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Cover: Some like it hot

Recipes with yoghurt

20Aug 12

Pineapple Shrikhand

Pineapple Shrikhand
Pineapple Shrikhand
is a refreshing Indian dessert that is perfect for hot summer days. Served cold, it is light and low-calorie. Like most Londoners, I will be closely following the Olympics this summer. And I will be snacking on this classic West Indian dessert while I do so!

Shrikhand is a bit like a yoghurt-based mousse. The yoghurt is traditionally sweetened with sugar and then spiced with saffron and cardamom. Many people also add nuts and fruits. I have experimented with all kinds of garnishes over the years, but my favourite is this Pineapple Shrikhand. However, feel free to replace the pineapple with any other fruit that takes your fancy, such as mango.

The trick to getting a nice, thick consistency for your Shrikhand is to drain the yoghurt first. Remember, it shouldn’t be a drink like a Lassi. It is more like a mousse.

Saffron is the spice that lends this dessert its exotic taste. I find its striking flavour and aroma to be absolutely enchanting. It is a very expensive spice, but if you spring for it once in a while, you will be glad you did.

If you like yoghurt -based desserts, try my low-fat mango and mint lassi recipe or this white chocolate mousse.

Pineapple Shrikhand
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Shrikhand is a bit like a yoghurt-based mousse dessert. The yoghurt is traditionally sweetened with sugar and then spiced with saffron and cardamom.
Ingredients
  • 600g Yoghurt
  • 250g Sugar
  • 8-10 strands of Saffron
  • 50g Milk
  • 100g chopped Pineapple
  • ½tsp Cardamom powder
  • ½tsp crushed Pistachios
  • ½tsp crushed Almonds
Instructions
  1. Put the yoghurt in a strainer or a muslin cloth, over a bowl. Let drain in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours.
  2. Afterwards, place the thick yoghurt in another bowl, add sugar and mix.
  3. Soak the strands of saffron in hot milk for 15 minutes.
  4. Stir the saffron into the yoghurt.
  5. Chop the pineapple into small chunks and stir them into the yoghurt.
  6. Stir in the cardamom powder.
  7. Crush the pistachios and almonds and stir them into the yoghurt.
  8. Let chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.

 

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17Jul 12

Salty Ginger Lassi Drink

Salty Ginger LassiI absolutely love whipping up lassi drinks. Lassis are thick, creamy drinks made from yoghurt blended with various spices and fruits. They make a great alternative to fattening milkshakes for those of you who are watching your weight, since yoghurt is much lower in fat content than ice cream. Like milkshakes, they are served ice cold, so they make a refreshing snack on a hot summer afternoon.

Now, I know most of you think of milkshakes as sweet drinks. Similarly, those of you familiar with Indian food might possibly think of lassis as only sweet beverages. Many people order mango lassis with cardamom and pistachios in Indian restaurants at the end of a spicy meal. However, there are other variants of the lassi recipes as well—something my friends were delighted to learn last weekend when I served them this Salty Ginger Lassi Drink. (If you like the taste of ginger, I recommend this sugar-free gingerbread.)

Another great thing about lassis is that they are so easy to make. You can whip one up in just a few minutes, and it really takes no effort at all.

This recipe is for a fairly thick beverage, but you can adjust it to the consistency you want. If you want a smoother testure, just add a bit more water or milk. You want to blend the ingredients for long enough that the lassi has a smooth consistency, but not so long that the blender starts to warm the drink up a little. Remember, you will want to serve this very cold!

Salty Ginger Lassi Drink
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetiser
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This is a Salty Ginger Lassi Drink
Ingredients
  • 400ml Milk
  • 500ml Yoghurt
  • ½tsp Salt (or Salt to taste)
  • 1tsp Ginger Powder
  • Ice Cubes
Instructions
  1. Pour in the milk. You can use skim milk for a less fattening version.
  2. Add in the yoghurt. Again, I recommend low-fat yoghurt if you are watching your weight.
  3. Blend the milk and yoghurt in the blender.
  4. Add in the salt and the ginger powder and give it another quick blend.
  5. Test the consistency. If you find it too thick, add in a bit more milk (or even water) until you are satisfied.
  6. Serve ice cold in glasses with ice cubes, although you could also blend the ice with the other ingredients.

 

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28Jun 12

Dum Aloo

Dum AlooDum Aloo is a delicious vegetarian potato dish. It consists of fried potatoes in a thick yoghurt gravy. Since Dum Aloo is a lot like a potato stew,  (try this red lentil and potato bake recipe), it is rather substantial and filling, so it makes for a great veggie meal.

This potato dish goes well with naan bread or even with rice. When preparing this recipe, be careful not to add too much ginger, or it will overpower the entire dish.

The potatoes and yoghurt gravy can be garnished with chopped coriander leaves. This will give the dish a lovely refreshing touch.

