45 min
Serves 20 (approx)

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Kokoro

N for Nigeria. Nigeria is a west African nation which is known as the 'Giant of Africa'. It is the most populous country in Africa.

Nigerian cuisine is known for its variety and richness. These cornmeal fingers are a very popular street food in Nigeria. They were just as popular at home :).

Recipe Source here
Ingredients - 

Cornmeal 1/2 cup
Water 1/2 cup
Salt, Red chilli Powder and grated ginger as needed
Oil for deep frying


Kokoro



Method Of Preparation -


In a mixing bowl, add the cornmeal, salt, red chilli powder and grated ginger.

In a sauce pan, heat water. After the water comes to a rolling boil, slowly add the cornmeal mixture while stirring continuously.

Stir until the water is totally absorbed.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoon of water, cover and remove from heat.

After about 5-10 minutes, remove the cooked cornmeal and knead until it results in a soft dough. If needed add a little more cornmeal. [I didn't have to add.]

Heat oil in a wok/kadai. 

Pinch lime sized dough and roll them into long fingers. I made them into 1 inch fingers.

Slide a few into the hot oil making sure there is enough space to accommodate all the fingers.

Fry until they are all evenly cooked.

Remove onto paper towels to drain excess oil.

Serve it as a tea-time snack.




Preparation Time 30 min
Makes about a cup

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Seven Layered Bean Dip

M for Mexico. I have heard such raving reviews about this bean dip but never had the opportunity to taste or make. The scene changed when we had a taste of this dip at my friend's place. We were totally sold on this.

This is such a versatile dip that we can add any vegetables as per our preference and enjoy it. I have since been making this at least once or twice a week.

I found that this is a very good way to ensure the kids get their share of salad and beans :). 

Seven Layered Bean Dip

Recipe Source Amsa
Ingredients - 

Red Kidney Beans(Rajma) 1 cup (Canned beans work well too)
Avocados, coarsely mashed 1 1/2 cups
Sour Cream 6 oz
Cheese, shredded upto 3/4 cup
Lettuce, chopped, upto 3/4 cup
Tomato + Red Bell Pepper, chopped 1/2 cup
Olives/Corn (Optional) 1/2 cup each
Spring Onion, chopped 1/2 cup

Seven Layered Bean Dip

Method Of Preparation -


I used Red Kidney Beans, soaked overnight and pressure cooked until soft. I also seasoned the cooked beans with Taco seasoning. Let it cool.

While the bean mixture is cooling, make the avocado paste. I seasoned it with garlic and salt (seasoning is totally optional).

In a glass bowl, spread the bean mixture evenly to make the bottom most layer.

Then spread the mashed avocado , sour cream, cheese, lettuce, tomato + Red bell pepper, Olive/corn and lastly spring onion in that order.

Cling wrap the glass bowl and refrigerate.It is recommended that it be refrigerated atleast for 6-8 hrs. But we used it up in 2 hrs and it was just fine.

Serve it with tortilla chips. I tried it as a filling in a hard shell taco, roti and it tasted just as delightful. My husband who wanted to spice it up a little added Sriracha hot sauce and enjoyed it as a salad! So the options are numerous.

Seven Layered Bean Dip




Preparation Time 40 min
Serves 8-10

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Apple Green Tea

L for Lebanon. Lebanon is a country at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian land. Therefore shaping a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. 

Apparently the Lebanese are fond of their fruit teas and so here is a version of Apple tea with the goodness of Apple and Green tea. A soothing hot tea on a cloudy/cold day is just what I want now!!

Recipe Source here
Ingredients - 

Apple, grated 1/2 
Water 2 cups
Green Tea Bags 2 
Cinnamon Powder couple pinches (Optional - I didn't use)
Honey and Lemon juice to taste


Apple Green Tea

Method Of Preparation -


Boil water and add the grated apple. Let it cook for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat.

Steep the green tea bags for a few minutes. Add the cinnamon powder, honey and lemon juice, cover and set aside for a few minutes.

Serve immediately for a very pleasant apple green tea!



Preparation Time 10 min + Waiting time 5 min
Serves 2

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Posted by Harini-Jaya R on Saturday, September 13, 2014

Kitheri

K for Kenya. Just as any African cuisine, this particular stew definitely appeals to the Indian palate. In Kenya, Kitheri is made in almost every home with slight variations. 

It is said that, to get the authentic taste of kitheri, the stew needs to be cooked on low heat. Also the corn used is a different variant of corn native to Kenya.

But this stew was just as popular at home with the ingredients we get locally. This is very filling and can be a meal by itself.  

