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India is the second-most populous country in the world. Spanning across the vast territories, this south Asian nation has an exquisite, unforgettable kitchen full of diversity and influences. The Indian people have been around for centuries, saving and preserving traditional dishes and their recipes while adding novelty to all of them over the course of many years. As a result, Indian cuisine is now considered one of the most interesting and rich ones globally. Indian restaurants are common not only in Asia but all around the world as everyone wants to appreciate the uniqueness of this food culture.

There are many dishes of all sorts that originate in India, served both in fast food chains and high-end restaurants. The diversity and a long range of dishes are what really make Indian cuisine unique and demanded all around the world. Everyone has craved some Indian fast food late at night. The thing is that unlike other fast food options, Indian cuisine is usually much healthier than what other cultures have to offer. The latter is one of the main reasons the cuisine is ranked among the best globally.

The healthy chracter of the Indian kitchen is caused by many different factors, starting with the location of the country. The entire nation has been eating plant-based foods for centuries amid religious and cultural backgrounds. For the latter, people are more likely to use plants and herbs in their foods rather than red meat. The vast majority of Indians, in fact, do not eat red meat at all. Rather, they prefer eating poultry and that is where the topic of our article comes from.

Chicken has one of the key roles in the country’s cuisine. Other than being healthier and cleaner for consumption, chicken also goes really well with herbs and plants. Naturally, an inseparable part of the Indian cuisine is national spices. They are sometimes almost too hot but the main meaning of their presence is to bring some special taste to otherwise boring food. Chicken in almost all traditional Indian dishes is spiced up real well, served with potatoes, green onions, or beans.

Tandoori Chicken is the traditional Indian dish that some say dates back to the year 3000 BC. However, there are no exact and precise records. It originates from the Punjabi province before the Independence of India. The dish was particularly popularized in the 1940s. Before that, it was almost exclusively cooked at home by locals. Yet, in the mid 20th century, Moti Mahal spread the recipe across the localities in Punjab, later followed by others all across India.

Today, Tandoori Chicken is widely popular and consumed in India and beyond. However, it has a whole different meaning and importance in Indian culture. It is often served to the foreign guests and visitors, particularly during the business meetings. The PR representative of a prominent company PlayAmo India, Narayana Ojha, says that they use Tandoori chicken to greet foreign guests. It serves as a sort of an introductory meal into Indian culture and cuisine. Besides India-based companies, those that operate overseas also use Tandoori chicken to popularize the Indian culture abroad.

The recipe and the dish are quite simple and easy to comprehend. However, there still are some factors one should consider and be aware of before starting off cooking. In this article, we will provide you with an extremely detailed and simple way to make Tandoori Chicken at home. Trust us, even a bit of hunt for some ingredients is worth it to taste this spicy and unique dish.

What will you need to make Tandoori Chicken:

For the marinade:

 

  • 300-350ml Greek yogurt. Preferably without any flavors, plain and sweet.
  • 1/4 tablespoon turmeric Method
  • 1/2 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 3/4 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 3/4 tablespoon of garam masala
  • Large, grated piece of ginger

General Ingredients:

  • Have some vegetable oil for brushing. It can be anything based on taste but olive oil is highly recommended
  • 16 of skinless, medium-sized chicken thighs
  • 2 finely chopped, juicy red onions
  • 4-5 tablespoons of paprika. This one is also based on one’s taste
  • Lemon juice. Recommended to make it fresh from 2-3 lemons per one dish(8 servings)

Making Tandoori Chicken:

  1. As a first step, take a tight bowl or a large container. It should tightly fit all 16 of skinless chicken thighs. Mix lemon juice, chopped onions, and paprika in it. It should have a mild red color afterward. In the meantime, gash all chicken thighs 3 times each and put them into the juice.
  2. Take another large mixing bowl and throw all marinade ingredients into it. Mix well until the substance reached is thin enough to cover the chicken evenly and nicely. Afterward, pour the marinade over the chicken that was resting in the lemon juice.
  3. Pre-heat the oven and put some baking oil on the tray. Throw what you have received onto the tray and cook it for 8-10 minutes each side. Remember, that cooking a chicken thigh is rather individual. It could take anywhere from 6 to 15 minutes to finish up each side. Therefore, remain attentive throughout the process.
  4. After done, take it out of the oven and let it rest for 1-2 minutes. Serve it with whatever vegetables you want to. Rice is also a common addition to the dish.

Tandoori chicken is a great dish that can be made at home without the need for any complex machinery or profound culinary knowledge. It is widely eaten and appreciated globally. Even if you have never tried making one yourself before, its simplicity and taste should be an urge for you to try it out.

