In My Kitchen

winter is in Dubai and the weather is calling for more delicious food and building our appetites for BBQ’s. grilling chicken in the oven is a common thing in my kitchen and often the mix is very simple or store bought marinades. hot chocolates are good companions during this winter and baking have increased making electricity bills balance though the air condition is used less. so many recipes have been created and tested in my kitchen and I am going to give you guys a little drooling time with my photos.

please do not forget to leave a comment if my photographs have improved (if you have some time 🙂

My Kitchen Diary

I baked a batch of cookies for the good magazine photo shoot and look out for the recipe on the December issue.

I made some malaysian net crepes and wondering which magazine will like some malaysian food recipe i ready do give a message if any magazine wants a good recipe

I tried my hands on my first ever no carb aubergine pizzas and am surprised as I liked them, they look good with their green parsley background 🙂

I had a large batch of dates which needed to be used up fast so I baked some traditional date cakes which was taught at my master class and it’s super delicious.

I tried baking a burger from scratch within an hour and a half after 9 pm on a weekend which is very odd as hate cooking late in my kitchen. if it’s late I always order in and that’s how I made my dad look for excuses for bringing in the market produce late and i often made a simple a rice and pol sambol dish.

i tried making a chicken swiss roll which turned out quiet well unfortunately some were experiments hence no recipe 🙂 but trust me they ll were successful so look forward for a post soon with recipes.

have a great week ahead and happy national day to united arabs emirates

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Yeast free Bun : My Recipe

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Craving for srilankan malu paan is common in my life. Trust me if you try it one day you will want it everyday. It’s called malu paan in Sinhalese as malu is for fish and paan is for bun or bread in Sinhalese language.
1. I never follow a specific recipe to make this bun dough but I do make the filling very spicy to match the Sri Lankan taste. Unless am baking breads I hardly follow a recipe for buns and as always I am an experimental cook who likes trying new ways, ingredients and techniques.
I collected all the ingredients to make a bun and found that I have no yeast at home. I was wondering if I am going to be running to the supermarket to get some yeast or am I going to call the neighborhood grocery and get it delivered. Either way I am not going to cancel the baking of buns was for sure and then I decided why not let’s make my own recipe. The recipes I create are all that comes to my head and I do not copy any specific method or ingredients from any site.
Mafaza’s bun Recipe
Ingredients
• 4 cups flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 egg white (leave the yolk to brush on top)
•5 grams of cream of tar tar
• 5 grams baking soda
• water to knead as required
Method
1. add the flour, salt, cream of tar tar, baking soda, sugar into bowl and mix
2. break in the egg white and pour the olive oil, mix them well
3. knead it to a soft and smooth dough by adding water little by little
4. cover and leave at room temperature for an hour
5. roll on a worktop and make the buns
To make fish buns Sri Lankan malu paan cut small circles and place a tablespoon of potato filling on the center
Fold the sides to form a triangle and tighten together by pinching the edges together
You can made any type of buns using this dough
I made some cinnamon rolls with the leftovers and it was yummy
To make cinnamon rolls just flatten the dough on the work top and make a roll
Cut into desired sizes and bake with a bit of egg wash on top
Always brush the top of your buns with egg yolk to get a color
To make potato curry
1. boil a large potato and break it to pieces using your fingers
2. chop and temper a large onion
3. add some curry leaves and mustard seed
4. add the potatoes and season with salt, turmeric and crushed pepper corns
5. give it a good mix so that the ingredients are incorporated together
6. pour a tablespoon of thick coconut milk
7. let it cook for a minute and turn off heat

My quick cinnamon cream
• 1 cup fresh cream
• 2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
• 2 teaspoon sugar
1. mix well and heat in a microwave for a minute
2. pour on top of the baked cinnamon rolls and cook in the microwave for 2 minutes
3. Enjoy 🙂

MOONG DHAL MUFFINS

Mafaza’s Moong Dhal Muffins

it’s spicy, its healthy, it yummy

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup moong dhal flour
  • 1/2  cup milk
  • 1 slice of boneless chicken breast (cooked and cut into cubes)
  • 1/3 cup green peas (cooked)
  • 1/4 cup corn (boiled)
  • 2 tablespoon tomato ketchup
  • 2 tablespoon sunflower margarine
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup cheddar

Method of Preparation

  1. beat eggs, margarine and milk together
  2. stir in the tomato ketchup, tomato paste and salt
  3. add the moong dhal flour and beat for 3 minutes
  4. incorporate the chicken, corn and green peas
  5. gently stir in the cheddar
  6. divide the mixture in individual muffin cups
  7. cook on a microwave for 4 minutes on 50 degrees temperature

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check at 3 minutes  and cook more if it’s not set well the cooking time and temperature may vary depending on your oven. i used a carrefour model microwave which was 4 years old and it cooks stuff very fast but the oven I use now is a Panasonic convection microwave which takes more time than usual. so the best way is check in 3 minutes just in case you have a different microwave.