Ingredients:

  • 10 small potatoes
  • 4 onions
  • 3tbsp ghee
  • 4 curry leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2tsp red chilli powder
  • 2tsp coriander powder
  • 1tsp cumin powder
  • 250ml yoghurt
  • Pinch of salt to taste
  • 1/2tsp garam masala powder
  • vegetable oil to deep fry the potatoes
  • 10g fresh coriander

Preparation Method:

  1. Boil the potatoes. (This will cut down on the amount of time you need to fry them later, so it will be less fattening.) Drain them and wait for them to cool before  peeling and cutting them in half.
  2. Fill a pot with vegetable oil and warm it up on high heat.
  3. Once the oil is hot enough, slowly add in the potatoes. Deep fry them until they turn light brown.
  4. Remove the potatoes and set them aside.
  5. Chop the onions very finely. They should be almost minced.
  6. In a pot, heat up the ghee.
  7. Now add the onions and fry them until they are light brown.
  8. Lower the flame. Add the curry leaves and bay leaves to the pan and continue frying.
  9. Now add the ginger powder to the pan and continue frying on a low flame while stirring slowly. Be careful not to let anything get burnt.
  10. Stir in the red chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin powder.
  11. Slowly stir in the yoghurt.
  12. Add the salt.
  13. Now slowly add in the fried potatoes.
  14. Stir in the garam masala powder.
  15. Cover the pot and let this simmer for about 15 minutes on a low flame, stirring occasionally. You will see the gravy get thicker.
  16. Serve hot and garnish the Dum Aloo with chopped cilantro leaves.

Takes: 1 hour
Makes: Enough for 4 servings

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26Jun 12

Chicken Biryani

Chicken BiryaniChicken Biryani is a tasty Indian dish made with a layer of marinated chicken and a layer of basmati rice. Some people alternate and do four or even six different layers, but in my house we always prepared it with just one layer of chicken and one layer of rice.

I have always made this with ghee, which is Indian butter. Ghee can be bought at many speciality Indian grocery stores, or you can try my ghee recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg Chicken
  • 100ml Yoghurt
  • 1 Green Chilli Pepper
  • 8 Cloves Garlic
  • 5tsp Ginger Powder
  • 1/2tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/2tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 500g Basmati Rice
  • 1l Water
  • 300g Ghee
  • 2tbsp Whole Garam Masala
  • 2 Large Onions
  • 4 Medium Tomatoes, Chopped
  • 30ml Milk
  • 1/2tsp Saffron
  • Pinch of Salt to taste

Preparation Method:

  1. Chop the raw chicken into medium-sized cubes.
  2. Mix the yoghurt, finely chopped green chilli pepper, ginger powder, 4 cloves of chopped garlic, red chilli powder, coriander powder, and turmeric powder in a big bowl.
  3. Add the chopped chicken.
  4. Let this mixture marinate in the fridge for 4-6 hours, or overnight.
  5. In a bowl, cover the basmati rice with water. Let it soak for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the rice from this water and rinse it in a strainer.
  7. Fill a pot with 1 litre of water. Add the rice. Bring it to the boil. Once it is boiling, let it cook for 2-3 minutes. You should only cook the rice halfway at this point. You are going to finish cooking it later. Take it off the stove and set it aside.
  8. Melt the ghee in a pot.
  9. Add the garam masala and gently roast it. It will pop in the pot, so be careful not to get burnt.
  10. Chop the onion and 4 cloves of garlic finely and add them to the pot. Fry the onions until they are golden brown.
  11. Add the finely chopped tomatoes to the pot and cook for 3 more minutes.
  12. Add the marinated chicken to the pot and stir all these ingredients.
  13. Make sure all the ingredients in the pot are level and flat by patting them with a wooden spoon. Now add the layer of basmati rice by putting all the half-cooked rice on top.
  14. In a separate pan, heat up the milk and add the saffron. Let them cook together for one minute.
  15. Sprinkle this milk and saffron mixture on top of the rice.
  16. Cover the pot with a very tight lid. Let this simmer on a low flame for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.

Makes: Enough for 8 servings

Takes: 2 hours (plus 4-6 hours to marinate the chicken)

Note: Although not Indian, I recommend this hot and spicy chicken with almonds recipe. It´s another tasty chicken and rice option!

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20Jun 12

Lamb Biryani

Lamb BiryaniLamb Biryani is a dish consisting of a layer of marinated lamb and a layer of basmati rice. It is quite tricky to cook both the marinated lamb and the rice to perfection. When you first cook the rice, it must only be half-cooked. When you add it to the pot later with the marinated lamb, it will finish cooking. If you want to get the flavour just right, you must use basmati rice.