Europe is truly the most diverse and one of the most important food regions in the world. The diversity and the wide variety of cuisines available on this magnificent continent are simply amazing. One can take a short train ride and find themselves in a drastically different culture with unique cuisine. However, when we think of the European cuisine as a whole, most people likely imagine eating pasta in the south of Italy or a delicious croissant in the center of Paris with a view over the Eiffel Tower. Nevertheless, very few people both within and outside of the continent are aware that there are many countries in this region with amazing food traditions.

Nordic countries are well-known for many things, including being highly-developed with vast forests, exquisite natural scenarios and weird traditions, like the sauna. However, not many people are familiar with nordic cuisine. Finland in particular is an absolutely amazing country. Nevertheless, the Finnish people and culture are globally recognized as the happiest on earth, while enjoying cultural activities that many beyond the nation itself do not get. From sitting in a boiling room regularly with other people to jumping into the frozen lake, the Finns are unique and interesting.

Yet, very little is known about Finnish cuisine. The nation is located in the very north-east of Europe, bordering the Russian federation to east and Sweden to the west. Weather conditions in this region are far from tropical with long winters and quite brief summers. Even in the south of the country, where the vast majority of the population is concentrated, temperatures are almost constantly below zero during the entire winter. Therefore, agricultural development and the establishment of the Finnish cuisine has been different from what one might see in other European countries with more direct sunlight and warmer temperatures.

The hero of today’s article is Karjalanpiirakka or the Karelian pie. This exquisite looking flavorful pie is one of the most prominent examples of Finnish cuisine. It is a delicious delicacy that is widely eaten across Finland and in some parts of Northern Russia, as well as in parts of Sweden that are close to the Finnish border. It is crunchy, tasty and quite practical. The Karelian pie is not one of those dishes that should be eaten during the particular period of the day in a certain situation. Rather, it has wide use and is extremely versatile in terms of its use.

Let’s talk about history now! For every cuisine globally and particular dishes that we love, the historical context is important. We often find out that posh and luxury food that we only eat rarely have not as fortunate past. The Karelian pie was introduced somewhere in the 17th or the 18th century. Originally, the pie became extremely popular in the eastern parts of Finland, later reaching Russia and Sweden. The first official records of the pie date back to 1686.

The traditional and the most basic Karela pie is made with rye flour. This simple ingredient is also the most important in the entire recipe. Whatever the modified recipe is, every authentic karela pie should have its base consisted of at least 50% rye flour. Nevertheless, in many regions where the recipe has changed throughout the time, rye flour is often mixed with wheat or other curb flours.

Today, the rye flour base remains crucial in the recipe along with the rice filling along with Munavoi egg butter, characteristic to the region. It also is one of the biggest key parts of Finnish cuisine. Essentially, Munavoi is a mix of some regular butter and chopped hard-boiled eggs.

The pie is so popular, that it is used by pretty much everyone across Finland. The most widespread use is to have it for breakfast. However, many put it on the plate as a side dish for dinner or lunch. It is so versatile that even some luxury businesses use them on a regular basis. Surprisingly, Karelian pie is extremely popular in the gambling industry. Luxury casinos all across Finland serve them as a complimentary dish. It is seen as a way for casinos to greet overseas guests visiting their venues. Representatives of Spinia.com Finland, the country’s leading gambling services provider say that Karelian pie is always present at their business meetings. They stated that the flexibility, simplicity and high nutritional value of the dish make it the perfect choice for such occasions.

Ingredients

In this recipe, we will offer you a traditional, authentic version of Karjalanpiirakka (Karelian pie). The recipe can be modified and adapted to the taste and the needs of anyone quite easily. We have already discussed some modifications above in the article and should you feel like making one of those instead, go ahead by all means! However, if you are preparing Karjalanpiirakka for the first time, make sure to stick with the original recipe to avoid any complications. This recipe includes ingredients for 8-10 pieces, considered one serving portion for roughly 4 people.

The rice stuffing:

  • 150g of short grain rice
  • 50g of unsalted, soft milk butter. It can as well be substituted with vegan butter
  • 300g of plain room-temperature water
  • 1 liter of milk. Again, plant-based milk can be used instead. However, keep in mind that some versions of plant-based milk, like oat milk, are not great in the bakery department.
  • Some salt to taste

The egg butter, or as traditionally called, Munavoi

  • 4 large, hard-boiled eggs
  • 120g of unsalted butter, seated at room temperature
  • Salt and pepper both to taste. Other seasonings can be used as well, but too much of it can ruin the egg butter.