Mafaza’s Steamed Chicken Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken thighs
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon madras curry powder
  • salt to taste
  • yogurt 2 teaspoon
  • 1 small potato cut into 4
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 4 green chillies
  • 4 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon chillie powder
  • a pinch of turmeric
  • 1/2 cup coconut thick milk
  • 1 medium tomato cut into 4
  • a handful of coriander leaves
  • 4 square shaped banana leaves
  • a few toothpicks

Instructions to prepare ;

  1. clean, wash and pat dry the  chicken thighs
  2. mix the yogurt, madras curry powder, salt, turmeric powder and chillie powder
  3. wash and dry the banana leaves
  4. marinate the chicken in the curry powder mixture for an hour
  5. place the chicken on the 4 banana leaves with a little bit of the curry powder marinate
  6. place a garlic clove, some chopped onions, 1 piece of tomato and some coriander leaves on top
  7. drizzle a bit of olive oil and thick coconut milk
  8. wrap the chicken in the banana leaf and stick with a toothpick
  9. steam for 20 minutes on a medium low heat
  10. after 20 minutes take off the steamer in 5 minutes so that they are cooled and easy to handle

Tips

  • serve these with rottis or rice
  • if you dont like it spicy adjust the chillie powder to suit your taste buds or substitute with pepper powder
  • if you cant find a banana leaf place them on ramekins and cover with a foil and steam for 25 minutes

PS ; I USED MINT LEAVES AS I DINT HAVE  CORIANDER LEAVES AND I RECCOMEND USING CORIANDER WHICH HAS A BETTER AROMA WHEN STEAMED

Italian Cuisine World Summit Dubai 2014

Italian main course master class

I believe that I have done enough justice to Asian cuisine and I can’t stop loving them, from Chinese food to Indian thosa and soft idly’s I’ve tried, tasted and written a lot and I will never stop cooking sri Lankan food nor blogging about it. I love trying different food and I enjoy learning new skills so this month I decided to peep into a different cuisine especially the Italian cuisine when Dima Sharif announced she was going to send 6 bloggers for 6 sessions on the Italian cuisine world summit master class I jumped in with excitement and said I am in. voila I was lucky to get the place at the basics in Italian cuisine master class with chef Walter Potenza who is now my favorite Michelin star chef. He is the first Michelin chef I’ve ever met in my foodie journey until today. I had to think four times if am going or not reason I had a naughty toddler who is fond of pulling things and still underage according to myself to stay at a daycare, myself being a unpaid food blogger I had no reason to send him to a daycare for just one day and decided to let him join in the fun.

In Sri Lanka we get classes for Indian, Chinese and Pakistani but Italian cuisine I am not sure if it will be the real Italian. Is there anything better than learning from the Italians themselves?  Well it’s best if its Italian Michelin chefs and this is one opportunity which none should miss, especially if you’re a hardcore foodie. You don’t have to be a chef but a passion is all you need to explore the world of cuisines.  Italian cuisine is another art which i understood the way the chefs did every step of preparation and presentation.  Cooking is an art truly and you need some patience to master the art. Chef Walter Potenza introduced himself to the audience and started off with a brief on what the days lesson is gona be like and what are the subjects that will be covered.

He mentioned 3 main techniques which will be demonstrated and explained for the day. Those three techniques were braising, poaching and frying. He gave a very good explanation on how the three techniques are used and why they originated. While talking about braising Chef Walter mentioned how the European farmers were literally forced to utilize different cuts to make ends meet as it was very rare. We were shown how to make a brasato which is done using the braising method and braising meet is usually a long period of cooking. The brasato was marinated for 24 hours and cooked for 8 hours. I was mesmerized in the way chef Walter explained how braising is usually done using tough and cheap cuts of the cows leg portion which he playfully showed his leg mentioning that he dint have a cow at the auditorium to show J  another dish we learnt using the braising method was osso buco which was also slow cooked for several hours with vegetables and stock and of course alcohol was called in the recipe but that’s the way Italians cook so you can change things to suit your culture everything can be changed and substituted in food.

I learnt that braising meat is very popular in the north and South America as well as the central Europe. The brasato originated from the piedmont region in Northwest Territory of Italy and they use a very special kind of alcohol to prepare this dish. Trust me the chef respects the culture and tradition of Dubai they all do so they never used it on the food they served us so no worries if you don’t consume alcohol you can enjoy the master class and maybe substitute the wine with something else and follow the recipe.

I love the braising method and can’t wait to try it out soon. The osso buco was so delicious, tender and juicy and I say it’s the best beef dish I have ever tasted with no curry powder or masala and it will be my favorite.

Moving onto the frying chef Walter mentioned how the Italians like frying their vegetables and seafood. We were told that the next chef who was chef lionello cera will demonstrate the pouching and frying techniques.