Recipe Source here
Ingredients - 

Coconut Oil 2 tsp (I used Olive Oil instead)
Onions, chopped 1/2 cup
Garlic, grated 1 tsp
*Red Kidney Beans / Rajma 1/2 cup (or canned kidney beans)
Potatoes, peeled and chopped 1/2 cup
Carrots , peeled and chopped 1 cup
**Red and Green Capsicum, cored and chopped 1/2 cup
Zucchini, chopped 1 cup (I didn't use)
Corn, 1 cup (I used frozen corn)
Tomatoes 2 + Tomato paste 1 tsp
Vegetable Stock 1 cup
Salt as needed
Coriander leaves chopped 2 Tbsp

*I soaked the kidney beans overnight and boiled them to use in this recipe.
** I sneaked in some crushed serrano peppers (green chillies) as well as I felt the stew would be too bland for our taste!


Kitheri

Method Of Preparation -


In a thick bottomed pan (I used a pressure cooker), heat oil and saute the onions and garlic until the onions turn golden brown.

Add in the vegetables, tomato paste, vegetable stock, cooked red kidney beans and salt.

Cover and let it cook for about 30 minutes on a medium flame. I pressure cooked for about 20 minutes (typically 2 whistles) and after I could take the lid off, I let it simmer for another 10 min.

Remove and serve hot. We had the stew as is but according to the recipe source, it is typically served with Roti or Chapati Bread as they call it.


Preparation Time 35 min
Serves 3-4

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Carrot Juice

J for Jamaica. It is an island country in the Carribean Sea. It has been under the British rule for a few centuries and so there is a lot of influence of various cultures. 

This recipe apparently is a family recipe and is supposed to be a very popular one.

Try it out and I am sure you will agree.

Carrot Juice

Recipe Adapted from here
Ingredients - 

Carrots, chopped 1 cup
Half-Half milk  or sweetened Condensed milk 3 Tbsp
Vanilla extract a few drops or as needed
*Sugar as needed (I added 2 tsp)
Milk 1 1/2 cups
Nutmeg, powder for garnish

* No need to add sugar if using sweetened condensed milk


Carrot Juice

Method Of Preparation -


I used a juicer to extract the juice from the carrots. 

Blend in the half-half milk, regular milk, vanilla extract and sugar if using.

Adjust the flavors and serve it chilled with nutmeg as a garnish!




Preparation Time 10 min
Serves 2

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Posted by Harini-Jaya R on Thursday, September 11, 2014

Caprese Salad

I for Italy. No one needs introduction to Italy, right? Pastas, Spaghettis, pizzas etc., are so common these days. But check out this salad which will win hearts!! 

I was first introduced to fresh mozzarella cheese by my friend, Pooja. She made sure I tasted this salad at her place. This healthy salad is filling too. 

I found a similar recipe on the fresh mozzarella cheese pack as well. This is great party appetizer and easy to put together too. I wish I used fresh basil but I guess it doesn't spoil the fun of eating it in this form either!

Recipe Source Pooja 
Ingredients - 

Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, cubed 1 cup
Tomato, cubed 1 cup
Basil (preferred Fresh but I used dried basil) as needed
Salt as needed
Pepper as needed
Olive Oil just a drizzle (optional)


Caprese Salad

Method Of Preparation -


In a mixing bowl, cube the fresh mozzarella, tomato and sprinkle salt, pepper and dried basil.

Toss and drizzle olive oil. 

It is easy to serve it if they are threaded into toothpicks. So alternate between cheese, tomato and basil leaves for a colorful platter!


Preparation Time 5 min
Serves 3-4

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Posted by Harini-Jaya R on Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Aksan

H for Haiti. When I was thinking about the countries with the letter H, Haiti came first to my mind. And Haiti reminds me of my dear blogger friend, Mir. So I hopped onto her space and picked up this delectable beverage which apparently is served to kids.

This is essentially Cornmeal Payasam/kheer and so I was pretty confident that it would be accepted by the kids. 

This turned out so good that at the end of the day all of us were peeping into the refrigerator to see if there are any leftovers. Each of us would go sneaking a spoon here and a spoon there until I figured that the kids left an empty bowl in the refrigerator!!


Recipe Source here
Ingredients - 

Cornmeal 1/4 cup
Water 1 1/2 cups
Evaporated Milk 5 oz can
Milk 1/2 cup
Sugar 1/4 cup + more if needed
Star Anise 1
Cinnamon 1 inch stick


Aksan

Method Of Preparation -


In a sauce pan, bring 1 1/4 cup of water along with star anise and cinnamon to boil.

Meanwhile, make a thin past with the remaining water and cornmeal.