The dough

  • 100g whole rye
  • 15g of completely melted butter along with 50g for brushing
  • 70-90g of water
  • 3g salt
  • 50g of spelt flour or wheat flour in case the first is inaccessible

Making of the rice filling

  • Pour water into the pan, put it on medium heat and wait for it to boil.
  • Add rice to the boiling water and keep it in for 5 minutes. The Rice will boil and absorb practically all the water.
  • Now, it is time to add butter and milk to the mixture altogether. Do so and reduce the heat to low. Cook the mixture for roughly 40-50 minutes whilst stirring from time to time. Eventually, it should have a smooth and quite a thick texture.
  • In the end, salt it to taste and let it cool before filling the pies.

Making of the egg butter (Munavoi)

  • Cut the boiled eggs into small pieces that would be easy to mix.
  • Mix it with butter and set it aside.

Making of the dough

  • Add the wheat flour and the rye flour together into the bowl. Add salt, water and melted butter as well.
  • Keep mixing it until the mixture is firm, manageable and smooth.
  • Shape a cylinder with it, approximately 5cm in diameter.
  • Cut the cylinder into 8-10 pieces.
  • Start stretching the individual discs with the roller. Remember, the thinner the dough, the crispier the pie will be.

Put it all together

  • Preheat the oven to 260 C. Prepare two baking trays with baking paper.
  • Stuff the dough with the rice filling. Approximately two teaspoons for each. Leave some space at the edges.
  • To form the authentic shape of the pie, start forming waves near the edges of the dough. Fold the edge of the dough over to the filling and with the use of your fingers, shape small waves.
  • Bake for around 15 minutes. They should get a golden color.
  • Take them out of the oven and brush them with the egg butter. Now they are ready to be consumed!
I received the Orgran products as samples


So…. I got a couple of Gluten Free pastas to try from Orgran just in time for the wintery weather!

Gluten free goodies from orgran

Wanna see??

First up, is what I call “Chicken Pie Pasta”.

My dear Bruce makes a wonderful chicken, mushroom and leek pie, so I co-opted the ingredients for a hearty pasta.

chicken pie pasta

You need (for 4 serves):
Pack of Orgran Italian Style gluten free spaghetti
Olive oil
1 onion, diced
A leek, washed and sliced
Dessert spoon minced garlic
3 handfuls button mushrooms, quartered
5 pieces shortcut bacon, roughly diced (ensure yours is gluten free if you need it so – they usually are now, but just check!)
1 piece chicken breast – cubed
About the same of “Italian Herbs” or Thyme (both to taste, of course)
1 cup of chicken stock (not pictured)
Tablespoon sour cream
2 Tablespoons cream
Salt and pepper to taste

To do:

  1. Boil up the pasta in a separate saucepan as per packet instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a sploosh of olive oil in a pan. We’re using classic and not extra virgin olive oil here because, I’m told, extra virgin olive oil burns too early in the heating process and should be reserved for splooshing on salads and dipping a delicious bread in. Add diced onion, sliced leek, garlic and saute til soft. Season with a little salt and pepper.
  3. Add the mushrooms and fry over medium heat, let them shrink up a little.
  4. Throw in the diced bacon, and cook
  5. Remove everything from pan, add a little extra oil if needed, and cook up the chicken. Stir through herbs.
  6. Add back in the leek/bacon/mushroom mix. Add in stock. Simmer on low-medium until there’s a lot less liquid.
  7. When reduced, stir through the creams.Ruturn to heat for about 5 minutes, then stir through cooked pasta and serve. Season with pepper and salt to taste, and there’s always the option of parmesan, but I think this is rich enough as is!

orgran pasta

IMG_20150429_191421089

And then there was my own creation… Using mushroom and tomatoes as the base with chili for added kick to the buckwheat spirals

buckwheat

You need:
Olive oil
1 brown onion, diced
Tablespoon garlic
Tablespoon Gourmet Garden Italian Herbs or similar
300g button mushrooms, quartered
5 pieces shortcut bacon
2 tins diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons Fountain gluten free hot chili sauce for a bit of tickle
a bag of baby spinach
250g Orgran gluten free buckwheat spirals
Nimbin Natural Parmesan cheese, to serve :)

To do:

  1. Heat some oil in a pan on about 3/4 heat. Add onion and garlic, and saute til the onion softens.
  2. Chuck in the mushrooms and bacon and cook these through
  3. Put in the tomatoes, herbs and chili sauce. Simmer for as long as you like – at least 10 mins. Add in some water or chicken/vegetable stock if you wanna leave it going longer. It definitely won’t hurt!
  4. Cook up the pasta as per the instructions on the packet. Drain and plate up.
  5. Stir the baby spinach through the sauce mixture, allow the spinach to wilt a little
  6. Serve it with the pasta, and top with shaved parmesan.
  7. Enjoy with red wine.

mushroom heb bacon

tomato

IMG_20150504_185719825

I have to say that Gluten Free Pasta is getting better and better with time, and while you still need to keep an eye on it, this Orgran pasta doesn’t go gluggy the second you over-cook it! Definitely one for the pantry!

