Tag Archives: milk

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

My friend Dee told me of mouth watering mashed potatoes that she had at Cafe Brasserie at the Village Market. Her exact words were that with every spoonful the mashed potatoes melt in your mouth. I’m yet to visit the place to second her sentiments so for now I’ll stick to perfecting my own recipe.

When it comes to mashed potatoes, I’m never in the search of perfection but after my convo with Dee I got inspired to put more effort in my cooking and it definitely paid off.

Ingredients:

Potatoes, peeled, washed and cubed

3 bay leaves

Cold Water

Margarine/ Butter – I used margarine

Milk

Salt and pepper to taste

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I chose to cube the potatoes so they cook faster, more evenly and make the mashing process a bit easier. The other trick when making mashed potatoes is using cold water so that as the water warms the potatoes are also cooking.

In a sufuria add the potatoes, water and the bay leaves. Season with the salt and pepper.

The amount of water should almost be at the same level as the potatoes. Cover and let the potatoes cook until they flake easily when pierced with a fork.

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Once cooked, remove the bay leaves and drain the water.

Done
Done

Mash your heart out, well not your heart but the potatoes.

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Now to the exciting part. To make the potatoes fluffy and creamy is adding milk and butter/ margarine and mashing them in. The quantity of both is not standard as it would depend on how you want them. The main idea is to ensure the milk is warm and so is the butter that way the potatoes aren’t shocked if they were cold, make sense?

Ensure to add the milk in very small portions of about a tablespoon, the idea is get creamy mashed potatoes not potato soup 🙂

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After achieving the desired result taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.

creamy?
creamy?

Serve immediately with some beef stew and veggies.

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Verdict:

Creamy? check

Fluffy? check

Melting moments? Almost there.

Variations: To add some oomph into the mashed potatoes you can add some sliced spring onions or some bacon. You can even grate over some cheese 🙂

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Brown Cinnamon Chapatis

I try to cook chapatis often mainly because hubby loves them. When it comes to chapatis, I’m never a fan of brown ones, I always find the taste a bit off. That changed when my friend Yvie invited us for lunch and she’d made them. Needless to say, hubby and I ate those chapatis like crazy. They were utterly delicious and I couldn’t stop thinking of them 🙂 I had to try them at home. After consulting with Yvie, she mentioned that she used the atta mark flour.

The recipe is closely related to my cinnamon chapati recipe except for the use of atta mark flour and milk which was an ingredient I used after another pal Nzilani recommended.

Ingredients:

2 cups atta mark flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 1/2 cup warm milk / water

This yielded 10 medium sized chapatis

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Start by mixing all the dry ingredients.

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Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk and the vegetable oil.

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Using a wooden spoon or your hands mix the dough. The dough will be a bit sticky to begin with, don’t worry it’s part of the process.

dry ingredients all incorporated
dry ingredients all incorporated

At this point, I switched to using my hands. Using some little flour, knead the dough for about 7 minutes. The stickiness should reduce and the dough becomes softer. Afterwards, roll into a huge ball and put in a lightly oil bowl then cover the bowl with a damp tea towel. Alternatively, you can lightly oil the dough then cover it with cling film.

All kneaded
All kneaded

Let the dough rest for at least 15 minutes. This part is vital.

15 minutes or so later…

Get to making the chapatis. To see the step by step process before the actual cooking refer to this.

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Cook away 🙂

Enjoy
Enjoy

Serve with your favourite curry.

I served them with some coconut butter beans curry which I’ll post soon 🙂

Verdict:

Delicious. Hubby enjoyed them 🙂

Butterless Butter Chicken

Last year during hubby’s birthday, we went out for lunch at an Indian restaurant, Mughals, at Adams Arcade. I had some butter chicken, which in my opinion is by far the best boneless chicken curry I’ve ever eaten. After that I embarked on looking for the recipe but most of what I got seemed too complicated to do but that was until January 8th this year. I was busy reading through the Saturday magazine pull out in the Daily Nation and what do I see, Chef Aamil Mughal owner of Mughals has been reviewed and the recipe for the butter chicken detailed. Needless to say I was very happy, I even borrowed the magazine (I gifted my self).

Anyway, so even after getting the recipe I took a while before trying it, reason being, I’ve been so busy so I just get home and do quick fixes for dinner and at times hubby does the cooking (yeah, he’s heaven sent).