Pour in the cornmeal paste into the boiling water while constantly stirring.

After about 5 minutes when the cornmeal is cooked well, remove the star anise and cinnamon stick.

Pour in the evaporated milk and regular milk along with sugar.

Let it simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat.

Refrigerate and serve chilled.


Preparation Time 15 min
Serves 2-3

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Spanakopita

G for Greece. I very often come across these cute samosa like appetizers in the freezer section of our local wholesale store. I always eye them, read the ingredients and put it back thinking that these might not be favored at home. So when this series of 'Around the world in 30 days' was conceptualized, I had my G fixed in my mind and noted down in the spreadsheet I use to keep track of my posts.

Though this has been on my list forever, It was almost the last but 7th to be made and documented. I found this vegan version of these spinach pies, so to say. Apparently, the authentic Greek spanakopita was vegan, but the adaptations with Feta cheese and other ingredients are more popular.

I tried to make it as vegan as possible using the ingredients accessible to me. They are made using Phyllo sheets but I couldn't lay my hands on those sheets. I got something called samosa sheets (vegan, but not certified) which were comparable to the phyllo sheets. The results were just as flaky and crisp.

Ingredients - 

Samosa Sheets 1 pack (25 thin rectangles about 3.5 X 8 inches)
Spinach 1 lb (I used frozen and thawed)
Dill, chopped 3 Tbsp
Spring Onion, chopped 4 Tbsp
Fresh Mint, chopped 2 Tbsp
Garlic, grated 1 tsp
Salt (use sparingly)
Crushed Pepper as needed
Olive Oil 1 Tbsp + more for brushing


Spanakopita

Method Of Preparation -


In a heat pan, add oil and saute the thawed spinach for a minute making sure there is not moisture. If needed squeeze out the water from spinach before use.

Add in the rest of the herbs. Sprinkle salt and pepper and remove from heat.

On each samosa sheet, put 1 tablespoon of the spinach filling to one corner and wrap it in a triangular fashion and seal the ends with moist fingers.

The filling was sufficient for 30 samosas but the pack had 25 so the rest of the filling was used up for tasting :).

Preheat the oven to 375 °F. Arrange the wrapped samosas on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 23 min or until they are golden brown and crisp.

Cool them on a wire rack before serving. I froze the unused spanakopitas for later use. Just thaw and bake again until they are crisp.


Preparation Time 25 min + Baking time 23 min 
Makes 25

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Vegan Lentil Soup

F for France. France is a dream destination vacation for many. About 83 million tourists visit France every year. So it doesn't come as a surprise when I read that France is the most popular tourist destination. 

And it goes without saying that French cuisine is renowned for being one of the finest in the world. So I chose this humble lentil soup to showcase the versatility of French cuisine.

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Posted by Harini-Jaya R on Saturday, September 6, 2014

Cheesy Potato Soup

E for Ecuador! Soups form a very important part of Ecuadorian cuisine. Apparently there are many regional variations to this soup.

What I found very intriguing is that the cheese in this soup is sometimes replaced with freshly ground peanuts. It is replaced if cheese is not affordable.

Check out this soup which was very popular with the kids. To me it felt more like a thinner version of potato curry :). My husband loved the addition of cheese, avocado and the hot sauce.

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Posted by Harini-Jaya R on Friday, September 5, 2014

Avena Caliente

D for Dominican republic! The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region.It is a very popular holiday destination in the Caribbean. 

The food there is very typical Latin American. 

Here is a very homey kind of breakfast drink which is very healthy and tasty as well. I totally fell in love with this Oats Breakfast drink that I have tried it in various combinations. Try adding apples, almonds, walnuts etc and enjoy the difference.

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Millet Crackers

C for Chad it is! What I found interesting about this country was that they use Rice, Sorghum and Millets in so many ways and I wanted to definitely showcase a unique way of using millets. They make pancakes, porridge as well.

I agree this is not a very healthy way to consume millets but once in a while, the kids can indulge. Since I made these addictive crackers during their summer vacation, they were very happy and they shared with their playmates as an evening snack with some chocolate milk. It was heartening to see their milk stained smiles!! 

Recipe Source here
Ingredients - 

*Millet Flour 1/2 cup
Wheat Flour 1/2 cup
Sugar 2 Tbsp
Flax seed powder 1 Tbsp (Egg replacer)
Vegetable Oil, hot 2 Tbsp
Canola/Vegetable Oil for deep frying

* I put the fox tail millet in a dry grinder to make the flour which was a little grainy.