This post is for Product Talk by Nuffnang

meat pie with fountain good choices tomato sauce

There’s nothing like a meat pie with tomato sauce. And I’m always happy to try new sauces on my pies and in my dishes, so when it was suggested I try the new Good Choice sauce range from Fountain, I was more than keen. Products with no “added” sugar are all the rage now, and the Fountain Good Choices sauces either have no sugar – like the Gluten free Soy sauce which has 50% less salt than Fountain’s regular soy sauce – or are sweetened by the apple puree and Natvia (which I’m not usually a fan of to sweeten things like drinks or baking, but I couldn’t taste it in these sauces).

Fountain Good Choice Sauces Range

The range includes a Tomato Sauce, BBQ Sauce, Sweet Chili, “Hot” Chili (which wasn’t as scary as I thought….) and the Soy Sauce. All are naturally gluten free, and on their own taste quite like their equivalent “normal” range sauces.

So, let’s use them in something!

beef chow mein

A few weeks ago, I made a Beef Chow Mein from my Hello Fresh box, so I thought I’d tweak their recipe a little and use a few of the sauces I was sent, along with what veges were on special at Woolies (which, incidentally, is where you can buy these Fountain sauces online or in store)

Beef chow mein

As pictured, the ingredients are (roughly) as follows – this will serve about 6 people. I went overboard, but the leftovers were appreciated by all, including my cat – see the picture at the bottom of this post!)

Ingredients
200g rice vermicelli noodles
500g lean beef mince
1 red onion – diced
1/4 red cabbage – roughly chopped
1/4 green cabbage – roughly chopped
handful green beans – ends cut off and halved
bunch broccolini – cut into 2 cm pieces
1/2 bunch spring onions – thinly sliced
lashings of canola oil
2 teaspoons Chinese 5 spice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
4 tablespoons Fountain Good Choices soy sauce
1 tablespoon Fountain Good Choices Hot Chili Sauce (it needed more…. probably 2 for me, 3 for most other people!)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
salt
Fountain Good Choices Sweet chili sauce and soy sauce, to serve

Method
1. Place noodles in a heat-proof bowl with boiled water and some salt for 5 minutes. Drain, rince with cold water, then chop roughly with scissors – set aside for later.

2. Heat a splash of oil over high heat in a large frypan or wok. Add the red onion and begin to fry. Once it starts to soften, add the beef mince, and keep poking with a spatula to separate it out into crumbly bits and it is cooked through. Stir through the 5-spice with a tablespoon of water. Remove the mince mixture from the pan and set aside for later (to save space on the bench and washing up, I just dumped this on top of my resting noodles, along with the chopped spring onions – that way I mixed those three all together before re-adding them to the stir-fried veges later!)

3. Combine the sesame oil, garlic, ginger, hot chili sauce and soy sauce in a mug

4. Heat some more canola oil over mid-high heat (about 7-8) and add in the cabbage, broccolini and beans, toss around a bit in the oil, then pour the sauce mixture from #3 over it. Keep tossing for about5 minutes until the veges are cooked to your liking. Re-add the beef, noodles, and the spring onions and stir to combine.

5. Divide the yummy noodles and veges into serving bowls (be wary, this stuff is filling and you can ALWAYS go beak for more). Serve to your guests with spoon and fork, and offer sweet chili sauce and extra soy sauce for them to add to taste (+/- the hot chili sauce, depending on your audience!)

Enjoy with a lovely glass of red, or a local ale!

Parson's Paddock ShirazMurray's Angry Man Pale Ale

cat eating noodles

Oh, and share with your cat!

Edit: ooooooo so Mum just told me she loves the BBQ sauce – she and Dad had it with Kanga Bangers (Kangeroo Sausages) and she loved it!

poinsoned!!!

bikkies!!!!!

The above biscuits were (inspired by the multitasking mummy’s):
250g butter… creamed with
1 cup of Natvia Icing Mix (or normal icing mix :p I got the natvia as a sample, and when the bikkies are cold they taste fine, when warm they have a bit of an aftertaste.)
a splash of vanilla essence

Then sift in 2.5 cups of flour

Knead.

Make bikkie shaped.

Then oven at 200 for around 10 minutes.
(make sure you haven’t accidentally turned if off, which I did so it took WAY longer)

And don’t fall asleep while waiting!

death?>

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