Once you get the hang of making sure the lamb and the rice are both cooked perfectly, you might want to try my Chicken Biryani recipe. But just love lamb? Give this lamb roast with garlic and rosemary a go.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg Lamb
  • 100ml Yoghurt
  • 2 Red Chilli Peppers, 1 chopped and 1 left whole
  • 1/4tsp Garam Masala
  • 2tsp Ginger Paste
  • 2tsp Garlic Paste
  • 1tsp Chopped Mint
  • 1/4tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 3 Large Onions
  • 500g Basmati Rice
  • 1l Water
  • 1/2tsp Lemon Juice
  • Pinch of Salt to taste
  • 200g Ghee

Preparation Method:

  1. Chop the raw lamb into medium-sized cubes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the yoghurt, red chilli peppers, garam masala, ginger paste, garlic paste and mint.
  3. Now slowly stir in the cubes of raw lamb.
  4. Add the turmeric powder and stir.
  5. Peel and chop the onions.
  6. Heat the ghee in a pan on a medium flame and add the chopped onions. Fry the onions until they are crispy and light brown. Do not fry them for so long that they get caramelised.
  7. Remove the onions and place them on a plate with a kitchen towel or paper towel below them. You want the ghee to drain away so that the onions are crispy.
  8. Let the crispy onions cool. Then, add them to the marinade.
  9. Put the bowl in the fridge and let the lamb marinate for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
  10. Soak the rice for 20 minutes in cold water.
  11. Wash the rice and put it in a pot with 1 litre of water. Bring the water to the boil, then lower the flame and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the rice from the heat and set it aside.
  12. Heat the ghee in the pot on a medium flame.
  13. Add the marinated lamb—with all the marinade—to the pot.
  14. Add the basmati rice on top of this.
  15. Squeeze a little lemon juice onto the rice.
  16. Add a pinch of salt to taste.
  17. Cover the pot. Allow it to cook on a high flame for about 15 minutes. Then lower the flame and let is simmer for about 1 to 2 hours, or until the lamb is tender and fully cooked.

Makes: Enough for 6 servings
Takes: 2 hours (plus 6 hours to marinate the lamb)

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10Jun 12

Bhatura

BhaturaBhaturas are Indian fried puffy breads. They actually puff up as you deep fry them, which is why they are a lot of fun to make. This is a lovely recipe I learned from my grandmother. (If you want more ideas, try this cheese and onion bread recipe.)

Since they are neither sweet nor salty, Bhaturas are very versatile. You can drizzle your favourite chutney on them. Check out my chutney recipes on my homepage.

Many Indians serve these tasty breads with Channa Masala.

 

Ingredients:

  • 240g all-purpose flour (also known as Maida)
  • 1/2 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 50g yoghurt
  • 2 tsp. milk

Preparation Method:

  1. Sieve the all-purpose flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl.
  2. Melt the butter a little bit in the microwave and add to the bowl.
  3. Add the milk and the yoghurt.
  4. Knead until the dough is soft and elastic. This may take a while, but consider it good exercise!
  5. Now roll this dough into a ball.
  6. Cover the ball with a wet cloth.
  7. Set the ball of dough aside for 5 hours. From time to time, check the cloth on top of the dough. You do not want it to dry up completely, so wet it every so often.
  8. After the allotted time, take this dough and knead it more.
  9. Take a small amount and roll it into round circles that are approximately 1 centimetre by 10 centimetres thick. Try to make these circles as perfectly round as possible.
  10. Heat up the vegetable oil in a deep-bottomed pan. Wait until it is very hot.
  11. Take one of these circular Bhaturas and slowly lower it into the oil. Do this slowly because at this point the oil is very hot and if it spatters up on you, it will burn you.
  12. Let it fry for about 2 minutes. It should puff up as it is frying.
  13. Flip the Bhatura over. You will only flip it over once. Wait until it is slightly golden.
  14. Carefully remove from the oil.
  15. Leave it on a paper towel to let the oil drain off. Otherwise, it will be extremely fattening!
  16. Repeat this with the rest of the dough circles.

Makes: 5 Bhaturas
Takes: 30 minutes (plus 5 hours for the dough to sit)

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04Jun 12

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka MasalaSome people may feel intimidated when entering the realm of Indian cooking. The words are difficult to pronounce at first, and the menus in restaurants can’t describe in great detail every ingredient or step in the cooking process.

In this post I want to share a recipe for the classic Chicken Tikka Masala. Tikka is a piece of meat that is marinated and cooked on a skewer in a clay oven called a tandoor. Masala is the name of a mixture of spices all mixed together that forms a paste. Putting those two words together means that in this recipe, I am going to marinate the chicken in a Masala sauce, cook it in the oven, and mix it with a tomato cream sauce over rice. You can also try a similiar process in with lamb in Masala Nu Roast Gos.

That’s not too difficult, right? Let’s go step-by-step.