The recipe is pretty simple and it calls for ingredients can be easily obtained.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons salted butter

2 tablespoons crushed garlic

3 teaspoons garam masala powder

2 tablespoons turmeric powder

1 teaspoon red chilli powder (optional)

3 chopped green chillis (optional)

600 grams boneless chicken (cut in cubes)

100 grams crushed cashew nut powder

1/2 litre milk

3 ripe tomatoes

1 bunch coriander chopped

salt to taste

1 tablespoon fresh cream (optional)

This recipe serves 4.

top row: milk,garlic,chickenBottom row: garam masala and turmeric, crushed cashew nut powder and tomato paste
top row: milk,garlic,chicken
Bottom row: garam masala and turmeric, crushed cashew nut powder and tomato paste

As I was preparing the ingredients I realised that I didn’t have butter, fresh tomatoes and coriander but that didn’t stop me from making this recipe. I just figured I would substitute the missing ingredients. For the butter I used two tablespoons of vegetable oil, for the tomatoes I used two tablespoons of tomato paste. Since the coriander is for the garnish, I thought I could do without it.  also didn’t use fresh cream since I didn’t have plus it was optional, nor did I put chilli because hubby doesn’t fancy chilli.

In the event you use  butter, place it in a cold pan then switch on the heat and add the garlic when it is melting. Since I used oil, I just let it heat for a minute or so then I added the garlic.

garlic
garlic

Once slightly browned add the chicken cubes and stir.

In goes the chicken
In goes the chicken

Add the garam masala, turmeric and chilli (if using). Maintain a steady temperature. If too hot it will burn very quickly.

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Now add the crushed tomatoes and stir. Let it simmer gently for a few minutes. Since I was using tomato paste there wasn’t a lot of simmering so I added about a tablespoon of water to it.

tomato paste
tomato paste

Add salt and keep tasting.

Add milk and stir and let it boil.

After adding the milk
After adding the milk

Once the milk has boiled, add the crushed cashew nuts and stir. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.

cashew nut powder.
cashew nut powder.

Before I forget, for the cashew nut powder, all you need are the cashews then you crush to make the powder. You can choose to use a mortar and pestle or if your blender has a spice mill, that will also do.

Finally you can add the chopped coriander, stir and take it off the heat.

My butterless butter chicken

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Verdict:

It was great though not as delicious as the one we ate at Mughals maybe it’s because of the substitutions.

If I could do it over again:

I would definitely not do the major substitutions of butter and tomatoes. I especially feel the tomatoes are very vital in this recipe so that the sauce is even more and not as thick.

All in all, this is an easy recipe and it doesn’t take long to prepare.

According to Chef Aamil it’s best served with hot butter or garlic naan but can go well with toast. I served it over rice.

Breakfast on the run

You’ve woken up late and you need to take breakfast. So what to do?

Make some cereal!

This will take less than five minutes to put together. I can guarantee that.

Ingredients:

Cereal – I used weetabix. This recipe can apply for cornflakes or muesli or whatever cereal you have on hand.

1 cup milk – apparently cereal is taken with cold milk, I prefer my milk warm so I normally warm it up in the microwave for 2 minutes

1 ripe banana

1 strawberry – optional

the main ingredient
the main ingredient

In a cereal bowl, add in your cereal.

banana, strawberry and weetabix
banana, strawberry and weetabix

Add in the sliced banana and strawberry.

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Finally add in the milk.

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Eat up, you are late for work.

PS: I don’t add sugar to my bowl of cereal plus the fruits act as the sweetener.

Quick and nutritious breakfast. Yum!!!

Coconut Chicken with Mashed Potatoes

I had missed eating potatoes and since I didn’t have the patience to bake the potatoes I decided to mash them. Making mashed potatoes is pretty simple, since you just boil the potatoes till they are completely cooked then you mash them like crazy. Of course there are a few spice addition here and there which I’ll share in a bit.

Sometime back my colleagues and I decided to do a lunch treat at a nearby food court. Being adventurous with the food selection I ordered some coconut chicken. Boy, wasn’t I disappointed, it was more like stewed chicken with lots of tomatoes and bell peppers and not even a hint of coconut, anyway since I had some boneless chicken breasts in the fridge I thought of making actual coconut chicken. After checking some online recipes I settled on trying it out my own way.

So for the potatoes;

Peel and wash the potatoes thoroughly. Cut them in halves. In a sufuria add the potatoes, salt and water to almost cover all the potatoes. In case you have fresh rosemary you can add about two sprigs. I also added some cinnamon bark.

Cover and let the potatoes cook completely.