We had a coffee break with Chef Walter who also got my baby a croissant which was so nice of him. I was listening to the audience at this break and was so happy to be a part of this summit. There was an Italian chef who works at a leading hotel in Saudi Arabia who has flown down especially to attend the master class at the Italian cuisine world summit in Dubai and he also received his certificate of completion a few days ago. Isn’t that awesome. I wish I did it too maybe next time in sha Allah.

After the break we were greeted by chef lionello cera who gave a brief on what’s he going to demonstrate and how. He seemed to be the master of poaching and frying and I understood he had a great passion in doing the two techniques. The poaching of seafood was the recipe which had a long name and I am going to call it a soup kind of thing which had the real seafood flavor intact to it without extracting or evaporating even a tiny bit out. J It was raw and I got to taste clams for the first time in my life.

The third technique is frying and are you wondering if there can be something special in this method? Do not think you need to learn and taste it to know the difference. I have know that batter or egg dipped and bread crumb coated fried stuff are crispy and tasty but now I know that egg or batter is not the only way to make the breadcrumbs stick to the fish or whatever. The Italians used alcohol but I am thinking can we substitute by using malt drinks like very strong “Bavaria”?I will try it and let you now or you try and let me know, chef lionello used non alcoholic wine.

The outside of the fried onions and egg plant was so crispy and I could feel the strength of it.

Earlier chef Walter explained how the Italians like crispy fried stuff and chef lionello demonstrated that adding salt after frying can helps the flavor enhancement. I hope the photos will speak how fun the Italian cuisine main course session was and   I recommend you to try it out before it over head down to dimmasharif.com to learn more

Mafaza’s Dinner Bars

The image of my bar is too small as it went on very fast that I had a tiny piece left to style and fit it into my blog post. I call it dinner bars as they are semi-spicy, good for grabs or late night quick dinner and light. It’s always better to have a portion of fruit after dinner so you loose that craving for something sweet.
This was another successful invention test. These store will when refrigerated for 3 days and can be used as stuffing for buns and sandwiches if you are a carb person like myself.

They are pretty good for lunch boxes too. Be creative add you own vegetable.

To make Mafaza’s Dinner bars

You need ;

1 cup Minced mutton/chicken or flaked fish

2 eggs

3 tablespoons of cheese

1 onion chopped

1/2 cup chopped and cooked mushrooms

1/2 cup boiled corn

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup chicken stock

To make the dinner bars;

1. Beat eggs and stock

2. Combine the minced chicken/mutton, chopped onions, mushrooms and corn (if adding fish make sure it’s gently mixed just before spreading into the oven.

3. Season with salt and pepper

4. Spread over a baking dish greased with butter and dusted with flour, trust me go green and use this method save some baking parchment.

5. Spread the cheese (use any type of cheese you like.

6. Bake in a moderate heat for 20 minutes while checking at 10mins

Once done cool for 5 minutes and cut into squares or rectangular shapes.

Serve warm with some ketchup or mayonnaise or just eat it.

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Mafaza’s Chocolate Cake

A sudden craving for chocolate cakes filled myself as the winter breeze entered the hallway through the open window.  Winder days are so refreshing and make you want hot chocolates and brownies fo dinner.

It was 8 pm when i was wondering if am gonna follow a recipe from a book and bake or use the usual recipe and add some cocoa to make it  a chocolate cake which is how i sometimes do when i think of the idea that the butter should be beaten so that the sugar is dissolved. I find it boring at times as the sugar crystals never dissolve easily. They are so coarse and using powdered sugar to bake a cake is not a good idea as it does not taste the same for me.

So here i decided to make it easy and experiment by creating my own instructions and ingredients.

I name it after myself as it’s my lazy day quick chocolate cake.

Mafaza’s Chocolate Cake Recipe

Ingredients

3 full eggs

3 egg yolks

4 tablespoon sugar

10 teaspoons drinking chocolate

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons cream of tar tar

A pinch of Salt

1 cup wheat flour

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

100 grams cooking chocolate

3 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup water

Strawberry chocolate shavings (optional)

Instructions

Melt butter and cooking chocolate

Boil the water and dissolve the sugar

Combine what flour, drinking chocolate, salt, baking powder and cream of tar tar

Beat the 3 eggs with the 3 egg yolks and vanilla essence

Pour in the melted butter and chocolate mixture with the dissolved sugar onto the eggs and continue beating

Incorporate the dry ingredients withthe wet ingredients

Line a baking pan with butter and flour

Spread the batter and sprinkle the strawberry chocolate shavings on top

bake in  a moderate oven until golden brown on top for 20 minutes

Take off the oven once done and cook complete

Serve with some chocolate ganach and whipped cream or ice cream

Tips

For a gluten free options substitute  the wheat flour with any ideal gluten free flour .

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