Ingredients:

  • 900g of chicken, cut into 3 cm cubes

For the marinade:

  • 245g yoghurt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger

For the sauce:

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 onion, diced and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • Salt and pepper
  • 240ml double cream
  • 20g fresh coriander

Preparation Method:

  1. Mix together the ingredients for the marinade.
  2. Cut the chicken into cubes and put on skewers, coating them with the marinade and setting them in the fridge overnight.
  3. The next day, take out the chicken, discarding the marinade. Place the skewers to cook in the oven for around 8 minutes until cooked throughout.
  4. As they are cooking, you can start the tomato cream sauce. Using a bit of olive oil, sauté the garlic, onion and spices for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the contents of the tomato can, including the extra juices.
  6. Partially cover and stir every once in a while for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Add the double cream and stir for another 5 minutes.
  8. Remove the chicken from the skewers and place them in the tomato sauce, letting them gently simmer for 10 minutes.
  9. Mix in the coriander and a bit on top for garnish. Serve with rice.

Makes: 4 servings
Takes: 20 minutes for the marinade, 1 night to soak, and 90 minutes for cooking

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19May 12

Low-fat Mango and Mint Lassi

Low-fat mango and mint lassiThis is a another deliciously refreshing lassi drink. You are probably thinking, “Jay! You have already shared a lassi recipe!” And, of course, you are right. However, this version is my low-fat mango and mint lassi is for those who are already preparing for bikini season.

This recipe is even healthier than the last because I include 2 mangos instead of just a few grams. It is made with low-fat yoghurt so that those of us who are watching our figures can enjoy a nice dessert without having to worry about the number of calories. I also replace the sugar with saccharin or other such sweeteners and the milk for skimmed milk.

I once served my friend a Thai green curry with chicken, and she started sweating. She was about to grab her glass of water, when I stopped her and made her this lassi. It immediately soothed her taste buds. I had to laugh because even though the dish was spicy, she kept digging in, all the while taking swigs of the lassi for a good balance. She learned that day why my family likes to have lassi after a spicy meal.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large fresh mangos, peeled, pitted and chopped
  • 900ml low-fat plain yoghurt
  • 520ml skim milk
  • 4 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/2 cup crushed ice
  • 8 teaspoons of saccharin

Preparation Method:

  1. Put the skim milk, low-fat yoghurt and mango into a blender and blend for 1 minute. The mango should already be well chopped so that you don’t have to blend for too long.
  2. Add the saccharin and blend for 1 minute.
  3. Add the mint and blend for 1 minute more.
  4. Add the crushed ice and blend for 30 seconds. You don’t want to blend for too long here because the ice is already crushed, and you don’t want the blender’s motor to end up heating up the ice. After all, this is supposed to be a cold, refreshing drink.
  5. Serve in a tall glass with a straw.

Takes: 15 minutes

Makes: 4 glasses

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16Apr 12

Indian Lassi with cardamom and pistachios

Indian LassiAn Indian lassi with cardamom and pistachios is a lovely yoghurt drink to have during a hot meal or afterwards as a dessert. It is a variant of a fruit smoothie such as this strawberry and blueberry smoothie.

A lassi is made using yoghurt, water, spices and mango or other fruits. It is especially good with hot food like the Indian cuisine because the proteins in the yoghurt protect the inside of the mouth from hot chili and other spices.

Lassis are full of good stuff and are believed to promote digestion and prevent bloating. I remember the first time I tried a mango lassi as a healthy dessert. I was a student, and my Mum made it for my friends and I as an after-school snack. It was so delicious, that it took my breath away. Needless to say, from then on I was even more excited to arrive home after a long day of hitting the books.

Had I not been taught to eat (and drink) in moderation, I could easily have drunk 3 glasses of the stuff! My Mum, knowing my appetite for this drink, wisely chose to make it every now and then, but not too often. It was always a special treat when she made this snack.

When I moved out on my own, I learned that this Indian smoothie is easy-peasy to make yourself at home. It couldn’t be simpler! If you have a blender, put away the fizzy drinks and try this healthy one instead. I´m positive it will become your new summer favourite.

Ingredients:

• 2 tall glasses (preferably ice-cream glasses)
• 200ml of plain yoghurt
• 100ml of full-fat milk
• 200g of chopped mango
• 6 teaspoons of sugar
• 2 pinches of cardamom
• 100g of ice (optional)
• 1 pinch of salt to enhance the flavor of the mango.
• 2 tablespoons of ground pistachios

Preparation method:

1. Peel and remove pit from mangos. Chop into chunks and place in blender.
2. Add the yoghurt, milk, sugar, spices and ice.
3. Blend for 2 minutes until smooth.
4. Pour into tall glasses.
5. Sprinkle the ground pistachios over the drinks.
6. Serve immediately with a straw.

Makes: 3-4 portions
Takes: 10 minutes
Level: very easy

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