Now for the chicken;

First, cut the chicken into bite size pieces. Add one tablespoon of oil in a skillet, then brown the chicken for about 3 to 5 minutes.

chicken!

Remove from the pan then set aside.

1 onion chopped, 3 cloves garlic finely chopped and 1 teaspoon of ginger finely chopped

In the same skillet heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil then add the onions, garlic and ginger.

Season with some salt

Since I was doing this for the first time, I didn’t want to use a lot of spices lest I miss the coconut taste.

So I settled for some cardamon pods, cumin seeds, coriander powder, curry powder and good old black pepper.

5 cardamon pods, 1 tsp coriander powder,2 tsps curry powder, 1/2 tsp black pepper and 1 tsp cumin seeds

Stir in the spice mixture.

all spiced up

Add 1 cup coconut milk and let it simmer with the spices for about 3 minutes.

Finally I added the chicken. (forgot to take pics 😦 )

Let the chicken cook for about 25 minutes or until the sauce is thick.

Back to the potatoes. Once fully cooked, drain any excess water, remove the cinnamon bark, then mash like crazy.

Mashed potatoes are like a blank canvas you can spice them up with almost anything. From chopped coriander or parsley to butter and milk. Adding some chopped spring onions or grating over some cheese.

Since I was out of parsley, I added 1 tablespoon of basil leaves, 2 tablespoons of margarine and about 1/4 cup of milk. The milk helps in making the mashed potatoes fluffy.

still in the mashing process

Dinner is served:

Mashed potatoes, coconut chicken and some fried cabbage and carrots.

Dinner

Not forgetting some kachumbari on the side.

Verdict:

Coconut – ty. The mashed potatoes were delicious and the basil added a nice touch. I’ll definitely be making this recipe again, of course with some few adjustments like more coconut flavour.

 

 

 

Seriously Leo Tunapika?

Naming this blog leo tunapika wasn’t by chance. This is a daily question and on Tuesday this week it was no different. We had to attend a meeting in the evening so that meant we’d reach home a bit late. On top of that I just didn’t feel like cooking…yep!! It happens to all of us.

Buying take away wasn’t an option and neither was sleeping hungry. I entered the house clueless on what to prepare (bearing in mind I wasn’t up to it). Hubby wasn’t of much help since he just said he’ll eat whatever I’ll cook O-o.

So, lemme begin by saying that there was some leftover ugali in the fridge so I sort of had something to work with. I also had an extra packet of milk. I decided to simply warm the milk and the ugali, separately of course then fry some eggs. (finally a solution).

leftover ugali

This meal took at most 10 minutes to put together.

For the eggs, I cooked 2 per stomach 🙂

Ingredients:

for each plate

1/2 tablespoon finely chopped onion

1/2 tablespoon finely diced bell better

1 tablespoon dried parsley

salt to taste

oil for frying

Heat some oil in the pan.Let the oil heat completely this will ensure the egg doesn’t stick to the pan, thus ease when flipping it over.

In a cup with the eggs, beat in the ingredients.

the eggs

Then fry the egg.

there you go

Once the bottom side is fully cooked, according your preference, we like it well done, flip it over. I’m excited to say I successfully flipped over an egg *yippee*.

the omelette

Garnish with some chopped onion and tomato.

Hubby’s plate.

Just for fun, I scrambled my eggs. They had the same ingredients as the ones for hubby.

Scrambled eggs

Enjoyed with a glass of warm milk.

got milk?

In my position what would you have cooked?

French toast

Bread being one of the simplest things to prepare for breakfast, I am always in search of new ways of serving it.

Don’t let the name fool you french toast has to be one of the easiest and fastest things to make for breakfast. No elaborate culinary skills needed. Nothing like the egg in a basket.

Ingredients:

Bread (I used a baguette)

2 eggs

1/3 cup of  milk

Salt to taste

Dried parsley leaves

Oil for frying

my bread

Slice the baguette at an angle so as to create a large surface area.

In a bowl mix the eggs, milk, salt and dried parsley leaves.

beat the mixture lightly till everything is combined

At this point, heat some oil in your skillet.

Soak the sliced bread into the egg mixture

Then place the soaked bread slices onto the pan and cook till the egg mixture is set. Flip to cook the other side.

Breakfast is served 🙂

enjoy

Verdict:

Yummy 🙂 Hubby loved it.

I’ve never really liked to style of eating bread with eggs but I have to say I liked this. Definitely on the top 5 breakfast meals.

If I could do it over again:

Well I don’t think I’d change anything.