Millet Crackers

Method Of Preparation -


In a small bowl, add 1 tablespoon of warm water and the flax seed powder. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, add the flours, sugar and the hot oil. Mix well so the oil is incorporated into the flour. Mix in the flax seed mixture as well.

Add water if needed and knead into a stiff dough.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface and slice into 1 inch strips about 1/8th inch thick.

Heat oil in a wok/kadai and after the oil is hot enough, gently slide the sliced dough pieces into the oil and fry them on both sides until they are all uniformly browned.

Remove onto paper towels to drain excess oil. Serve it as a tea-time snack.




Preparation Time 30 min
Makes 40 pieces (approx)

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Quinoa Stew

I have chosen Bolivia as the country starting with B. Initially I had Brazil in mind but that didn't work out for me. But this quinoa stew was a way better choice for us, I think. 

The kids loved this soup and we finished all of it for lunch leaving just the comments and the 'oohs and aahs' for my husband who just gave a blank look in the evening after getting back from work :).



Quinoa Stew

Recipe Source here
Ingredients - 
Quinoa 1/4 cup
Water 1 cup
Vegetable Stock 2 cups
Vegetable Oil 1 Tbsp
Onions, chopped
Garlic, grated 2 cloves
Carrots, peeled and chopped 2 cups
Celery, chopped 1/2 cup
Bell Pepper, chopped 1/2 cup
*Garbanzo Beans / Kabuli Chana 1 cup (soaked overnight)
Tomato Puree (I used Pasta Sauce) 1/4 cup
Bay leaf 1
Salt as needed
Coriander-Cumin Powder 1-2 tsp
Red Chilli Powder or Cayenne pepper as needed
Oregano (I didn't add) as needed
Cilantro, chopped 2 Tbsp
Apple Cider Vinegar 2 Tbsp (I didn't add)

*Canned beans work well too


Quinoa Stew

Method Of Preparation -


In a pressure cooker or a Big Stock pot, heat oil and saute onions for about 4-5 minutes until they brown. Add the grated garlic and bay leaf and saute.

Add in the tomato puree, carrots, celery, bell pepper and garbanzo beans. Let the whole mixture cook for a few minutes.

Add in the quinoa, water and vegetable stock. Sprinkle salt as needed. Cover and cook for about 20 min. 

I used a pressure cooker and so I cooked for 2 hisses. Upon cooling, I added cilantro and served after squeezing some lime juice.


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Apple Strudel

Are you interested in trying out some international foods this month? Okay, then lets travel around the world in 30 days, try out their food and have fun!! 

We, the Blogging Marathon group, are doing this month long event where we alphabetically choose countries and pick one recipe from each country and showcase them. 

For example I have chosen to try out this delectable pastry from Austria. A fellow blogger might use another country say Australia, Angola etc.. The only exceptions being X and W as there are no UN recognized country starting with the letter X and W. So watch out for the letter X and W to know what exceptions have worked into it :)

Coming to the recipe, my friend, Pooja has spent a considerable amount of time in Austria and she recommended that I should showcase Apple Str(e)udel as it is one of the popular pastries out there.  

Here is a postcard picture from Pooja's camera. Thanks Pooja for sharing this picture. I am sure this picture is just the tip of the iceberg. 


Trust me it is one addictive pastry for sure. We couldn't get enough of this. I am sure I am going to bake this often.

Recipe Source here
Ingredients - 

Puff Pastry Sheet 1 
Powdered Sugar for garnish
Milk 1 Tbsp (for brushing on the top)
Filling - 
Apple peeled, cored and sliced 2 medium apples
Raisins handful
Sugar 2-3 Tbsp
Bread Crumbs 2-3 Tbsp
Cloves, powdered 5-6 
Cinnamon Powder 1/2 tsp
Nuts coarsely crushed handful (I used Almonds)


Apple Strudel

Method Of Preparation -
To prepare the filling - 
In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients listed under 'filling' and toss well until all the apple slices are coated with the spices. Set aside.

To assemble the strudel - 
Preheat the oven to 375 °F.

Thaw the puff pastry sheet as per the instructions on the package.

Roll out into a rectangle approximately 12 inches X 15 inches.

Arrange the filling in the center of the sheet either length wise or width wise. 


Apple Strudel

Close both the sides onto the filling sealing it and tucking in the edges as well.

Place the seam side down on a parchment lined baking tray. Brush the top with milk (or egg wash if preferred).

Bake for about 22 min or until the top turns golden brown.

Remove and let it cool for about 20 min.

Sprinkle some powdered sugar, slice and enjoy!


Apple Strudel




Preparation Time 15 min + Baking Time 22 min 
Serves 5-6

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